Must Watch: 73-Year-Old North Shore Betty Proves You're Never Too Old to Send

May 3, 2022 at 12:11
by Sarah Moore  


To celebrate Mother’s Day, Patagonia Films has released North Shore Betty – a 12 minute film about 73-year old mountain biker Betty Birrell and her incredibly inspiring life riding mountain bikes in North Vancouver, British Columbia.

Betty Birrell picked up mountain biking almost 30 years ago, following a career as a mountaineer and professional windsurfer. Three decades later, Betty is a role model for her son, her friends and anyone she’s met along the way - and proof that you’re never too old to send.

For more about Betty’s life story, click here.







Directors: Travis Rummel // Felt Soul Media & Darcy Hennessey Turenne // Well Travelled Collective
Editor: Nico Frank // Friendly Neighbor
Cinematographers: Scott Secco, Joey Schusler & Travis Rummel
Producers: Travis Rummel & Darcy Hennessey Turenne
Executive Producers: Monika McClure, Alex Lowther, Jimmy Hopper & Sakeus Bankson
Original Composition: Jeff Melanson // Friendly Neighbor



233 Comments

  • 397 16
 Awesome! And no e-bike! Such a badass.
Going to share this with father-in-law who turns 70 next week and thinks he's too old to mountain bike yet continues to ride road (which I keep telling him is too dangerous with traffic nowadays).
  • 189 31
 No e-bike!!
  • 156 32
 No e-bike!
  • 313 18
 But I need an E-bike because I'll be 30 in a few years and I once sprained my ankle.
  • 122 71
 People age differently. Some will need eebs, some won't. Neither is more cool than the other because of something they can't control.
  • 72 203
flag HeatedRotor (May 4, 2022 at 13:04) (Below Threshold)
 who cares if it was an ebike or not? Ebikes offer all the fun of MTB without the effort. if you cant handle people having fun without putting in effort.. thats petty of you.
  • 253 43
 @gravitybass: Seriously, what a bunch of assclowns in the comments. My pops is turning 55 soon, I've been riding moto/MTB with him for 10+ years and since he turned 50 I've started to see him slow down on the bike, it's a huge bummer to see. Doesn't smoke, doesn't drink, eats healthy, and rides almost every day. Despite that, he's worked blue collar his whole life and his body is just giving out on him. The eebs is the one thing that's going to keep us riding together a couple years from now. I'll just laugh at all the cheater comments from purist clowns on the trail cause I'm just tryna keep the party and stoke going with my old man for however long I can.
  • 128 131
 @doobers: there's nothing wrong with aging and God forbid slowing down. Your dad doesn't need an ebike to still ride. It will just be slower. With, gasp, maybe some walking and breathers. Stop acting like ebikes are saving your dad from some terrible fait where he cant ride with you.
  • 89 41
 @gravitybass: Unlike Betty, mopeds will never ever be cool. It just won’t ever happen - one of life’s great certainties !
  • 34 99
flag HeatedRotor (May 4, 2022 at 13:17) (Below Threshold)
 @freestyIAM: anther petty ebike hater lol - dont forget, Its not ebikes that cause you to get fat, infact alot of ebikers are quite and strong, especially upper body.
  • 14 96
flag HeatedRotor (May 4, 2022 at 13:18) (Below Threshold)
 @randalliser: you sure? they are going to be the level where They get all the new updated bits before the amish bikes do.
The Pro's of an ebike far outweight any negatives they come with.
  • 65 57
 @freestyIAM: Lol nice assumptions bud. It's not just a matter of "riding slower", he's slowing down overall with age. It's legitimately getting more difficult for him to ride at all as he's getting older with a bad back and knees. Not only is he getting slower on the bike, but the dude's distance and time on the bike is getting shorter as he gets older too.

