Katherine Donnelly | 06.18.2018

As part of Outdoor Project's Women In the Wild series this summer, I have had the honor of working with outdoor women from all over the industry to dig a bit deeper into who they are, how they got to where they are now, how they approach the outdoors, and more. These women are all rad in their own right, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, or how "badass" they might be. Whether they're mothers, daughters, sisters, professional athletes, beginners, weekend warriors, "instafamous," or anywhere in-between, their unique stories, journeys, opinions, and perspectives are incredibly valuable and insightful as Outdoor Project - and the industry as a whole - progresses and evolves to become more inclusive to every type of outdoors person. 

Through in-depth and often thought-provoking interviews, I hope to highlight these women's stories, their work, their adventures, and so much more with an eye toward giving them their well-deserved share of the spotlight while inspiring and empowering even more women to get outside!

In this feature we talk to Brittany Greer.

Spreading the stoke for two-wheeled adventure one day at a time, this Woman In The Wild does it all. From racing enduro, coaching, coordinating events and clinics, being a brand ambassador, and traveling the world, she's been working to help more women discover what they are capable of on and off the bike - all while wearing the biggest smile. Get the full scoop below.

Photo by Ashlee Wilson.

OP: Give us the skinny on who Brittany Greer is.

Brittany Greer: I’m a human, just like you. My greatest passion is people - from my niche lady-shred community to every being in the world at large. People and my relationships are what ignites me most, and they make me feel a greater connection to the world and a deeper reason for being alive.

Next to that is biking. Biking has captured my heart and soul since 2011. I’ve been an enduro athlete and racer since 2014, a mountain bike coach since 2015, and a brand ambassador all throughout. For me, biking brings life and light into every crevice of my being. It allows me to turn off the inner chatter, it makes me push the boundaries of comfort and familiarity, and it brings me strength and empowerment that overflows to moments off my bike. It makes me feel whole.

OP: When did you first know that you were going to spend your life in the outdoors?

Brittany Greer: Argentina in 2010, when I was 22. After college, while everyone was fretting about their next life move and what career to get into, I saved $10,000 and moved down to Argentina solo with a suitcase, an open mind, and no plans. I always loved to travel (at this point I had already been to between 15 and 20 countries) but I was not “adventurous” by any means. After spending about four months posted up in Buenos Aires (see, not so adventurous), I got sick of the city life, stuffed my backpack, and headed south to Ushuaia (the southernmost city in the world before Antarctica). I worked my way up through the Andes passing through Torres del Paine, El Chalten, Cafayate and all the Patagonian landmarks. I ran into adventurous souls from around the world, each on their own unique mission. In Patagonia, my eyes were opened to the world of outdoor passions and drive. I continued my mission up north, passing through Chile and Argentina, up to Bolivia, over to Brazil, back to Buenos Aires, and home again. I returned with a renewed sense of “life in the outdoors” and the burning desire to continue that journey stateside. 

OP: What does it mean to you to be a woman in the outdoor industry?

Brittany Greer: It means showing the world that women are more than capable, both on the bike and off the bike. It means I have the responsibility to band together with other woman, speed up the momentum, strengthen and grow our community, and empower and support every woman who’s shaking the ground in their own communities. We have the responsibility to encourage and support each other in the journey forward!

As far as specifically on the trail… there’s something so internally rewarding about passing men on the trail who are apprehensively contemplating a feature. There is a guilty pleasure being the bright, smiling, pony tail flowing lady-shredder polity excusing herself to drop in or jump over them, leaving them in the dust with their mouths agape.

OP: What has the outdoors done for you, and how do you pay it back?

Brittany Greer: It has changed my life in so many ways. It’s given me passion, strength, confidence, adventure, community, and the list goes on. I would love nothing more than for every woman to discover something that gives them the same. In order to help foster that in others, I’m a head coach for VIDA MTB series (female MTB clinics in the Rocky Mountain region), and I devote much of my summer to that mission. Every day I coach, I tune in completely to the task at hand and give those ladies everything I’ve got. My goal is to give them the skills to succeed going forward and safely push their boundaries of comfort to show them what they are capable of.

Last year I developed the Ladies Program at COMBA (Colorado Mountain Bike Association), where we host various events for ladies like hands-on mechanics/shop nights, trail dig days, group rides, and a skills night with VIDA. The mission is again to give women the skillset and community that they need to succeed!  

OP: Conservation and protection of our public lands are central themes in today’s outdoor recreation narrative. As someone who spends a significant amount of time outdoors and on public lands, what role do you think athletes - and specifically mountain bikers - should play in this evolving conversation and landscape?

Brittany Greer: Oh man. This is quite a controversial one in the mountain bike world right now. I (as Brittany Greer, not as a representative board member of COMBA) personally believe that perhaps the Wilderness Act should be tailored to allow non-motorized (excluding both electric and gas) bikes in certain Wilderness areas if voted on by the local community. My fear is that this gives too much power to local land managers who might have ulterior motives or be susceptible to influence by special interests. If there is any risk of ruining or losing our beloved public lands, than I’d rather keep the Act as is and would be completely content with biking on other trails.

I think it’s important that we talk about it loud and often. It’s important that we don’t lose hope with the inevitable incremental setbacks (especially in the current political climate) and feel it’s out of our hands. Get involved in the political change and advocacy, and if you can’t, then support those who are.   

