Archive for March 11th, 2007


March 11, 2007

Animal are proud to roll into their 20th Anniversary year with the formation of the new Animal Commencal international mountain bike team and enter a new chapter with long-term team riders Dan, Gee and Rachel Atherton.

The UK freesport clothing brand is excited to unveil the 1st pictures of the new team race kit designed by Animal’s in house design department. Inspiration for the kit was taken from Animal’s original zebra stripe Velcro watch strap of 1987. As part of Animal’s 20th anniversary, selected team riders from pro teams across board and bike sports will carry exclusive zebra graphics. To complete the look Animal’s design department has generated the entire team look including, the Animal Commencal logo and bike decals. Over the forth coming weeks expect to see all new team truck designs, Dan Atherton’s helmet, posters and post cards.



March 11, 2007



At Whiteface Mountain in Lake Placid N.Y. We are once again offering ladies days this season. On ladies days all women get free lift tickets (regularly $32.00).
Ladies days are on the 1st Saturday of each month we are open (7-7-07, 8-4-07, 9-1-07 & 10-6-07).

We are also hosting 2 norba races this year both on the u.s.a.cyclings national calendar.
At Whiteface we pay the pro women the same as the pro men. Last year 1st place won $1,225.00, 2nd place $500.00 and 3rd $250.00.

Races this year are on 9-2-07 (Whiteface 2nd annual 5 K DH). 5 Kilometer course and a $5,000.00 cash purse for the pro’s. This race will award categorie 1 points.
Last years winning time was 6:36. e will use the same course.
On 10-7-07 we will host the Whiteface River Otter Classic. This will be a much longer course (pro winning times expected to be around 10 minutes). This will offer category 2 points and have a cash purse of $2,000.00.

Whiteface is a big mountain and hosted the 1980 winter olympic (alpine) events.
2,500 feet of challenging vertical dh singlletrack.

We will also be having women only dh clinics. An official press release will be posted asap.

Here’s a link with pics and other stuff.

For more info e-mail:


March 11, 2007


BMXing and Bunnies, how do these worlds collide? Well let me tell you they did and I for one know that I walked away a better rider.

The “now official” female riding club Muddbunnies is the brainchild of Ryan Petersen and Michelle Santos. In a short while it has evolved from an online blog site to an official Cycling BC women’s riding club. Michelle and Ryan rightfully tapped into a rapidly growing female riding community in need of unity and camaraderie! Featuring Bunnies of the Week, riding clinics, group rides and fabulous swag this club is going places…fast and furious!


Thanks to the promotion of PINKBIKE and NSMB in addition to Abbotsford BMX, attendance was expected to reach 40 gals. Who knew you could get 40 chicks out for day of BMX riding? Well times have changed I tell ya and for the better if you ask me.


Who, do you ask, shows up for a women’s-only BMX clinic on a Sunday morning? Numbers were approximately 40 in total; ages ranging from 7 – 50 years, including moms with daughters, teens and us thirty something’s. The experience range was seasoned rider to newbie with a range of riding styles from BMX, downhill, cross country and freeride. What was really impressive was the fact participants traveled from Seattle, Nanaimo, the Okanagan and Fraser Valley and all over the Lower Mainland to check out the BMX scene at Abby BMX indoor track. Hey, when you see a good thing; it is worth the trip.

Our riding venue with Abbotsford BMX is a non-profit society sanctioned by the Canadian Cycling Association (CCA). What will never cease to amaze me are the selfless efforts put forward in the sporting community and the sport of BMX is no exception. This venue is managed and maintained by dedicated volunteers and true fans of the sport and especially those of Steve Baxter and Michelle Landers.


Showing up I was as prepared as I could be; downhill bike, pads, helmet and hell of a lot of blind enthusiasm. As a rider who enjoys the technical flavour of the Shore I was looking forward to exploring an aspect of riding that strips away the elements and the precarious terrain; leaving you simply with a dirt track and humps.

Upon entering the indoor track I found it full of suited up gals, every type of bike you can imagine and laced with a great vibe. The one minor detail was all of this was unfolding as the group stood in the dark based on an unexpected power outage at the track the night prior. It took only moments for me to spot familiar faces; Ryan and Michelle the founders of Muddbunnies, Kelli Sherbinin from Endless Biking (a phenomenal instructor and rider), a few former Bunnies of the Week and Danielle Baker, our photographer extraordinaire who sacrificed her riding fun to shoot some fantastic photos of the day.