Thanks for the advice though clown. 5 years from now after his knee replacement surgery we'll just "ride slower" when it takes us an hour to ride 5 miles. Lmao
  • 53 70
flag freestyIAM (May 4, 2022 at 13:40) (Below Threshold)
 @doobers: God forbid you only ride 5 miles slowly. How horrible that would be. I'm sure there is no way for anyone to enjoy that or their time spent outside and with their son.
  • 49 3
 @doobers: Having gone through it, just a heads up the rehab for that knee surgery will be... pedalling a bicycle.
  • 24 9
 That is some wicked CGI magic - how did they render motor out of video? LBS salesman told me last time i was there that all the people over 50 now ride e-mopeds and that ordinary bike is for "young" generation Smile
  • 31 7
 @doobers: I think an e-bike makes complete sense for your Dad and his ability to keep riding at the same pace, distance, etc. for hopefully years to comes. It's the hardos who buy e-bikes to hot lap trails when they used to do one or two that I struggle to be ok with.
  • 6 21
flag doobers (May 4, 2022 at 14:03) (Below Threshold)
 @freestyIAM: Cope.
  • 6 17
flag doobers (May 4, 2022 at 14:05) (Below Threshold)
 @50percentsure: Glad to hear it.
  • 23 12
 @gravitybass: Aging is mostly and largely in your control. The human body is astounding. If you eat healthy food, exercise vigorously most days in the week, and aren't riddled with stress, just about anyone can send it into old age. Our culture tells us that aging is not in our control, a function of "genetics." Its a bold faced cop out. People who take responsibility for their health have a very high chance of riding like Betty in their 70s and beyond.
[Reply]
  • 17 13
 @freestyIAM: Gasp, slower means less time to ride right? I see clear benefits with e-bikes. Especially as a personal lift.
  • 48 3
 I will lose my sense of balance, depth perception, reaction time, and lack of fear of falling long before I lose the ability to pedal a real bike uphill. So I don't see an e-bike in my future (I'm 62 so far)
  • 22 6
 No e-bike - its now an option people.. Betty proven
  • 2 26
flag doobers (May 4, 2022 at 16:17) (Below Threshold)
 @50percentsure: Honk honk. Clown.
  • 2 0
 @ViolaVesperlin: 30! Bloody hell, in 34 and riding faster than ever. 60 maybe.
  • 5 3
 @doobers: Exactly. I never rode one but I am not a hater and know I'll be on one in about 10 years with my bum knees and lower back. But I have a friend who is 80 and still taking fast XC laps over technical terrain on a HT+
  • 66 12
 Can you shitheads not make everything about e-bikes all the damn time?

Just enjoy the movie for what it is.
  • 8 3
 @HeatedRotor: I agree, ride whatever you want as long as it’s allowed on those trails.
  • 12 27
flag TalusRider (May 4, 2022 at 17:24) (Below Threshold)
 @boozed: It's really not about the eBike at all. It's about their own insecurities and the only way they feel they can address those insecurities is by ripping on others. They're in dire need of some shrink sessions.
  • 25 6
 @TalusRider: Thats harsh dude. We rip on eBikes because we don't want it to turn into alpine skiing... Keep MTB as a real sport.
  • 11 22
flag TalusRider (May 4, 2022 at 17:45) (Below Threshold)
 @MT36: My dad rides an eBike. If it weren't for that, he likely wouldn't ride at all. Rip on him, you rip on me. Evolve.
  • 28 7
 @TalusRider: How about your Mom cool to rip on her? Asking for a friend.
  • 57 8
 @doobers: no disrespect but....i turn 55 in a few weeks. been mtbing since it was invented. Same with snowboarding From ice hockey and skiing/boarding= surgery on both knees, one ankle, 1 elbow, 1 wrist, one shoulder. Plenty of other issues Have been told i " really need" 2 knee replacements.
I still ride on average 3 times per week here in the northeast. which is either climbing or descending. I used to ride with guys much younger than I am. At some point I realized I was holding them back so I found older guys to ride with. Sometimes I do ride with my sons who are in their 20's. When I do, they are respectful enough to slow their pace a bit for dear old dad. God I hope the day never comes where I am even tempted to resort to riding an emtb.
  • 19 2
 : @MT36: aging is a function of time and time waits for no one.

Realistically Betty is an outlier, nevertheless she gives those who fear the march of time hope.

The best endgame is to be healthy until the day you die.
  • 40 18
 It always amazes me how 90% of the comments against ebikes come from Americans. In a country where freedom is supposedly everything and where you can walk around with a machine gun if you wish to do so, people get annoyed at you riding an ebike?!?

I understand the fear of losing access to trails due to potentially having more riders but that's a very elitist and selfish behaviour. I'd rather focus on regulating trail access for everyone than barking at someone who's equally trying to enjoy the trails - just with a different vehicle but generating the same environmental impact. If it's a question of trail erosion due to the number of laps, wouldn't it be as simple as asking ebikers for higher donations to trail building associations?
  • 8 7
 @doobers: I totally get what your saying. Similar situation for my dad and the previous two years while he was waiting for his e bike he was almost down to not riding because having to walk everything. Now he’s able to go with us back on the full rides and is having fun again.
  • 6 5
 @ViolaVesperlin: try road riding, it’s easier on the joints
  • 16 9
 @doobers: Riding Snowmobiles and MTBS with my Dad since I was 8 years old, i'm 29 and he's 59 you can certainly see him slowing but he has gone to the ebike now so that we can keep riding together. If they didn't exist he would probably be out of the sport by now. He just rides in eco and i ride my acoustic.
  • 17 23
flag KeithShred (May 4, 2022 at 19:26) (Below Threshold)
 @HeatedRotor: Down-voted ur ass. Stop being so inclusive of e-bikes. They're not welcome.
  • 13 17
flag HeatedRotor (May 4, 2022 at 19:30) (Below Threshold)
 @KeithShred: not welcome where? We should ban uplifts. and also pros(they damage our trails alot)

What a petty person you are.
  • 15 12
 @Staktup: This is exactly what I mean. I have no idea why all the purists think it's as simple as "just ride till you're 90 bro!!!", some people just handle aging differently than others and your comment along with other old dudes in this thread shows it.

