Rad Mother Bikers

May 10, 2015 at 20:22
May 10, 2015
by Monica McCosh  
 
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Images for Rad Mother Bikers article by Monica McCosh

It’s not too often that the word “mother” and “mountain biking” get put into the same sentence unless one is an expletive. However, at this weekend’s Ranch Camp in Kamloops hosted by Lorraine Blancher, quite a few mothers were out learning the technique and skills required to master loose berms and wood features. While they all came for a common purpose: to progress their skills and gain confidence on a bike - the reason why they mountain bike is quite surprising.

Here are a few of these mountain matriarchs.

Images for Rad Mother Bikers article by Monica McCosh

Kerry Greenley
Coming from Nelson, BC for the Ranch Camp, Kerry got into mountain biking about four years ago when she borrowed a bike from a girlfriend and was hooked ever since. “I do it to keep my mind off… other things”, she says with a shy smile. Her goal at Ranch Camp is to build confidence, approach trails at speed, and work on her jumping.

Sandra Pelley
Sandra drove from Hinton, AB to be coached by Lorraine Blancher’s crew. She said she got into mountain biking about five years ago and since then has tried every aspect of the sport from downhill to fat biking. I asked her which of her kids mountain bikes, to which she replied “none”. “My daughter said she doesn’t want to join my ‘bikey gang’ and my son thinks I act more like a 21-year old when I’m on my bike,” says Sandra. For her, the camp is all about changing her mind set and progression.

Images for Rad Mother Bikers article by Monica McCosh
Sandra Pelley
Images for Rad Mother Bikers article by Monica McCosh
Laura Ramsey

Laura Ramsey
Another Washingtonian, Laura drove from Kingston to be at the camp. When asked why she mountain bikes, she shrugged, “To have a life outside of my family.” Like so many other women at this camp, Laura is here for herself. She says she got into mountain biking about eight years ago when a coworker took her out for her first ride. She fell in love with the sport and from the get go it had just been her and the boys of the local bike club. Now, the club has grown to be one hundred women-strong.

Wendy Carter
An American driving the six hours from Bremerton, WA, Wendy has been mountain biking for three years now. As an empty nester, she also doesn’t do it for “family” time, saying “mountain biking is all about being outside and having fun with girlfriends.” She’s attending Ranch Camp to gain bike confidence.

Images for Rad Mother Bikers article by Monica McCosh
Wendy Carter
Images for Rad Mother Bikers article by Monica McCosh
Bonnie Johnson

Bonnie Johnson
Another Kootenay mom, Bonnie made the trip from Nelson, BC with her three “awesome girlfriends”. The same ones that got her into mountain biking about four years ago – deciding they would try mountain biking after camping for a weekend. She has two daughters with her husband, but she is the black sheep of the family – the only one on two-wheels off-road. When asked why she mountain bikes, she replied “it gets me out of the house”. She’s at Ranch Camp to improve her style, citing Katrina Strand and Lorraine Blancher’s ease of flow on singletrack.

Images for Rad Mother Bikers article by Monica McCosh
Ranch Camp guest coach, Steph Nychka, was also on hand to inspire both mountain bikers and new moms, being one herself with a three year-old, one year-old, and six-months pregnant with baby #3.

What’s it like being a mountain biking mom?
It’s something for myself. It’s something that my husband just understands is mine and I need to go do it – whether it be coaching or on a trip or competing.

She beams when asked about her three-year-old daughter’s bike skills.
She absolutely kills it on the pumptrack. She is fearless. I can tell she’s going to be a great mountain biker someday.”

For Nychka, becoming a mom shifted her pride from her own achievements into pride for theirs. Not only that, she says when she gets back on a dirt jump bike and is cleaning tricks, it’s another sense of accomplishment , “It’s like ‘Guess what I can still do?’”

When asked about what it’s like to mountain bike while pregnant, the passion flares up in her eyes.
The general public perception about pregnant women is that they are fragile. I’m a chiropractor and I hear all sorts of stories about how people stand up and hit their heads on cupboards – injuries occur anytime. What people don’t understand is that the baby is in a [safety] bubble when pregnant. I think it’s important to continue doing the same things you did before you were pregnant, but know your limits and stick to them. So often new moms get tunnel vision with their kids... Keep doing what you’re doing.

