When professional mountain bike instructor Elaine Bothe calls out “Let’s Ride!” she means this as an invitation to everyone. Knowing that many who want to enjoy mountain biking, along with other gear-intensive outdoor activities face financial, social or other barriers to participation. Elaine has pledged to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in her beloved sport, mountain biking. By volunteering with the Betties360 organization based in Portland, Oregon, Elaine B. Bikes is doing just that.
Riding bikes in a new environment can be intimidating for anyone, especially mountain bikes and BMX style bikes on a range of challenging features. By helping these amazing kids orient themselves explore their own skills, Elaine has seen the personal growth they experience while having a blast! From the Betties360 website:
“Since 2005, Betties360 has provided students in the Portland community access to outdoor activities and life-skill training for free. Our mission is to inspire confidence, well-being and community in cisgender girls, female-identifying and non-binary youth through skill-building, non-traditional physical activity, and outdoor adventure.”
Elaine volunteers her time and money, in person and through gift certificates and fund raising efforts on behalf of the Betties360. You can help by donating directly to them using this button below!
Help Support your Local Trails!
Trails don’t build themselves, and Elaine believes helping to maintain the trails directly and indirectly by supporting the local trail alliances where she rides will help riders responsibly and more safely enjoy this growing sport for years to come. These organizations also help create more cohesive mountain bike communities and partner with local governing bodies and landowners to develop sustainable trails and systems.
Most of these organizations are volunteer-run and rely on grants, donations, sponsorships and other support. Elaine donates a portion of her proceeds annually as well as helps with trail maintenance, leading rides and holding classes and helping with events on a volunteer basis. Watch for upcoming Ride Leadership courses that will empower riders to feel confident sharing their favorite trails with others new to the sport or the trail!
Here are some of Elaine’s favorite local trail alliances:
In Portland and Northwest Oregon from the coast to Mt. Hood: Northwest Trail Alliance (NWTA)
Hood River, Oregon area: “Hood Rats” or the Hood River Area Trail Stewards
Salem, Oregon area including Silver Falls: SATA or the Salem Area Trail Alliance
Bend and Central Oregon: COTA or the Central Oregon Trail Alliance
Washington: Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance
Elaine literally grew up on a bike starting at age 4, and riding to grade school through college, to work, and, for work as a bike messenger and more! She has seen first hand how mountain biking and cycling in general enriches lives in so many ways. Here at Elaine B. Bikes we want as many people as possible to experience this incredible activity for fitness, transportation or recreation. We are committed to supporting organizations that are sharing stories of underrepresented riders and communities particularly in and around the Portland, Oregon area, and here are a few others that can use your help. Consider a donation or volunteer your time to help however you can!
BikePortland is the one of the very best resources for cycling news based in Portland and with a global reach. A nonprofit independent resource for all things bike, check in regularly and support to keep the latest news, inspiration and more going.
Filmed by Bike Film Festival supports all types of riders who share their amazing and entertaining stories! They also provide a way for other organizations to raise money by showing the films.
The Street Trust is an advocacy organization that is working hard to keep cycling as a safe and viable transportation in Portland metro area.
Community Cycling Center in Portland, Oregon provides and sells bikes, parts, services and classes to anyone, particularly low income.
The Northwest Hub in Salem, Oregon also provides “Bikes for All,” services, parts and more.