03 Mar Is Ride Kore Dead?
Four years ago, two guys with an unparalleled passion for the sport of mountain biking sat around a campfire reminiscing after a long day of riding in the epic mountains tucked in the George Washington National Forrest.
We discussed how fractured the riding scene was and how little resources existed to help riders navigate the technical trails that were on our door step. On weekly rides through the JRPS we recalled how often times we’d see obviously green riders, families with little ones and even the “fully kitted” XC guys flirt with disaster as their bikes “rode them” down some of the highly technical chutes throughout Richmond’s tail network.
From that campfire chat an idea was born. RideKore. Our mission was simple; let’s set out to provide the best possible mountain bike instruction in Richmond, and the East Coast as a whole.
The goal was ambitious. But the spark was lit so we blindly forged on. A few months later we secured our IMBA Level 2 certifications (which was no small task). From there we literally built a flagship brand and instructional product seemingly over night.
Our mission was simple; let’s set out provide the best possible mountain bike instruction in Richmond, and the East Coast as a whole.
At the start, RideKore was always more than just an instructional resource. We also wanted to stoke the fire within the local mountain bike scene. We wanted to help galvanize the groundswell of riders in RVA. So we created a series of films that highlighted our trails on a national level to inspire and embolden a fresh scene in the city.
Maybe that’s giving ourselves too much credit. But based on the outreach and response from the community as a whole, we think it’s a fair gauge on the impact our content and reach has had.
As an instructional resource we always strived for the best possible, personalized experience. Were there struggles and learning curves to be overcome? Sure. And we thank the patrons that helped us through those early days. Over time, we perfected our craft and took great pride in knowing that we offered one of, if not the best, mountain bike instructional resources on the East Coast.
Since our inception we’ve had the privilege to instruct hundreds of riders from all walks of life and from every skill level. The feedback we’ve received from our clients has been phenomenal and invigorating. All the break through “ah-ha” moments that we’ve shared with each and every rider is what has driven us to keep spending tireless hours away from our families virtually every weekend for the last three summers.
Which leads us to the ultimate point of this post. RideKore, as an instructional service, has experienced an unprecedented amount of success in an amazingly short period of time. However, with that success has come a large amount of sacrifice. Dave and I both have young growing families and burgeoning careers that have taken on the burden of our busy work weeks, leading into even busier weekends of non-stop instruction. Never mind the fact that we’ve found ourselves doing less and less of what got us to this place to begin with — epic weekend rides with dream filled chats around the campfire at night.
To that end, we’ve had to make the extremely tough decision to forego mountain bike instructional service as a component of RideKore going forward. It’s tough because we know we have a great product and service to offer. And we know there’s still a very fertile market for our business to grow. Unfortunately, for Dave and I, we’re at a point in our lives where the right decision is to move on and focus our efforts on our families and our passion for just getting out and enjoying the trail.
RideKore, as an instructional service, has experienced an unprecedented amount of success in an amazingly short period of time. However, with that success has come a large amount of sacrifice.
So is RideKore dead? No. Not by a long shot. We’re simply refocusing out priorities. Our focus now is to get back to doing what we love most; to be ambassadors for our sport locally and beyond. Ambassadors for the Trail Life. This means we’ll be catching up with all the great folks we’ve worked with over our 3 seasons of instruction to simply get out and ride. It means we’ll be shooting more videos and photo epics that highlight the great trails in RVA and beyond. It means we’ll just be having fun RIDING OUR BIKES, which is what MTB is really all about.
We’re truly privileged to have had the chance to impact some many riders during our tenure. We want to extend our thanks to everyone who’s helped us succeed in such short period of time. Thanks and let’s keep living the Trail Life!
Ryan Thompson and David Kern