Images for Rad Mother Bikers article by Monica McCosh

Sara & Carmen
This mother-daughter duo decided to sign up for Ranch Camp together, being locals to Kamloops and only a year into their new hobby. Sara says her brother got into mountain biking, then she followed, and shortly after her mom. I got to witness these two on a section of course. Sara bravely volunteered to guinea pig a new feature on the trail and, after successfully clearing it, her mom cheerfully followed suit, so inspired was she by her daughter.

Images for Rad Mother Bikers article by Monica McCosh

Kelli Sherbinin
Kelli leads the life every mountain biker family dreams of: her and her husband, Darren, started Endless Biking out of North Vancouver eleven years ago. Now a mother of three year old Myla, Kelli says the two things she’s learned about running a mountain bike business and being a mom is Efficiency and Resourcefulness. “You have to be efficient with your time if you have someone watching your kid,” she quips. Her and Darren often go biking together and get pretty resourceful when searching for child care for Myla. However, it won’t be long until Myla is able to keep up on wheels. “She is so adaptable and absolutely loves mountain biking. We take her to the BC Bike Race and she’s the mascot of the group. Afterward, she even said to us ‘More bike race!’” Kelli leaves new- or expecting- moms with this for thought, “[having a family as a mountain biker] is what you make of it. It’s important to have your own life.

Images for Rad Mother Bikers article by Monica McCosh

It's great to see so many women – of all ages and abilities – out enjoying something for themselves. For more information on Ranch Camp click here.


