Balance on Bike and in Life-Interview with Lindsey Voreis


It is one of the most dangerous sports around. Hurdling yourself over mountains and rocky edges, winding up and down near vertical inclines, oh and did we mention you’re on wheels? Mountain biking has timelessly been know as a sport for either the insanely talented or the insanely out of their minds…or both?…yep definitely both. It is a sport where the risk is high and the reward is a feeling of accomplishment so great that it puts talks of warrior runs and river swims to shame.

One woman defining the sport right now is Lindsey Voreis. From competing on Survivor Africa to convincing others that it’s a good idea to tackle the roughest terrain on wheels, Lindsey knows how to let go of the breaks and get to living at full speed. Many know her as wife to pro rider Kirt Voreis, but even more know her as the little voice in their ear inspiring them to push further. Chances are you will come out of this article with enough adrenaline the rest of the month, or at least up a mountain.

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It is the season for bikes, which also means the season for accidents. With so many recent stories that have hit a little too close to home, Lindsey restores faith in biking as a sport, and provides a perspective on the paralleled relationship between confidence on a mountain bike to confidence in life.

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What is most amazing about Lindsey is her genuine understanding and desire to impact the lives of others. She is the founder of Ladies AllRide and has made inspirational progress in not only making mountain biking more female friendly, but showing that guy or girl you are capable of kicking ass when it comes to your life and health.
A little background about where it all began?

I started mountain bike racing as a way to get in shape after quite obviously losing my high school figure to four years of college. I worked in public relations and advertising in my 20’s then suddenly found myself vying for $1million on the reality tv show: Survivor Africa – Survivor number 3. After the show aired I saw a side to myself I wasn’t super stoked on. Insecurities overran me and I lost a lot of confidence in myself and who I was. During this time, I moved to LA which didn’t make matters better. I felt lost and alone being a friendly Oregon girl in a land that didn’t feel warm and welcoming to me. I ended up racing near LA one weekend where I met my future husband, pro mountain biker, Kirt Voreis. After seeing what is possible on a bike, I decided to study the sport and get good at it. I was intimidated by all of the rad riders around me, so by learning how to do it right, I had something to work towards instead of giving up due to insecurities. As I progressed on my bike I started to see the similarities between mountain biking and life. It is a sport that forces you to persevere, face fears, only allow positive and encouraging thoughts into your brain. Mountain biking is rewarding in so many ways. I decided the women of the world need to know this sport exists. Not only exists, but is rad and fun. We show you how to give your bikes life, how to dive into the lifestyle and let the bike take you places you never thought you could go.

What is the core mission behind your brand?
My brand is Ladies AllRide and the mission is to grow the presence of women in mountain bike communities across the globe. I want to see more women shredding mountain bikes. I want women to see how powerful a sport like this can be. How the community of mountain bikers is unreal. The people you meet, the friends you make, the trails you ride and the places the bike can take you will make life even more amazing and I want to share it with people. I teach all over, wherever I am asked to come, but I also run a series of large festival-style clinics called the Beti AllRide Clinics. Our mission is to create big events where women can bond over bikes, learn from a crew of the best coaches around and share the experience with new friends, thus creating riding buddies for life.

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What changes do you hope to inspire through your brand? 
I hope to see more women enjoying mountain biking on their own terms. I hope women (and men) will see the importance of taking a clinic and learning this sport inside and out to help prevent injuries and to keep people doing it for as long as they can. I want to inspire others to get people into the sport by teaching them things they learned from me and my crew. This sport brings women together like nothing I’ve ever experienced and I hope to spread the love as much as I can. The most rewarding aspect of what I do personally, is helping make a difference in women’s riding experiences. It’s rewarding for me to see the smiles, tears of joy and accomplishments women go through while they’re learning how to mountain bike properly. The joy and the “ah ha” moments are priceless. I cry after every single clinic because I feel so lucky to get to do this!

What are some of the most common inhibitors you see when people struggle to formulate a fitness plan?
Time management can play a big role in a fitness plan. You have to make the time. Discipline is hard to come by when you are super busy. It can be hard to stick with it if you don’t have a plan. Everything you do has to be fun in some way though. It’s hard to stick to a plan that is boring.

One thing to do today that will make fitness a long term relationship?
Pedal to work. Get on a bike and pedal anywhere. Feel the freedom and make it a habit.

Best advice you can offer to someone struggling to stick with it?
You have to actively seek out a fitness routine. Only YOU can do it. You have to make the choice and commit. It always feels better to ride my bike or get some sort of exercise. No matter what, you should always try and say YES to exercise!

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What is your core foundation in business/practice/training (the most important quality to possess)?
Good relationships. The team you have to work with is key to success. I have the best team. We all respect and love each other so we make an effort to get along and be easy to work with. People want to help good people who are working hard to make a difference. It’s hard to break in as an outsider because it’s such a passionate, small industry. The industry is filled with amazing passionate people!!

How do you find it is best to motivate others?
To set them up for success. Success breeds the craving for more success. I try to help and encourage others to see how fun it is to learn on a mountain bike. The process can be fast or slow but either way, it’s an awesome process learning how to rip down trails super fast on a mountain bike!!

What are the most important values needed in living a healthy lifestyle?
Being good to your body. Being conscious of what “REAL FOOD” is. I try and eat as clean as possible. I make green smoothies with all kinds of things in it. I see the value in nutrients over filler foods. Knowing what vitamins you need and what real foods have those nutrients is the key to my health. No multivitamins, only foods that have all the vitamins I need. Being kind to your body. You know when you feel great and you know when you don’t. Work hard to feel great for your body.

Most effective training method(s)?
I just don’t train much. I ride when I want to ride and if I’m feeling it, I’ll hammer out some sprints or race the boys up hills.

What is the greatest obstacle that you personally have to overcome in being in this industry?
I have had to overcome my own insecurities of being in the shadow of my husband. He has a pretty big following in this sport, and a lot of strong relationships in the industry. It was intimidating to find my own path because I started out promoting him and helping him with marketing and pr. After awhile I realized my potential to help make a difference in this industry and it’s been hard to step out of Kirt’s shadow and into my own light. It’s also been hard to prove my worth to sponsors because I don’t have a world cup title or national race accolades. I’m just a girl who loves mountain biking, who married a pro and learned how to teach and inspire women to see how amazing it is for their lives.

Biggest misconception about being healthy and fit?
That if you don’t eat very much, you’re being healthy. It’s about getting the NUTRIENTS your body needs. Not about eating just a little bit.

Can everyone live a healthy lifestyle?
Of course. It’s about what you put in your body and finding a way to get your blood flowing every day. It doesn’t have to be mountain biking or running. It can be anything that gets the heart rate up for an hour or so.

Can you explain the lines between safe and balanced when it comes to this form of fitness?
Mountain biking is dangerous. It’s really important to have skills over guts. Being balanced is the name of the game in life. Balance is the fundamental skill of mountain biking. Understanding how the bike moves under you while you stay balanced. You make the choice to progress at a speed you’re ready for. It gets dangerous to jump into dangerous sports without understanding it takes time.

How can you help others get over the fears associated with this line of fitness?

I show them the steps and processes they need to go through before the tackle an obstacle that scares them. Once they prove to themselves that they can do the skill, I encourage them by letting them know I would not encourage them to do something I didn’t KNOW they can do. When they conquer a fear, it’s amazing!!!! So much joy!!

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