Here at Beti AllRide, we call Angi our “in-house cheerleader.” While she may spend the better part of her year traveling across the country for Kona, at Beti AllRide Angi embodies the spirit of our mission: inspiring confidence and creating riders for life. Angi has a true passion and gift for teaching. Even beyond Beti AllRide, her calendar is chock full of events focused on spreading the joy of riding and instilling skills. In the winter, she changes gears and teaches people how to charge hard on snowboards at Mount Baker, Washington. Her devotion to coaching is clear and comes across at any clinic that’s lucky enough to list her on the roster. At Beti AllRide, we’re happy to be included on that list.
We wanted to know where Angi’s passion for riding and teaching came from. Read our interview below to hear her story. We hope it inspires you as much as Angi inspires us at our clinics!
Why did you start mountain biking? What was your first riding experience like?
When I was in college I stumbled upon a PE class that was offered called “Beginning Bicycling.” I had a Schwinn cruiser and a helmet so I registered. Well, it turns out that the teacher was a mountain biker, so he basically made the class a mountain biking class. The first time I took that bike off road I was hooked. It literally blew my mind. I crashed a bunch, learned a ton-- including basic bike repairs—and discovered the extensive networks of single track in my backyard. I loved the workout and challenge it offered, and I met other mountain bikers (many of whom, including the teacher, Jon Hansen, are still my good friends to this day).
By the following spring I had saved up enough money to buy a real mountain bike-- a hard tail dirt jumper for about $500-- so I decided to take the class from Jon again. I gained more confidence that spring on a real bike with more instruction from the class, and the following school year Jon recommended me and another friend to teach the class as he was scheduled to graduate. So for a couple years I taught the PE class while I was still very new to the sport myself, which I think really helped me learn the skills on a much deeper level.
What keeps you riding today?
The thrill of it all: adventure, progression, challenge, reward, the sense of belonging I get from being a part of the riding community, my sweet quiver of bikes, and helping others discover their potential and capabilities.
How is the riding experience different when it’s all women?
For me, riding with all women didn't come until I had been involved in the sport for years so it just felt so rare and special at first. Now, I ride often with just women and it definitely has its advantages. The ladies I ride with push me to progress in a very safe and nurturing way. They tend to be very encouraging and patient. I can look up to a female rider who is more skilled than me and it seems within my range to progress to her level. I've also been very lucky that many of the women I ride with are also professional coaches so I benefit from not only seeing them shred, but I also benefit from their expertise and teaching techniques. Other times I ride with all women because I am coaching them, and there is nothing more rewarding then boosting the skill and confidence of another female rider. Our Sisterhood of Shred is growing and I think our sport is benefiting greatly from it.
What was the biggest challenge that you overcame mountain biking?
Any big injury that has taken me off my bike for an extended period of time is always very challenging. Not only do you have to be patient and let your body heal, but you also have to restore your mental strength and courage. It takes time to get back to your old self after a big setback, but it is possible and sometimes you come back even stronger and wiser than before.
How has coaching changed you as a rider?
Coaching has changed me as a rider in many ways. Most notably, because of my deeper understanding of technical riding skills, I have most certainly progressed my own skills. My network of fellow riders has grown incredibly since becoming a coach, now I probably know a mountain biker in every state and in multiple countries. I gain a deeper appreciation for the sport from regularly watching riders conquer their fears and push their comfort zones. I've met other incredible coaches who have inspired me to push myself and become a better rider and coach. Coaching has also taken me to so many new places with my bike and I think getting off your usual trails and riding places that are unfamiliar helps you gain valuable skills and has definitely improved my riding.
Thanks, Angi! We can't wait to see you at our next clinic!