MENTIONS: @monicosh / @lbbikes

Must Read This Week






95 Comments

  • + 149
 My mom was the one who rented me my first MTB and encouraged me to do the things I loved the most. And for that I'll always be thankful and think of her when I ride. RIP mom.
  • + 35
 What a great article @monicosh these types of well written articles show that everyone this is a sport for everyone, thank you Monica, my girlfriend loved it!!!
  • + 8
 Seriously who neg propped all of these perfectly supportive and legitimate comments?
  • + 5
 Mobile users with 4" screens.
  • + 19
 My mom used to have an old trusty Kona for god knows how many years, last year for her birthday i managed to get her a Nukeproof Mega TR through the bike shop. When she received that bike it was the happiest I've seen her.....ever. She now shreds pretty much everyday even if its a ride down to the shops and god is she getting fast, she'll be passing me soon as she just has no fear. crashes gets back up, crashes gets back up. Im thankful and massively grateful for everything my mother has done and its great sharing our passion of Mountain biking together on the mountain!!
  • + 8
 excellent article. My better half wanted to try it out so she got a second hand duallie for her last birthday. Her bad back limits when she can ride it, but she is working on it.
  • + 3
 Tell her that riding will help her back, it certainly helps with mine.
  • + 1
 I have disk issues, one of the main reasons I don't snowboard anymore. Mountain biking is fine, I've even been to Whistler while being in quite a bit of pain. Sitting in the car / at work hurts my back more than riding does... Just do a good stretch before and after.
  • + 1
 I don't have any discs in my lumbar region. Riding really helps. I ride for a while and walk for a minute. Sitting or standing for long periods of time hurts my back too. I always feel better after riding though. If I miss a few days without riding, I begin to feel it. I don't do much stretching, but I may try it. You ever try yoga?
  • + 1
 Yup! While I don't do it full time, I wish I did. The stretches I do to alleviate my back pain. breakingmuscle.com/yoga/heal-your-lower-back-pain-with-these-5-yoga-poses?page=0,1 + childs pose, downward dog & Half Lord of the Fishes Pose. 10 min of stretching usually removes most of my pain.
  • + 1
 And if the bad back isn't some serious condition a good work out program can also help. My back wasn't the best either. Needed regular Chiro work. Started the Kettle Bell program from Bike James, did not see my Chiroprator since two years Smile
  • + 7
 Wheres the video!!! Im trying to get my missus into MTB'ing :-)
As for the pregnant coach, as said above - Doctors advice is keep doing the same thing..... if you add a sprinkle of common sense to that then its all good in my eyes :-)
  • + 4
 We'll be dropping an inspiring video soon !! So much progression, I'm stoked.
  • + 2
 Great !! looking forward to it :-)
  • + 6
 Great article and beautiful photographs-very inspiring for women bikers just starting out, and for those who have been riding awhile. Previous PB articles have raised the question of how to bring more women to the sport. The answer is obviously right here in these amazing role models. Thanks to all who make these inspiring stories happen.
  • + 6
 Great to see this PB! So awesome to see the Mom's out ripping it up. And this kind of quality reporting of positive role models will bring more girls to the sport. I live in Nelson BC, a Mtb mecca, and still my 14 yr old daughter finds it frustrating that so few of her friends ride. Lucky for her the Monday night women's group has taken her under their wings. And some of those women can use those wings to fly! Keep up the good work PB!
  • + 5
 Great article Monica! It's so great to see all the moms who bike and their different reasons for riding. Also rad to see Stephani's bad ass pregnancy belly. If I hadn't kept riding and running throughout my pregnancy I would've gone crazy.
  • + 9
 milfs! Moms I'd Like to F***ing Shred with.
  • - 7
flag morcombemedia (May 10, 2015 at 22:11) (Below Threshold)
 COTY
(Comment of the Year
  • + 1
 Ha! Awesome comment!
  • + 8
 We just bought my mom a Giant Lust and she shreds! Am going to show her this article!
  • + 5
 wouldnt want her seeing anything less than "She shreds" on the article you will show her.
  • + 3
 Bahahaha exactly But really she does She rode the Epic Trail at Buller 1 week after she got it!
  • + 5
 Any one else care to contribute research rather than bullshit opinions? If so, post credible links here, like so:
www.acsm.org/docs/current-comments/exerciseduringpregnancy.pdf
  • + 5
 Happy Mother's Day to all the rad ladies out there, thanks for bringing us to this world and show the great things in life..!
  • + 6
 The patriarchy should take notes from this gathering on how to be a better society!
  • + 7
 Yeah! Give it up for these awesome moms!
  • + 2
 Awesome seeing more moms get into mtn biking! I have been doing it for a few years and recently started BMX as well. Luckily the place close to us lets girls ride free on Mondays! www.ddasc.com
  • + 5
 Moving closer to the day when it's just people on bikes.
  • + 4
 My mother has a Trek Fuel, and although she only rides XC, it is really nice to go out and ride with her.
  • + 4
 i wish my mom cold ride like that like how many people can say they have asked there moms for mtb advice
  • + 5
 It's not safe to ride at 6 months pregnant.
  • + 11
 the same thing could be said for waking up in the morning... We don't ride bicycles because it is the safest sport in the world. It's the crashing that should be avoided if you are pregnant. Case and point, my 6 month pregnant wife just rode the Whistler bike park today. She felt comfortable on most of the blue level trails so she stuck to those; she was realistic about her extra physical limitation. She did not ride as hard as she would have when she wasn't pregnant, but she still had a big shit eating grin on her face at the end of the day and because she was careful and realistic she didn't crash. My wife is going to be an excellent mother.
  • - 2
 :/ wreckless
  • + 14
 "It's not safe to ride at 6 months pregnant." --what an ignorant thing to say. While jumping into MTBing for the very first time at 6 mos preggers may not be smart, that's not what is going on here. Most OB/GYNs give the following advice to their expectant athletic patients: Keep up the same activities you were active in before becoming pregnant. Continue to do so until it becomes uncomfortable for you (usually around +/- 7 months). Consider the risks of the activities, but do not become a slave to your pregnancy, as that can be harmful to both mental and physical health.

If you are going to make such a broad and judgmental statement, please back it up with some solid medical research.
  • + 5
 And by "activities" I mean distance running, rock climbing, backcountry skiing, mountaineering, mountain biking, triathlon...I have pretty much seen it all. Women who were already advanced in their sport prior to pregnancy can do some unbelievable things, usually up until the last few weeks.
  • + 6
 "The general public perception about pregnant women is that they are fragile"

actually I think the general public's perception is that babies are fragile.
  • + 0
 I agree, its not riding that is dangerous its falling! I ALWAYS ride within my capabilities and NEVER plan to fall off, but sometimes my capabilities(AKA skillset) run out and I fall.

