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Episode 58: Shredding Fear with Lindsey Richter

Getting more women on bikes is more than just a business to Lindsey Richter. As the founder (and Director of Inspiration) at Ladies AllRide, Lindsey's mission is to help women conquer their fears on bikes - and in turn, their fears in all aspects of their lives. Lindsey talks about finding a place in the bike industry, aligning her values with her business, and her transition from racing to teaching.

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Episode Transcript

Lisa: Hi! Welcome to episode 20 of season 4.

Iris: Hey everyone, I’m Iris.

Lisa: And I’m Lisa. Coming at you live from Wheelie in Whitefish.

Iris: And today we have the incredible Lindsey Richter.

Lisa: Lindsey Richter is awesome and if you haven’t met her yet in your life, you probably should because she is hilarious and powerful and just a really good time.

Iris: Lindsey is the founder and Director of Inspiration at Ladies AllRide, which is these incredible camps for women to learn mountain bike skills, and she travels all over the country to get more ladies on bikes.

Lisa: It’s so badass.

Iris: And so Lindsey talks about her transition from being an athlete to a coach, and she talks about aligning her goals and values with her business decisions, she also talks a lot about conquering fears and using mountain biking to learn how to conquer your fears in all aspects of your life. So this is a really good podcast episode.

Lisa: Mhmm. Check it out!

Lisa: Hey Lindsey. Thanks so much for being here today on Outside by Design.

Lindsey: Well, yeah, thanks for having me.

Lisa: I'm really excited to talk to you because you bring a lot of energy into everything you do. So, you know, you're a good one.

Lindsey: Awesome. Well, thanks. You guys are good ones too, I love what you all do.

Lisa: Awesome. Well, the first question we ask everyone is to describe where you are in the world and what you're looking at.

Lindsey: Oh, I'm actually back home in Bend, Oregon and I am looking at my smoothie from Mothers with a bunch of nutrients in it because I just flew on a plane and I have to bring my immune system back up. So I'm looking at that. [laughs]

Lisa: That seems like a pretty good, good deal. Where'd you just come back from?

Lindsey: I was in Copper Harbor, Michigan. Which is the tip of the United States, just the tip.

Lisa: Yeah, just the tip, way up there.

Lindsey: Yeah, we're just riding on the tip.

Lisa: Yeah.

Lindsey: Up on the upper peninsula. It's really cool up there. It's a small town, population 90, and we have a hundred women on bikes every year cruising around. It's pretty awesome.

Lisa: Did you guys do some shuttle laps?

Lindsey: Yes, we did! If you know Copper Harbor, it's a three-minute shuttle for 20 minutes of pleasure.

Lisa: Totally. What's... it's like, Man Pants or something, right?

Lindsey: Yes, yeah, you know it?

Lisa: I’ve been up there, yeah.

Lindsey: Oh my gosh, that's awesome. It is a magical little place, especially for teaching because you can just jump on these quick shuttles and have anything at your disposal on this little mountain. You want wooden jumps, dirt jumps, pump track type trail, rocky trail. It's pretty phenomenal up there. And then when you're done you just jump in like, Lake Superior for a quick cool down.

Lisa: It's amazing.

Lindsey: Mhmm.

Lisa: I'm really exhausted because I invited Ash and Andi from Roam over for dinner last night. And then they threw a giant party in my yard until 2 in the morning.

[both laugh]

Lindsey: Pretty typical, pretty typical. They know how to throw the parties.

Lisa: Pretty typical. And you know how to teach the camps, so, like, let's talk about that.

Lindsey: Yeah!

Lisa: Tell our audience who maybe hasn't heard about Ladies AllRide and all the awesome work you do to help women face fears and get rad.

Lindsey: Yeah, well, Ladies AllRide the name implies that ladies should all ride bikes and the world would be a better place. Because more women will be happy and confident and when women are happy and confident, there's no stopping them. But yeah, Ladies AllRide is mountain bike skills camps that I've been running since... about 2013 is when I first kind of got started. And our mission is to grow the community of female mountain bikers by... we created a series of events to invite women into this sport in a welcoming and safe environment where it's all focused on teaching them how to be strong and capable mountain bikers.

