Video: Sarah Walter Flowing Through the Bowenvale Jumps

Jun 7, 2019
by Evo Cycles  

Sarah is a crew member from our Christchurch store and is forever chasing Summer. Born and raised in Canada, Sarah spends the majority of her time down on our South Island trying to push her riding for the love of it. With an infectious smile and some serious skills to boot, more often than not you can find her down at Bowenvale Dirt Jumps fixing up and riding these private trails.

It's great to see more women actively participating in so many disciplines within cycling, whether that is: Road; BMX, Tri, or MTB, but there is always room for more!

Women's only cycling groups can be a great way to start and meet like minded individuals, so get in touch with your local club to find out more.

Sarah (Instagram @sarannewalter)


  • 32 7
It is also funny when it is said mountain biking is 'dominated' by men, but also when you ask any man what he thinks about women in the sport, he'll say HELL YEAH 100% of the time Big Grin
  • 16 0
 Yes!! Needs more ladiesSmile
  • 18 0
 Exactly! I don't know a single male that wouldn't want more women in downhill/freeride!
  • 22 0
 Her statement wasn’t implicating that men don’t want women in mountain biking, just simply to say that there’s no denying it’s very populated with males.

I’m excited to see more free ride, dirt jumping and slope athletes that are females. There’s always been more to mountain biking then racing to many of us so it’s so cool to see girls put themselves out there doing this stuff
  • 3 0
 more women
  • 3 1
 Sure, but the problem is that lots of the HELL YEAH bros only want more women in mountain biking on their bro terms. They might say they want more women in the sport, but they also want to be able to keep treating women who ride as eye candy, and then whining about political correctness when their creepiness gets called out. They don't want women getting equal prize money at races, and they don't want women to get a real voice in trail design at home. They get annoyed when Pinkbike has "too much" content for women and post douchy "where's the men's-only content" comments. They whine about women's clinics and women's rides. They see nothing wrong with bunch of 40-something dads rolling down the trail rating the hotness of the teenage girl they just passed.

If you want more women in mountain biking, make mountain biking less hostile to women.
  • 6 3
 @Phillyenduro: welcome to 2019, where its 'creepy' to find the opposite sex attractive. wtf has happened to the world?!

as for your claim of equal prize money... why shouldn't prize money be based on the number of people watching a category/event? do you want equal prize money for the slower men that attract hardly any viewers too?
  • 3 2
 @Phillyenduro: fill me in oh wise one. By your logic, the CEO and the janitor should make the same salary.
  • 1 0
 Let the men be men and women be women - and leave the salary contract to the employee and employeer. Stop fighting imaginary problems ordering others what to do. I am sure in mountainbiking we will give women the full treatment. Just the opposite of e.g. e-bikers, let's say. :v
  • 25 8
 Nice one, would be cool to see how much you progress in another a year, Sarah! Smile

On a side note, I keep hearing how intimidating it is for a girl to start riding, or ride with guys since they are so much better. How is this a gender issue?

Just today I met a guy on the trail, we had a quick chat, he went back a bit got up to speed and entered the trail wheeling in and gapping the first three features landing into a tight corner.
It is very likely that I will never be able to do that. Was I intimidated? Well, it was slightly disheartening, but that's all.

Last year on the Nordkette singletrail, we stopped before the lower section to figure out if a gap was possible.
A rider flew past us on a DH bike in blue gear, not only jumping the whole thing, but going right into the 'funnel' that followed. We eventually made it to the bottom, and caught up with the rider just as 'he' was taking his helmet on to reveal beautiful blond hair - turned out it was a she. She said something like 'good run guys' or something like that...we knew there was nothing nice about our ride, we were on the brakes and only hit the smaller features.
Were we supposed to be intimidated because she's girl and miles better?

Truth be told, I'm just an average rider and I don't think I'd be able to do seat grabs on those dirt jumps like Sarah does anytime soon, should I go and cry somewhere? Or go on guys only rides? Or amateur only rides? I'll never be asfast as the junior DH girls, or be as good as the junior girls of any sport for that matter.
Isn't part of the fun in mixing up with all kinds of people, riding with people better than you?
On an average day at the bike park there are dozens of people more skilled, more stylish or faster than me...heck, there are teenagers faster than me, doing crazy whips and no-handers on the HotShots line, while I'm happy when I clear the jumps and do a half-arsed tabletop.

No imagine, because I'm a guy, I'm expected to be great?
How much fun would it be if I was riding with that thought constantly on my mind?
My point is, if someone is intimidated be someone else''s probably not because gender.

Mountain biking does need more women, and yes they need to be encouraged. I'm just not completely sure this isolationism is the right way.
  • 16 2
 If you want more women to ride with men perhaps a better response to Sarah's statement that some women are intimidated to ride with men would be to say, "I hear what you are saying, please tell me what I can do to make riding with men be less intimidating," instead of saying, in effect, "you are wrong for feeling this way."
  • 5 0
 @chachmonkey: I've seen firsthand what a difference it can make for women to ride with other women. I don't know why this is, and I don't really care, but I totally support women riding with more women whenever they want. We shouldn't feel threatened by this. If we want the ladies in our lives to like riding, we should be doing what other ladies recommend: encouraging her to ride with other women.
  • 3 3
 @chachmonkey: it's interesting how you twisted what I said.