There are a plenty of old heads out there with nagging injuries and issues that can tolerate riding a normal MTB until they're 40, 50, 60+, but in regards to my own situation, my dad can't. We support our local riding scene and shops, we don't skid or ride like jackasses at our trails, we pack out what we pack in, and we regularly donate to our local trail associations. All these kooks can keep downvoting all my shit and hating, I couldn't give less of a f*ck.
  • 7 7
 @boozed: best comment so far! So right. That was a killer film and Betty is incredible! And yes...total shitheads.
  • 6 6
 @Stebrex: you are totally right, well said!
  • 17 19
 @draggcj: hmm, I’m 34, pretty fit, run, bike, moto, box, and I still ride an emtb sometimes. It’s f*cking fun!
  • 2 0
 If the old man loves road riding. Why tell him otherwise. I know you mean well.
  • 9 0
 @doobers: https://www.y42k.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/bos-2014-ave-finish-pivot_age-gender-300x243.png Here is a graph of marathon time by age, there is no denial people just slow down at a certain age, does not mean they cant have fun anymore...
  • 6 3
 @MT36: I like that you used mostly and likely. At 53, I definitely have slowed down even though I still coach MTB.

However, it’s not how you take care of yourself now that’s going to help with slowing down the aging process.

It’s more so how you got to here in the first place. I abused my body doing carpentry for the last 20 years, military before that and mountaineering, climbing, skiing and MTB for over 35. It takes a toll on your body.

Those fancy guys looking ripped at 55 on Instagram didn’t do shit to abuse their body just so they can be a responsible dad. Those guys, they’ve just been selfish for the last 30 years. The adage of “my body, my temple”

Mindset…100%

But to say it’s only in the head, I call that BS. I don’t have an e-bike but if someone would give me one, I wouldn’t say no.
  • 5 1
 @HeatedRotor: at least 62 other people care
  • 2 8
flag HeatedRotor (May 5, 2022 at 3:24) (Below Threshold)
 @brass-munky: the minority of PB commenters care you mean lol
  • 9 8
 @doobers:
Yeah mention ebikes and the assclowns come out of the woodwork in droves. Ignore them and go ride and have fun with your dad.
  • 6 1
 @doobers: you are really lucky and conscious about it. Enjoy riding with your old man as long as you can!!!
  • 6 0
 @DirkMcClerkin: I appreciate a good mom joke when it gets too negative as strangers on the internet try to prove each other wrong, so thanks for that!
  • 3 1
 @sylvainvanier: @sylvainvanier: For sure. Military service and carpentry is hard on the body. I think for those who didn't do things like military service and physical labor type trades, it is more a function of daily habits, and I will definitely say that habits and lifestyle are big factors but not the only ones, by any means.
  • 5 0
 @ViolaVesperlin: this is so friggin good!
  • 1 6
flag two2pedal (May 5, 2022 at 7:57) (Below Threshold)
 @Stebrex:Hating on Americans again. Who's walking around with a machine gun? Show me one.
  • 6 9
 @freestyIAM: Just came here to say you're a true to life PRICK. My father is the sameway hit 64 and he just doesn't have the same energy he used to have and big rides were starting to really take a toll on him. He has a ebike now and can sit back and enjoy what used to be very taxing rides and we get to rip together still. Hope you have a awful day, Cheers!
  • 3 4
 @doobers: Well said!
  • 10 1
 @onyxss: Well, I'm a decade past 50, still riding an MTB, no (current) interest in Ebikes, maybe some day it will come to that, but I'm not a believer, so it won't be easy to convert meSmile That's my take on them, no judgement of those who choose that path....
  • 4 4
 Manufacture of machine guns for civilian use has been banned since 1986. They are illegal in most states and ownership requires an extensive FBI background check and fees to be paid. The few remaining legal machine guns in existence are sold at insanely high prices due to their scarcity. Not really what you think it is………@Stebrex:
  • 6 3
 @MT36: 10 year veteran, then into blue collar work (commercial HVACR primarily, but other industrial mechanical work as well). In my 40's, still enjoy long distance trail running and MTB just fine. You can work your ass off and still be fit.

Break over. Time for me to head up to the roof to replace some exhaust fan motors...
  • 5 2
 @doobers: amen. I'm 50 and it's a real shock how much you slow down, can't recover from crashes etc etc as you get over 40. Betty's a badass and props to her doing what she does on a regular MTB but you and your pop are doing it absolutely the right way. And I bet Bety wouldn't give anyone shit for riding an e-bike... If I need an eeb one day then that's what I'll do. You never think about ageing when you're young and it's a bummer when it happens (which it does to us all). My best to your dad and I hope he keeps shredding with you for many years to come.
  • 3 0
 Also hear more from Americans because there are most likely more of us…….statistics tend to vary though.