All levels are welcome, from newbies who have never ridden a mountain bike before two seasoned, more advanced riders who want to learn to take it up to the next level. And we integrate a little bit of life coaching into that because we find... I mean, I especially have found over my almost two decades in the bike industry that there's an emotional component to mountain biking that really was never addressed at all the events I attended from 2002 and beyond. And I really wanted to address that mountain biking is scary and intimidating and challenging and at our camps we encourage women to embrace that fact and look at it like a sport that really helps us learn to face fears and believe in ourselves and trust in our abilities.

And once you understand how to do something, it sort of takes the Fear Factor out of it a bit. And when you understand a sport like mountain biking on a deeper level, I believe it'll help you be able to ride for the rest of your life instead of just going out by trial and error and getting hurt and getting frustrated. We make sure that women develop really good riding habits before they go too far with the sport or we change their bad habits if they have any bad habits. It's pretty awesome.

Lisa: It is really awesome. And then, do you find that as people are able to face their fears on a mountain bike that that transfers into the rest of their life?

Lindsey: Absolutely. There's a lot of... a lot of women come to us at the end of the camp saying this is absolutely been mind-blowing. I never thought I could do that on a bike. And we address, what else do you think you can't do? What else in life do you maybe hold yourself back from? Because I think a lot of women and especially myself growing up and into my young adult years, I didn't realize that a lot of my setbacks and my emotional drama all stemmed from fear. Fear of not fitting in, fear of not getting that job, fear of quitting a job for a new job, fear of breaking up a relationship that wasn't working out. A lot of times we don't move forward in life because fear holds us back. And I didn't really recognize it as fear. I just thought well, this is just how it is. I'm I'm not going to take that next step.

And once I realized that it was fear holding me back and if I could just be okay with a little bit of fear, because I do believe that you can't have courage if you don't have a little fear, it changed the course of my life. And I really wanted to share that with other women that maybe when you experience a situation like mountain biking where fear is very apparent and obvious. When you feel fear physically, you know that it's fear. But when you feel fear emotionally or you're being held back in life, I don't think it's always as obvious that it's fear. And when you accomplish something that scares you physically, I truly believe that just kind of changes the mindset. To start realizing that maybe if I change my thoughts from negative debilitating thoughts to positive forward-thinking thoughts, I can change a lot of things about my life. And that's a big reason I do this is because I want more women to see that our thoughts don't have to be listened to, we can actually change those thoughts.

And on a mountain bike, you don't want to stare at that rock and imagine what your face is going to look like if you smash into it. You've got to think thoughts about moving through those rock gardens and thoughts that keep the wheels rolling forward. So it definitely translates into life once women kind of have those aha moments, it really sparks this excitement about moving forward in life in a lot of ways. It's pretty cool.

Lisa: Mmm, I love that.

Lindsey: I'm going to end each sentence with “it's pretty cool.”

Lisa: It's pretty - it's pretty cool.

Lindsey: [laughs] It's pretty cool.

Lisa: And... and the word of the month that we have on the podcast for August is alignment.

Lindsey: Oh…

Lisa: Yes. And so I think that ties really into what you're talking about. And what, like, what does alignment mean to you or being fully aligned? What do you what do you think of when you hear the word alignment?

Lindsey: Oh, I think of. Being aligned with your... with your values. I feel... I think of being aligned on my bike, having my body position in the right position to be able to tell my bike what to do, that requires a lot of understanding of alignment. How I need to be situated on the bike. I've really been thinking about that word a lot to be honest with you because of aligning with my goals and my... my mission in life. Am I staying true to what makes me feel good? And what makes me happy? I'm learning that life is all about choices. We can choose our attitude, mountain biking really showed me that. You can choose to be upset if you break down in the woods and have to walk out or you can choose to just be proud that you're out on a mountain bike in the woods breathing fresh air. So a lot of life is about choices, and I choose to be aligned with what makes me feel good in this world.

