Lindsey Richter, the founder of Ladies AllRide has a mission: Change women's lives with two wheels and some dirt. Of all her wild life experiences (like being a Reality TV star on the CBS show: Survivor) it was mountain biking that taught Lindsey life is about CREATING yourself, not finding yourself. Now as a world-renowned leader in the women's mountain bike movement, Lindsey spreads her passion for mountain biking across the globe through innovative and inspirational skills camps. We caught up with Lindsey to find out what
Tell us a little bit about your fitness backgrounds: how did you both first get into mountain biking? Is it something you’ve always loved?
I grew up playing every sport possible and was an accomplished athlete in high school. Then I lost my fitness in college and didn’t know how to get it back without a sport, so in the mid 90s, I decided to try racing mountain bikes because I saw it in magazines and thought it looked cool. I quickly fell in love with the sport and the people involved in it.
Why did you start the Ladies AllRide program?
I traveled the country from 2002-2013 racing, promoting mountain biking, bikes, and products, and sponsored a kid’s race team with my ex-husband who was a pro racer. During our travels, I longed to find women to ride with for fun who weren’t competitive. I became intimidated by the sport when I was surrounded by so many pros and felt like I couldn’t keep up. I realized the void in female participation was because the sport is intimidating and I found that women weren’t getting good advice, or they would try it, get hurt, and never do it again. I saw there was a need for events that invited women into the sport in a non-competitive way, so I started Ladies AllRide originally as a “movement” to inspire women by addressing the emotional component of the sport and bringing to light the life-changing elements of it. I began running skills camps in 2013 and coaching at every clinic I could attend to dial in my coaching. A friend and now business partner, Meredith had started a small series of mountain bike skills camps in our hometown of Bend, OR in 2011, so in Jan 2015 when I felt ready to take camps around the globe, I approached Meredith to help me run the events and the Liv Ladies AllRide Mountain Bike Skills Camps – Powered by SRAM were officially born.
You and Meredith both love to laugh and incorporate a lot of playfulness into your training programs in such a fresh way. Can you explain your philosophy?
Mountain biking is intimidating and dangerous. We are very aware of that fact, so we try and make our camps as approachable and welcoming as possible to help ladies feel less intimidated and see the value in learning a challenging sport. We find it’s really important to keep the vibe and energy fun and silly because it is a really fun and empowering sport. We try and help women understand it doesn’t have to be super gnarly. There are plenty of trails around the world that aren’t scary and technical, like in Bend for instance. You can ride most of the Bend trails until you’re 100 years old because they are mellow. We really want women to see how their lives can be enhanced by the sport, so we make sure to let women see the community of women who participate in this sport are pretty cool and welcoming.
Tell us a bit about your nutrition strategies and how you help educate within your program.
I am a very healthy eater. I actually just stopped eating animal products and refined sugar and I feel I have way more energy in a day than I used to. I also struggled with highs and lows and I attribute that to too much sugar, so I’m careful about sugar. We have a nutrition talk at our camps where women can ask questions and learn about different nutrition strategies for all different dietary choices and needs. The importance of hydration is HUGE and we make sure women know how important replenishing electrolytes is, especially when exerting a lot of energy on hot days.
What is your advice for women who want to start mountain biking?
Take a clinic!! It is a sport that can come with consequences if you try and learn by trial and error. Similar to learning to ski or snowboard, it’s a sport that will be much easier to get good at with proper lessons and a strong understanding of the basic fundamentals.
Why is mountain biking a life-changing sport for women?
Mountain biking is a life-changing sport because it helps women see what they’re capable of. I think a lot of women hold themselves back because fear gets in the way. Fear about leaving a bad relationship, or an unfulfilling job, or the fear of trying something new can be debilitating. When I see women shake their heads “no” when they think they can’t do something, then they learn how to do it, change their mindset and accomplish more than they thought possible, I see lightbulbs go off, eyes light up and their belief in themselves improves. Also, the community of women associated with mountain biking is very welcoming and can create an instant network of new friends.
Lindsey Richter, Director of Inspiration:
Professional mountain biker and skills instructor Lindsey Richter traverses North America in a sprinter van inspiring women to face fears, believe in themselves and get RAD on their mountain bikes! Together with her business partner Meredith Brandt (Grit Clinics, LLC ) they run a series of energizing and inspirational mountain bike skills camps for women: Liv Ladies AllRide: Powered by SRAM. Complete with the best coaches in the business, these events bring women together in a welcoming environment to enhance their lives on and off the bikes. There are 13 signature Ladies AllRide events in epic riding locations across the U.S.