www.enteralliance.com/b/number-of-mountain-bikers-around-the-world
  • 4 3
 @two2pedal: No hate in my comment, I am just pointing out the contradiction of limiting trail access to ebikes, which cause no damage to anyone, with the loose regulation around firearms which on the other side are made to kill people.
  • 1 0
 @doobers: While not an ebike fan for myself, this is a great use for them. Did the same thing with my buddy last year. We are both about 50. Rented him an ebike so he could do the 2000 feet of climbing at elevation. He waited for me on the climbs, I waited going down. I just hope for me, I can keep up with my kid climbing until I am 60.
  • 1 9
flag TalusRider (May 5, 2022 at 14:58) (Below Threshold)
 @DirkMcClerkin: You're pretty brave there keyboard warrior. Lucky for you you can't say that to me in person. I bet the kids on the playground think you're really cool.
  • 7 3
 @Stebrex: that’s because many Americans are lazy pieces of crap that will flock to anything designed to improve their sloth. I think you’d be hard pressed to find a protagonist to anyone riding an e-bike that truly needs it. But case in point - my buddy has a friend with an e-bike who is overweight, on a keto diet and still smokes. He claims he wants to lose weight and get healthy. And he rides an e-bike. That’s America for you right there. Most people I see riding e bikes in America have no business at all not peddling a bike. Period.

And FWIW since none of us can walk around with machine guns okay. Stop watching the news.
  • 9 1
 @MT36: Aging is completely out of our control. What is in our control is how we age. Factors like genetics, diet, activity level and commitment to a healthy lifestyle can influence how well we age. People who believe that a biological number closes the door on a lifestyle will never "be like Betty". I agree to an extent that it's a choice. As I sit here now with my 96 year old mother who has great genetics (only a thyroid pill daily). She has remained active all her life- walking 6 miles/day at 83 and has rehabbed 2 broken hips. She is my inspiration... I race enduro at age 57 and plan on being like Betty. Pedal assist bikes are another debate. If you need 'assistance' in continuing to do something you love... I am 100% in support... my mom uses a walker now... you will too one day.
  • 2 0
 @Cport7: Thats a bit presumptive. I will never use a f%^&in walker haha
  • 4 1
 @swellhunter: literally, people can walk around with all sorts of guns in open carry states. But more on the subject you are missing the point. Ebikes are fun, riding for pure fitness isn’t everyone’s goal. I do plenty of other work outs to where I don’t need MTB for fitness. I could go out and do an all day alpine epic MTB if I wanted, and sometimes I do. Sometimes I like shuttling, and sometimes I like my Kenevo SL. Stop shitting on people because you think that they are lazy, ebikes aren’t about that. It’s just another choice. If they are allowed on the particular trails just mind your business.

And to ebike riders, ride courteous and change minds. Saw one yesterday riding like an a*shole not calling out passes on the climbs, and not waiting for wider sections of trail before attempting to pass. Just making enemies out there. I’ve seen plenty of spandex jockeys do this also to be fair.
  • 1 0
 @randalliser: but ebikes will!
  • 198 1
 Such a great film. I hope I'm riding like Betty when I'm in my 70's.
  • 111 0
 Keep practicing and I’m sure you’ll get there Smile
  • 9 31
flag noapathy (May 4, 2022 at 13:37) (Below Threshold)
 I misread that. Now I have an image in my head that I do not want.
  • 1 0
 Also, agreed. Smile
  • 10 0
 Agreed. One of the most inspiring videos I've seen in a long time.
  • 100 4
 We all age, getting old is up to you.

I'm nearly sixty, still ride hard and go big, no plans to slow down.

I always enjoy seeing people in their seventies and eighties still riding, that's my future and I'm looking forward to it!

Tips for young people: Care for your body, eat well, don't smoke, wear eye and ear protection, and care for your joints.

You want to be like Betty, not watching videos of Betty.
  • 25 3
 I agree with this, but let's not let platitudes allow us to forget that it isn't true for some people. Thinking of folks with cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, etc. For some of them, they can do all the "right things" and still get old before their time.
  • 5 0
 @topherdagopher: I think that's his point though, old as an attitude & perspective vs. a foregone conclusion from aging. The bad stuff you reference does (and likely will) happen, but your involvement in something you love can evolve. Even with serious, changing events you might still be able to help build new trails or get them established & funded, coach kids or new riders, build bikes or make videos like this.