Lisa: And as an entrepreneur, do you find that as your business grows that you are still in alignment with why you started it and the greatness is growing or do you find that you're getting pulled into a desk more than you'd like? How's how's that Journey going?

Lindsey: Oh, it's been an amazing journey and I have to attribute that to my business partner Meredith, who... when I started Ladies AllRide, I really started it as a mission, as a movement. I want to get more women inspired by mountain biking. And Ladies AllRide was just kind of a word, like I said before, ladies should all ride bikes. And my mission was to create videos and content that I can put out in the world that inspires people to try mountain biking. I wanted to show women in some way, whether it was through video content - and this is kind of before social media was a big deal. I was always kind of focused on video content to get the message in front of more women in a creative and inviting way. And when I started the series of skills camps, I knew I was not the person to run events. I am not organized and I don't like checklists and I am not going to answer my emails on time. Like I'm just... like, I'm controlled chaos. I need someone who can help control the chaos. And so my business partner is amazing because she handles all the logistics and the daily tasks and the grinding in front of the computer and I get to handle the inspiration. My job title, I named myself Director of Inspiration because I... it's not a business to me. It really isn't. It's a passion. I'm so passionate about helping other women see what they're capable of through this sport and meet other women in this community so the community can grow.

I found my people in this sport. I really did. I never felt like I fit in with women. I got kicked out of my sorority because I had too much energy I didn't know what to do with, you know, and I went into the working world and I was in advertising and PR and couldn't sit still and I just... I found mountain bike women to be more like me. I felt like I found a place where I fit in no matter what walk of life everyone comes from or what body shape or you know, what jobs they have. There's this camaraderie that comes with mountain biking. This support system of women who want to encourage each other and lift each other up. And that's one of the main reasons I do this is I want more women to see this lifestyle exists for them. I don't see it as a financial endeavor. I never really have. I... it's a passion based project and I want to keep the prices low. So sponsorship means means a big deal to us so that we can keep our camps affordable. If I wanted to make a big buck out of it, I'd raise the prices double but I don't want that. I want more women to see this lifestyle exist. Therefore I want to have affordable, attainable camps all over the country for women to attend. So I've definitely stayed in alignment with my mission which is to inspire women through mountain biking.

Lisa: Yeah you have.

Lindsey: Yeah, it’s pretty cool.

Lisa: Seriously. And your title sponsor is Liv and you also have Sram, right, as big sponsors?

Lindsey: Heck. Yeah. Liv and Sram. It's been awesome.

Lisa: So cool.

Lindsey: Yes, they are rad supporters of getting more women into bikes. And you know, I have been in the bike industry since 2002. And I have noticed how difficult it has been for women to have more of a voice and for companies to support women's programs and I'm so proud that both Liv and Sram see the value in a program that isn't about winning or racing or competing and I didn't have to have a World Cup title or a national championship to get these sponsors on board and that meant a lot. Because for about a decade, nobody would listen to me. And I really thought I needed some kind of a win, some kind of a championship. I needed to race or compete to be noticed. And it's really awesome that these companies see the value in passion based projects like this where we're trying to inspire women to love mountain biking as much as we all do without the competitive nature. So that's been really awesome to have these sponsors on board without having to bust my ass and compete.

Lisa: Yeah.

Lindsey: Yeah too old for that.

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Lisa: I really enjoyed how Lindsey is applying the word alignment to her business and that blend that comes between work and play because it can be really hard to separate, especially in the outdoor industry. And in a job like Lindsey’s where you’re applying a lot of feelings and empathy to your work.

Iris: And especially as an entrepreneur specifically, because when you start your own business it starts as a piece of you versus something that’s separate from you. So finding an alignment between your personality and where your business is headed is really important.

