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10 Questions with Tiger Mountain and Raging River Trail Builder, Alex Showerman

10 Questions with Tiger Mountain and Raging River Trail Builder, Alex Showerman

16 | Feb | '23
Liz Lunderman

If you have been riding on Tiger or Raging River, you might have run into Evergreen Trail Builder, Alex Showerman. New to the Evergreen community, Alex shares with us her experience as a trail builder, mountain biker, and advocate in ten questions.

Alex has an extensive, impressive resume, and Evergreen is fortunate to have her on the team. She has served as President, and Lead Trail Steward of the Waterbury Area Trails Alliance, a two year term on the Vermont Mountain Bike Association Board, is a Pro Free-rider for Pivot Cycles, has dug at Red Bull Formation, and is an advocate for women and LGBTQ+ folks in action sports.

On the trails, digging or riding, she is most certainly accompanied by her best friend Gus (the most adorable German Shepard!). Make sure to say hi! Read on to learn more about Alex, her vision and passion for the future of trail building, and how to get more involved with the trail work at Tiger and Raging led by her.


Photo credit: Jack Lambert

Tell us a bit about yourself! We hear you have lived in an RV, and traveled around the country. What are your favorite places to ride?

Yes! In 2021, I quit my job and went full-time sponsored mountain biker. This allowed me to move into an RV and travel the country with one goal, ride as much as possible. Virgin, Utah hands down, is my favorite place I’ve been to. It’s like driving up to Yankee stadium, parking your RV, and practicing with the Yankees (Back when they were good). Many of the iconic features from past Rampages, Formation, and film projects are still maintained, and its such an incredible candy land for progression and creativity. It’s also terrifying but incredibly fun.  

Spending time there really changed my perception as a builder. One of the things I learned is that hard doesn’t have to feel hard. Riding down there was some of the scariest riding I’ve done, but because everything is built by the world’s best, when executed properly, it feels chill.  I’m excited to get back down there again this year once I'm fully healed to continue to progress my riding and digging techniques! 


Photo credit: Stephen Shelesky

What brought you to Washington?

I had never been to the PNW until I received an invite to Hannah Bergemann’s Hangtime jump jam on Blue Steel up in Bellingham. When I flew in from Vermont, my friend picked me up from the airport, took me straight to Raging River, and ended with pizza and beers at Volition Brewing in North Bend. It was a whirlwind trip, but I was hooked! I was struck by how incredible the community is here, and I couldn’t wait to get back! While living full-time in the RV this past year, I came up here to see if it was a place I wanted to move to. As fate would have it, while I was passing through, I wound up with a pretty substantial injury that forced me to put down roots. The community here really came through and gave me a place to recover/heal, incredible friendship, and a sense of belonging while I was off the bike for several months. I am so glad to call this home now. 

How did you get into trail building?

I went to my first dig day in 2015 in my hometown of Waterbury, VT, and quickly fell in love. The local chapter was brand new, and we would host waffle Wednesdays after dig days in the summer. That community became my family back home in Vermont. Over time, I stepped into more and more leadership, ultimately serving as President and Lead Trail Steward and serving a two-year term on the Vermont Mountain Bike Association Board.

Beyond Community, I love building as a form of creative expression. Instead of a paintbrush, my preferred tool is a McLoed, flathead shovel, and a bike to paint lines down the mountain. It’s so rewarding to see a vision come to life, ride it, and share it with the world. 


Photo credit: Jack Lambert

Who are your biggest builder influences?

Knight Ide and Tom Lepesqueur. Knight is a Mason by trade and built some truly iconic trails up and down the eastern seaboard. The way he uses rock is an absolute art form. He also is the master of sneaking secret doubles into the trail, which can turn a simple blue square flow trail into an absolute playground. Tom was one of the main builders behind the iconic Highland Bike Park and was on the build team at 2015 Rampage. We worked together on several projects. He taught me so much about building proper corners and managing rider speed. I find myself referencing lessons learned from these two almost daily on the trails. 