OP: Who has inspired you along the way?

Brittany Greer: Ooft…so many. Sarah Rawley, founder of VIDA. She was on the forefront of the female mountain bike movement and was genuinely doing it all for the right reasons. She’s made it her mission and her career to bring the change she wants to see. She’s strong, humble, loving and has a sincere heart. Also, the many girls I race with who push themselves to be the best they can be and encourage me to do the same.

OP: What does adventure mean to you?

Brittany Greer: Getting lost, struggling, the unknown, pain, openness, beauty, and connection. It means going into a new and foreign mission with no expectations, an open mind, and the willingness to push myself beyond your known boundaries. It means embracing the twists and turns and hurdles that arise. It redefines what “success” is, because often times success can be found in “failure.”

OP: What mantra or set of words do you live by?

Brittany Greer: Be kind. We lost an incredible soul, Tricia Leigh, last year to suicide, and her unwavering mantra was kindness. Be kind…it sunk in so deep after she passed. I truly believe that we are all one. We are all in this crazy human experience together, we are all universally connected in a much greater way, so we must treat ourselves and everyone we come across with the sincerest kindness. That old saying “be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about” is what I live by. We are all doing our best, we are a part of each other, and we are all struggling with a personal battle that vibrates around the world and affects us all. Sincere kindness is the key.

OP: What is one thing that you never leave home without?

Brittany Greer: My water bottle and my Hydro Flask coffee mug so I never have to use another disposable vessel for as long as I live on this delicate planet.

OP: Let’s talk gear - What are your thoughts on women-specific gear? Love it, hate it? Are there any companies out there doing it right? And how so? When does it matter to you most to have gear specific to women versus unisex products?

Brittany Greer: Love it! Pearl Izumi, Yeti, Deuter, Shredly. They all have a robust, women-specific lines that are designed and/or made for and by female athletes. Women know what women want and need. For me, it matters with apparel because we’re obviously built differently, and in general, women are pretty particular with the fit of their apparel. It matters with bikes and components because I prefer shorter bars and cranks, women specific saddles, and suspension that’s tuned more for a lower weight range. Otherwise, pads, shoes, helmets, sunglasses, etc. don’t really matter.

OP: What is the greatest piece of advice or direction that you’ve ever received and what’s the story behind it?

Brittany Greer: Be curious and open minded. My grandfather, Roy Branson, didn’t explicitly tell me this, but he lived it and it was a quality I’ve always deeply admired and one that makes life far richer.

OP: If you could give one piece of advice to yourself when you were just starting out as a mountain biker/racer/coach, what would it be?

Brittany Greer: Don’t be discouraged by how hard it is. It is hard, and it never stops being hard. Embrace the challenge and celebrate each and every moment of personal victory, no matter how small. Remember… it’s your ride, your race, your journey…no one else’s.

OP: In a world seemingly run by online personas, how do you approach social media, and how does it play into your lifestyle - both work and play?

Brittany Greer: Oh man. I’m no social guru, never will be. I don’t find personal fulfillment in social media “successes,” so rather than spending hours browsing, I simply pop on to post a few times a week to share the more beautiful moments of my journey with friends and family and hope it somehow inspires others.  

OP: The world of mountain biking is rapidly progressing. How are you stepping things up to stand out from the crowd?

Brittany Greer: I’m honestly just going with the flow. I push my own riding as much as I’m comfortable doing, I’m constantly growing my skillset to be the best coach possible, and I encourage everyone I come across to discover the love of bikes. I recognize that if I push things too hard, I risk getting burnt out and blowing out the flame, so I conscientiously stay in my 80/20 zone.

OP: What’s next for you in the coming months and years?

Brittany Greer: This season I have a few more enduro races and VIDA MTB clinic weekends on the books along with more events in our COMBA / VIDA Ladies Program. I’m looking into my next coaching certification, whether it’s BICP level 3, branching off to PMBIA, or simply working with some of the more renowned coaches for new input. In 2019 my goal is to do more international bike adventures. Slovenia and Montenegro are first on the list with Peru in close second. Also I’m stoked to dabble in some blind, multi-day races!

OP: The title of your autobiography would be...

Brittany Greer: No idea! We’re constantly evolving, so it feels impossible to narrow my life into one short, definitive title. Contemplating this question makes me have a new sense of awe for everyone who’s been capable of coming up with an autobiographical title! Amazing!

In your next life, you will come back as...

Brittany Greer: A human. The human experience is so profound that one lifetime isn’t enough.

OP: Tell us one thing about yourself that no one knows.

Brittany Greer: I’m not a private person, so I can’t think of a particular thing I’ve been hiding from the world, but I’ve got a ton of quirks…I hate the sound of grinding ice, I wear my socks more than once, my closet is color coordinated, I rarely wash my hair, I’m stingy as shit with food like it’s my last meal on Earth, and I always hide my favorite snacks.

OP: If our readers were to take one thing from this interview, what would you like it to be?

Brittany Greer: Do what makes you happy. It doesn’t have to be your career, but make time for the thing that makes you tick, no matter how hard it is or how many barriers there seem to be. Once you find that special thing, embrace your community within it, because that is what makes it last through all of life’s change and turbulence.

Learn more about Brittany by following along on her adventures through Instagram and Facebook or by checking out her work with VIDA MTB Series, Deuter, and Pearl Izumi as an athlete and ambassador.


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