If you're dedicated to what biking means I don't really care what you ride, wear or how you contribute. Be authentic; be nice.
  • 36 0
 One of the best things I've ever seen PB publish. First minute got me hooked.
  • 31 0
 So rad. I was riding in Sun Valley and this guy was hauling down a trail I was climbing. Thought the guy was in his 20s from far away, but he was clearly in his 70s or 80s when he passed us. That is the dream.
  • 51 23
 best part of this is its not an E-bike!!
Very inspiring. Everyone in my family who is or was over 70 have lost their minds and/or bodies. Im determined to break that cycle.
  • 33 19
 Lmao the best part is that she's still riding any bike, eeb or not. Don't shun the eeb when you're 70 and still want to ride. A lot of aging is out of your control, and that's okay man.
  • 13 54
flag HeatedRotor (May 4, 2022 at 13:04) (Below Threshold)
 who cares if it was an ebike or not? Ebikes offer all the fun of MTB without the effort. if you cant handle people having fun without putting in effort.. thats petty of you.
  • 29 0
 This is the way.
  • 24 1
 I used to be a coach and a PT. I cant tell you the crap I heard from clients. To shut them up I used to take them a local gym and show them an 82 year old lady practicing Ju Jitsu, and she did this every day. She could kick their behind any day. It reminded them that life is a long road and if youre smart with your body, the game doesnt have to end.
  • 36 0
 I was climbing at the gym with my wife a few years ago, and we were on a slab route right next to this older guy. He came in without a partner so the 20-something kid at the desk was belaying him. The kid is trying to engage him in conversation, asking how long he's been climbing, and chattering on about some local routes that the kid has just discovered, and whether the guy knew any of them. The older guy wasn't really biting, just grunting, "yeah", and then starts tying in. The kid checks the knot, looks kind of chagrined, and says -- in the way you'd talk to an elderly person who might be losing it: "I'm not familiar with that one. Let me go get someone else from the front." The old guy mutters something like, "it's a double-overhand alpine whatever-whatever", looking annoyed.

Kid goes back up to the desk where some of the other staff have been watching and laughing. One of them says something to the kid, who turns white, heads back over to the old guy, and sheepishly asks, "you're Fred Beckey, aren't you?"

Beckey must have been 91 at the time.

(Worth checking out, "Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey" -- dirtbagmovie.com)
  • 21 0
 Good vid, nice story, thanks for sharing!
  • 19 0
 I had understood that ten years old children ride better than me, now i see that also 73 years old ride better than me. At least may be i can improve by the age of 73.
  • 17 0
 mountain biker of the year nominee right here! go Betty!
  • 15 0
 What a wonderful video, thanks for sharing this. I'll be happy to ride like Betty in my years to come.
  • 15 0
 I turn 50 on Sunday, Betty you've shown me I don't need to worry about slowing down yet.
  • 5 0
 Came to say exactly the same thing - 50 is not far off for me, been wondering how long I can keep up the riding, well here's my answer! Thanks Betty and Patagonia for the inspiration.
  • 13 0
 My favorite quote from the video: "@50 I've got 20 years to get Better!"...
  • 8 0
 @theITdude: That lady must have good genes and / or has taken very good care of herself, as she did not even remotely look close to 50.
  • 5 3
 @njcbps: : She certainly looked good for it. Or maybe she's just not great at maths.
  • 3 0
 @njcbps: Sorry bout that forgot where I was... @8:57? was Lea Holt praising her... ("amazing inspiration")
  • 4 2
 @njcbps: "she did not even remotely look close to 50."

I hope your not serious and just being a polite and kind youngster. I would agree with early 60's" but not even remotely look close to 50" is a bit far-fetched.
  • 4 1
 @likeittacky @theITdude: Not Betty, but the rider @ 8:30 that was mentioning her as an inspiration

youtu.be/D9iuSVnfisI?t=514
  • 3 1
 @njcbps: OH Yeah, that slipped right by me! That chic defiantly looks late 30s for sure. Though she could be early 40s, suggesting figuratively 50 is just around the bend. Its how life is perceived as the yrs fly by and vanish into only memory.
  • 6 0
 I´m 46 and have been thinking the last couple of years about how long I will be able to ride park. I have set a mental goal on 60 and thought that after that I will have to go back to motorcycles and golf. But Betty really makes me think twice.
  • 8 0
 I turned 50 last year and hit the Brutus drop on Cypress to celebrate. I'm definitely a better rider than I was 20 years ago. Nice one Betty. Keep shredding!!!
  • 13 0
 Awesome, similar background of windsurfing in the mid 80's to mtb the last 35 years, currently 53 and hope to keep rolling along like Betty!
  • 5 0
 Is it just me, or is windsurfing the hardest sport in the world?
  • 11 0
 Heart warming & inspiring.. having just turned 50 I have been conscious for the first time in my life that at some point I’ll have to chill a little but inside I don’t feel that at all.. I’m pushing harder than ever feeling great on the bike.. & this film shows it’s possible into our 70’s.. 80’s and maybe 90’s!.. ✊ props Betty for being so rad keep them wheels spinning!..
  • 10 0
 I love this video and Betty's stoke. I just turned 64 years young and have been riding mtn bikes since 1986 (Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo first, then a Fisher Mt Tam). Raced Norba for awhile watching Tomac & Ned & Tinker shred the pro class (not my class lol) and still am riding now on a Spark RC Comp (love that bike!). A year ago I bought a Rodeo Labs Flaanimal and have gotten deep into the gravel scene. The last race I entered - Desert Gravel/CO2UT - got cancelled so we took the drop bar bikes to 18 Rd in Fruita and ripped the singletrack amongst a sea of squishy bike brothers & sisters. What a blast. Like riding a fully rigid rigid mtn bike in the late 80's early 90's. One big happy biking family no matter what your riding. My 15 year old won't endorse me on an ebike and I'm good with that...I still smoke him on the uphills and then watch him totally disappear when things go downhill. My oldest son (age 31) has been the alpha on the bike for awhile now but who better to give up the title to than your offspring??? BTW, got one knee replaced 4 years ago and crashed a couple times on it with no issue - that was the second best operation I've enjoyed and was a game changer! The moral of this lengthy tale? Take care of your human - things in moderation (except biking) and you can truly say "age is just a number" and mean it. Peace.
  • 9 0
 Cognitive decline is directly associated with physical inactivity, I always remind myself.

