Kim McElhinney - next generation Dude Girl
Sports adventure has always been my passion. So when I decided to start my own company that would allow me to share it, I already had a lot of experience to draw from, both on and off road.
From roaming my grandmother’s Pinto Ranch pastures on horseback as a little girl, I grew into exploring the globe by bicycle or carrying a backpack. At Stanford University, I started climbing mountains during breaks. Mt. Shasta was the first. There have been many since then, including a near-month-long expedition on Aconcagua in Argentina in 2000.
For 10 years after college I used my marketing skills in several startup companies including Fogdog, AltaVista and most recently, NapaStyle. During those years, a typical weekend began with my climbing partner, Hugh Driscoll, fetching me from work on a Friday afternoon for the start of a road-trip to the Sierra or beyond. We'd load up on adrenaline in the high mountain air with one athletic adventure or desert excursion after another. The overnight drive back to the Bay Area would find me on the company doorstep at Monday's first light, where I made quick work of “tucking in” my disheveled looks and masking my bleary eyes behind the sense of happiness and contentment that comes from sharing wild adventures and pushing physical limits with a good friend.
I also found myself spending more and more time on the bike, both mountain and road. Bitten by the Tour bug a few years ago, the spectacular scenery and famous climbs, such as l’Alpe d'Huez, beckoned. I boxed my bike for trips to France three summers in a row, and fell in love with both the riding and the country. After Tour de France 2003, I exchanged my road bike for a mountain bike and met friends in Bulgaria. This time, pedaling the high mountain trails not only led to remote, picturesque lodges, but forged bonds with friends who would become future business partners.
My cube at the office became less and less inviting, and I began plotting adventures to share with fellow two-wheeled trailblazers.
And so Dude Girl began...Rooted in the spirit of the Old West and in the story of my grandmother’s two-month trek on horses with girlfriends, it was reborn in 2003 as an adventure travel company for avid cyclists. After two seasons of adventuring, we have added a trail running trip, and have launched our own apparel brand exemplifying the same heart, soul, and quality that we put into our active tours! To this company—and to you—I bring my heritage; my love for sports; my desire to share inspiring outdoor adventures with friends; and my commitment to providing you with the most memorable, worry-free, fun and safe vacations around the world.
Please join me.