Video: A Women’s Trail Building Retreat in 'She Digs'

Jun 30, 2022 at 17:46
by Kristen Smith  
Views: 6,355    Faves: 4    Comments: 0

Words: She Digs

Kristen Smith, Co-Founder of The Elevated Alpine, and Brooke Goudy, Co-Leader of Black Girls Do Bike Denver teamed up to create an invite only trail building retreat bringing together 50+ industry connected and community minded women in Nederland, Colorado.

The purpose of the retreat was to give thanks to some of the most influential women in mountain biking on the Front Range for all the work they do to amplify women in the outdoors and to give back to the trails we ride daily. Kristen and Brooke strived to create a space where participants could have a good time, make connections, and amplify their reach within the broader mountain bike community.

This inspiring community spent the weekend building trails under the blazing sun, riding single track on a diverse range of bikes for all abilities, and making long lasting connections under the stars. This weekend was a chance to appreciate all of the work that goes into maintaining trail and take a step back to appreciate everyone's accomplishments in advancing women in mountain biking.


Kristen and Brooke believe representation matters and aimed to create an inclusive space for female identifying mountain bike riders - no matter their body type, ability, race, or gender. And this retreat was no exception. In addition this event honored and acknowledged that it took place on the traditional territories and ancestral homelands of the Cheyenne, Arapahoe, Ute, and Sioux Nations. To acknowledge also the painful history of genocide and forced removal from this territory and pay respect to the Tribal Nations still connected to this land, She Digs gave a percentage of sponsorship funds back to the Indigenous community.


This event would not have been possible without the partnership from community organizations including The Elevated Alpine, Black Girls Do Bike, Boulder Mountainbike Alliance, VIDA Mtb, and City of Boulder. Special thanks to event sports including Trail Trust, REI, Pearl Izumi, Sports Garage Cycling, Specialized Boulder, and Chamois Buttr.


Photography & Videography: Kristen Smith (@kscrilla)
Event Organizers: Kristen Smith, Co-Founder The Elevated Alpine (@kscrilla), & Brooke Goudy, Co-Leader Black Girls Do Bike Denver (@brookegoudy)
Community Partners: Boulder Mountainbike Alliance (@boulderbma), The Elevated Alpine (@theelevatedalpine), Black Girls Do Bike Denver (@bgdbdenver), Vida Mountain Bike Series (@vidamtbseries)
Event Sponsors: Trail Trust (@trail_trust, @ridefoxbike), REI (@rei), Pearl Izumi (@pearlizumiofficial), Sports Garage Cycling (@sportsgaragecycling), Specialized Boulder (@specializedboulder), Chamois Buttr (@chamoisbuttr)

Author Info:
ksmith963 avatar

Member since Aug 16, 2018
1 articles

  • 33 1
 Proud to be a part of this community here in Boulder/Ned/front range. Thanks to all for contributing to our trail network. By the way, Come ride these trails. They are awesome!
  • 4 0
 Thanks for the invitation. I will oblige as soon as possible.
  • 1 0
 is there still a KOA campground right near Nederland? I stayed there years ago on a bike trip. Good Times
  • 30 9
 So many sensitive egos in this comment section... maybe you guys should find a sport that doesn't require being tough and leave it to these ladies.
  • 18 0
 Caaaaaan yoooouu dig it.
  • 6 0
 Great project and well made movie.

As for those who question the need for these events:
Yes, every trail building day or other bike event is “open to all”, but if you show up and are the only example of your ‘group’, it is hard to feel at ease, even if the other people are trying to be friendly and welcoming, you still stand out.

