Rooted MTB Festival Interview with Heather Kinal

Published by ATD on Jun 23rd 2022

June 7th, 2022

Rooted MTB Fest

An interview with Rooted MTB Festival founder, Heather Kinal


Rooted MTB Festival



Loud Performance Bike Shop
4818 New York 430
Bemus Point, New York 14712

A quick 2.5 hour drive north from our location is a small town call Bemus Point in New York. This town is situated on the east side of Chautauqua Lake, and sits in the foothills of the Enchanted Mountain Range in Western NY. We recently had the opportunity to sponsor an amazing three day MTB event that focuses on bringing women together to ride and learn together. The event founder, Heather Kinal, is dedicated to building a better community for women cyclists. We caught up with Heather to learn more about Rooted and her goals for growing the community.

When is your event?
July 22-24, 2022

Where is your event?
Loud Performance Bike Shop in Bemus Point, NY.
How long has the event been going on?
This will be our third year, the first time its a 3 day event though.
How many riders attend, and do you have a cut-off?
We capped this year at 125 and tickets sold out two months before the festival! Last year we had 70, so its growing fast!
Is there a story behind how the event started?
I heard about Roam and Grit Festivals but they were happening so far away (Sedona and Bentonville) so I tried to search for something closer to where I live and found no women's mountain bike festivals. That lead me to create what was missing in this part of the country. The first year was basically me and 20 friends and I had two of my guy friend's coach us on different skills. This year we've got a stellar lineup of female coaches.
What cycling disciplines are included in the event?
We focus on mountain biking and call our event great for the mountain bike curious because its so welcoming to new riders. We've got beginner friendly clinics and terrain and the support of everyone else there.
Does your event have a mission? If so, what is it?
The mission of Rooted is simply to be a welcoming and empowering event for femme mountain bikers of all skill levels, sizes, ages, races, sexual orientation, everything! If you identify as female or are non binary but are comfortable in a femme setting, Rooted is for you! Some side missions we have are to be as sustainable as possible where we can and to provide a safe and encouraging space to have one heck of a bike party!
We say all skill levels welcome because we truly mean it. It ranges from people who have never ridden singletrack before all the way up to professional local athletes that attend Rooted.
What skill level is recommended for your event?
We say all skill levels welcome because we truly mean it. It ranges from people who have never ridden singletrack before all the way up to professional local athletes that attend Rooted.
What is the best bike for the event? (road, gravel, mtb, full suspension, ebike, etc.)
We suggest mountain bikes at this event, hard tail, fully rigid, full suspension -- bring what you ride, you'll fit right in! We also love our e-bikers and are happy to have them join us.
What distance options are there to ride?
Throughout the weekend there are multiple group rides. We have a super beginner friendly one mile ride and then a variety of mileage and paces up to 10+ miles. There are so many activities during Rooted we don't want the rides to go too long.
Is there anything we missed that you would like to add?
1) This is a not for profit event. We are donating all proceeds to World Ride, a 501(c)3 non profit who's mission is to empower women worldwide through mountain biking.
2) Besides riding there are skills clinics for on and off the bike, nature rides with a naturalist, multiple yoga classes each day, a meditation nature hike, a vendor expo area, an industry speaker panel, movie night, free camping and a Boba tea party in the woods!
3) We are very grateful to Loud Performance for hosting us at their facility which consists of about 50 acres with a bike shop, skills park and trail network all in one place! We are also feeling so fortunate to have found good sponsor partners in Aero Tech Designs, Cosmic Dirt, Mazza and 5&20, our local IMBA chapters WNYMBA and NAMBA,, SDR Clothing and Skratch Labs!