Endless Biking is celebrating 10 years of building riders, as part of their celebration they are sponsoring ten articles that revolve around the fundamentals of their business; bikes, community and learning.
|My mom taught me the importance of taking care of myself so that I can take care of my family. It seems counter intuitive, but it is like on airplanes when they tell you that you have to put your oxygen mask on before your child's. The reality is that your kids aren't going to be very well off if you pass out from lack of oxygen. This is why I make time to ride. Cynthia|
No matter how passionate you are about riding, having a child changes your world. It changes how you do things, how long it takes you to do things, and most importantly, how much you do for yourself.
At one time in your life you may have looked outside to a sunny day, grabbed your bike and headed off for hours of riding without a care in the world. Days like that feel like a distant memory when you are trying to get out the door and your child is having a meltdown. You are almost always late by the time you make ten trips out to the car, are confident that you have everything, the tears are dried, the pouting has subsided and a suitable distraction found. Technical climbs and rocky descents used to be the hardest part of the ride, but now simply exiting the house leaves you exhausted.
|I miss the impulsiveness to just grab the bike and go when the sun comes out, but now I'm used to riding when I can in whatever conditions I get; rain, mud, cold. Sarah|
|I love the adrenaline, the pure joy of the wind in your hair when you are riding a bike, any bike! That never goes away. Oh and the cute boys. But that was then this is now! Sarah|
It was pouring rain on Wednesday morning when Kelli, Aimee, Cynthia, and Sarah got together to ride. With their kids in school, daycare or enjoying some quality daddy time, Noah could have been building a boat and these ladies would still be going riding. “I ride in all weather now, because when you have kids you ride when you can,” says Sarah. “I’m just so happy to not be watching Dora the Explorer right now!”
|Since having my daughter I get up earlier to ride in the mornings, Darren and I take turns riding or a group of parents will do odd-man-out shuttles. Sometimes the most I can do is get out for a training ride with her in the chariot. I still feel like I am trying to figure out the balance, it is a moving target. Kelli|
|Even though my husband is one of the busiest people I know [Brett Tippie], he is the one pushing me out the door and telling me to go ride my bike. He never makes me feel like his riding is more important than mine. Sarah|
There are a few things these ladies have in common; aside from all being mommas and shredders, they all have a history in the bike industry as strong role models who inspire others to join the sport. And they all met their husbands through riding. While they all still manage to get out, each of the moms expressed that they miss riding with their favorite buds, their husbands. Being creative about going riding is important; some sneak out for solo night rides, while others use the odd-parent-out shuttle technique. “I enjoy that time to recharge mentally and to physically push myself; plus I can just go when the time comes,” says Aimee of her evening excursions. The flip-side of being married to a fellow rider, however, is that their partners understand how important getting out on the bike is and offer up supportive ways to get out pedalling. “Brett is the one pushing me out the door and telling me to go for a ride when I get cranky,” says Sarah. The support needed to find the time to ride was evident on Wednesday as Darren, Kelli’s husband and business partner, enabled this mom focused adventure by shuttling the group up the mountain before taking their daughter to daycare.
|It isn't always your ideal time of day but you can get out for a ride if you are flexible. Aimee|
|I like the balance my life has. I don't obsess about riding gnarly trails as much and put pressure on myself that isn't necessarily healthy. Aimee|
“Daddy, I want to ride bikes with mommy!” Kelli’s daughter announced as she watched everyone ready themselves to pedal away from the van. These women, and many others like them, are providing a strong role model for their children as they maintain active lifestyles that build confidence. “My son asks me ‘Mama, how was your bike ride? Did you get your exercise?’” says Aimee. “Setting that example of staying healthy and fit is important to me. Most importantly I want them to enjoy nature and challenge themselves somehow.” Cynthia adds, “We ride bikes as a family and it is a huge part of our lifestyle. We just keep the focus on having fun and make sure the ride is about what they want to explore, not mom and dad’s expectations.” Sarah’s five-year-old daughter loves riding her bike and her youngest, at two, is just starting to show interest. “We don’t push it, everything is supposed to be all about fun at this age.” Given the bike-centric lifestyles of these families, the introduction to riding was natural, however all of the moms stressed that these is no expectation for their kids to be rippers. Kelli is thankful, though, that her daughter has a love of riding and for the community. “Mountain biking is my world, so she was born into it. She gets excited about bike events and will sometimes say ‘mommy, more bike races!’”