Lisa: And it slowly, slowly, slowly eats your soul. Day by day by day. [laughs] Just kidding. Back to Lindsey!

Lisa: So that's interesting to me how, yeah, how do you feel about competition? In biking or business?

Lindsey: I mean I raced for a long time.

Lisa: Okay.

Lindsey: Yeah, I raced for a long time. I started out on a mountain bike because I was an athlete in college and... or in high school. Sorry. I was an athlete in high school and when I went to college I didn't play sports and my body definitely... reflected that. So through my 20s I really struggled with fitness and I knew something was missing from my life which created a dark cloud for me for a lot of years and some low self-esteem because I didn't really know who I was without being an athlete. And I was unable to zip closed a size 12 jean and from that day forward, I was like, I need something that's going to help my body and my mind get back into fitness. And I started racing mountain bikes in the mid-90s just as a way to force myself to get in shape. I thought, well, if I have this race I have to do this weekend, then I have to go ride my bike after work everyday, even if it was up a fire Road and back down in Portland, Oregon because we have no trails. I did it. And I got my body back, but beyond that, I found this whole new lifestyle for myself, so, yeah, it's been pretty cool. [laughs] Back to the “it’s pretty cool.”

Lisa: Pretty cool. Did you have women to ride with when you first started and the mid 90s or were you solo or with...?

Lindsey: No, I was solo. Yeah, my dad got me into it after college and we would just go ride fire roads, and that was that. And racing really inspired me to get to understand the sport a little bit better. I loved it. I raced cross country all over Oregon and then I moved to California for a short stint in my life and started racing bigger races in California. And that's when I started being introduced to the bike industry. I didn't know much about the bike industry. I just knew that I loved riding mountain bikes and I had my Trek hardtail and I raced it and it was fun.

And then once I was introduced to the bike industry, that's when I knew, wow. I belong in this industry. So I kept racing. I raced, I moved into downhill to try that because I was so scared of downhilling that I used to carry my bike down the downhills which was much more dangerous than riding it. So I started racing downhill to get more comfortable on the downhills, and then Enduro racing started happening, well, it started out as super D racing. Raced that and I met a whole community of awesome women who raced. But I still craved finding people who didn't want to race and who could actually give me pointers and ideas on how to be a better rider and it just didn't seem to be out there. And nobody at races really knew what they were doing. We were just pedaling to make it to the finish line.

So around 2010, I was still racing. I got certified to teach up in Whistler and my whole world changed. I thought, well, there's... you know, what I've been getting advice from all these Pro mountain bikers that I've been hanging out with, like “you got this your bike knows what to do”, you know, and “just lean back, just lift up, just go faster” like, none of this is helping me really understand what to do. I get it that speed as my friend, but if I'm just coming down something wildly fast, what do I do then? And once I learned how to teach, everything changed. I thought, I have a mission now. More women need to hear how to do this sport properly and I'm going to be the one to help them.

Lisa: Yeah, that is amazing. I remember the first time I ever went mountain biking. It was really hard. I went out with a bunch of guys that worked at the bike shop with me and I ended up like, almost in tears. I was like, I should have bought hiking shoes. It was really difficult and I don't even know why I stuck with it. So, you know, how do - like how did mountain biking go for you? And how did you just plow through it?

Lindsey: Yeah, you know, I loved it for the fitness aspect at first and I just saw anything technical and scary as something I could just get off and walk or run through. And then I, yeah, you know, I had a lot of crashes and a lot of mishaps, but I rode with a lot of supportive people who would just encourage me to get back up. They wouldn't give me any pointers in what to do better. But I kind of love that component of it, I kind of... I was proud when I was in advertising and I would come in on Monday morning and I'd wear a skirt because my legs were all beat up and bruised and bloody and like yeah, I'm cool. It's cool. I totally kind of showed that off. But as you get older you don't want to fall as much. So that really sparked my interest in getting certified to teach. I found out about this certification course and I thought well, what a... what a great way to learn how to mountain bike just go right into learning how to teach. So I definitely spent about 10 years racing and not knowing what I was doing and not really caring because I had so much fun with it.

