The recent Women Shred festival had all the magic ingredients: inspiring films with incredible mountain bikers, pro riders galore, skills sessions and miles and miles of trails to ride.
Founded by Fien Lammertyn and her husband Kenny Belaey, a multiple Trials World Champion, the inaugural festival brought together outstanding riders from around the world to showcase films, share skills and chat with festival goers.
This included eight-times BMX and MTB World Champion Caroline Buchanan, 4X MTB World Champion Anneke Beerten, USA BMX National Champion Payton Ridenour, HopeTech Women founder Rachael Walker and ultra-endurace rider Lael Wilcox who won the TransAm bike race in 2016.
The OZ Trail network in the Ozark Mountains of Northwest Arkansas, USA, provided the perfect venue
The festival took place from the 8 to 11 May in the Ozark Mountains of Northwest Arkansas, USA, and was part of the wider Bentonville Film Festival.
In addition to celebrating women’s cycling through film screenings, there was also a firm focus on inclusivity and access with women taking part in group rides, talks, bike demos and pump track sessions, plus the opportunity to sample some of the 350 miles of dirt of the OZ Trails network.
As well as film screenings there were bike demos, skills sessisons and ride-outsWomen Shred Festival
Women on film
The festival showcased a number of films either by, featuring or supporting women in cycling.
This included Spark to Flame and The Time is Now by Crankworx, which tracks the progress in women’s freeride and park mountain biking, highlights what’s working and discusses where things need to head next.
Other films screened included I’m Not Stopping by Lael Wilcox, charting her progress during the Navad 1,000, a 1,000-mile unsupported mountain bike race through the Swiss Alps, and Road 2 Recovery by Caroline Buchanan, which recounts the BMX legend’s recovery from a horrific buggy accident back to racing.
Other women’s film festivals and events
Women Shred is one of a growing number of organisations looking to celebrate and raise the profile of female riders, film makers and photographers in action sports.
The Shextreme Film Festival showcases the work of women in film and photography across a wide variety of sports including mountain biking, skateboarding and snowsports. The festival has expanded into the Shextreme Alliance, a global organisation and community that offers support, coaching weekends and competitions.
More to come
The Women Shred festival is scheduled to return to Bentonville in 2020, although the exacts dates are yet to be confirmed.
Aoife is an experienced journalist, editor and product tester. With 6 years’ experience of reviewing bikes and kit, she’s ridden and rated nearly every women’s road and mountain bike available on the market. She enjoys putting the latest products through their paces, helping riders find the right kit for them and sharing the best advice, hints and tips to help them get the most out of riding.