INFINIT Partners with Ride It Out MTB

Bettering Veteran lives through mountain biking


Ride It Out group shot - Rider drinking from INFINIT bottle

Every Memorial Day, INFINIT teams up with a charitable organization that works to support our active servicemen and women, retired Veterans, and their families. It’s an annual tradition that we are proud to continue, and this year we're excited to be teaming up with Ride It Out MTB to help support their mission of empowering Veterans by giving them positive outlets for stress and anxiety through mountain biking.

We got the chance to meet Ride It Out’s Founder/President, Clayton Peterson, at the Sea Otter Classic in April. He had made the solo weekend trek all the way up from Arizona (where he is currently stationed) to the Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterrey, California to work the event and help raise awareness for RIO and connect with vets.

Ride It Out Founder & President, Clayton Peterson


To say he is dedicated would be an understatement. Clayton has been in the military for over 20 years and has spent half of that time as a Special Operations Flight Medic supporting various Special Operations units from around the world.

Through multiple deployments and training missions, stress levels were high and he knew he needed to find an outlet. In 2013, while stationed in Washington State, Clayton discovered mountain biking and instantly knew it was the sport for him and the stress reliever that he needed. His lifelong passion for BMX transferred over to mountain biking and in no time he started opening up, meeting new people, riding awesome trails and transforming as a person.

Veterans Group Ride with Ride It Out MTB


In 2015, while riding the chairlift at Snowshoe Bike Park in West Virginia, he got the idea for Ride It Out. He had been out riding and talking to a buddy who was asking very pointed questions about deployed experiences. He was sharing a story that normally stirred up a lot of stress and emotion, but this time was different. This time he found himself feeling much more calm and at peace. Clayton mentioned this to his friend, to which he responded, “Yeah man. Sometimes you just gotta ride it out!”


It was at that point that Clayton realized mountain biking had saved his life, and he wanted to share the life changing experience of riding with his fellow Veterans.

The Ride It Out MTB Transpo Vehicle


Tons of studies have demonstrated the combined mental health benefits of being in nature coupled with the rush of physical activity. Just this month, Scotish researchers announced a new mountain bike therapy pilot program aimed to help those with mental illness.

As Clayton explained, “It’s hard to be stressed out from an emotional past event or generally unhappy while riding bikes. I find the feeling of the few moments after a firefight very similar to the same feeling you have after surviving a very steep and technical trail.”

In 2017 RIO was launched as a mountain bike team for Veterans Adventure Group, and in the summer of 2018 Ride It Out MTB became a stand alone 501(c) 3 Non-Profit Organization.

Top of the Trail with Ride It Out MTB Group


What Ride It Out aims to do is connect, support, and enable Veteran and Active Duty mountain bikers who already ride. RIO also helps give Veterans interested in mountain biking the ability to start participating in the sport. The money they raise goes directly to RIO riders to help keep them equipped, their bikes maintained, and to allow them to explore new riding zones through epic trips around the US.

Mountain biking is not only fun, and awesome stress outlet, but it also requires focus, resilience, and provides consistent challenges to overcome, in the form of hills, stones, inclement weather, mechanical issues — All combined, making it like a natural form of therapy.

“In the 2.5 years I have been out riding with Veterans I have seen profound changes in some of my riders. I have had family members of Vets that I ride with thank me for riding with them, listening to them share their stories, and helping them push their limits. Personally, I’ve noticed changes in how I react to situations and interact with people, and I can honestly attribute it to riding.“

Help us support Ride It Out MTB this Memorial Day during INFINIT’s annual Memorial Day Giveback Event. A portion of every purchase made over Memorial Day weekend will go to bettering Veteran lives through mountain biking.


Founder/President of Ride It Out MTB holding an INFINIT Star Spangled Bottle with #IAMINFINIT sticker

 

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About the Author

Laura Hering, RDN is INFINIT's Vice President and Director of Nutrition aka 'Chief Powder Slanger.' Laura is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and has been with the company for over 8 years. Laura is the "boss lady," INFINIT utility player, recovering sprinter, and amateur endurance athlete.

 

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