You could have interpreted it more like: "don't give a f*ck, just like I don't, there will always be a bigger fish and assh0les"
  • 3 1

Well, if just being around male riders is intimating and you want that to change the place to look is the mirror. I don't think I would phrase it as "wrong to feel this way", feelings aren't ever wrong they just are.

But no person owes another person anything more than basic respect.

If just being in the presence of a certain gender or certain skill of rider is causing you feelings that you don't like, then the first response isn't to expect others to bend over backwards and go out of their way to make you feel a certain way (great if they do, but its hubris to expect that). Do some internal work and get control of your feelings.

Now if male riders are actively being mean to women, excluding them, or making fun, or whatever then yea you have a point, their behavior should change.

But if its just male riders in general that cause you feelings you don't like... Its you that needs to change.
  • 2 1
 Firstly, get your head out of your ass. Of course you don't get it, you're a dude. I can't claim to fully understand for the same reasons, but rather than shutting women down when they say things like this, how about listening instead?

I've heard it so many times and it's absolutely true. While men aren't 'mean' to women on the trails, mountain biking has always been dominated by a 'blokey' culture. Our sport has so much testosterone embedded in it and a lot of people's attitudes can be off-putting. And it's not just on the trails - it's in bike shops, in the pub after riding, etc.

I've experienced how snarky bike shop staff can often be plenty of times when they think somebody's knowledge/skill level is below theirs (i'm a shop wrench so i'm happy to tell them what's what), but I can see how these situations can be super intimidating.

FYI I had the pleasure of working with Sarah in Christchurch and she's a super cool human. She can totally hold her own on the bike and off the bike and I have a lot of respect for her. Here's hoping her presence helps more women get into the sport Smile
  • 2 2
 @sam264: I don't know if this was directed at me or not, but I'll reply anyway, since I've started this whole mess, and now have come to regret it because you can't say anything unless it's vaguely positive, which contributes as much as a 'like'.

Firstly, I don't care if you've worked with Sarah or with Mother Theresa, it's totally irrelevant and my comment wasn't targeted at her specifically.

It was a general observation on the whole notion that 'men are pigs' in mountain biking, and while some are, not all of us are.

Secondly, you don't know me!
I happen to ride with more girls than I do with guys. It's super cool with either, we wait for each other, help each other, challenge each other and are generally stoked when someone masters a new skill or section up or downhill.

Some time ago after reading so much about how male mountain bikers are evil, I started feeling guilt when I ride. Honestly it took me a while to shake that off, the girls that I ride with actually want to ride with me, and I haven't contributed to the a*shole-culture you're talking about - on the contrary, helped a handful of my friends to actually get into it or progress. (I've also asked for tips, I'm not ashamed!)

Now if someone is an ass, CALL THEM OUT, publicly. Not the whole gender.
What good does it do branding half the population as toxic?

(if you need proof on any of the above, check my instagram or I could screengrab a bunch of whatsapp conversations)

I'm off for a ride now. Have fun!
  • 2 1
Not branding half the population as an ass (I belong to that half), but yes I was responding to you. Your comment was dismissive, which is the problem.
  • 1 0
 double post
  • 11 0
 I’m really impressed she called out the viewer to name a female rider that doesn’t have a racing background. On point. Excellent video.
  • 6 0
 sooo much has changed, for the better. i grew up surfing inSoCal in the late 70's early 80's and the attitude then was that "girls" belonged on the beach. i'm always stoked to see women on trails, bike parks, waves, slopes, rock walls etc. every time i go to a bike park i see dads with daughters. if i had daughters (or any children at all), i'd encourage them. mi dos centavos
  • 6 0
 Loose unit with good vibes. The less bro-ness the better, nothing worse then a bunch of bros getting bro-ey and being exclusionairy elitest chumps.
  • 7 0
 Still shredding harder than 95% of the (male) keyboard warriors on this site
  • 2 0
 This is sweet. Thanks to BMX for bringing her to mtb. (I'd rather see her on a bmx on those jumps tbh) I've heard nz is veeeery expensive , any other Canadian transplants can comment ?
  • 2 0
 Depends where you are comparing. Queenstown is as pricy as any Canadian tourist destination (and has a housing crisis rivaling Whistler). Christchurch on the other hand is quite reasonable (plus the trails are only 10 minutes from the city centre, its on the ocean and the mountains are withinn an hours drive)
  • 4 0
 Hell Yea ! Good work Sarah video turned out great
#BlazeOrDie #BlazeTechTrailSolutions
  • 6 0
 Thanks, and more thanks for fixing the jumps up, not qute sure how I got credit for that.
  • 2 0
 Love it Sarah! I have a daughter and you are the perfect role model! +1 to the part about woman racers vs. riding for just the love. Kudos! Keep the stoke going!
  • 3 0
 SO AWESOME. Her very first statement was EVERYTHING.
  • 4 0
 Somebody sponsor her!
  • 4 0
 Marry meeeeeeee
  • 2 0
 Nice smooth it!
  • 2 0
 Really enjoyed the vibe of the video - rad!
  • 2 0
 Genuine question : Does Casey Brown have a racing background?
  • 3 0
 of course!
  • 3 0
 Do your thing!
  • 2 0
 Yeww send it Sarah!
  • 2 0
 F@@k yeah, sick rider!
  • 2 0
 Great Story!
  • 2 0
 up the vale
  • 1 0
 Awesome! Looking super smooth! Smile
  • 1 0
 Smooth Sarah

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