Elena Forchielli was born in London to an American mother and Italian father. She moved to the US from Italy when she was five, but spent the rest of her childhood traveling back and forth from Europe. Her dual citizenship must have fostered a deep wanderlust in her, as she has spent a significant part of her life exploring the far corners of the globe, even living in Nicaragua, China, Germany, and the Dominican Republic. Equally as strong as Elena’s love of tasting new cultures is her passion for the mountains. She received her first introduction to rock climbing and mountaineering when she was 12, but that quickly evolved into skiing, whitewater rafting, and has culminated with mountain biking.
Mountain biking is more than just a sport to Elena; it represents a complete lifestyle that has brought her all around the world and introduced her to some of her best friends. For someone who grew up between different cultures, bikes have provided her with a sense of belonging and community she hasn’t found elsewhere. Elena can count limitless parallels between the bike and life, and has been able to become her best self through her experiences on the trail.
All along, Elena has found the most rewarding experiences in life to be the ones she shares with other like-minded women. Being in the mountains opens a door to explore your personal limits and gives us the opportunity to realize our full potential, and it is Elena’s goal to enhance other people’s lives by providing them the access and tools to achieve this empowerment.
In this light, Elena partnered with Sarah Rawley to create the VIDA MTB Series, mountain biking skills clinics designed to help women shine on and off their bikes. You can learn more the VIDA MTB Series here.
Sarah Rawley fell in love with mountain biking in 2005 and followed her dreams of making a career out of her passion. Raised in the Northwest, Sarah’s instinct moved her to Colorado to pursue skiing in the Rocky Mountains and a B.A. in Technical Journalism from Colorado State University along the way. It didn’t take long for the Colorado mountains to spark a passion for mountain bike racing, and since then, she has been on the forefront of producing mountain bike events and enjoys the creative side of writing about the latest trends and events in the industry. Always a racer at heart, Sarah races pro in the enduro circuit, and is the co-founder of Colorado’s first women’s only mountain bike race, the Beti Bike Bash.
Currently based out of Keystone, Colo., Sarah owns and operates Mountain Grown Marketing, LLC. Coming from seven years of professional experience promoting nationally recognized and world-renowned mountain bike events— Mountain States Cup, USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships, Beti Bike Bash, the annual Yeti Tribe Gathering, the Big Mountain Enduro Series, and the VIDA MTB Series—Mountain Grown Marketing specializes in marketing and promoting competitive and non-competitive events, integrated marketing communications, brand and image development, advertising and public relations.
While not on her bike or skis, Sarah can be found actively involved in her community, be it teaching spin classes at the local rec center, sitting on the board of Summit Fat Tire Society, a local IMBA chapter, or seeking out the next adventure around the corner or cornice.