Girls Learn to Ride on hold for '06

December 20, 2005 12:24pm | by:

We received the following note this afternoon:

Happy Holidays To All,

I hope the holiday finds you well for you and your family.

We wanted to give you an update on recent events that have transpired at Girls Learn To Ride and how they will affect the 2006 clinics and camps.

As you may know, we have just finished one of the most successful seasons in the program¹s six-year history. Over 5,000 girls and women of all ages learned a new action sport and we continue to encourage them to communicate with other females through our online chat rooms, which we hope will help them to incorporate these sports into their lives. We have also experienced a few challenges in past months.

As we approached the winter season, our main financial sponsors withdrew from the program, leaving us in a bind to find companies who are passionate about giving females the opportunity to learn and enjoy this lifestyle.

After weeks of meetings and many discussions, I had to make a very difficult decision: put the Girls Learn To Ride program on hold for 2006.  It was probably one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make, for many reasons.  In no way do I want to put an end to this program, especially after six successful years of building the brand.  If anything, this hiatus  will give those of us involved in the program time to rework Girls Learn To Ride so that next year we can come back with an even better program.

I would like thank you for the support you have given to Girls Learn To Ride program as a whole. There were so many success stories and the smiles and confidence these girls and women gained from the experience.  If anything, we feel a sense of accomplishment in making so many females happy about who they are.

On a personal note, I never imagined that Girls Learn To Ride would grow to this level.  I started the company as a way to teach my girlfriend and her friends how to snowboard. and later, to learn other sports.  I have to give
proper credit and heartfelt thanks to the sponsors, instructors, schools and venues that have been involved, for believing in the program and seeing its potential.  It was them that first allowed an experimental clinic series to occur, providing the building blocks for what would become a great program. Through the years, GLTR has become a part of my life. I personal met almost every girl and woman who participated in the clinics.  I heard their stories of fear and self-doubt as they explained why they couldn¹t learn in the past.  By the end of a clinic, each girl walked away with a new sense of self-esteem, confidence, new friends and smiles.  Every girl was unique, but they were similar in the way they approached GLTR events.  Over time, my goal was to show others that women should be given equal opportunities when it came to learning and being involved in action sports.  And in most cases, we saw that they could learn and progress more quickly than their male counterparts (the same guys who held them back from learning in the first place).

I hope that we can work together again to introduce girls and women to the sport of snowboarding, skateboarding, surfing, wakeboarding, motocross, BMX and mountain biking. And I hope that we continue to find ways to keep them riding years after their first lessons. These are the challenges of the future and I hope that we continue to grow the sport together.

If you have any questions or would like to talk in detail about this detour in the program, please feel free to contact me at  Thank you again for your support and have a great year.


Mark Sperling
Girls Learn To Ride