Update: 2015 Dates & Locations have been added below as well as a new video.
For many of us, riding with our significant others is an adventure unto itself. We have the Passion for riding mountain bikes and it’s just natural to want to share our Passion with our loved ones. However, if your spouse or girlfriend is not a rider, sometimes the initial introduction to riding can be trying for both enthusiast and learner. Just because we ride and know about riding, doesn’t always mean that we are good at teaching it. Patience, good communication and a good understanding of how to build a competent rider are sometimes lacking. This is where the experts from VIDA MTB can help.
VIDA MTB has created a series of clinics for 2015 with locations that span across the Rocky Mountain region and into the Midwest. Their goal is to “foster a passion among women for riding bikes through the highest quality instruction, and create a lifelong community of riders.” They have a strong list of industry supports including title sponsor Yeti Cycles as well as Smith Optics, Stan’s NoTubes, Keystone Bike Park, Twin Six and Team Yeti Beti.
Updated: Yeti Cycles VIDA MTB Series 2015 Schedule
Sedona, Arizona: March 7-8
Boulder, Colorado: May 16-17
Lakewood, Colorado: June 13
Keystone, Colorado: June 20-21
Colorado Resort TBD: August 15-16
Duluth, Minnesota: August 29-30
Check out this new highlight reel and see what VIDA MTB is all about!
The VIDA MTB Series will kick off the year with its first clinic in conjunction with the Sedona MTB Festival, March 7-8. The full calendar of the VIDA MTB Series will be released Monday, January 26 and registration for all events will go live Friday, January 30 at 9 a.m. MST.
We had the opportunity to chat with VIDA MTB’s Marketing Director, Elena Forchielli and ask her a few questions about this exciting new opportunity for female mountain bikers – about how it started, what drives it and where it is headed in the future.
Mtbr: This looks like a serious effort with significant investment. How did it get started and what are your plans for taking coaching to the next level?
Forchielli : The original clinic was the brainchild of Sarah Rawley and Amy Thomas, some of the original Yeti Betis and co-founders of the Beti Bike Bash. They saw a demand for clinics that provided high-quality progression opportunities for women of all levels, and subsequently created the first event at Keystone in 2013.
The first event was a huge success, attracting a group of over 100 women. After that, we knew we were on to something and expanded to 4 events in 2014. More than anything, we just realized that there were so many women out there looking for a positive environment in which to improve their skills, and we decided to take it even further in 2015.
This has been a huge effort, we have invested countless sweat equity into this project, but it has always been a labor of love. We have big plans to expand to new regions over the next 2 years, including a very exciting event in an up and coming riding destination. Our focus is also on creating a community that serves as a platform to connect and inspire women beyond just our events.
Mtbr: Who are your coaches and how did you assemble this all-star cast?
Forchielli : Most of our coaches were already part of Sarah’s extended network in the mountain biking world thanks to her racing and event promotion experience. Lady shredders stick together, and most work very hard to support each other. It was easy to recruit new coaches as word spread about our clinics, most couldn’t wait to be there!
We are so lucky to count rock star coaches like Wendy Palmer, Tammy Donahugh, and Lindsay Yost—just to name a few—among our staff. These are accomplished athletes with impressive credentials that have been dedicated teachers for years. We work very hard to make the experience as much fun for our coaches as for our participants.
Mtbr: Who are the ideal candidates/students? Can men join the clinics?
Forchielli : Unfortunately, at this time men can’t participate in our clinics, but they’re always welcome to come and support us!
The ideal candidate is any woman that wants to be a part of a vibrant, supportive community and progress her skills, no matter what level she’s currently at. Our clinics are all about making people fall in love with riding, and keeping them on their bikes for life, but that doesn’t always mean becoming an aggressive downhill rider. At the same time, we also provide the highest level instruction for expert riders; we’ve had participants stomp some pretty scary stuff!
Mtbr: How did the partnership with Yeti come about and what does it mean to your clinics. All brands are welcome, yes?
Forchielli : Yeti has been a long-time supporter of select women’s mountain biking events in Colorado. Their mission to create a dedicated riding culture around their bikes fits perfectly with our desire to provide more than just a one-time event: when you come to a VIDA MTB event, you’re part of the family.
It means everything to us that a company with such a strong tradition as Yeti believes in VIDA enough to create a lasting partnership. We couldn’t be more excited to work with them and see what we accomplish together. We have big plans!
Yeti is our title sponsor, but we all fundamentally believe that the more women on bikes the better, regardless of what kind of bike it is. Even if you don’t have a bike, just contact us and we can help set you up with a demo or rental.
Mtbr: We are happy to see the number of mountain bike coaching options out there expand, especially for women. How does VIDA MTB differentiate itself from other outfits?
Forchielli : There are a lot of great programs out there, but I think what really sets VIDA apart is our focus on improving our participants’ riding experiences as a whole, which goes beyond skills training. It goes without saying that we offer the highest quality instruction, but our coaches know how to work with women to improve their confidence and address other obstacles holding their progression back. We also offer training, nutrition, and technical seminars to help our students in many different aspects. Everyone is genuinely happy to be there and invested in seeing their students and peers improve; this lends an intangible magic to our events that can’t easily be recreated. This is what it means to be a part of the VIDA community.
We appreciated Elena taking the time to chat with Mtbr and we expect great things for them in the coming new year. As it so happens, a close, personal friend of mine took one of the BetiAllride clinics last year and had a great time. She learned so much in such a short time and really built up some good friendships. She is riding faster and better than ever!
For more information visit www.vidamtb.com.