NSMBA Hosts First Ever Womxn's Fiver Enduro Race

Aug 22, 2019
by Norco Bicycles  

PRESS RELEASE: Norco Bicycles

Elevating rider experience beyond the race itself, the North Shore Mountain Bike Association (NSMBA) launched its Fiver series a while back, and it’s quickly become a staple of the North Shore riding scene thanks to its quality, and apres-race social time. With races held every other Summer Thursday, and the renewed excitement around fun and community, participation has been blossoming. However, the number of women out on the course remains relatively small.

Norco Women’s Ambassador Mel Schumacher noticed this and, as an active member of the North Vancouver riding community, she set out on a mission to get more women out to the events.

bigquotesThe women’s turnout for the Fivers is anywhere from 5-20% and I wanted to see if we could get a better turnout because we all know there are a ton of women riders out there shredding up the trails and having a blast.Mel Schumacher

Her hope is to help women elevate their skills and enthusiasm on a bike through grassroots rides and events. She saw the participation number at Fiver events as an indicator of how much work could be done to encourage more women.

Recalling her first ever Fiver, Schumacher added some insight into why some riders are shying away from such events.

bigquotesThe mood was intense, the competition was real, and I remember riding down Crinkum Crankum hoping to keep the rubber side down! The NSMBA tries to keep the competition down and don’t hold official standings - but the nerves and competition usually prevail when putting so many people together.Mel Schumacher

After seeing other riding hotspots develop their own female-centered events to introduce a racing environment while reducing the intimidation factor, she decided it was time the North Shore did something too.

bigquotesI actually wrote out an email to the NSMBA describing my role as an ambassador for Norco Bicycles on the North Shore, telling the story of my first Fiver, and asking if it was possible to get something going. As the NSMBA holds Fiver races annually, I thought it would be easiest to first approach an all-women event by adding on to their well-oiled series.Mel Schumacher

The NSMBA jumped on board, and with Schumacher’s help, are hosting their first ever women’s-only Fiver race on Thursday, August 29, 2019 – with the support of Norco Bicycles and Capilano University, and après race festivities at Norco John Henry.

Taking a front seat on the planning and execution of the event, Mel has organized the race, après and has led the charge on course selection - including some classic descents on Mt Fromme that focus on intermediate terrain to attract and challenge as many riders as possible (to a max of 200). It’s worth noting, also, that the only timed parts of the race are the descents themselves – so suffering on the climbs is totally optional.

bigquotesI’m super stoked to see it come alive! It has been a long work in progress with a lot of moving pieces for everything to line-up and take place. My hope is that we fill up the entire 200 spots, everyone has an amazing ride and there are a lot of high-fives and smiles.Mel Schumacher

EVENT DETAILS - NSMBA’s Womxn’s* Fiver

DATE: Thursday, August 29, 2019

- Registration opens from 5:45-6:45 pm (There isn’t a “mass start”)
- Après is at Norco John Henry
- Plant-based food by Capilano University

Let the NSMBA know you’re coming and learn more about the event here.


*Organizers put the “x” in "womxn's" for inclusivity: the race is reserved for people who identify as Womxn. The inclusive definition of “woman” and “female” welcomes trans women, genderqueer women, and non-binary people.

Regions in Article
Mount Fromme


  • 10 2
 Massive props to Mel on this! It took all of one phone call with her to see this was going to be a success, and something the NSMBA should support! She definitely 'took the front seat here', and its been great to see the enthusiasm to see this idea come to fruition.
  • 6 2
 ahhhhhh... you are too kind! Thank you for seeing my vision through and I look forward to the turnout! May the future of Fivers continue on with plenty of women to share in the excitement of our amazing trails!
  • 6 2
 nice, anything that gets women on bikes is a good thing.
excellent job organizers and norco
ladies+ bikes= win win
  • 6 2
 Massive props to NSMBA for this!
  • 4 1
 This is so rad, well done Mel and Norco for identifying a way to help our sport progress and acting on it!
  • 2 1
 Ahhh thank you! It takes a village to get things working so I'm glad so many others were with me in supporting this vision! Seeing people happy and on bikes makes the world a better place! Smile
  • 1 0
 So what about the FV 's TWSS events and the race in Squamish?? These events are done by the Muddbunnies and similar clubs. They are ladies only events that are more fun related than competitive related.
  • 2 0
 Just curious...did numerically more women ride the women's only fiver than the regular all-inclusive fivers?
  • 5 0
 There's ~4x more pre-reg'd for this event than "average" turnout at the FWS, and its still a week away.

We'd love to see more women feel comfortable racing the Fivers, and hopefully this is a step to accomplishing that.
  • 1 1
 @cooperquinn-wy: Thanks, please update with the final figures post-race
  • 4 6
 Men concentrate on speed. Woman concentrate on fun . Bring on the fun!
  • 5 2
 Like, er Rachael Atherton, Tahnee Seagrave, Myriam Nicole.....
  • 2 1
After seeing other riding hotspots develop their own female-centered events to introduce a racing environment while reducing the intimidation factor, she decided it was time the North Shore did something too.
  • 3 2
 @Sshredder: Your statement "Men concentrate on speed. Woman concentrate on fun " is a sweeping generalization that is not reflected by some of the best / fastest racers in the world, who are very fast women that concentrate on speed. I think your comment was meant to be supportive to female mountain bikers, but you've got the wrong end of the stick.
  • 1 1
 @discoclint: sweeping generalization. Really? I believe the intent is to get more woman out racing . How? Is intimidating fun? Why do people race ? Because it's fun.
NSMB wants to attract more female racers like Atherton and Seagrave? Or to attract fresh new faces to the sport that have average or above average skills. What method would get more woman racing? What is the solution? It appears the idea is to make the race less intimidating. I call that more fun . Instead of bashing me for my awefull sexist comment why don't you explain to me how more woman will be interested to join this race?
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