Roam Bike Fest: A Mountain Bike Festival For the Lady Shredders

Sep 20, 2017 at 12:39
by Ash Bocast  
Roam Events founder Ash Bocast testing out the trails...just to make sure they are safe for participants to ride.
Roam Bike Fest director Ash Bocast and Juliana rep Paige Anderson "testing" the trails in Sedona

The women behind the outdoor adventure company Roam Events have partnered with industry big-hitters to bring a women’s only mountain bike festival to the world-class riding trails of Sedona, Arizona. A women's focused autumn compliment to the Sedona Mountain Bike Festival, Roam Bike Fest will play host to demos, workshops, and rides from SRAM, Yeti Cycles, Liv Cycling, Juliana, Specialized, Kona, Trek, Shredly, the Outdoor Women's Alliance and more.

“We’ve found a lot of success in hosting women's bike retreats in Sedona the past two years, and we really wanted to bring that experience to a bigger audience," says the event's operations manager Andi Zolton. "

Roam Bike Fest is the perfect way to still offer participants the fun and inclusive environment we’re known for while providing an opportunity for ladies to interact with our favorite brands and organizations."

Photo Credit amp Permission from SRAM - Sara Jarrell and Leigh Donovan lead a bike clinic while at Whistler. Jarrell will be joining Roam Bike Fest to lead multi-day clinics on bike tuning suspension brake setup and more.
Photo Permission Courtesy of Yeti Cycles - Yeti riders Sarah Rawley and Liz Cunningham chill after a day of riding.
Photos courtesy of SRAM and Yeti Cycles

The festival is structured around workshops, group rides, and activities hosted by exhibitors, including a screening of Rebecca Rusch’s documentary Blood Road – a fundraiser for the nonprofit SheJumps. All levels of riders are encouraged to join, but there is one surprising thing that won’t be offered to festivalgoers: skills clinics.

No skills clinics at a women’s event? Almost sounds like sacrilege, but Roam Events has found success with skills-clinic-free events and they plan on continuing their breakout year of ride-focused weekends.

“Are we against skills clinics? Absolutely not.” says certified coach and festival director Ash Bocast, “On the contrary, we’re the biggest advocates for coaching on the planet – you want to improve your riding? Go see so-and-so. You want to pedal until your legs won't move and then drink and eat with friends? Come see us. It’s a different experience with a totally different atmosphere; there is something very relaxing and fun when the only thing you have to think about while riding all day is getting back in time for the taco bar and cold beer.”

Roam Events participants cheesin for the camera in Sedona before shredding trail back to the resort.


bigquotesI'm one of those women that don't really like women's events... until I attended a Roam Event. Bikes! Beer! Friends! The crew accommodated everyone's skill levels and fun-o-meters. I was truly impressed by the professionalism and attention to detail of the staff. This was an incredibly inclusive atmosphere where everyone could be themselves around the fire or on the trails. It was so much fun – can't wait until next year.Lisa, Roam Events participant


Skills clinics aside, the festival will have plenty of learning opportunities. SRAM is teaching a series of women’s tech clinics, Yeti Cycles is leading a ride preparedness training, Liv is hosting a nutrition-focused pre-ride breakfast, and the Kona Supremes will be hosting an Enduro 101 talk. Group rides (led by Specialized ambassadors, staff, and local women), industry career advising, and adventure bike travel are also slated for the festival schedule. Saturday night culminates with an "Industry Influencers" panel featuring female leaders in the bike industry before a fiesta-themed party kicks off.

“We love riding in Sedona and we are thrilled to have companies out here with us supporting women's mountain biking. Ladies of all ride levels have been asking – should I come? And our answer is, absolutely, there are trails for everyone. The only requirement is that you’re a lady, you’re over 21, and you’re up for a weekend of shredding and fun.” says Ash Bocast.

Photo courtesy of Sterling Lorence Photography Lindsey Voreis and Leigh Donovan at Liv Launch in Sedona Arizona November 2016
Liv cycling athletes Leigh Donovan and Lindsey Richter riding in Sedona. PC Sterling Lorence Photogaphy

The Festival will have 2017–2018 demo bikes available from Yeti, Liv, Specialized, Trek, and Juliana. The iconic Slim Shady trail (access to HiLine Trail) begins on-site at the festival venue, while beginner-friendly trails are just across the road. Participants can also enjoy free shuttles (provided by Hermosa Tours) Saturday and Sunday for easy access to West Sedona trails and the Sedona bike park.

Roam Bike Fest is happening October 27–29, 2017 and is hosted at the Red Agave Resort in Sedona Arizona.




Roam Events participants enjoy a post-ride champagne toast at sunset in Brevard NC
ABOUT
ROAM EVENTS


Roam Events participants celebrating a day of successful riding in Brevard, NC

Roam Events is an outdoor event management company that specializes in women's focused bike experiences.

"The goal at Roam Events is simple," says founder Ash Bocast, "create outdoor events that are ridiculously fun, leave a lasting impact on participants, and create positive brand experiences for our clients and partners."