Her technical ability is astonishing for her age.. is it the chicken or the egg..? Surely negotiating those trails keeps her mentally sharp.

I'm 59 and always looking for older role models.

Thanks for this.
  • 10 1
 At 51, and having served in the military (the body took a beating) I'm happy to be riding even if some of it is on an ebike. Super stoked to see someone who is 70+ still killing it!
  • 8 0
 This right here. This is what I hope for myself. I'm 54 and on a hardtail and if I can still be riding one in 19 years, life will be amazing..... Mrs. Birrell, you are life goals. Thank you!!
  • 8 0
 Freaking love this video!! I have two grandmothers named Betty. One in her mid 80s and the other, a WW2 nurse turning 100 next month, and I love more than words can describe. Keep sending it Betty!!
  • 8 0
 Made me smile . How fast ? Who cares? How fun? Now that's the quest.
She is riding North Shore Gnar. ! Sweet !
7 or 70 riding is fun .
  • 6 0
 So much good stuff in this video. Thanks for posting.

Love the parenting mantra. I've always said: 'my kid can be gay/trans - don't care! They will ride, or I'll disown them'

I've say it in jest, but I've been really fortunate to have a couple of biking buddies for kids.
  • 6 0
 Thank you to everyone who contributed to making this video. As a parent who has had all of those internal conversations of needing to put it down, not able to do it like I used to, and not have the (insert excuse here) I am incredibly humbled and grateful for Betty, her spirit, and her message. The part where she describes her thinking and encouragement around knowing and believing her son could do it gives me chills and reaffirms how much I want to be a great parent and have mountain biking in my life, and theirs. Thank you, Betty, for sharing part of your story. And your bikes are beautiful.
  • 6 0
 My 60th trip around the sun ends next week. I send it harder every time I ride because I got up at 5am for 40 years and ran my ass off. Yes I'm slower. Yes, I've broken everything. Yes, it's still great.

I remember Betty from my windsurfing days and she is a treasure.

As far as all the ebike and the "good genes" conversations go, how many apologists eat asparagus-arugula sandwiches like Betty? Or ride in freezing cold rain?
  • 9 1
 Saving this link for the next time someone in their 40's on here complains about "getting old".
  • 9 0
 Iam 64 and riding, this lady inspires me to keep riding. Love her story.
  • 7 0
 That was awesome and inspiring! As someone who learned to dirt jump 3 years ago at age 50, thanks for the confirmation that this is just the beginning!
  • 7 0
 This was SOOOOO GOOOOOOD! As a 54 year old biker, I can now say for certain that North Short Betty is my idol.....keep giving er!
  • 4 0
 As a parent who has had those doubts, pauses, and now picking back up the bike and hitting the trails I am so grateful to everyone who had a part in putting this together. The bit where you let us into your thinking and believing in your son brought tears and only helps me believe I can be as good of a parent. Betty you are an inspiration and I hope I see you down the trail some day. Also, your bike is gorgeous. Much love.
  • 7 0
 this makes me want to ride my bike mlre than any other edit. Hell. Yes. Betty
  • 2 15
flag KeithShred (May 4, 2022 at 19:23) (Below Threshold)
 Think you're in the minority in that one buddy, but go you. I'll take a Vinny T edit over this in every instance, but hey at least you sound inclusive!!
  • 8 0
 Damn that sandwich looked delicious.
  • 4 0
 Hey Betty, I met you and Vic several times in Whistler and on Cypress morte than 10 years ago. You won't remember me, but you and Vic were one of the most inspirational persons I ever met in my life.

Sorry for my bad English, I am Swiss: read it with the swiss accent in you ear.

So glad you are still having a great tiime biking. I had a very serious crash and it took me almost 5 years to come back riding my bike. I scaled down, but I still love it.

I once rode with two American bikers I met on the chairlift. When I started talking to you and you took off your helmet, the two Americans froze in awe. They told me who you are (the best surfer in the world, they told me), you never did.

