Ski-cross Racer Mikayla Martin Dies in Squamish Mountain Biking Accident

Oct 2, 2019
by Sarah Moore  


22-year-old ski-cross racer Mikayla Martin passed away on the evening of October 1 following a mountain bike accident in her hometown of Squamish, BC. She was riding in the Slhaney Trail system behind Stawamus Chief Provincial Park.

“We wish to express our most sincere condolences to Christine and James, Mikayla’s parents, as well as her entire family and circle of friends,” said Vania Grandi, President and CEO of Alpine Canada in a release. “Mikayla embodied a love of skiing and passion for ski cross that were boundless and words can’t express how sorely she’ll be missed.”

Mikayla grew up in Squamish B.C and developed into a promising alpine ski racer as a member of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club. She switched to Ski Cross following the 2016-2017 alpine racing season and quickly made a name for herself in her new sport, joining the national team in 2017.

In the summer of 2018, Mikayla was crowned FIS World Junior Champion in Cardrona, New Zealand. Proving that she was among the best up-and-coming athletes in North America and internationally, Mikayla was given the opportunity to make the jump to the World Cup circuit last winter. She achieved two top-10 results at the beginning of the 2019 season including a career-best 6th place at the World Cup in Innichen, Switzerland. Her successes earned her a spot on the Canadian team for World Championships at Solitude, USA last February.

She was poised to race on the World Cup circuit during the 2020-21 season.

"The death of Mikayla is a huge loss for the community of Squamish and an immense loss for her family and friends and our thoughts are with them," says Sergeant Sascha Banks. "It can't be stressed more that adventuring in Squamish comes with inherent risks. We can only ask that you take that one more risk assessment, one more second to check the geographics, one more look at your equipment, and one more conversation about what the plan is. We all want people to live doing what they love."

The full statement from the Squamish RCMP can be found here.

Squamish Mayor Karen Elliott had this to say.

“In a town that celebrates mountain adventure, we are heartbroken to hear of the loss of this young life, so filled with talent and promise. On behalf of the District of Squamish, I wish to extend our sincere condolences to Mikayla’s family and friends, and to all Squamish locals who will mourn for her in the wake of this tragic outcome.”

Our thoughts are with Mikayla's friends and family.

Posted In:
Industry News



157 Comments

  • 133 0
 Terrible news. Awful. My condolences to her family and to the community she leaves behind.
  • 27 27
 Hanging Garden in Squamish--I was told this is the area she crashed in
[video--holy shit this is insanely exposed riding]
www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1925310530910533

Pure love to Mikayla--Spinning 26" at Winter Park bike park for you today. You wont be forgotten--we will shred in your honor. No limit. We were born unicorns
  • 16 13
 @EvoRidge: you should probably remove this location for the sake of our trails.
  • 4 2
 Rip Mikayla.

@formula411: not the time or the place.
  • 8 0
 @EvoRidge: fyi that may be in the same "area" but that footage is not from where the accident happened.
  • 12 0
 @EvoRidge: her tire hit a rock and she flipped and flew into a tree chest first and collapsed her chest, her father and mom were just on the news and explained what happened so it has nothing to do with that video and that section just in that area behind the chief
  • 5 0
 @OhsoGrizzly: Thanks for that. Now we can stop the speculation and simply mourn the loss of an exceptionally talented young woman.
  • 67 1
 Miki was the first to push you to support you, to laugh with you or at. Her smile was infectious and could brighten any mood or calm any nervs. She lived to bike and ski and Has left a hole I’m not sure will ever be filled in this community. We love you Miki.
  • 64 0
 Heartbreaking news, my condolences to her family and friends. Thats the worst news any parent can get. My 20 yo son passed away 6 years ago. We are not programmed to accept our children going before us.
  • 24 0
 @Yaan No we sure aren't, sorry to hear that.
  • 15 0
 That is my worst fear. I pray you find peace
  • 5 0
 Father of 3 here. My heart sheds a tear for your family...
  • 161 123
 We celebrate risk and recklessness. No....we market it and sell it, and laugh at it on every Friday Fails. This is the sport we have become, and this is one of the tragic outcomes. We can't put bubble wrap on everyone, or shut down all the hard trails, but still we seem to have lost perspective on what we do...more speed, more vertical, more slabs, more more more. Surely there is more we could do to make our sport safer, or at least reduce some of the risks, without holding people back or taping pads to everything. Don't forget this one folks. After we mourn, let's at least talk about the risks we take. This town is gutted.
  • 203 35
 You control your bike and the trails you decide to ride it on. There is no magic way to make mountain biking safer its all up to people making the right judgment calls on what their skill level is. To say that this is the mountain bike communities fault for promoting having a good time on a bike or riding hard is complete BS. As with any extreme sport (including skiing) you have to except the risks associated with what your doing. That rush and possible danger is what most of us live for. This was a terrible thing to have happen don't get me wrong and massive condolences to the family but we all make our own choices in this risky thing we call life.
  • 119 144
flag cerealkilla (Oct 2, 2019 at 16:45) (Below Threshold)
 @nismo325: Did I suggest "magic"? Did I "blame" the community. No, I cited the direction of the sport, and noted that this is one of the inevitable outcomes. If you don't have anything positive to add about how we can get better, that is too bad. I am sure others will try harder. Examples, carrying emergency gear (few do) more signage to make people aware of risks at key locations (some clubs do this very well), not over-exposing risky trails on social media, being careful of who we take with us into difficult trails. We can promote these simple concepts and others without cutting into those precious thrills that you seem solely focused upon. So yeah, thrills! Danger! Derpppp!!! Down with safety. You're a genius.
  • 72 18
 @nismo325: " There is no magic way to make mountain biking safer " - We disagree. We have spent many years doing just this and you would be amazed where we believe this responsibility lies. @cerealkilla makes a very valid point. In fact, this exact discussion will be taking place at the MBTA Symposium in Whistler tomorrow.
  • 153 1
 It would be nice if there was some information regarding what happened to put events like this into context for the average reader. Was she riding a new line, did she have a helmet, was it raining, did a feature collapse or fail or was it just riding like any other day? I understand and acknowledge the right to privacy but when things like this come up with absolutely no context it is impossible as a individual or even a group to track, understand and prevent similar occurrences repeating them selves. It is important to be able to learn from other peoples mistakes. You may not be a fan of the friday fail section but I can't be the only one to have learned something about crashing properly from seeing others take it.
  • 32 3
 @RideHub: seems the trend is to carry less as well, no emergency blanket, no first aid kits, minimal tools.....riding without a pack is nice but one needs to be prepared for the unexpected as well.