IMO riding anything but canal paths at 6 months pregnant is ignorant and dangerous, my missus defo wont be doing it. Each to their own tho.
  • + 1
 IMO it's naive to think that if you just ride well within your abilities then you won't crash. I've crashed on the easiest trails at the easiest of speeds.
  • + 17
 Thank goodness for anonymous internet clowns. If not for them, how would pregnant women know how to behave? And who would look out for the well-being of the future babies?

Pregnant women need firm guidance, and they should get it from 17 year-old boys in the PB comments section.
  • + 1
 @Phillyenduro Who is it your talking about and what point is it your trying to make????
  • + 7
 This girl at 6 months probably has a smaller belly than your beer gut when she's not sticking it out, and would most likely out ride you. I think it's ignorant to pass judgment on someone you don't know based on one picture and a few words.
  • + 2
 This is a great article and I sent it to my wife who is learning to mountain bike now.

However, let's clear a couple things up. First, chiropractors are not medical professionals. They are in the same bucket as anti-vaxxers and acupuncturists. Consult an OB or nurse midwife (better) before making a decision about pregnancy/safety. Second, as with anything it's risk vs. reward. As a father of 2 and I'd never support my wife doing a high risk activity like mountain biking while pregnant. Case in point, I recently had a bad crash due to a flat tire. To each their own, but is it worth it?
  • + 5
 Currently waiting the last couple of months for our first to arrive. My wife was riding lots until about 4 months, she made the decision to stop doing jumps and drops because she didn't feel like it. If she wanted to ride everything still I would support her. Simple really, pregnant women know their bodies way better than any of us, so its their call on what and when to ride. Love seeing this though, have just sent her the link.
  • + 0
 Stephanie got neg propped by guys with beer guts. Haha. Luved your comment.
  • + 3
 "pregnant women know their bodies way better than any of us" - true 'dat
  • + 5
 Yes, but you can trip over whilst walking too..
  • + 1
 I have a picture of Marla Streb riding a wheelie in flip flops while 8 mos preggers. The kid is fine.
  • + 1
 @Phillyenduro Are you new to the internet? People can voice their opinion regardless of whether or not the person it is aimed at will take it into consideration or even read it. Anyone here who is comparing any of us riding to a 6 month pregnant woman, is stupid. She's putting her child at a genuine risk. It's something I seriously disagree with, but I don't expect her to give a shit about my opinion either.
  • - 1
 A chiro ain't no doctor. If you mtb you increase the risk of an acute injury that could harm your unborn baby. Fact.
  • + 0
 Being in a car can cause an accident too. IM certain pregnant woman are far more cautious and protective than your average person .
  • - 4
flag GetMounted (May 12, 2015 at 15:09) (Below Threshold)
 Yeah but for most people beings a car is a necessity.
  • + 1
 Nope a car is a privilege not a necessity.
  • + 0
 Thinking you need a car shows how weak you are.
  • + 0
 @Sshredder you don't think driving is a necessity for a heavily pregnant woman? You must still live with Mommy. Log off, go to sleep, it's past your bed time.
  • + 1
 I see the trend. Americans and Canadians say riding while pregnant is fine, the rest of the free and enlightened world agrees that it isn't. And to think the Yanks are the ones who always bleat on about hospital bills.
  • + 1
 To those whose wives were/are pregnant and chose to ride whilst being so, did they wear a helmet?
  • + 3
 @getmounted - fact: my wife went to her doctor and was told exactly what @kabanosipyvo said, "Keep up the same activities you were active in before becoming pregnant. Continue to do so until it becomes uncomfortable for you." Further more, her doctor (also a woman) stated that the vast majority of times there was an accident with a pregnant woman (falling down flights of stairs, car accidents...), unless the trauma was directly to the belly, if any "acute" injuries occur it is almost always to the mother. I know we have all fallen off our bikes and have learned to tuck and roll in order to not hurt ourselves. I can't remember ever falling directly on my stomach.
  • - 1
 @getmounted I can only count a few "yanks" commenting in this discussion and they were both against mothers riding pregnant, which is their prerogative.
For the record, I am canadian and was raised by two traditional European immigrant parents and I don't complain about my medical bills as I am aware of the risks I take for the sport I love and have worked hard to get a job that allows me to easily pay my msp premiums and also has an extended medical plan so in the event of an accident me and my family are covered.
  • + 1
 And I make sure she is covered in bubble wrap at ALL times.
  • + 0
 Fella, try tuck and rolling when you're six months pregnant. Continuing to partake in adventure sports whilst heavily pregnant really comes down to common sense rather than the advice of a doctor. If the doctor gave you the advice you say she did then I suggest she either doesn't understand what mountain biking really is, or you took her comments too literally.