You are such a legend

Ride On and now I want to ride 5th horseman with you and Vic again
  • 7 1
 I really enjoyed this video. Thank you Robin@outside for not putting it behind the paywall
  • 1 3
 Welcome to Forum, 2006.
  • 7 0
 oh God, I love this woman.
  • 7 0
 I’m 64 and I approve of this video.
  • 7 0
 what an inspiration. Good on Patagonia. Perfect Athlete to sponsor!!
  • 8 2
 Ebikes=excuses excuses excuses excuses..ect .ect. blah blah blah blah blah........
  • 3 2
 *etc. (abbreviation of et cetera).
  • 9 5
 Ebikes just plain suck.!!..they were not even around a few years ago like most things that made modern society even more lazy they don't help anyone to do anything but help them get to there grave faster..
  • 4 0
 This lady knows what's realy important in life! Be yourself and don't give a shit about what other people think you have to do.
  • 4 2
 Aging is mostly and largely in your control. The human body is astounding. If you eat healthy food, exercise vigorously most days in the week, and aren't riddled with stress, just about anyone can send it into old age. Our culture tells us that aging is not in our control, a function of "genetics." Its a bold faced cop out. People who take responsibility for their health have a very high chance of riding like Betty in their 70s and beyond.
  • 8 1
 I feel like I've heard this before
  • 3 0
 so inspirational. I ride with women who are over 50 and are riding the best MTB of their lives. Jumping, ripping tech trails and still climbing brilliantly. look after yourself and your mindset and keep shredding !
  • 3 0
 This is the best. I have a fond memory of riding Big Eye with Betty and Digger and Johanna back in the day. Pre digital. Pre social media. We need another history lesson Digger Smile Bring back that old footage!
  • 2 0
 My mom is 72 and she is indeed too old to shred. Not only would she not want to shred everyone would be worried about her brittle bones and general lack if health. This woman is an unusual case and definitely not the norm. Good for her:-)
  • 2 0
 Super good Video, Well i guess the old saying " Age is just a number" rings true for her. And for all of you that are over 50 and still riding and having fun, i want to say CHEERS and thanks for still keep your stoke and passion alive!!
  • 2 0
 I’m 57, still riding under my own steam and intend to do so for as long as I can. Still pretty fit, although my knees have suffered from my having a very active sporting history and biking is the big obsession now.
While you can look after yourself as best you can, the wear and tear from physical activity is much harder to control.
I’m a Brit, but I have an uncle from the USA, who served for many years in the US Navy as a diver in bomb disposal. His military career allowed him to do many adventure/extreme sports including skydiving and he made over 300 jumps.
His body has taken a battering, he’s had hip and knee replacements, but in his 70’s, he doesn’t regret any of his choices.
  • 6 0
 Woah, this is dope!
  • 5 0
 YEAH BUDDY!! GIVE-ER!!!! (insert cowbells) Or should I say Mam?
  • 5 0
 Betty Bad-Ass should be her nick name. Such a rad lady!
  • 5 1
 That's about the baddest shit I've seen in awhile. I won't even be able to walk when I'm that age.
  • 2 0
 What an inspiration!
I would never imagine my parents doing the same. And they are 73 too.
Concerning me, already 20+years I ride, and I still have 30+ years ahead of me. The best is to come.
Thank you Betty.
  • 5 0
 Asparagus in sandwiches MIND BLOWN!
  • 6 1
 f*ck Yeah!
And no bloody Ebike!
What a woman! Big Grin
  • 3 0
 Thanks to Darcy and crew for not only making a great movie, but once again capturing part of the historical record of mountain biking's early development in BC.
  • 3 0
 What a lovely lady!!! Just started riding again after a bad crash and a spinal fusion a year ago - thanks for the inspiration, Betty!!!
  • 1 0
 At 56, my 2022 stretch goal is 2 XC races and a 5 race enduro series (all in my age class). I have no crew, no desire to stay in the bro culture - I just like to compete. I know the training hours are longer, post-ride recovery longer, and injury time longer - everything just gets longer. But I am not ready to mail it even though I encounter fewer and fewer my age who hit the flow trails and technical stuff. Rock on Betty! It was a cool story - definitely motivational.
  • 1 0
 @50percentsure: @50percentsure - Hang on, I'm 100 percent sure Eebs have pedals. Awesome rehab tools as I understand it - Although I'm still on my gen 1 knees.

Yup, still playing hockey, skiing, and riding MTB bikes specific to the discipline.

Hey, at 101 you'll surely remember Miele Mountain Bikes out of Ontario in the 80's. My OG rigid. Replaced by a GT RTS-3 after dissing the need for suspension in Ontario flow and then moving to SoCal and riding the steep and rough stuff. The Miele 100% sucked. Make that 1000%. Lesson learned - different needs for different folks.

Betty is awesome - the video was a joy to watch and hopefully inspirational to many folks!


I still own the GT and it actually functions....and is 1000% frightening to ride. Like so many that thank God they will never ride an E bike, I thank God there are E bikes. For those in need.
Especially 180mm slacked out mullet weapons.

