Women shred is the first ever bike festival fusing women in film with female mountain bikers. The festival champions women, giving them the tools and support needed to take their confidence and cycling to the next level. The festival welcomes cyclists of all abilities with free workshops, talks and rides designed to inspire and excite.
May 8th–11th 2019 Bentonville Film Festival
This weekend saw the first ever women shred – a USA based bike festival for women, celebrating female cyclists. Women shred further strengthened the female mountain bike (MTB) community through opportunity and access – building skills and promoting inclusivity.
Women shred was meticulously crafted by tenacious husband and wife team; multiple bike Trials World Champion Kenny Belaey, who was the driving force behind the event and Fien Lammertyn who has always strived to ensure MTB events offer equal opportunities to women To stage the event, the pair chose the world famous Oz Trails – over 350 miles of MTB trails in the epic Ozark Mountains in Arkansas, Northwest USA.
Fien and Kenny worked with a number of key brands and riders for the event – including Hope Tech, WD40 and the Women of Oz. Women shred offered five free workshops to 100 women, which sold out in a matter of hours. Riders had the chance to try out demo bikes and attend pump track sessions, group rides, trial bike shows and fun races all coinciding with one of America’s top film festivals – Bentonville Film Festival – which showcases and supports women in film.
Some of the women in attendance included eight-time BMX and MTB World Champion Caroline Buchanan, who co-hosted the nutrition workshops at the CLIF Bar booth and Anneke Beerten, who rode alongside attendees, giving them the chance to hang out with a multiple Four-Cross World Champion. BMX star Payton Ridenour and Trials star Perrine Devahive also delivered insightful workshops.
“I am proud to be an ambassador of women shred and share my knowledge and experiences that two wheels has taught me. The most attractive, powerful movement is a when women empower other women to be their best and grow together!
“Women shred to me is the future! The collaboration of a free event, the trails being so easily accessible and a celebration vibe is key to the success of this event”
– Caroline Buchanan
The women shred All American race saw more than 50 men and women compete to see who could shred the fastest around the rolling natural pump track, which forms the trailhead of the 350 miles of purpose-built trails available in Bentonville and the Northwest Arkansas region. In the end, after a fierce battle, the crowns landed on Grant Lampson and Morgan Barkley.
The event could not have happened without the support of the Walton Family Foundation, alongside vital partners and sponsors who all contributed to the event’s success. The Walton Family Foundation, led by the children and grandchildren of Sam and Helen Walton, has invested more than $70M into Northwest Arkansas’ cycling infrastructure to boost access and opportunities, not only for local residents; but for riders across America who travel to the area.
“We’ve always challenged ourselves and Northwest Arkansas communities to be innovation labs for trail building and cycling – an effort that includes diversifying ridership,” said Tom Walton, Walton Family Foundation Home Region Committee Chair. “Programs like women shred honor that commitment by ensuring mountain biking is a sport for all.”
Kenny and Fien are already planning Women Shred 2020. To find out more and to get involved, check out http://www.womenshred.com.
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