Condolences to friends and family Frown
  • 30 1
 @garbagecan4130: Agree

This is something the BASE jumping/wingsuit community does very well. Whilst showing proper respect to the vicitm, analysing and publishing what occurred so others may learn.

www.blincmagazine.com/forum/wiki_index.php?title=BASE_Fatality_List
  • 9 9
 Very well said @cerealkillah
  • 23 0
 We don't know what happened. Some people fall at home. Sometimes things are devoid of any reason. My condolences.
  • 5 0
 @nismo325: Know your limits. Could of happened doing ski cross easily. No more than 3 weeks go by in a season w out reading about "skier found unresponsive".
  • 13 9
 @cerealkilla the sport is safer now than it has ever been. look at the bikes we rode down the same trails 20 years ago. if anything, the bikes are safer, more capable, and the trails have become more tame.
  • 6 14
flag cheetamike (Oct 2, 2019 at 19:25) (Below Threshold)
 From the trail they mention it comes up as a hiking only trail. Was she poaching or have they opened that region up to MTB now?? Tragic accident , and many of us avoid this each ride just barely.
  • 6 3
 @emearg: This is the unfortunate reality of more easily accessible trail networks, more available information and beta - it provides a false sense of security. I regularly catch myself leaving for a quick lap without any provisions only to stop and shake my head.

We don't know what happened here, but I will say based on where this accident took place it involved a high-consequence piece of trail - not much in terms of "equipment" would have changed the situation once it started. Emergency planning maybe, but it's all assumptions. What is not up for debate is that it is an absolute tragedy.
  • 39 6
 @mojopedaler: You clearly have not ridden in the area behind the Chief. Riders go way faster than ever before, and take much bigger lines. Better bikes are not safer - they just let us go faster. There are limits to what we can protect against. Again, I'm not suggesting at all to dumb things down or stop taking risks. I'm merely pointing out that the celebration of risk should be questioned, and that there is a noticeable lack of safety planning and preparation among much of the ridership. When I go on group rides, I'm one of the only ones with a light and a bandage or anything similar.
  • 12 1
 @cheetamike: There's a whole world of trails out there that aren't on trailforks. No poaching. It's a well known zone if you know the area.
  • 42 1
 @cerealkilla I was talking about this with my wife this evening and I said I think that with all the videos, and photos, and social media of people getting rowdy, in a lot of ways we've become desensitized to how thin a line we ride on a lot of trails and features. I think in many respects lots of people can and do get in over their heads really quickly and manage to get away relatively clean, unfortunately there can be some very real consequences that one time it goes all wrong. After a bad accident 12 years ago my motto became "I want to ride tomorrow" and I generally don't let my ego or pride dictate what I will ride on any given day.

Also, ditto the comments about being prepared and having the things you might need, our group had to backboard out a member of our party earlier this summer, in fading light, only a couple of us had jackets and all had left headlamps at home...luckily we were really close to town to be able to get some gear quick and help with the extraction, but it was a stark reminder of how quickly things can go wrong, and how even being close to town is still really far away from getting someone to help.

Condolences to friends and family, such a terrible thing to happen.
  • 3 1
 @paulwatt: Thanks for replying , I have not ridden that area. My brother has hiked it regularly for years.
  • 23 2
 @cerealkilla: just for the record, Mikayla was an expert rider. Absolute shredder. It can happen anytime, to anyone.
  • 17 11
 @luckynugget: Did I suggest otherwise at any point? No. All riders are pushing the limits, from pros to joes.. and that has zero to do with the fact that we could be doing so much more as a sport to better manage the risks we face, and enjoy. This tragedy is a cold harsh punch to the heart. It's not the first, but it is the first for Squamish...and it comes on the tail of half a dozen other serious incidents that could have been fatal. All I have suggested here is that we discuss these risks, and seek to identify ways of managing risks and being prepared. That shouldn't be a really hard sell.
  • 2 1
 @Ktron - yep it’s a good resource. If one person reads it and makes one better decision, it’s worth publishing. Something that is often discussed in the skydiving community is that when ever we make it safer (better reserve deployment systems, better tandem procedures, whatever), we will find a way to be more dangerous.
So while we constantly endeavour to make mtb’ing safer through gear, trail building, whatever, the main of aspect danger mitigation is the rider.
  • 2 17
flag clink83 (Oct 2, 2019 at 22:05) (Below Threshold)
 @nismo325: skiing isnt an extreme sport..the official injury rate is 1-2 per 1000 in the US. Hardly "extreme".
  • 4 4
 @clink83: Exactly. Also, the majority of mountain bikers are not schralping big lines, sending slabs, and so forth. Context is needed to put the real risks in perspective. Main thing is we lost a bright shining rider and member of the sports community. Hopefully there are lessons we can draw from this to handle these risks better.
  • 29 10
 @cerealkilla: dude you are arguing on a post about a 22 year old losing their life. Have some perspective. Stop being so disrespectful. She was my girlfriends best friend, she was as good a mountain biker as she was a skier and what happened was unpreventable.
  • 1 0
 @formula411: Hanging Garden was from what i´ve heard the place where it happened. Which must be a pretty gnarly and remote area.

