My heart was pounding and I felt sweaty with anticipation but I had to keep a brave face on otherwise they would know I was a fake. Little did I realize, they already knew…
It was my first ride with the “Muddbunnies” Women’s mountain biking group. Their skull-headed, jolly roger bunny was intimidating, to say the least, never mind the girls fitted out with full-face helmets and body armour as if they were going into war. I expected to be met by a group of high riders who were excited to get us out on the trails and show off their skills to us… I expected a bit of arrogance and female competition. I was shocked at what I actually experienced!
A woman in her mid 30’s came over, offering a big beautiful smile and a warm handshake. “Nice to meet you, welcome to the Muddbunnies, is this your first ride?” “Okay,” I thought to myself, “They are really nice… so far. I’m sure that’ll change on the trails”. After a round of introductions, we were welcomed into the group and given the round-up for the evening ride. As it turned out, I wasn’t the only newbie in the group and the other girls were feeling just as anxious as I was… my evening was starting to look up!
We started the big climb up to the beginner trails… a heart-pounding, sweaty feat, but I was keeping up… and having fun! The conversation between the women talked about how we all were new to the sport and excited to be learning this whole mountain biking thing. Our ride leaders were quick to offer support and guidance, about things we didn’t know, like raising our seats for climbing (and putting them back down for when we were descending).
At our first trailhead, our ride leads went through some basic 101 skills, what to expect on the trail, and gave time for us to ask questions and discuss our fears (there were lots!). Our ride leaders care and concern for our experience was evident, they wanted us to be safe and have fun! It was clear that their goal was to build camaraderie and confidence, not competition! And with that, we were off down the hill and I could officially call myself a mountain biker.
That’s what makes this group so special. The Muddbunnies mountain biking group is truly an empowering, confidence-building, team-leading group of women. I’ve never worked with a group of ladies who are so supportive, cheerful, collaborative, and uplifting as this group.
So yes, when I first arrived, they knew I was a newbie. My Canadian Tire bike, lack of proper gear, and sweaty sideburns clearly gave it away. And none of that mattered. They were excited to welcome me into the group and to share their love of the sport with a new group of women.
I couldn’t be happier that I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried something new. The Muddbunnies and mountain biking has been a sport I have fallen in love with and I highly recommend you try it out too!
Tips for getting started in mountain biking:
- Try it first. It’s an expensive sport to get into, so I spent the first year on a Canadian Tire mountain bike, learning about equipment and gear before I upgraded.
- Buy used! Visit sites like pink bike and craigslist to find used gear.
- Join a club! What I love about the Muddbunnies is that it’s only $40 for the year and you can ride as much as you want, with dedicated ride leads to show you the way and give you helpful tips and tricks!
- Take a class… I’ve taken a few beginner classes that have really helped develop my skills and confidence on the bike. Suggested courses:
- Whistler Blackcomb
See you on the hills!
Thinking about heading up to Whistler’s Bike Park this season? We’ve got the insights on the best places for bike rentals and where to stay!
Are you like us and like to hit the hills by bike in the spring and summer and hit the slopes in the winter? We’ve done some research on the best 2017/2018 Local Ski Passes to help you choose the right one for your family!
Is this a sponsored post?: No, we were not paid for this post. We simply wanted to share our amazing experience with the Muddbunnies mountain biking group! We hope this inspires you and your family to get outside and try something new!