NWTA BOARD BIOS – Nell Stamper

Nell Stamper – North Coast Trail Alliance Liaison

Nell Stamper joined the NWTA board in 2020 and is the Liaison between North Coast Trail Alliance (NCTA) and Northwest Trail Alliance. She is passionate about inclusion into the Mountain Biking world especially for those who are intimidated by it. Nell grew up from the Southern Coast of Oregon and joined the Coast Guard after high school in Portland. Since then, she has become a freelance writer on the North Coast of Oregon and Southern Washington. Live on the Coast? Nell is someone you should chat with (also someone who you should just chat with in general)! You can reach her at [email protected]

We had the time to ask Nell some questions about herself and why she is involved with NWTA:

How and when did you first get involved with NWTA (joined NWTA and became a board member)?
I’ve been volunteering with NWTA for a couple of years now – mostly at women’s ride events and dig days- and I’m brand new to the board as of 2021.

Why did you join the NWTA board?
I learned early on in mountain biking that “trails don’t build themselves”! And realizing how much volunteer time and effort it takes to create good riding experiences led me to get more involved and take my turn in the behind-the-scenes work.

What part of NWTA’s mission resonates with you? What are your plans to help move this forward?
NWTA’s work to expand trails and access to mountain biking opportunities really speaks to me. I live on the Oregon Coast, and we have amazing weather and woods for biking. But there are many people who either don’t know about mountain biking, or are intimidated and think it’s not for them. But it’s for everybody! I’m active in the North Coast Trail Alliance subchapter, which is focused on getting more members of our rural community (especially women and youth) connected to this lifetime sport. We are also building an extensive trail network on the North Coast, with trails for every skill level.

When did you first start mountain biking/what was your first bike?
I got a big beautiful Trek Lush for my birthday about five years ago. I hadn’t been on a bike since I was a kid, but I decided to take a chance on something new. It’s worked out okay!

What do you love about mountain biking?
It’s really an umbrella term for a lot of different options. “Mountain bikers” might be downhill racers who do huge jumps and flips…or cross-country riders who love to spend 6 hours on a huge loop trail with 3,000 feet of climbing…or bikepackers who use their bikes to get into super remote and challenging terrain…or grandparents on e-bikes who take their grandkids to bike around the lake. There are people who love big group rides and others who are always out solo. And any of us might be one or all of those things, depending on the day! There’s no wrong way to do it.

Favorite place to ride?
I really like to travel with my bike, so that’s an impossible question! My favorite place is wherever my friends are riding with me. (awwwww)

Favorite tool to use on the trail?
A machete, because I am always working in blackberry sticker bushes.

What do you do during the day (that pays your bills)?
I’m a freelance editor & writer.

What song do you listen to to get pumped up (for a ride or for a dig day?
I’m probably alone in this, but I don’t like music on the trail! You might catch me with some 80’s grooves in the car, though.

Anything else you want to share about yourself with our members?
I’m grateful for the great connections and friends that I’ve made through mountain biking. I look forward to meeting many more NWTA members and getting folks out to the North Coast to ride with us!