Condolences to her family.
  • 12 4
 @cerealkilla this is a huge tragedy. It sucks. However, I think using it as a platform to symbolize the overall reckelessness in the sport and making an assumption that this young persons death is a result of some trend towards increased reckelessness is misguided. More than misguided- I think it lacks class. Absolutely if there are lessons that can be learnt from the accident we should head them and no one wants to lose those that they love and bring reward to their lives but don't lump the tragic loss of this young person into your thesis on the state of mountain bike safety. I'm so sorry for all of those impacted by this and I hope you have people in your corner to help you in your time of loss.
  • 26 5
 @rossd03: I'm paying my respects entirely. I have said NOTHING specific about the person or the incident, and never questioned any individual's judgement or skill. I never said it could have been prevented or speculated as others have. Read it again if you need to. There is nothing disrespectful here, and I am truly sad for all involved and close. This kind of event shakes us, and in light of this and other events I simply hope riders have a longer conversation about how to manage the risks we take.
  • 4 1
 @cerealkilla: fully agreed
  • 26 2
 @cerealkilla - yes we celebrate risk recklessness, this is what we all do, it is a program running in the backs of our brains, whether we like it or not, we do it... ever since... God only knows when. Creature taking risks and running away with it beats the creature that doesn't take the risk and a creature that doesn't get away with it. Creature with best balance of risk taking and carefullness wins. Risk is written into everything. Stepping aside and not riding a steep shute is a risk. It will be in the back of your head next time you ride a similar chute that you did in the past. Sitting on a sofa is a risk. every god damn thing is a risk. We should talk about risk, yeah, hopefully it wil lead people to think about their inner demons and inner motives.

But the on a nihilist note... some people run out of talent, some run out of skill, then everyone runs out of luck at some point. DO NOT FORGET THAT. BEcause I assure you, if you have her death in the back of your head next time you ride a trail she rode... you are more likely to crash. Doubt is a program running in the back of your head messing up your ability to act efficiently. A person that is confident is far more likely to execute complex movements correctly with right timing. If you are unsure where to break, guess what, your hesitation costs you a couple of valuable meters. Ability to put aside worries of everyday life, particularly existential angst and fear when intending to do something potentially dangerous, using fear related anxiety to focus, to visualize what you are about to do (and if you can't then spend more time on easier fatures until it feels like it's easy), is the single most important lesson we take from our and others misfortune.

Take care folks of Squamish. Ride safe - ride confident.
  • 1 0
 @nismo325: Both Skiing and Mountain Cycling have their risks and rewards and I love them both.

You said it well, we take this risk on board and act accordingly. Myself today, not on steep trails but very narrow as f gorge single tracks which are off camber and loose as, being wary and letting off the brakes when I know I have a reasonable chance of not flying over the edge.

Mikayla, may you be riding and skiing and loving what you did in life in the next. Condolences to those who have lost this bright star in their life.
  • 1 0
 @Ktron: Impressive !
  • 11 1
 Gotta agree with u on the Friday fails, I stopped watching those. Maybe if you’ve never gotten injured riding they are funny, but If you’ve had injuries they are just cringeworthy. For me anyway.
  • 1 3
 @cheetamike: shut up Mike
  • 11 2
 @WheelWranglers: it all depends how you look at it. For me they are fascinating, especially those coming from poor riders. You just see it will go bad as soon as you see riding stance of a bloke. tens of meters before it happens and even if nothing would, you can see it is only a matter of time. There's so many people there who should have never come even close to a jump. They are mentally and physiologically unconditioned to get their wheels off the ground formore than 5cm. Which leads me to a conclusion: if you know a person like that, tell them to spend a year on bumping off a sleeping policeman, bunnyhopping at least a foot with right form. Conclusion nr2 - shit happens. It may be you. Do you want to quit? You may die, end up as quadripelgic, end up in coma on life support with your kids coming to visit daddy who will never play with them again, but they still have hope - awful I know, but true, real, very real, very possible - are you quittting already? Why are you even riding mountain bikes? That is a very legitimate question probably too few ask themselves. The risk of destroying life of yours as well as the life of the others. You will never be able reconcile that, no matter how much you reflect I assure you. Thus... life is pain, you can die or get seriously hurt in a completely stupid accident. Meaninglessly. Your close will always wonder, what happened. The alternative is: let's cheer up Smile We are alive. Appreciate that. You owe it to the dead and the injured.
  • 10 1
 @cerealkilla: You make a pretty good point. These days everyone rides the gnar with a little fanny pack and a half lit, because, thats what the influencers do and its a trend. Some things that people can do is take a first aid course, bring a real 1st aid kit, personal locator beacon, and wear a full face if you routinely go fast, ride solo, or hit the gnar. Also, so many people literally risk their life for strava KOMs. Just ain't worth hurting yourself or someone else for an imaginary virtual race.
  • 8 2
 @formula411: You all literally do not know what happened. Lets stop making assumptions please. We are talking about the loss of a human life.
  • 5 0
 @lsalko: Good words. It's a thin line between talking about the risks of our sport, and then suggesting there was some type of failure in this case....which none of us can or should say. I apologize to any that are upset by seeking to put this in the broader picture of riding and trying to make sense of such a loss. Condolences for the family and friends without any reservations or assumptions.
  • 10 2
 @cerealkilla: @cerealkilla: Thank you for your condolences. I have no problem talking about the risks of the sport or the broader implications of better bikes/technology, more accessible challenging trails, social media, or how one can become numb to the dangers of what we do.These conversations are important and they certainly need to happen.