But once I actually learned the technique and the nuances and the little things about riding, I just got - my skills skyrocketed. And again, I just wanted, I - it was not even my own mission to get better at riding, my mission became get good at teaching. And so I shifted kind of from racing and not knowing what I was doing to suddenly wanting to teach.

Lisa: And it seems to be working out.

Lindsey: It does, it seems there was a need for it.

Lisa: And I think you do an amazing job bringing your, your true personality into everything you do and I think you're hilarious. So how, like, how does that go for you where you've created a life where you get to kind of bring your irreverence and - and humor into what you're doing? Because I think a lot of our listeners work in the creative industry where like, you are pretty emotionally tied to your work just by the nature of it. And I think... I think you do that really well. How do you do that?

Lindsey: Well, thanks. Well, you know, I've suffered from some... some mental things in my life. I suffered from depression, mood disorders, highs and lows, and mountain biking was one of the first things that really taught me how to be in the moment. How to be fully present and focused on what I'm doing. It also taught me that I can change my thoughts and rewire my brain. I was a very fear-based negative thinker a lot of my life, and I feel like mountain biking really brought out this childlike side of me, this curious side of me where I wanted to learn and grow and be the best mountain biker I could be, which kind of translated into being the best person I could be. And I know this sport is intimidating. And so I think one of the big things that distracted women from this sport - or that's not the right word, but didn't encourage women to, to try the sport out was lack of realness behind it.

I think all the things in the media that showed mountain biking showed it to be pretty gnarly and extreme. And I knew the best way to get women comfortable with the sport that comes across as gnarly an extreme was to show a real person behind it. So my strategy for marketing my program has always been to be as real as I can be and to show that you're vulnerable on a mountain bike but that's life. We are vulnerable in life. And I do have insecurities because of my… the way my brain thinks and you know, I'm one of those people who goes to a party and goes home thinking I said something stupid or that person caught me when I wasn't smiling and now I'm all stressed about it. And I've had to learn over time to focus on the positive, focus on the things that went right. Focus on the things that made you feel good. Don't focus on the bad things. And so I've tried to just bring personality to the sport by being myself. I have highs and lows. I have dealt with depression. I want women to know that there's a real woman behind this movement encouraging other women who may relate to me to try the sport out. Because it really can enhance your life and change - you can change your brain chemistry by changing the way you think, with practice. I feel like life is a lot like a sport the more you practice being good at mountain biking, the better you get at it. It's the same with life - the more you practice channeling positive energy and thinking positive thoughts, the better you get at it. And so I have to work at it every day. So I work at it publicly so that people can see, you're not alone. We're all just humans trying to make it in this world.

And I found this platform through mountain biking where I can really express myself and... and feel comfortable in my own skin. And so I thank mountain biking for that. Otherwise, you know, I was on a reality TV show called Survivor when it first came out and that was kind of devastating for someone like me because I was emotionally raw and I'm super loud and outgoing but... I can also be combative or I was when I was younger, in my 20s. And being on TV really showed me what my personality was like and I wasn't proud of it. And mountain bikes really helped me learn to be okay with myself. So I think I just try to be authentic and express that I have highs and lows still and then I do have to... it does take me effort to be okay with myself every day. And I think that's more of a draw than showing mountain biking to the world as a gnarly sport. I'm showing it as a sport that can help you be okay with who you are because it develops strength, independence, courage. No one else can ride your bike for you. You have to do it yourself. And I think that's a big part of life, being independent and self reliant and I'm just trying to show that with my platform mountain biking.

Lisa: Mmm. I love that. No one can ride your bike for you.

Lindsey: Yeah, you're in charge. You tell that bike where to go, you live your life.

Lisa: And I love that like no matter what mood you're in or how your week is going or how old or experienced or young, whatever, you can... when you show up on your bike, it will accept you.

