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June 24, 2024

Trailrippers Project CIC – Community and Connection Through Mountain Biking

Ina De Smet’s teenage boys are very talented mountain bikers and are already making their mark in the sport. Aged just 15 and 13, they have already amassed 10k+ followers on Instagram and have secured several big-name sponsors. Most recently, Nathan (Ina’s eldest) became Youth Welsh Champion in the Wales Mountain Bike Downhill Championship.

However, the family’s entry into the sport was not the easiest. They encountered many barriers and originally felt like outsiders. As mixed race and neurodivergent, Ina’s boys felt like there weren’t enough people like them getting into mountain biking.

Ina’s family weren’t the only ones who had to overcome obstacles to get into the sport. Biking can be very male dominated, and the associated costs can be huge. The family live in the beautiful Dyfi Valley – an area renowned for its mountain biking trails – yet many locals can’t afford to get involved.

All of this inspired Ina and her sons to launch the Community Interest Company, Trailrippers Project CIC. Their vision is to break down barriers and improve access to mountain biking.

Ina said: “We felt it would be so good if this sport was a better reflection of broader society. We want to build an inclusive community where all feel welcome.”

Trailrippers Project CIC incorporates the Trailrippers Race Team, which focuses on the development of young downhill racers, and the Dyfi Groms Fund, which helps to provide financial support for young bikers in the Dyfi Valley. The company will also run outreach projects and are creating inspiring and diverse films around mountain biking.

The company achieves this through grants and fundraising efforts. In June, Ina was awarded the UnLtd Start-up Grant – a testament to the amazing initiative she has created to make a difference in her wider community.

Image: NFD Media

Image: JWDT Photography

PRIME Cymru Volunteer Business Mentor, Russell Gibbon, has been supporting Ina with the project. With years of business experience, he has guided her through business planning and grant applications.

Ina said: “Russell has been absolutely amazing – really flexible and very understanding of my commitment to the children.

“He’s been such a fount of knowledge.”

Although Russell lives in Mexico, he is still able to be mentor Ina via video call. Working around the time difference, they meet to discuss Ina’s progress and her plans for her business’ future.

Russell said: “Ina is a very smart lady who works her socks off for her two boys.

“I’ve been so impressed by her enthusiasm and commitment.”

Ina De Smet

To learn more about Trailrippers Project CIC, please visit their website. To support Ina’s vision to make mountain biking more accessible to all, you can donate to their crowdfunders or take part in their prize draws (entries close 16th July 2024).

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