I personally know details of the accident and the deceased so it pains me to see people paint Mikayla in a way that does a disservice to her riding ability or risk management skills. Many of the people posting are speculating on what happened and that is a very hurtful thing to do.
  • 8 22
flag WAKIdesigns (Oct 3, 2019 at 14:20) (Below Threshold)
 @lsalko: Every single time some pro rider got hurt this year, a bunch of safety first kind of a*sholes who cannot reconcile with their parents being overprotective, come up and ask something in they ways of: “oh Tahnee ripped her AC joint, I wonder if she had upper body armor”. Miraculously, these full body armor Jerrys flopping left and right in the bike parks, dislocating shoulders, breaking collar bones, snapping ACLs, shut up when Brook broke his back and restrained from asking whether he had a back protector. And they always come up with some good advice what to wear that they wear and feel so God damn responsible for doing it.

Again, this is a dangerous sport and shit happens. I’d rather ride on the edge of a cliff than be an a*shole telling other MTBers to be careful, because I doubt anyone goes: what’s the worst could happen, hold my beer unless they had 4 beers already.
  • 7 17
flag WAKIdesigns (Oct 3, 2019 at 14:30) (Below Threshold)
 @formula411: are you stupid? People who come here to preach safety are shitting their pants so they want other people to feel at least a bit as scared as they are. Yeah, they want to spread a good word too, but I find it as sincere as a semi fat, short haired girl with tooth brace being a vigorous feminist. They just want others to be scared too and want some sort of gratification for “staying safe”. It’s for us to smell the shit they lost, not for the injured or deceased
  • 14 1
 @formula411: While you may not have said that she was a novice or unskilled rider, others have in this comment section. You literally said "Exactly as I predicted, she was riding an extremely dangerous trail, if you want to call it that. It was basically a suicide mission." That is uncalled for and frankly, it is inappropriate.

I am in no way encouraging censorship. Rational discourse is always beneficial. What is never beneficial is name called (for example calling someone a communist). As I mentioned above, I have absolutely no problem talking about the dangers of sport. There are a few things I do take issue with. Among those are people claiming they know what happened and where it occurred when they do not. The details have not been released, speculation by those who do not know the intimate details solves nothing.