Lindsey: Yeah, and you show up fully present and ready to tackle the trail in front of you. And I feel like in life we don't always show up fully present. We show up with thoughts and insecurities and questions about ourselves sometimes. And I want more women to see that the power of a sport like mountain biking can really help you be more self-aware. And that's kind of the bottom line with life, is if you're self-aware and can identify what's working for you and what's not working for you and make changes, your life's going to change for the better.

Lisa: And it helps... that's a good way to get into alignment when you feel out of alignment is having some self-awareness.

Lindsey: Absolutely.

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Lisa: I’m really loving what Lindsey is saying about having a sport kind of transcend everything and letting the sport be the catalyst for letting you be who you are. And being… you know, showing up in the world with confidence and self esteem and self awareness and a community to support you - I think it’s awesome.

Iris: Yeah, and something in the outdoor industry I think has struggled with for a while is all of these action sports - like, of course we want to see the stoke and like, see people really pushing the limits - but that can be pretty exclusionary. And make it scary to get into a sport, especially one if you didn’t grow up knowing how to do it, it can be hard. And I love what Lindsey is doing to show, hey, this is mountain biking and it’s super, super rad and whoever you are, you can do it too.

Lisa: What was your first time riding a bike?

Iris: Um…

Lisa: Do you remember it?

Iris: First time riding a bike?

Lisa: Yeah, do you remember learning how to ride a bike?

Iris: No. I had a little baby yellow bike, and it had training wheels - which, now, I know are dumb. But I don’t really remember it though. I lived on like a dirt road so it was kinda hard to learn.

Lisa: Oh yeah, all those Montana kids.

Iris: It’s a lot more bumpy.

Lisa: Build up the quads.

Iris: Yeah. Alright, should we get back to Lindsey?

Lisa: Back to Lindsey.

Lisa: So a lot of our audience is built of like writers and photographers and brand managers and what's... what's your advice to anyone in the creative industry who is trying to break into the bike industry?

Lindsey: Oh, the bike industry. Oh, the bike industry. More and more women are breaking into the bike industry, which is awesome. I feel like knowing people is a great way to start but if you don't know people, try to get to know people. Go to your local bike shop, get to know products, get to know who works in the bike industry, what kind of people work in the bike industry. I got lucky because I just met a bunch of people through racing who have helped me along the way and I built relationships. In an industry like the bike industry, relationships are really important, people move around within the industry to different companies. And when... when I have to make a call for sponsorship, it really helps if someone who knows me can recommend me and that way I'm not just cold calling them. But having knowledge about the bike industry and the products is... is key. And passion. It's a passion based industry. It's not an industry you get into if you want to get rich, you get into it because you want a rich lifestyle and that's a big part of it, is it's a lifestyle. I don't feel like I have a job. My job is my lifestyle and my passion and it all blends together and that can be hard at times but it can be really beautiful at times. So I encourage people who want to get into the bike industry, you've got to be someone who can roll with the punches, be flexible, be adaptable, be ready to change directions in a moment's notice. It's a ever... rapidly moving industry and it's growing and changing for the better, I think.

Lisa: What's your secret sauce to creating an environment or creating an atmosphere that's inclusive and welcoming?

Lindsey: You know, I try to set the stage just through my marketing tactics through social media. I try to be very, very welcoming and open and honest. At the events themselves I make a welcome speech to all the participants and the first words out of my mouth are, don't be looking around, sizing each other up, checking out her sweet outfit and that super fancy bike and it's okay, it's great if a lot of you are Queen of the Mountain on Strava where you live, but none of that exists here. It doesn't matter where you come from. What walk of Lllife you're from, what your body type is, what your fitness level is. We're all starting out at the same level because we're just a bunch of women who want to share mountain biking with you and none of us have egos here. We're all on the same page. We're just excited to share a sport that has done so much for our lives in the hopes that it does the same thing for your lives. I just say it right away. I say this is for all of us. This is a sport that can change all of us and enhance all of our lives. So I really try to make it… make it welcoming.