Ultimately it's up to the individual to make the call on risk/reward. You want to ride preggers then knock your socks off, just don't whinge if things turn out nasty.
  • - 1
 And dude if you haven't fallen directly on your stomach and slid then you're not riding/racing steep terrain.
  • + 1
 I didn't realize riding bikes all about racing or riding steep terrain?
  • + 1
 My wife isn't "riding/racing steep terrain" even when she ISN'T pregnant (that's 9.5 of the last 11 years). I think GetMounted is missing what mountain biking really is about for MOST people (i.e. those that don't hang out on PB).
  • + 1
 You lads have just proven my point.
  • + 1
 yes, we totally proved your point. I'm going out for a ride now to meet my wife for a nice evening bike ride. She will ride within her comfort limits, on trails that apparently aren't for real mountain bikers because they are neither raced on or steep. We will come home in the only car that we have and had to work together to save money and EARN the PRIVILEGE of driving. If she falls while biking she will not whinge (?) about any of the damages done to her as she ( a RN by trade) did her research and fully understands the risks involved and therefore has no one else to blame if an accident occurs (some people actually take responsibility for their actions in this world).
Honestly I feel safer with her biking as I know she will ride within her limits and she will be in control as opposed to, say driving in a car where there are a million idiots who feel it is THEIR RIGHT to be on the road, even so they show no understanding of how to drive, who couldn't give a crap that she is pregnant and the repercussions of their poor driving decisions.
If a pregnant women does not feel comfortable riding anymore then she should stop. Other wise, what's the big deal. Freak accidents happen; we can't bubble wrap the world.
I hope this "Yank" has made his point.
  • + 1
 Put your safety catch on. My point is that MOUNTAIN BIKING is an absurdly high risk sport for a heavily pregnant woman. What you describe is not what I consider mountain biking, it's more off-road cycling. Clearly you have a chip on your shoulder about having to save for your own car. I have saved for all my cars, this doesn't make you special. You then proved my point that for many, having a car is a necessity. i.e you could not maintain the lifestyle you want to lead without one. This does not mean that this is a right, just a necessity. Clearly you don't understand the difference between those terms, look it up. Furthermore, you appear to be a Canadian. A Yank is endearing slang for an American, again you seep incapable of grasping the meaning of words. Thank you yet again for proving my point.
  • + 0
 To round off this conversation I get the strong feeling that you were not hugged enough as a child. If I was with you now I'd give you a great big hug. It's not your fault (say it to yourself repeatedly, each time louder than the last).
  • - 1
 This is fun. The Troll is almost entertaining.Not his lack of intelligence but his irrelevant last comments.
  • + 0
 you are the troll Sshredder.
  • + 0
 @Sshredder if life is a parade of fools, you're at the front, twirling a baton.
  • - 1
 I'd give you a big hug too but I'd be a little afraid of your wandering hands.
  • + 1
 ok GetMounted, just a few thoughts and then you win.
-I can agree with you that off road cycling CAN BE very dangerous. Even at the Whistler Bike Park (you've heard of it right, or maybe it's not steep and racy enough)
-I do not have a chip on my shoulder and do not whinge (yay, I learned a new word!) when things do not go my way in life.
-I do feel you missed my point about the fact that there are far more uncontrollable factors when driving than bicycling. Being in 2 bad motorcycle accident, that were deemed not my fault (although I'm sure YOU could find a way to make it that they were my fault) I know what it is like to be on the losing end of someones bad decisions. For the record, I did not end up on my stomach either time.
- I received my fair share of hugs growing up, not enough to feel like I missed out on any, thanks. I would however accept a great big hug hug from you if we ever meet but I refuse to talk to myself because I find that creepy.
- My life style would not change drastically without a vehicle; I already bike to work, my wife's job is close enough she could bike to work or even (GASP!) take public transport to work or shopping and we live within a short bicycle ride to some of the best "off-road" cycling in our region.
-I don't feel you understand pregnancy all that well. I know it can't be said for all women but at 6 months my wife isn't "HUGE" yet and still does yoga (touches her toes easily. She's way more flexible than I ever was. I'm pretty sure she could manage to tuck and roll), lifts weights at the gym and obese patients at work. Honestly, pregnancy has not slowed her down much, yet. She does not look or feel uncomfortable on her bike but we are both realistic, that extremely soon that is going to change.
-Being Canadian (not sure how I could only appear to be Canadian, eh?) I know exactly what a Yank is, and I honestly have no problem with Americans but I am proud to be Canadian.
-It's not very nice to make fun of people not knowing words. They may have been long and I may have had to sound them out, but I eventually figured them out. Thank you Canadian education system!
-I think, deep down you agreed with me when you said "You want to ride preggers then knock your socks off, just don't whinge if things turn out nasty." After doing our research and talking about it, this is exactly our opinion. We ride our bikes but also understand the risks. Being a bubble wrapped couch potato was not an option to my wife.