I understand the primal need to make yourself feel more secure by justifying how something this terrible could happen to somebody else, and why it won't happen to you by labeling their actions as wreck-less or unreasonably dangerous. You are remiss if you think I will allow you to do so with without recourse on a thread where others are grieving the death of a young woman gone too soon. I am sorry you have allowed your own insecurities and fear to color you views of the world and have allowed yourself to stoop to the sophomoric level as indicated by your post above.
  • 2 0
 @garbagecan4130: with any major incident involving a death the police and others investigate before releasing any information to prevent any misunderstanding on what actually occurred. They aren’t just gonna jump to conclusions in a day.
  • 3 0
 @jzPV: My worst crashes have always stupid ones, looking something rather than staying focused, split second lapse in judgement. It doesn't take much sometimes. Scary really!
  • 2 0
 @cerealkilla: In Hawaii we say, when in doubt don't go out. A mantra I live by. That being said anything can happen to anyone..
  • 1 0
 @OhsoGrizzly: Makes sense but i doubt much more information will be released and this comment section is already full of people assuming what happened. There is also extremely limited information from other events like this. There is a massive amount of reasons this could have happened ranging from unpreventable to very preventable. I have no idea if im at risk of whatever happend to her or if i could be doing something to help prevent it. I really like that skydiving death data base that @ktron posted. Seems like a good way to track and update as information becomes available in a way that people can implement in there own safety procedures.
  • 2 1
 @garbagecan4130: It was a first attempt at a rock face she had been eyeing up for a while, she hit a bump on the run out that took her hand off the bars, she hit chest first, unconscious Immediately with a lot of damage to her ribs. The person she was riding with put in an hour and a half of CPR to try and revive her. She will be missed but she was an amazing example to everyone she met.
  • 1 0
 @emearg: Very true, unfortunately in the case of Mikayla it was much faster than being able to stabilize her at all, let alone for the amount of time it would have taken for a rescue.
  • 1 0
 @earthed: i was really only expressing those thoughts as a generality and not in relation to this tragic accident. My point was really that people are out riding with less and less gear hitting the gnar and possibly not being prepared for mechanicals or injury.....Condolences to all that knew Mikayla
  • 22 0
 Tragic. Thoughts with her family and friends. Remember to tell yours you love them, early and often. Lately I've been reading and listening to a lot of Ram Dass among other philosophers, he has a way of putting things, especially death, in perspective. Might help others too, www.ramdass.org/dying-is-absolutely-safe
  • 5 0
 Thank you for that.
  • 24 3
 Cedric Gracia almost died just riding on a flat, looking behind him and crashing which lacerated his femoral artery. This has nothing to do with where she rode, level of skill, etc... One or two guys want to sensationalize something for a comment section on the internet. The number of deaths PER CAPITA in mountain biking is exceedingly low for how high speed and dangerous the sport is. This is a tragic accident like all other accidents and hopefully her family and friends can move on knowing it was just her time. Give her family the respect to call it just that - a horrible accident that took a persons life.
  • 3 8
flag slayerdegnar (Oct 3, 2019 at 9:18) (Below Threshold)
 Not quite.... CG had a mechanical and lost his brakes going mach 10 into a unpadded tree...Google it
  • 8 0
 @slayerdegnar: You're not talking about the same accident
  • 6 0
 I think the fact that mountain biking isn't really as high speed as it is perceived to be is the reason injuries aren't more severe more often. Skiing, moto-x and road biking are all much faster.
  • 21 0
 While this may be sensitive information, it is always good to know in order to prepare and know how to treat injuries when they happened. Therefore, does anyone know what the COD was?
  • 3 5
 I'd guess at a neck break or severe head injury.
  • 2 0
 @mtb-scotland: Tree to her chest, also unconscious right away. Her hand slipped off the bar on the run out.
  • 15 0
 Love you Miki. There’s nobody else I’d rather have had kick my ass after only one season on the circuit. ❤️❤️ Legend. I wish I was an ounce of the badass you are.
  • 3 0
 Well put Maz. ❤️
  • 15 2
 I'm not going to speculate on this very sad situation, and I guess publishing the location was inevitable. But going forward, people need to be aware of the scale of the area and trails. Even with a shuttle, you are up there for hours in a disorientating area with some of the gnarliest trail features around. Limited phone signal. Few people. Potential for weather changes. A nightmare of an area to get rescued from. An unfortunate knock-on effect of this tragic event is that more people will know about the trails and will want to explore. If you do, at least have a plan, let people know the plan, start early and ride within your means. /old man out.
  • 4 1
 I have lived and mountain biked in Squamish for more than 20 years. The broad area being discussed is the only zone that I have never ridden solo. @wallheater is right and in general most of us should probably follow his advice more often, in more places. Keep safe everyone. /old man two out.
  • 12 1
 nobody should be making this about trails vs. abilities, this is about losing someone. You could crash on the road, crash on a flat gravel trail, crash on a feature you've ridden 100+ times. Sometimes things just happen, we ALL take that risk. We take a risk getting into our vehicles just to head to the mountains. This is horribly sad news and we need to focus on the loss. Rest easy, Mikayla, i never got to meet you on the trails but i feel this one.
  • 14 4
 Jeez, what another horrible tragedy. It feels like there has been a serious uptick in death from mountain biking lately. Is that really the case or is it just being reported more?
  • 7 1
 I was wondering the same thing. I’m almost starting to feel irresponsible.
  • 42 0
 Anyone who visited Whistler this past summer can attest that our little sport is becoming much more popular, and dare I say, mainstream? The problem is, it's not like many other sports where you can easily learn as an adult. The learning curve for what we do is steep, and the crash damage can be debilitating.

What a shame this story is. Mikalya was well known in the area, and this loss will be felt deep. Far too young to RIP Frown
  • 1 0
 That really sucks and soo young. Soo much talent R.I.P.
  • 4 1
 @hypa: I started in my 30's and you're right, it's not necessarily intuitive and even worse, instincts often lead to doing the wrong thing. I advocate for beginners taking lessons, hire a guide/coach and learn the basics.

My condolences to Mikalya's friends and family...
  • 8 8
 @hypa: Unfortunately this is true. My dad is 55 years old and picked up mountain biking at 54. We road local trails for two seasons before we went to ride our nearest downhill park (Blue Mountain). on the second run on a blue run he went OTB and broke his collarbone. That was in October 2018, in May 2019, at the beginning of the next riding season, we went to Horseshoe Valley which is a smaller downhill park in Ontario. On our VERY first run, he went OTB by hitting a berm head on (instead of turning) and he received a massive concussion, he was knocked out for over 2-3 minutes (I thought he was dying), and doesnt remember anything that happened before or after the accident and temporarily lost vision in one of his eyes. It was the scariest thing I have ever seen in my life as his son. I watched the accident happen face on.

We are going to ride again at Blue Mountain and I am super worried for him this time around. These accidents have ruined his confidence as well and he never wants to go out riding anymore and doesnt want to ride downhill again (this is the last time he is going).