I just got a Instagram message from a woman who literally said the words, “I would love to come to one of your camps one day, but I'm a fat girl and I need to get fit first” and a bunch of other women commented and said I've been to these camps. There's all shapes and sizes. I private messaged her a photo of one of my strongest riders in a recent camp that was a bigger girl who was awesome on the bike, just so skilled, and so, and you know working on her confidence. I just try to show real women doing real things and hoping that someone will relate and see that everybody's welcome. We would love to have it be more diverse and we're working on that. We're trying but I can't force anyone to ride a mountain bike, but I can sure try and get my message out there in front of his many different types of women as possible.

Lisa: What do you think it means to be a real woman?

Lindsey: Oh, just honest and open about who you are, not putting on a facade, not trying to be something you're not, being authentic. I find when people meet me, that's a word that comes out of their mouth is, wow, you're so real. And I have had to sort of think about what does that mean? I think it means that I'm just open about what I go through and I don't try to hide it. I'm... I'm not perfect. I'm not perfect on the bike. I make mistakes. I'm all scarred up because I've crashed enough to put a bunch of scars on my body. I fall in front of my students. I don't always make something that I'm trying to demonstrate. I feel like that makes us more real. We're not these superheroes who are perfect on our bikes, we’re just like everyone else, still learning, still growing, still trying, still practicing. That's what I feel like makes us real, is that we just open up our vulnerabilities and all sides to ourselves.

It's funny because I just started dating a guy after going through a divorce after 15 years of marriage which was really difficult. And oh, just, you know, he has said to me things like when I was trying to get to know him and his past, he would say things like well, that's… that's personal or that person, that's a personal part of their life. And I would say what do you mean, personal? It is who we are, like all the things that make up my life, whether it's personal or public, it's all the same to me. I don't see it as being personal. I see it as being real. It’s what happened to me. I have suffered from depression. That's not personal. That's real.

Lisa: Yeah, and it's just part of your story and who you are today and everything that's, you know, everything that's going to be tomorrow.

Lindsey: Yes, and I think it connects all of us to open up about vulnerabilities and... and struggles because we're all in it together. And if I can get a life tip from a friend who has dealt with depression or if I can pass the message on to someone who's dealt with depression and spark their interest in mountain biking because what it's done for me and my mind, then that's one more person I'm inspiring through bikes by being real about my story and my situation and how I've worked to change and better myself.

Lisa: Ooh, I love that.

Lindsey: Yeah, change is constant.

Lisa: You’ve got some good one-liners.

Lindsey: [laughs] Oh thanks. You should hear us coach. I'm not always appropriate. So sorry ladies, if you don't like talking about boobs and humping your bars. It's going to come out of my mouth eventually.

Lisa: I've heard amazing things about the camp experience, too, and people are learning tons. No matter how much experience they have. I can't... I can't tell you how many good things I've heard.

Lindsey: That's awesome. Well, thanks. Yeah, I mean, I don't... I don't want to take away the fact that we do teach amazing mountain biking skills. You know, I've... I've heard my camp series described by someone else who I think runs camp series, as, you know, you go to one of Lindsay's camps and she puts her heart and soul on her sleeve and it's all passion and lovey-dovey. I'm like, oh no, it's badass mountain biking skills, too, like, we definitely mix in badass mountain biking skills with a lot of life lessons. And I think that actually resonates really deeply with women when we're giving them these skills and pointers. And saying things in ways that are funny and memorable. When I tell a woman how to shift her body weight accordingly when her bike is changing angles and I say something like just get your boobs up over the bars, you know, that makes more sense than shifting my body weight, you know, it's… It's mechanical. A lot of it can be kind of mechanical. So we found a great formula in explaining things in a mechanical way for the more mechanical thinkers, but also adding in little tidbits like wipe your butt on the berm, you know, that... it just gives you this funny visual of what is actually happening. So we try to make it fun and entertaining and funny, but also really giving women a lot of information. And that's part of it. There's so much information when learning how to mountain bike, that we have to be able to say it in fun and creative ways so that it is memorable and not lost in translation.