The team at Roam Events has managed weekend retreats, enduro races (the Sturdy Dirty Enduro Series), product launches, and marketing initiatives for major bike brands and organizations. They have a full lineup of new 2018 events and retreats which will be announced at Roam Bike Fest.


40 Comments

  • 25 7
 Please don't take this as sexist, its not, I am genuinely curious. If some company like Roam put on a "Men's only bike Fest" would there not be massive backlash for it being "sexist" and segregated? I just want to hear your thoughts....
  • 5 2
 SEXIST!
  • 5 1
 Or why not do one for both, why segregate?
  • 14 1
 I'd rather go to a men's only event...and I'm a woman.
  • 4 1
 @jrocksdh: I think a men's camp wouldn't go over as well. It seems to me that men tend to think they know what they are doing and don't want to sign up for instruction. It's that "it's a sign of weakness" thing.

I thought the same way, but I decided to take a lesson at Whistler with my family, thinking "there's no way they're teaching this old dog new tricks". I came out of there riding stronger than I ever had. It was great. I took it again this year but didn't have as good of an instructor. I will always take a lesson from a higher end camp when possible. I went to men's night at Whistler too. I'm not too much of an Enduro bro to get some training.
  • 2 0
 @sos-dirt: Can you elaborate more... just curious?
  • 5 1
 who cares
  • 15 1
 It just wouldn't make sense to have a men's only event. It never makes sense to have an exclusive event for a group that is the majority.
  • 6 2
 Are you routinely intimidated by groups of women, or just when they're on the trails riding bikes?
  • 14 1
 i feel like you the type of guys that would say all lives matter.
  • 23 0
 My wife has been riding since we met(I introduced her to mountain bikes) around 10 years ago now. She's a solid rider and pushes herself to improve every time she's out, however I noticed most of her big breakthroughs in ability happened when she was riding with other ladies rather than just me or some of our male riding buddies.

I think no matter how hard ladies try to look past it, there's a feeling that when a guy tries a gnarly line or does something rad, it's because they're a bigger/stronger/faster guy. In that regard, when I ride something and then try to encourage my wife to ride it, she's not confident it's going to work out for her just because some other dudes proved they could. When ladies ride with each other it's a different story. I noticed among her friends that all it took was one of them to boost a big gap or ride a steep line to show it was possible and the rest of them were going for it right after.

Let the ladies have ladies only rides. It will only lead to more girls ripping it up on the trails, showing new riders what's possible. Most weekend rides with your buddies are already men only rides if you think about it.
  • 4 1
 Am I allowed to identify as female for this weekend exclusively?
  • 4 1
 @bdamschen: That's how I felt when I did a women-only sports clinic a few years ago. It makes a difference somehow, seeing how other women ride a line. I learned a lot by watching how awesome women riders position their bodies. And we got to follow Marla Streb on the trails and ride with her right behind us (that would have been intimidating but the experts made the vibe so friendly and mellow all weekend, it was fantastic).
  • 2 1
 @POWsLAYER: came here to say the same regarding OP
  • 3 1
 @bdamschen: Very very well said. There is a circle of trust and empowerment that ladies are great at creating around each other. When riding with a man who is genuinely interested in encouraging, training, and pushing you- a lady might still feel like the end effort is trying to prove something or keep up instead of really evolving in her riding.
  • 1 0
 @sos-dirt: is this Rachel?
  • 2 1
 Can't believe we have to explain this to OP.

There are already an abundance of men only events without having to even label them as such. Hardline, Rampage, etc. I am sure we can all think of more. Creating a women's only event seeks to bring balance by giving special attention to a minority in our sport.

Plus some women learn differently as has been stated by other commenters above.