Any favorite past projects?

I didn’t get involved in the build as I moved West, but the trail Six Flags at Perry Hill, Vermont, was one of my favorites. For years we struggled to get a new trail approved by the land manager, especially more advanced lines. My friend showed me this amazing vein of an exposed slab that ran probably 1500 feet through the forest and ended in a large rock roll. I was like; we HAVE to build this. The slab was just above a really cool old school trail called Six Flags with another huge rock roll that was underutilized due to its short length and being accessed by this really muddy climb. So I pitched the land manager on extending Six Flags all the way to the top, in exchange for closing down this climb that was a persistent maintenance problem.  Essentially I sold it as a 2500-foot-long reroute. The chapter ultimately hired one of my favorite builders, Knight Ide, and his crew to complete the build and it came out so beautiful! I can’t wait to get back east and ride it!  


Photo credit: Stephen Shelesky

You dug at Red Bull Formation. What was that experience like?

Being involved in Red Bull Formation was one of the most influential events I have ever been a part of. Every aspect of the bike industry is so male-dominated it was wild to be in this space that flips the script. Women not only go huge on bikes but also heading up digging, media production, and event production. Women built the whole space. It also was super cool to see some absolute legends in the history of Rampage showing up in a supporting role and just being blown away by the girls. 

Digging at Formation shifted my approach to inclusion. We see that simply being included isn’t enough for culture to change. For our community to be welcoming to women and underrepresented folks, it means having more of us in leadership. I strive to bring this to every project I am involved in and aim to use my platform to help more women step into leadership on the grassroots level. It’s a big reason why I took this job. 


Photo credit: Katie Lozancich

What is your role with Evergreen?

Oh wow, what a big role! I’m in charge of maintenance for Tiger and Raging River. Not going to lie was a little intimidating coming in. These two networks combine for over 300,000 user visits annually, represent some of the most visible trails in the PNW, and have such a storied history. I take this role and the trust the community has put in me very seriously.

For this role, I’ve worked to really focus the scope of the paid work on projects that need our specialized expert touch. Then have put a ton of effort into building a robust volunteer program to empower the community to be involved in how we maintain these trails and what they look like going forward. I feel strongly that what makes the trails special is the community around them so this volunteer component is a crucial component of this role. I’m stoked that we have work parties every weekend this spring (sometimes two a weekend!).


Photo credit: Jack Lambert

Are there particular projects that you are excited about?

I am excited about two programs, Ferda Girls Friday and Dig, Test, Ride. Ferda Girls Fridays will be small work parties where women can work with me on some pro-build projects. We hope to give women more opportunities to develop a resume to apply for trail-building jobs or step into more volunteer leadership roles on our trails.

The other program, Dig, Test, Ride, is aimed at building more of a culture of freeride-style building. These work parties will be smaller and focused on the creative side of digging. I hope to allow more advanced riders to progress their digging and riding skills as we bring new features to life. 


Photo credit: Stephen Shelesky

What advice do you have for people who want to get into trail building?

Just show up! Eight years ago, when I showed up for my first dig day, I had no idea what a Rogue Hoe was or how to clear a drain. I learned by showing up and trying. Our work at work parties isn’t rocket science, so it is a great opportunity to learn and get comfortable. We provide all the tools and show you how to do the work we will be doing that day. There are some really incredible people like the Sturdy Dirty Crew, MsFits, and Donut squad creating such an incredible culture around bringing new people into trail building here in the Seattle area, so it’s already a great scene to come learn and grow in! 

There is no doubt that Alex is bringing new passion and energy into the i90 corridor. Join the momentum at Tiger Mountain and Raging River’s next work parties, Ferda Girls Friday, and other upcoming community opportunities on our event calendar. As Alex said, no experience is necessary. Just show up! See you on the trails. 

You can sign up for trail work days here. Can not get out? Another way to support the trails is to become a member or renew your membership!

10 Questions with Tiger Mountain and Raging River Trail Builder, Alex Showerman