Your friendly reminder to do more
Visit http://www.DuchessRide.org for upcoming programs and events, as well as to learn more about the nonprofit enriching the lives of girls in Eagle County through board sports and camaraderie.
COPPER MOUNTAIN — Girl power shines bright with the ladies of Duchess Ride.
The crew, founded by a group of women with rebellious spirits and altruistic hearts, strives to inspire all girls to work together to progress in every aspect of their life by using board sports.
The nonprofit launched in December with a 300-mile skateboarding trip down the California coast and is wrapping up its first winter session, getting four Eagle County girls onto the slopes at Copper Mountain all season long.
“We’ve started an all-girls youth development program to get girls to be more tenacious using board sports,” said Claire “Sweethammer” Altenau, one of the founders of Duchess Ride. “We’ve been incorporating a lot of talking about our feelings, overcoming our fears and using board sports to do that, because it’s kind of scary.”
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Jaime “Thunder” Schulte and Carly “Free Range” Finke join Altenau as co-founders and mentors to young girls across the valley.
“The major thing is camaraderie,” Finke said. “For these girls to be a part of a crew like this is just huge.”
The trew, a combination of team and crew, include local girls Izze “Jello” Borg, Sophie “Sammon” Hammond, Devin “Flash” Hendrix and Barrett “Darkside” Hendrix. They can be seen ripping around the mountain in their flashy Duchess Ride attire, completing scavenger hunts and tearing up the terrain park.
There are friendly daily reminders to scare yourself, breathe, be a pal and do more, the motto of Duchess Ride. Other life goals include promoted by Duchess Ride include see the world, do what makes you feel alive and turn fear into opportunity.
They are teaching young girls to worry less about fitting into glass slippers and more about shattering glass ceilings.
“It’s really fun to hang out with other girls that ride,” Barrett said. “You get to make a lot of new friends, hangout with really cool girls and come up with really cool nicknames.”
Duchess Ride is still growing in its first year, with hopes of expanding to include more of the valley’s youth as well as more opportunities, including a possible surf session.
“If we want to dream big, we want this to blow up,” Schulte said. “This is just the beginning, and it’s already amazing.”
For now, though, the tight-nit group is learning life lessons from one another and becoming young shredders while having fun along the way.
“When you ride with boys, it brings your level up but it doesn’t make you have fun and get stoked because they never cheer you on,” Devin said. “So it’s girls only.”
Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2915 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.