Honestly, they probably have to create events like this to keep "bros" like OP from bringing the vibe down for these awesome ladies.
  • 16 0
 I guess I don’t get the whining. If the ladies want to have a women’s only event, great. If pink one eyed monsters want to have a pink one eyed monster event, great. There is no legal or moral requirement that every event cater to every person. Personally, I am just happy to see more riders and if women want to have a women’s event, have at it.
  • 12 1
 When I see these "women's only" events it just confirms that us men need to do a better job inviting and riding with the female gender on the trails. I am not sure what happens to most men when they get on their bike and hit the trails but it seems all level of respect gets lost. I have run into more female riders on the trails that have cursed about their male companion that I care to remember. I see a lot of women riding groups where I ride and I know quite a few of the women in these groups. One simple question - why do you chose to ride with women versus a coed group? Answer - male riders tend to be poor riding partners - belittling, non-supportive and just clueless to women's needs. Every time I see a women's only event I see a failure on the part of the male contingent of mountain bikers. I personally get more satisfaction out of my rides when it's a mixed group. Better conversation and better atmosphere. And yes, I ride with some women who are more physically capable than I am on a bike. At the end of the day, to me, it's all about riding and having fun and I believe that women riders need to be in the mix.
  • 5 0
 I agree. I started biking because of my boyfriend, previously a dirt biker so it wasn't completely new to me but I really hated it. I hated it for almost two years, I was on a hardtail, he was about 1000x times better than I could ever dream of being, I was holding him up, he was getting mad, I was frustrated - it really was a chore for both of us to try to get me on the trails. Then I started riding with one of the guys' girlfriends - then I met other girls and now I've become an infinitely better rider. I'm more confident when I'm with girls and I know I have to get down the mountain myself without my boyfriend stopping on a trail warning me about a drop (which I would've probably just done had he not psyched me out) or grabbing my bike and helping me down a steep. I ride with confidence and now we go for huge group rides and I'm tailing some of the guys down trails. All these people who rag on women's only clinics don't understand that riding with experienced men when you're learning can be hugely intimidating. I laugh at the "where's the men's only clinics" remarks ..how long has mountain biking been dominated by men, it's about time women get out there and support each other in such an amazing sport. Kudos.
  • 2 0
 @crysvb @macroman I find riding with women is a good exercise in psychology. I've dragged my wife down some gnarly trails and knowing how to handle each situation is tricky. When we rode Dirt Diggler in Fernie, she was really thankful I stopped at a few sections and carried her bike down. Then I took her down a freshly built new trail. It's either a black or double black and it's really loose. On a few steep pitches I would wait for her at the bottom. Well - she didn't like that, apparently it made her nervous. Ok, I get it. So the next time I took her down a steep new trail, I waited, but I waited a bit further down in the trees so she couldn't see me! It worked, she was appreciative and not nervous. Also, she would not have gone down any of these trails had she been riding with just her girlfriends. But, she has way more confidence when she rides with girls. I'm still trying to figure out that one.
  • 5 0
 I give major props and thanks to my male riding buddies for not falling into the un-supportive crowd. That said, when I want to get better as a rider, I follow my fellow females. It's the psychology of "if they can do it, I probably can, too, because they're similar to me." It's using *positive* comparisons by riding with people closer to my level, rather than a negative comparison of trying to learn from a pro/semi-pro whom I feel I will never, ever match up to. Not even close.

For example, if I watch my husband clear an obstacle, I sometimes think: "He just got over that because he's so much stronger." I'm not intimidated, but my brain immediately assumes that this bigger, stronger, faster person who makes trails look effortless is on a whole other level than I am and I can't gauge accurately whether or not I really trust myself on something he just rode through.

But if I were to watch one of my lady pals clear the obstacle, I would think, "OK, she got over it; I need to follow her line, mimic her moves and have her confidence." It's way more inspiring. Totally logical? Maybe not, but it has worked in improving my skills significantly over the years. YAY BIKES!
  • 1 0
 @KFuller: That's some good insight. Thanks.
  • 6 0
 Nice, keep it up ladies! Personally, I think we learn more out on the trails than in/at a skills clinic. Happy trails Smile
  • 6 3
 love seeing men discuss their opinions of an event that has zero to do with them. also, not surprised they are making a press release about a women's camp about them as well. great job boys, keep it up.
  • 3 4
 Don't worry, the dudes in here don't mind you femsplaining why they are wrong to comment on an article they have every right to comment on. Just thought you might like to know! lol
  • 3 1
 @rip8569: your profile says 37 buuut....
  • 1 2
 @POWsLAYER: I guess "freedom of speech" means nothing to you. People have many discussions about topics that have "zero to do with them". Just this morning I was discussing the North Korean missile crisis. You should try it some time. Maybe you will pickup some insight on a topic that has nothing to do with you.
  • 2 1
 I'm sure you found some way to make that to wine about how you weren't part of that middle crisis too. @macroman:
  • 1 2
 @POWsLAYER: LOL - the only whining I see is from you and your comments on this post and your many other comments on other posts. And just to make sure you are learning something from this conversation "wine" is a drink made from grapes and "whine" is to complain. Have a great day!
  • 2 0
 @macroman: stalking me eh? thats cute.
  • 3 0
 I've attended Roam's Ladies only Whitefish Bike Retreat two years in a row. Ash Bocast puts on a party and let's the ladies freakin' ride. Wish I was headed to Sedona for this one. Next year!
  • 3 0
 That sounds so fun! Hmmm, how can I rearrange my plans so I can be there...?
  • 3 4
 I never even used to have opinions about these gender issues. And I fully agree that historically men have had all these opportunities that women didn't. But those days are long dead and gone. Now I have a 6 y/o daughter and 4 y/o boy who I am getting both into mtn biking and treating them both the same - which is how it should be - at least that is my opinion. I don't see why it's necessary to create a gender bias these days. Let's rise above this and include all together - wasn't that the goal - equality?

Maybe for adult women who did grow up in a hypocritical environment but personally I feel like these "girls only" events do more harm than good for perpetuating the BS antiquated ways of yesteryear.
  • 2 0
 More women riding bikes is always a good thing
  • 4 5
 As a man, I'd totally go to the women's bike fest thingy.
  • 1 2
 not sure if this event is sexist or sexy.......
  • 1 2
 Dude looks like a lady
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