This weekend is going to be a busy one for Muc-Off. Alongside supporting Sky Racing Team VR46 at the MotoGP in Jerez and Scott Redding at Round 2 of the Bennetts British Superbikes Championship in Oulton Park, we’ll also have a team present in Brevard, NC for the ROAM Bike Fest.
ROAM is an amazing MTB event and we thought we’d catch up with the founders to explain exactly why.
Hey! Thanks for chatting to us, let’s start with the obvious: what is ROAM Bike Fest?
Roam Bike Fest is the world’s first, and largest, women’s mountain bike festival. It is a three-day weekend where a few hundred bike-obsessed lady shredders come together, ride their faces off, drink a few cold ones, and get to learn a ton about product, gear, and mechanics from industry experts. No skills clinics, no pandering... just a weekend of plain, unsucky, fun.
How long have you guys been going for and more importantly, how did the concept come to life?
Roam Events began auspiciously as a one-off event concept in 2016. Tired of lame parking lot demos and hand-holdy “women’s” events, our founder, working as an event coordinator for a bike company, put together a women’s-only bike retreat with a focus on riding, learning about the bikes themselves, eating great food, relaxing, and meeting other lady shredders.
The event was insane. Participants were blown away. Bikes were sold. Merriment was had. We were very quickly contacted by other companies to recreate such an authentic event...and Roam Events was born. Less than a year later we launched Roam Bike Fest as an alternative to the running-of-the-bros, wait-in-line-to-never-get-a-bike, “more is more” type of events. You get hugged when you roll into our festival…we play chicken in the pool... and we keep it small so participants can actually interact and ask questions with the amazing people behind the brands we invite.
What can festival guests except to see and do at the ROAM Bike Fest?
Our morning is filled with bike demos, epic group rides, and bacon Bloody Marys. We ramp up the afternoon with a dozen workshops from pump track design and suspension, to racing tactics and bike packing tips. Our Happiest Hour is gaining notoriety (all participating brands sling a signature cocktail and tasty morsels), we host a women’s adventure film festival screening, an industry influencer panel, a DJ’d dance party, and plenty of campfire kumbaya.
Our goal is to create a space where seasoned female riders can have a sh*t ton of fun without the pressure of competition... and newer riders can find their community and be inspired to unapologetically shred.
How important is ROAM Fest in supporting and promoting female shredders in the MTB industry?
Before Roam, “women’s events” were either competitions, or hyper beginner-focused (raise an eyebrow if you can remember the dozens of “women’s beginner ______” events that have become ubiquitous with “women’s mountain biking”).
Roam was really one of the first to put it out there that, hey - there are thousands of women who ride their bikes just fine thank-you, and want a weekend with the girls without having to compete or learn to do a front wheel lift. We want to geek out on bike mechanics like the guys, ride the gnarly stuff without having to “stop and look at it”, talk with a demo rep about a new suspension platform, and be treated like any other rider.
The industry has started to take notice that there is a big piece of the marketing pie beyond beginner riders and outside of the pro arena - we’re proud to have been a part of kicking off that support and advocating for the everyday lady shredder.
Who are some of the role models that inspire you these days?
Rebecca Rusch was our hero when we were twelve, back when she competed in adventure racing, and she still is today. Aside from the woman being super-human (7 World Championships?!), she uses her celebrity to promote incredible causes and put on events that rival ours in the fun department. Jill Kintner was a surprise show at Roam Bike Fest last year, and we’ve really grown to admire her unwavering dedication to being the best all-around mountain biker in the world. Mad props to Tahnee Seagrave too… we love her antics, are impressed by her doggedness in chasing down Rachel, and feel like she’s the kind of rider that we could kick back and have a beer with.
Aside from ROAM Fest, where and how can female riders get involved with what you guys are doing throughout the rest of the year?
If you missed us in Brevard, we are hosting Roam Bike Fest at our flagship location in Sedona Arizona Nov 8-10, 2019.
If you go to our website www.thisisroam.com, follow us on Instagram @thisisroam, or find us on YouTube, you can check out the dozens of events we’re hosting or will be at throughout the year including all-inclusive bike vacations (Roam Retreats), world-class training camps (Rusch Academy), an all-women’s enduro race (Sturdy Dirty Enduro), the world’s largest women’s XC event (Beti Bike Bash). Stay tuned for exciting new adventures in 2020!
We love the unapologetic nature of this event and absolutely cannot wait to be a part of it. If you'd like to find out more on the ROAM backstory, head over to their about page.