When I ride behind him in trails, I see so many mistakes hes making (mostly he sits down too much on downhill sections, and gets bucked around), but its difficult to tell him hes doing something wrong as he is stubborn and i don't want to discourage him.
  • 62 1
 @Ryan2949: I would not take your dad riding DH. Why risk it? He's had two serious injuries riding DH, what do you think is going to happen next time. Ride some mellow xc trails, and enjoy yourself.
  • 10 45
flag m33pm33p (Oct 2, 2019 at 16:12) (Below Threshold)
 @Ryan2949: lol dude you dads old, sell the bike and buy car or gun or something less deadly to play with. If he isnt in enough shape to stand up hes only going to get hurt worse and worse.
  • 41 1
 @Ryan2949: Hey Ryan, I'm your dad's age, but I've been riding since I was a kid. Encourage him to join a club so he can meet and ride with others his age. I routinely pick up new riding buddies and "coach em up" as we ride, it's surprising how much a person can learn when they're willing.

Fitness also helps a lot, cross training by running the same trail he rides. A skills course couldn't hurt.
  • 13 1
 @m33pm33p: You have no idea, but I'd take ya ridin' and coach you up any day, brah Wink
  • 14 3
 @nurseben: one of the main reasons why he bailed is we rode the DH trails blind and he didn't know his limits. I told him we will take the rides easier next time around and read the terrain for our future runs. His collarbone break otb was in a rock garden that he didn't expect. So knowing what is coming will help him a lot.

The reason he wants to try downhill again even after his serious crashes is because he HATES climbing. He doesn't enjoy it one bit. I am trying to get him into an ebike (don't flame, he has two bad knees and walks every uphill section) so he can keep up with us in our local XC trails. He likes the opportunity to ride downhill without pedaling. So I hope learning the trails at a slower pace will allow him to ride downhill more and give him back his confidence.

He regrets not getting into mountain biking at my age. He spent his whole life being grumpy and sitting on a couch after work. Mountain biking is our Father son bonding time that we didn't get as much when I was a kid. So "selling his bike because he's old" as one person said isn't an option.

I appreciate all the positive feedback!
  • 2 2
 @Ryan2949: My dad started Mountain biking in the late 80s before I was even born. He was always clumsy (like me) but finally broke his collarbone around 2006. Now he just sticks to the road since he doesn't want to miss out on another season of skiing, karate, and his other passions (including road riding).

My dad likes to be out in nature though so I have been working on getting him on a gravel bike. There are lots of fun ways to enjoy life in nature on two wheels with a bit lower risk.
  • 2 2
 I also want to add that we were ignorant during his first downhill outing. We didn't wear proper equipment (no body protection and only half shell helmets).

It was a learning experience for both of us since I hadn't road downhill in 10 years and him ever. This time around we have complete body protection and full face helmets. Again, our mistake.
  • 2 2
 @mtb-sf: My dad doesn't do anything in the winter, he use to be an avid skiier, but again, our nearest proper skiing mountains are 3 hours away (blue mountain is one, where we ride downhill MTB) He hikes with his dog during the summer almost every day and bikes with me a few times a week. So when winter hits, hes got the iitch to ride again (we have 6 months of freezing cold temperatures up to -45c and tons of snow). Fat biking is an option, but damn, fat bikes can get expensive if you want decent components.
  • 5 2
 @Ryan2949: It might be time to have the "sit down chat" with him. If he knows that you care about him and are concerned about him he should take what you say seriously, hopefully without feeling discouraged, and yet able to face the reality of his situation. His next crash may not be one anyone wants to see or go through. Having the talk with him will at least give you peace of mind. As I get older I'm facing the reality that one day I will have to put up the mountain bike and move on to other activities. Nearly 30 years of mountain biking has taken its toll on this body and I know I will not be able to do this forever. Hopefully your dad would be able to face the same dilemma and make decisions that are best for him and his family. If he's decided that mountain biking isn't for him well then that is okay too. Seeing your father crash like you describe sounds like a horrible thing to experience.
  • 2 2
 @Lotusoperandi: I think he's come to the realization himself. He wants to ride one last time downhill before calling it quits. I mean it's a bummer when the only two times you go have bad crashes. He told me we're getting a nice condo this time around knowing it's the last trip he's making downhill. But I will be "babysitting" him as he calls it to make sure he's safe.
  • 2 1
 @Ryan2949: Laps of The Groove/Gulch, then laps of Minions, then laps of Embryo.
Remember with the natural blue trails at Blue, (Embryo, Fresh, Raisin, Ridge) the mellow stuff is East and the farther West (closer to the lift) you go on the hill the steeper the trail. Tell your dad, good luck from another 55 year old and next year he can join the seasons pass club.
  • 12 0
 Watching bros do insane lines in Squamish without a fullface helmet or even elbow pads has me thinking that a lot of people have become desensitized to just how dangerous the sport can be when riding aggressive terrain. Not saying this case involved risk taking, just responding to your comment, cause I too feel like the sport is getting more dangerous. I'm a whimp and even stuff I ride, 10 years ago I would have thought was totally off limits. Better bikes help feel confident, but don't help when a mistake is made. Like any sport, though, shit happens, but it's tragic nonetheless.
  • 2 0
 Yup, that’s why I never watch Rampage live. Always worried something really gross is gonna happen.
  • 5 0
 Damn, why did I read these comments. 44 years old and just got into mountain biking... I’ll stick to the mellow trails.
  • 2 0
 @Ryan2949: Be honest with your dad and school him on technique. Maybe also it would be wise for you to ride in front when you both go out and you call out features to him as you come upon them.
Main thing is he has to learn to get his ass off the saddle going down and use his body.

Maybe also sit down with him and watch some YT vids on skills, be it Skills with Phil or Tom Cardy teaching his girlfriend how to ride. You can learn a lot from what is up now days.