Lisa: That's cool. And that's so relatable to a lot of our listeners who are writers is you know, the word choice and diction and tone and and how to explain complicated things in a fun way. So I really appreciate that. You just do that on the fly while you're interacting with human beings.

Lindsey: Yeah. Yeah, you know, you learn a lot by teaching mountain biking because you're dealing with all different kinds of learners. You know, you've got the kinesthetic learners, the audio learners, the visual learners. I have to put all of that into my lesson from my group of seven women so that no matter what style of learner you are, I'm going to repeat something in a way that touches all of them. And that's... I feel like that's a real art to coaching mountain biking that I'm really proud that all of our coaches have the ability to explain these skills in different ways. Our program is... is really cool because each coach has the freedom to be themselves and to coach in their authentic way. I trust my coaches that they know how to teach all these skills and a really effective way.

But I also trust that each woman who comes to our camp, you're going to get a different experience with each coach. You're going to get that authentic experience and you're going to get funny things that that coach says that maybe another coach doesn't say, or we're going to quote each other and credit each other for things that the other coach has said. And it makes it really inclusive and interactive and fun.

Lisa: So rad, so rad. Is, is there anything else that I haven't asked you that you want to tell our audience?

Lindsey: Wow. I don't know. I'm just really proud of what we get to do and the amount of women that we reached. Just being in the midwest this week I've tried... I've been there seven years, I've been going to Copper Harbor doing this woman's weekend and I've truly seen the community of female mountain bikers grow in that seven years, and that means more to me than anything. Women are coming up to me saying, you've encouraged me to want to coach mountain biking and now I run a Tuesday night series. There's girls from Canada who are like, you encouraged us to run our own thing and we called the Titty Tuesdays, and you know, just… I'm seeing all these women being inspired by learning how to mountain bike and it inspires them to want to pay it forward. Which is truly, truly growing their community of female mountain bikers, and that's just it's blowing my mind. I can't... there's nothing I'm more proud of in this world than hearing that I'm inspiring more women to inspire more women who will in turn inspire more women. Like, what? That's awesome.

Lisa: That's awesome. Where, where can people follow you on social media and get inspired?

Lindsey: Our Instagram is @LadiesAllRide, and it's my name is on there Lindsey Richter, maybe one day I'll pass the buck off to someone else. But for now, it's me and Ladies AllRide, we’re one account. Ladies AllRide Mountain Bike Skills on Facebook and on Instagram. We also have Grit Clinics. You can follow us on Instagram, which is @gritclinics and That's our private coaching where hey guys, just so you know, we haven't forgotten about you and we also coach men through Grit Clinics. We do, it's more private coaching where we set the... set the lesson up just for people's needs, where the Ladies AllRide camps are more big production camps with sponsor products and goodie bags and a raffle and discount codes to all of our sponsor products. So we have a couple different ways to reach people through mountain biking.

Lisa: Awesome, and I think when this episode comes out you will be at Crankworx. So…

Lindsey: Awesome! Shredding it up in Whistler, changed my life there, scared the shit out of me and made me get my my big girl pants on, I love it.

Lisa: Awesome.

Lindsey: I love coaching there.

[music fades in]

Iris: Thanks so much for being on the show Lindsey, I learned a ton, and I’m sure that our listeners did too, about you and the Ladies AllRide mission and what you’re doing to get more women on bikes.

Lisa: Yeah Lindsey, thanks for being awesome.

Iris: And to all our listeners, thanks for being here to you as well - we’ll see you next Thursday. And if you have two seconds during your day, please go to iTunes and leave us a review. It really really helps if you review the show we can get more people to hear stories like Lindsey’s.

Lisa: Party on.

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