School's out and summer is (almost officially) here, and many of us are getting out on the trails or eager to do so. It's also summer camp season, and many mamas are wondering how to keep their kiddos busy and asking themselves, when is a good time to get my daughter on a mountain bike?
As a brand made by women, for women, there's nothing we love more than seeing future generations of baddies groomed to have a passion for getting out on the trails. That's why we reached out to Lindsey Richter, founder of Ladies AllRide, a mountain bike clinic series developed especially for women-identifying individuals. As a HUGE advocate of getting women on bikes, we thought she'd be the perfect resource for asking how, and why, to get young women started building skills and confidence early on their mountain bikes.
Q&A with LADIES ALLRIDE FOUNDER, LINDSEY RICHTER
How long have you been coaching mountain biking?
I’ve been coaching full-time for 12 years.
What would you say is the most rewarding part of coaching women?
There are a lot of rewarding aspects to coaching women. When someone doesn’t think they can do something, then they do it, the way it lights them up is priceless. Seeing women learn what they’re capable of, breaking past limitations they’ve set for themselves and witnessing them build confidence in their abilities and see them grow and progress on the bike is what I live for. Also helping them see how mountain biking relates to life connects them to the sport on a deeper level.
Is it ever too early to get started mountain biking?
NO! The earlier the better to develop skills, confidence and muscle memory!
What are the benefits of young women getting into mountain biking?
We believe a sport like mountain biking can help young women learn about themselves and life through experiences on the bike. It relates to life in so many ways and can also help with developmental skills like learning how to find confidence within, how to get up when they fall down, how to persevere through challenges and it can help them learn what they’re capable of on and off the bike.
How do you recommend helping young women/girls get started? (Maybe it’s your daughter, niece, etc)
I think teaching girls to ride before taking them out is important so they have some skills to set them up for success is a great way to get them started. I recommend inviting a group of friends to ride together so they can share the experience with peers might help encourage them to want to get out and give it a try. Make it fun by playing games on bikes that also help them work on skills. Doing fun drills like playing limbo on the bike with a pool noodle to practice moving around on the bikes is a fun one. Doing a slow race to teach them how to balance by going super slow from one line to another is fun. There are lots of fun games to help ease girls into the sport by making it fun, skill-based and setting them up for success.
Tell me more about your new kids' book!
Eeeek, I’m pretty excited about it!
Mountain Biking Adventures with Izzy: Etiquette is a Big Word.
I was approached by a woman who had the idea to write a book about Etiquette for kids because of all the new trail users during COVID who didn’t seem to have good trail etiquette. She had seen my writing content and asked if I would be interested in collaborating on a storyline and if I would then write the book. The idea of a book about etiquette for kids seemed a little daunting until I started coming up with rhymes to make it more fun. It’s about Izzy, a strong, wise girl with great leadership qualities who is learning life lessons from the bike and wants to help others along the way. It begins with some lessons about being prepared and knowledgeable before heading out on a ride and then shifts to on trail etiquette and the lessons she and her friend Lyle learn along the way. There is room for more adventures with Izzy because of all the life lessons bikes can teach us.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I just feel very fortunate to be able to do what I do with mountain bikes. Mountain biking has changed (saved) my life in so many ways and I have a strong passion for wanting more people to understand how the sport can benefit so many aspects of their lives like how it can help improve physical and mental health. I also want more women and girls to know this lifestyle and community exists for them. Changing lives with two wheels and some dirt is definitely my calling and I’m going to do it for as long as I am able.
We're so grateful for women like Lindsey who are paving the way for others to experience the life-changing benefits of getting out there on your bike.
Also, don't miss our new line of mountain bike shorts for girls below!