BTW, being in your 50's isn't old. 60 and 70 year olds are sending it down Whistler or on Motorcycle Race Tracks. Just have to have fitness and flexibility behind you to keep going. With bung knees, I'd also recommend the eBike option - something like a Commencal Meta Power 29 Wink
  • 5 7
 @Ryan2949: To be honest your dad being woefully unprepared and over his head has absolutely nothing to do with this tragedy. Show some respect.
  • 3 2
 @Super7: I am replying to a comment about those getting into mountain biking at a later age and sharing my experience. But it's fine it you want to be an absolute a*shole. Seems like you need to learn to show respect.
  • 2 0
 @Ryan2949: I suggest him taking some riding lessons. Not everyone can just pick up the skills from watching someone else.
  • 1 7
flag Super7 (Oct 3, 2019 at 10:10) (Below Threshold)
 @Ryan2949: Wow. Still missing the point of this thread and focussing entirely on yourself. Are you part off the Trump family?
  • 5 0
 @Ryan2949: @Ryan2949: Tell your dad its all about RISK ASSESSMENT and PROGRESSION. Have learned to alter my strategies as I age - not looking for Darwin Awards. I am 62 and live in a mtb wonderland riding blacks and even some double blacks and have become a better rider through focusing on these basics. "Full on" used to work when I was younger, not so productive now. When riding a new trail blind I cant assess risk I cant see - so dismount, assess risk and decide to ride again with new input or walk it. Same trail on different days can result in different outcome - your current mental frame of mind is key part of risk assessment. You can help him by offering coaching on a feature and make him decide what to do based on his assessment of new input. Employ progression by moving from easier to harder trails thru season/day and by sessioning tricky bits of trail - this builds confidence which is key to execution. Sections I originally walked I now ride regularly after applying new info (from riding buddies, Cathro videos etc.). Fitness key to doing sport as well. I put a lot of time into researching sport specific training and applying in the gym and doing complementary activities like hiking. Some people should just not do some sports - not because I say so, but because of their own informed assessment. As with all life-affirming risky activities, the best prep will give you the best chance of safely enjoying challenge, but never protect you 100%. If sitting on couch not an option, neither is "going for it" without preparation. Lucky dad to have a son like you - all the best guys!
  • 2 0
 Condolences to Mikayla's family and friends and whole Squamish community. We lost a wonderful and vibrant young member of our community recently as well in a mountain activity accident. May we dedicate our positive discussions around mountain safety and our life-affirming sports within our communities to their memory.
  • 2 0
 @hypa: I come from a street bike/track background and honestly figured MTB would be a safer sport in the grand scheme of things. In motorcycling there are famous roads (ie Tail of the Dragon) and races (Isle of Man TT, Pike's Peak) that have fatalities almost every year. Too many dumb squids with too much adrenaline and too few skills.

Anyway, it's distressing to see the same issue crop up in MTB. I figure the lower speeds would lead to maybe some injuries (obviously), but the life and death nature of making mistakes compared to going 60 MPH on a road with other cars, two way traffic, various hard things that won't budge would be less severe.
  • 1 0
 @zamanfu: nah it’s just a steep learning curve dude. I was 47 when I got into it. I’m currently 54. I’m fortunate to be able to have a ride group with very experienced riders that have taught me so much. I race enduro in the old and busted category and I love it. Wear safety gear take your time and learn the sport. Rewards are worth a few knocks.
  • 1 0
 @mtb-sf: I don’t know for sure but I thought someone told me road riding was statistically more dangerous than mountain biking.
  • 9 2
 I very seldom , if at all comment on overseas MTB websites and I must admit I LOVE Pink Bike...ALWAYS great reads and pics...BUT...to this sad tale I have one name to mention and that is Jeb Corliss....and as Jeb this young lass KNEW EXACTLY what she was doing and she LOVED it...BUT...as Jeb...she knew the HIGH risk and as I read the story of her death I actually feel a HUGE RESPECT for her and her death doing what she absolutely LOVED...as Jeb ...doing this HIGH risk activity made them feel alive...One has to look at big wave surfers ...how the heck do you make that safer???..Yeah , sure there are now instant inflate vest etc etc...BUT ...you still cannot regulate the waves as in you will not regulate the mountain trails ..UNLESS ...authorities ban this activity from those trails deemed overly dangerous...BUT...the thrill seekers out there WILL find other mountains and so the wheel turns...I for one , and this might sound callous , celebrate this young ladies passing , knowing she was pushing the limits and LIVING her life to the fullest in the most calculated way she knew how...as someone mentioned here earlier...she was an expert at trail riding and certainly knew her way around a mountain bike down a trail...I say SALUTE...Mikayla Martin
  • 6 0
 Terrible news, sincere condolences to family and friends. A thought, would it be worth while to have a site where people could post there crashes and if significant injuries have resulted, certain trails have bad trends. Try and determine what went wrong and how to avoid future mishaps. Talk about the trail and where exactly it happened, some trails have known crash spots. Make it educational, learn and not repeat if possible. Might help future riders. I've crashed hard on established trails, and since then the trail has changed to make sense. Sometimes trail builders and local trail maintainers need feedback on there work. Just thought. Trying not to be insensitive, but this should never happen. RIP Mikayla
  • 6 2
 From SoCal I send my sadness. We like to say “shred til’ yer dead,” but we always hope it lasts until time takes its unavoidable toll. Nevertheless, we salute you for living by our anthem. Together, hand in hand, across the world, reluctantly, we still chant... the words we live by. Carpe diem. We love you.
  • 4 0
 Terrible news, but sorry I don't see MTBing as a dangerous hobby at the amateur level in the least. It's definitely safer than the other 2 wheeled sports I use to participate in, it's safer than HS football, it's safer than sitting on the couch and getting heart disease. I suppose in other locations people commonly go real fast on their bikes but my terrain is chunky and it's rare that I can get going truly fast. RIP Mikayla
  • 5 0
 Indeed a sad loss. One of her ski cross team mates is staying with us so we heard last night. She was at my house just a few days ago. Hard to believe.
  • 3 0
 Condolences to the riders family.Where I live the trails are tame in comparison to BC but we still crash and get injured. The inevitable result of skill progression and more speed is crashing. Look at all the injured pros this season. Its a dangerous sport but deaths from crashes are rare I think. Compared to motorcycling and road cycling it's relatively safe. More people have died from Great White sharks in Cape Town than have died from mtb crashes.
  • 13 6
 Can a pinkbike moderator close/hide comments for this thread?
  • 4 0
 Her tire hit a rock and she flipped head over bars straight into a tree and collapsed her chest when she hit the tree, thats what i just seen on the news straight from her father
  • 5 0
 Such a talented athlete, born and raised in the mountains. RIP, Mikayla....
  • 5 0
 So tragic. I’m so sorry to hear about this. The Martins are a such a wonderful family. My heart is broken for them.
  • 3 1
 I was wandering in those woods scouting bike trails the same time this happened last night. i saw a heli and a search and rescue truck way up the mountain but didnt know what was going on. brakes my heart to find out today what happened.
  • 4 0
 Too young ,I have no words when this thing happens,to the family and friends my condolences
  • 5 0
 RIP Mikayla. The ski community will greatly miss you❤️
  • 1 0
 Freak accidents happen; arterial ruptures, flail chest, pneumothorax, cerebral artery bleeds. Other than knowing basic first aid, bringing a basic first aid kit (a knife, water, warm clothes, pain killers), there’s not much more you can do to prepare yourself
  • 1 0
 www.gofundme.com/f/mikayla-martin-memorial-fund