|I am very open to whatever my boys find enjoyment in because I know how happy riding makes me so I want them to find a passion that feels the same to them. Aimee|
|So much of my life as a mom is meeting the needs of my family, but riding is the indulgence of doing something for myself. Cynthia|
“For the pure joy of it,” is how Kelli, Cynthia, Aimee, and Sarah all describe the reason they started mountain biking. It is also the reason why it is so important to hold on to it now that they are parents; it is therapeutic. In order to support your family, you must take care of your own well being, and this is counterintuitive to a lot of moms. Whether it is riding bikes or stealing some quiet time with a tea and a good book, making that time makes you stronger. It also sets a healthy example for your kids of self-value.
|My riding goals? I want to get fitter, faster, keep learning and improving my knowledge or the sport. Most importantly I want to share mountain biking with others and ride for the rest of my life! Kelli|
The balance can be challenging and is a forever moving and changing target. From night rides, to odd-man-out shuttles, to training rides pulling a chariot, the main message from these moms is 'ride when you can'. Riding in the rain, mud, and cold is still mountain biking and the laughter that echoed through the trails on Wednesday was proof of that. Throughout our lives the focus and purpose of riding will change, but as long as the riding remains we are doing something right. “So much of my life as a mom is meeting the needs of my family, but riding is the indulgence of doing something for myself,” shares Cynthia, and then she adds, “and sometimes I throw myself into a race, because I still love to push my limits!”
Thank you to photographers Dan Barham, Dave Silver and Corey Toews for sharing the archive images for this story. MEET THE MOMSKELLI SHERBININ
|All moms need to make time for themselves; whether it's getting out for a bike ride or just hitting a coffee shop with a good magazine. If we ignore our own needs, it's really tough to properly meet the needs of the people that we love. Cynthia|
Kelli's company, Endless Biking, is very much a family business. She co-owns it with her husband, Darren, and often her bike-enthusiast three year old is busy getting her hands greasy while trying to mimic the mechanics in the back. Kelli has had a lengthy career in the bike industry from downhill racing to coaching, she has raced the BC Bike Race five times and even won the overall Challenge Category while four months pregnant.AIMEE DUNN
Introduced to mountain biking through adventure racing, eight years ago Aimee’s brother-in-law let her tag along for some rides and she was hooked. Aimee took to downhill racing and competed in many races including Red Bull Psychosis. After having her first son, she trained for and raced the BC Bike Race. She now spends a lot of her pedal time in the dark doing night rides with the family dog. CYNTHIA YOUNG
Some of Cynthia's career highlights include racing the World Cup XC at Grouse mountain 'back in the day' and, after having her first son, winning the 2007 BC Bike Race with her partner, Michelle Newton. In more recent years she is more focused on family life and watching her 'two little dudes' tear up the Lost Lake trails in Whistler. Currently, she is also driven to build a bigger female continent at local races. "You can find me at the NSMBA Toonie races on Thursday nights and leading some pre-rides for women on the alternate 'non-Toonie' Thursday nights."SARAH FENTON
Sarah bought her first mountain bike from the original Cove Bikes location in 1986, after a 10 year hiatus living in England, she returned in 2005, bought a Cove Peeler and never looked back. At 43 she is now a mother of two very active young girls, and works alongside her husband doing all the ‘boring’ stuff so that he can do what he does best – be Brett Tippie.