So, in the spirit of good sportsmanship; you win. We can keep going discussing moot points but I feel we have now taken away from the true meaning of the original article which was simply to celebrate these awesome (yet slightly perhaps, unconventional) women who enjoy this sport, much like we all enjoy it. I really don't care if you are pregnant, or can't ride fast or whatever, I like riding things with 2 wheels with other people who like to ride things with 2 wheels. No pissing contest etc, just fun ; even if it is only on canal paths. Other people can have completely different views on the subject, and that's OK by me.

Though, it is awfully easy to judge someone when you don't know them or have not been pregnant like them...

Thanks for the entertainment!
  • + 0
 I've enjoyed this fencing match. You're prepared to argue your point, and do so in a clear and (mostly) succinct manner, you're therefore very passion about it. I respect that, all the best for the rest of your wife's pregnancy and the adventure beyond x x
  • - 1
 Im too busy twirling my baton to make a serious comment.
  • - 1
 @Sshredder you were never a contender in this conversation. You're just a troll. I actually feel sorry for you, from the intellect you've expressed here I fear you have a lifetime ahead of bouncing between various dead-end, minimum wage jobs.
  • + 1
 Thats your fear? Ok.
im a Master Stone Mason.
I have my own company.
i commute full time by bike and public transit.
I gave up my car and my motor cycle in the late nineties.
my profile on PB is extensive.
so you could have figured that out.
  • + 0
 How do you take your stones on the bus?
  • + 1
 A stone mason sounds like a pretty sweet job. I watched some guy chiseling away for hours on youtube.
  • + 1
 Thanks i love my job. The Carbide chisel weighs about half a kilo m the hammer weighs two kilos. Recently i finished a job that required about 8 tonnes of rock. On an island. i like a challenge. yes when i work in public people stop and watch my craft.
  • + 0
 Got any pics of some of your creations? I remember what I was watching now. These guys restoring a cathedral, replacing the corner stones with newly carved ones that had to be within 2-3 mm of the original or they were scrapped. Pretty crazy
  • + 5
 That's sick! My mom sticks to light hiking.
  • + 4
 my mom loves her Townie, gotta get her on a Julianna some day
  • + 3
 I bought my mom a Townie for her birthday! She had an old mountain bike that she never rode, and now she loves riding her Townie, so I'd consider that a win. As long as shes on a bike, I'm happy.
  • + 2
 Fantastic article showcasing some pretty awesome ladies!
  • + 2
 An awful lot of Rockies in these pictures. That's rad!
  • + 2
 cool to see that Kitsap people made the trek up there!
  • + 0
 I have been going to therapy for seat sniffing for years, this article is a real setback in my progress, really liked the hot prego!
  • + 1
 *creepy*
  • + 3
 Mom's bikers!!!! 3
  • + 2
 Awesome Moms!
  • + 1
 永爱——bike!!
  • - 2
 Stuff happens, I'd proly ad some bubble wrap to the expectings' bike stem. Luckily, free to choose.
  • - 1
 No for real
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