Ride On 50!
  • 1 0
 Pushing 50 now and I've had days and months where I've thought about throwing in the towel. Betty is a true inspiration and proof that you can keep shreddn well into your senior years! Keep the stoke alive and turnin the pedals....it's there for the takers! Thanks Betty and stay in 1 piece OK!
  • 5 0
 Talk about inspiration!
  • 3 0
 The human body: use it or lose it. Getting older, mandatory. Aging... that is up to you!!
  • 3 0
 Just so we'll done. What a life she's living. Liked hearing from Digger too
  • 2 1
 Awesome story! Incredible drive and perspective on life this woman has. And she was catching air on that feature! I'd love to have a beer with her and her son. They must be fun people to be around.
  • 4 0
 Great article...an inspiration...hope to be riding on my 70s as well.
  • 4 0
 Patagonia crew, Great job
  • 1 0
 Hater’s love to hate.

Anyway. I find the article awesome, inspirational, motivational and encouraging. I’m only 53. Good to know that people can do that at this age as long as you stay healthy.
  • 3 0
 Turing 50 in two months, I realise age is getting a grip on me every ride. Can only accept it, can't fight it.
  • 4 0
 Very inspiring! riding a bike in nature is like being forever a child!
  • 3 0
 Fun fact: There is a Fat City Cycle bike called the “Yo Betty” , coincidence? Maybe…
  • 4 0
 Limited print "North Shore Betty" tee?
  • 2 0
 What an inspiration to us all. I started MTB at 62 and love every minute i can get on my bike. I hope to ride for as long as I can walk. Way to go Betty, you are a hero!
  • 3 0
 Loved it. Simply loved the whole story.
  • 4 0
 Awesome.
  • 4 0
 What a legend!
  • 2 0
 Betty you re the best!! Such an inspiring person, gonna show this video to my 70 years dad. Keep ridin Betty
  • 4 0
 This is amazing!
  • 3 0
 Very cool!! She's awesome!
  • 4 0
 Goals
  • 4 0
 Hell yeah. Inspiring.
  • 3 0
 This is such a great story its so inspiring!
  • 4 0
 Awesome!!!
  • 4 0
 Much respect Ms Birrell!
  • 3 0
 Great story, inspiring. Please do a story on Brody's mom next!
  • 4 0
 I love you Darcy!
  • 4 0
 Loved it!!!
  • 3 0
 Keep sending it, Betty!!!
  • 4 0
 Love it!!
  • 4 0
 GO BETTY GO! Big Grin \m/
  • 4 0
 More of this Please
  • 3 0
 Truly amazing what an inspiration.
  • 3 0
 very nice video ! keep shredding betty
  • 4 0
 What a cool lady
  • 4 0
 Video of the year
  • 3 0
 Most inspirational video ever hats off to Betty
  • 2 0
 Never to old to ride i love seeing okder people shred harder than the younger gen
  • 4 0
 Massive respect!
  • 4 0
 Send it Betty
  • 2 0
 No no no no e-bike my fecking granny is joining this brilliant sport next week. I´ll make sure that happens.
  • 2 0
 “That is what it is really about, that feeling of freedom.” North Shore Betty


Truer words were never spoken.
  • 3 0
 Love Betty!
  • 1 0
 Is it just me or does Digger resemble a mtn bike version of Stumpy from “out cold”?
  • 4 1
 Fer da golden girls.
  • 3 0
 My new hero.
  • 3 0
 Go Betty!
  • 2 0
 I just see a lady enjoying riding her bike, am I missing something ?
  • 3 0
 Betty rules!
  • 3 0
 Love this!! Go Betty!
  • 1 0
 Sweet! What an inspiration. First time I’ve ever wished I was 20 years older. GO BETTY!
  • 2 0
 This was awesome. Great job on highlighting such a rad person. Go Betty!!
  • 3 1
 I’m in love. Wonder if she’s up for a 62 year old toy boy?
  • 2 0
 Absolute inspiration!!! NS Betty is a total badass!!!
  • 2 0
 Need to bookmark this video for days I feel old and fading. So cool.
  • 2 0
 Rock on, Betty! Truly awesome.
  • 2 0
 Funny thing is no one knew Betty's real age till this video came out.
  • 1 0
 What an incredible person. She made me feel like a kid now that I am 61. Keep riding Betty !!!! Cheers
  • 1 0
 Wow. Blind rider followed by this. Hope for me yet a such an inspiration. Great vid
  • 2 0
 Awesome!
  • 1 0
 Fake news, she’s on flats.
  • 1 0
 Betty swoop! the mum you can shred with!
  • 1 0
 more of this! inspirational!
  • 1 0
 From Northshore Hawaii to NS BC- Legend!
  • 2 0
 Guys, I'm in love
  • 1 0
 Great film. Great people. Even greater comment thread.
  • 1 0
 Ha! You ARE fast, Betty. Feel-good movie of the year!
  • 1 1
 So tired of the BS land acknowledgments from the woke communists. BC is part of Canada
  • 1 0
 Mom I would Like to Freeride Smile
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