From Miki's Aunt, Julie:

"The loss of Mikayla has left a huge hole in our lives. Our hearts are devastated. Her Mom and Dad and younger sister are desperately trying to figure out a way to navigate this new world that no longer has this beautiful young woman in it. We all are. It was our older brother who came up with the idea of this Memorial Fund. It is our intention to fund a scholarship to give to another promising young athlete who displays those same qualities of passion and exuberance and dedication and friendship and camaraderie. To help ease the financial burden that goes along with being an elite athlete in Canadian sport. Equipment, coaching, training and traveling along with other associated costs can be a tremendous strain on the family of athletes rising to the highest level in Canadian sport. We, her family, would love to see this become a permanent endowment to help young Canadian athletes, and any amount you can donate would be greatly appreciated.


...James & Christine asked Ollie to write down his account of the day so that we could share it with you, in the hope that it will do for you what it did for us; take away the questions, provide some closure, and allow us to focus on our happy memories of her amazing life.

What follows is Ollie's accounting of their day, from beginning to end. We thank him for his bravery in retelling this story so many times, and we hope it will comfort you the way it has us."

#RideLikeMiki
  • 6 4
 As bikes get more capable, people are riding more challenging terrain, risks are going up. My condolences to her family and friends.
  • 4 0
 Thoughts and prayers Salute
  • 2 0
 My thoughts and love go out to her family and friends. A tragic loss at such a young age is so hard to accept. I know this pain well.
  • 3 0
 Horrible news. Thoughts, prayers and condolences to her family and friends. RIP.
  • 3 0
 So sad. My condolences as well to her family and friends.
  • 4 0
 Too young... RIP.
  • 2 0
 Gone far too young. Condolences to her family. No parent should have outlive their kids. Sucks.
  • 3 0
 My condolences to her family..too young ..R.I.P. Mikayla
  • 2 0
 I wonder what happened! Terrible gutting news. May she rest in peace, and may her family find all the comfort they need.
  • 1 0
 Hand just got bumped off the bar on the runout of a rock face, She fell chest first onto a tree.
  • 2 0
 Way too young. Super sad storey. All the best to her family, friends and mtb community.
  • 2 0
 Tragic, very sad... make safe trails out there bros.. being Rad ain"t worth getting people hurt (or worse).
  • 2 0
 my most sincere condolences.... may her soul now rest in peace..... . ..... . . 'til valhalla... . ....
  • 2 0
 The world is poorer for losing such a young person so full of life, positivity & energy. RIP.
  • 2 0
 damn. condolences to friends and family.
  • 2 0
 It can happen to anyone, it only takes once. So young. RIP
  • 2 0
 Sincere condolences to the family.
  • 1 0
 Damn, condolences to family and friends and her CDN community. Just plain tragic.
  • 2 0
 man I saw her race at solitude, she was fast. RIP
  • 2 0
 Sincere condolences to the family and relatives of Mikayla.
  • 1 0
 Too sad. As a parent I can only imagine the grief. My heart goes out to all who knew her.
  • 1 0
 Rest in peace soulful person with love and all the healing power for Christine and James. peace
  • 2 0
 R I P
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