I am a middle aged white guy, and even I have had those experiences. Now imagine, if you not only stand out because you’re the only person of that ‘group’, but also your ‘group’ has a long history of being put down, devalued, silenced or discriminated against.
  • 6 0
 Anyone know what company makes the orange handled rakes in the second picture?
  • 3 0
 tools for trails
  • 1 0
 @yukonman: Thanks! They have some pretty awesome stuff.
  • 3 0
 It's the Backslope tools Bert rake. Not the biggest fan of them as a replacement for a rake in anything but sandy soils. I do like them as a replacement for a McLeod though. Just my opinion.
  • 4 0
 Tools for Trails out of Grand Junction, CO brought demo tools to the event.
  • 50 47
 A sport connecting people of all genders and age from all corners of the world is being pushed to become a small tribes thing. Well I can tell you something, we can ride and build trails together.
  • 42 41
 Do you always cry when not invited to a party?
  • 57 42
 It's actually a sport that's predominately represented by similarly aged white men, many of whom get really upset when people who don't look like them make content like this... then they usually say something about how "mountain biking is already for everyone" while simultaneously ignoring the voices of and experiences of anyone different from them. The irony is thick.
  • 24 28
flag robw515 (Jul 3, 2022 at 10:25) (Below Threshold)
 @bok-CZ What do you mean? Everyone was welcome no matter their body type, ability, race, or gender... As long as they were a female identifying mountain bike rider and on the invite list. Pinnacle of inclusivity.
  • 8 16
flag KK11 (Jul 3, 2022 at 12:46) (Below Threshold)
 Is there a TG category here as well?
  • 25 3
 Yeah it's terrible when people volunteer their time to work on trails that anyone can ride. There are plenty of places you can also volunteer your time to build trial... but that would cut into your online time to whine.
  • 5 2
 @KK11: someone has to dig!
  • 6 12
flag ZanderShredsMtb (Jul 3, 2022 at 20:56) (Below Threshold)
 @robw515: @robw515: how was everyone included if you can only come if you identify as a girl? I’m just curious, no hate towards anyone Smile
  • 8 12
flag robw515 (Jul 3, 2022 at 22:26) (Below Threshold)
 @ZanderShredsMtb: and you had to be on the invite list, don't forget about that. Potentially millions of female identifying mountain bike riders were also excluded from this great inclusivity event.
  • 1 5
flag bok-CZ (Jul 4, 2022 at 5:38) (Below Threshold)
 @DBoyle: point was the party is already going
  • 2 6
flag bok-CZ (Jul 4, 2022 at 5:39) (Below Threshold)
 @robw515: yep, exactly
  • 1 6
flag bok-CZ (Jul 4, 2022 at 5:43) (Below Threshold)
 @your-pal-al: it's probably a bit different in my area
  • 11 2
 @robw515: Thanks for asking about the Boulder Mountainbike Alliance's capacity! We love volunteer trail events, we do not have the projects, resources or space for millions of volunteers. Someday though Smile
  • 10 1
 Absolutely, the Boulder Mountainbike Alliance supports 5-7 per month open volunteer events open to all!
  • 3 10
flag robw515 (Jul 4, 2022 at 10:25) (Below Threshold)
 @WendyBMA: You don't need to have the projects, resources or space for millions of volunteers in order to plan an event and NOT make it invite only, even if your potential volunteer base includes millions of people; it is very unlikely that every female identifying mountain bike rider in the world would have attended if it was open invite, you're just being hyperbolic. But likely some local Colorado female riders would have attended who would have loved to help, and that would have given you a chance to meet and learn about some of the people you are advocating for.
  • 3 13
flag robw515 (Jul 4, 2022 at 10:42) (Below Threshold)
 @WendyBMA: And yes, I see that you say the BMA does support other volunteer events that are open to all, so unless millions are showing up to those other events, you are immediately contradicting you're previous comment. Maybe it's just that the article is worded poorly in that it says "...teamed up to create an invite only trail building retreat bringing together 50+ industry connected and community minded women ..." and then very shortly after says "...aimed to create an inclusive space for female identifying mountain bike riders - no matter their body type, ability, race, or gender. And this retreat was no exception..." where it should probably have said: 'This retreat WAS an exception to our values such that we did discriminate by making it invite only'.
  • 32 30
 Female identifying mountain bikers..does anyone actually talk like this..I see people of both genders races of all kinds people from all walks of life riding my local trails every weekend having a great time this bull that mtb or any other sport or activity is not open to all seems like just woke rhetoric to me..
  • 51 33
 You claim that mountain biking is already an inclusive sport that is "open to all", but your comment history is littered with transphobic and sexist content. You even commented "make me a sandwich" on an article about International Women's Day. These kind of comments only show more need for content and articles from people with different experiences and perspectives, not less.

Your comment history is also flooded with typos, so let me dumb down the above for you: You can't claim something is inclusive while also contributing to hostility towards minority voices.
  • 14 15
 @your-pal-al: You can insult him or you can suggest your moral superiority, but if one wants to invoke the thickness of irony... i believe there are adages for that.
  • 6 7
 @your-pal-al: was your post meant to be ironic, or did the irony sail straight over your head?
  • 4 8
flag haighd2 (Jul 4, 2022 at 9:11) (Below Threshold)
 @your-pal-al: is it inclusive of people who dont think that you can change your biological sex?
  • 4 2
 @nickfranko: I've found that mountain biking attracts both the best and the worst people. I'm guessing you fall in the latter category.
  • 10 4
 Keep digging, Pinkbike
  • 8 7
 Here is the thing i have been building trails since i have started riding, I know a lot of people and also some girls that indeed do build too but from the hundreds of guys i know that do dig... i know like 1 girl that does the same ( personally ) This might be biased as the numbers aren't that large but what i tend to see is that Girls don't really do the hard work and just ride as ( they come to our bikeparks by the dozens ) Everyone is 100% always included invited to give a helping hand but I mean why should anyone be praised more by doing something people been doing for years now ? Generally speaking go girls ! Smile But.... Stop making it "political"
  • 5 4
 I think it’s got to be like this at the start, like giving praise and encouragement to a child who first starts to do something to make them feel good but when it becomes normal all the fuss will calm down.
The important part is to back off on the focus at the right time else the child will be resented by the others for constantly being in the limelight and getting that special treatment. Hope you get my drift people.
  • 5 1
 Great stuff!
  • 1 4
 Quiche or Ice Cream?
  • 2 0
 Ice cream on pie
  • 1 1
 @crazy9: kumquat pie filling for you then.
Below threshold threads are hidden

Copyright © 2000 - 2023. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.034159
Mobile Version of Website