We had no problem killing time with some good ol’ chatter as the organizers resorted to plan B without skipping a beat. One of the gals was kind enough to hang out in the washroom with her flashlight to ensure that…well our aim was accurate.


To me the great vibe was a good sign: gals just rolling with the punches, relaxed and seemingly happy to be in the company of like-minded ladies with a laid back attitude. But hey, don’t get me wrong, we wanted to ride.

It is rare, (if not impossible) to keep 40 riders with such a variety of abilities together in one venue. The beauty of this teaching venue and format is the track is ride able by all, (as long as you can pedal a bike). The advancement is in the amount of speed, style, finesse and flow that you achieve as your skills progress.


After the short delay the group congregated on the generator-lit BMX track. To be honest I didn’t know how a dirt track could compare to the lush landscape of a North Shore ride. In the past the sport of BMX would instantly bring to mind thoughts of 14 year old boys and childhood playtime. Playtime it was and this also served as a source of enlightenment. It was instantly evident how essential it is for you and your bike to be in complete harmony. You could say a new appreciation for the skills that those young fellahs had in the BMX park had emerged…

The team of instructors were touted as top notch; including Ken Cools and Samantha Cools – brother and sister team and highly acclaimed Pro BMX riders. Ken was the first to take center stage. To be a good athlete is one thing but to be a solid instructor is an entirely different craft. From what we experienced Ken is a double threat in the sport of BMX. Ken was relaxed and confident and so was his presentation; with appropriate interjections of humour that tied the steps together fittingly and naturally while emulating his obvious and infectious passion for the sport.


Ken broke down the what, why, when and how of it; succinctly and with flare. This was complimented by some impressive demonstrations by Nick Goertzen and Samantha Cools. It was truly inspiring to see these two world class riders on track. Samantha was smooth and based on her riding the difference between her and the ‘hims” were unrecognizable.

The first component was that art of Pumping. This fluid motion guides your bike up, down and around the track; propelling it with momentum and synchronicity. This craft was simplified by the instruction of Ken and demonstrations by Samantha and Nick. These two riders are world class on their bikes and to say watching them was inspiring.

As we took a stab at the art of pumping it was evident and somewhat surprising how physically taxing this activity is. My heart-rate skyrocketed as I pumped and pedaled trying to keep my full-suspension bike moving with some respectable degree of speed. With each lap the style and speed seemed to escalate with the lively chatter buzzing throughout the track. Chicks on bikes; together, enjoying the day.


The next step was the Gate Start. We set up our bikes with feet on the pedals, balancing with weight forward focused on the starting light that triggers the start of the race. Now this was fun race simulation. However, apparently from the look on my face this wasn’t what I was expressing. Since the instruction style of Ken and Samantha Cools has a strong emphasis on maintaining the “fun factor” Ken mentioned that “the one on the Blue Coiler should do it next time with a smile on her face”. That comment alone made me smile and relax on my bike. Good call Cools, good call.

The third component to our lesson was the Rhythm Section. This section is the straight away shaped with humps mid way through the track. This requires one to pump with their legs and arms with fluidity and efficiency to propel your bike, and with any luck, pick up speed if performed with the appropriate timing and pizzazz. Again demonstrated by Nick, who rode it with a manual stance; bike and rider in complete sync he generated speed and flew around the corner with flare.


Putting these skill components together it became evident why the sport of BMX is the launching pad for many successful riding careers. Your actions are transcended directly into the performance of your bike around the track; what you see is what you get. You can’t fake it and you can’t be half ass. It keeps you honest!

After we enjoyed a pizza lunch, the group was split up for those who wished to take advantage of the opportunity to master the skills of BMX and the other half focused on mountain biking related skills.

Denise Britton from Freeride Dawgs (2005/2006 UCI World Masters Champion and past coach of Sugoi Dirt Series) and Cheryl Beattie from the Kamloops Bicycle Café took the lead for this component of the clinic. To emulate mountain conditions in a BMX track can be tricky therefore the focus of our skill lesson was balance and forward focus; the small nuances in body positioning and style we often overlook or at least fail to break down and practice.

They had the group pedal as slow as possible with small half rotations; perfect for subtle movements on a skinny or structure. For someone who finds it difficult at times to slow down, breathe and concentrate on the small details of a sport, this was once again a great reminder of the importance of maintaining your ABC’s.

The natural next step was first finding and then holding the perfect balance point on your bike with the goal of achieving a complete stand still; holding it and remaining relaxed. Thanks Denise and Cheryl, I now have a great exercise to pass the time with while waiting for riding partners at the trail head or hanging with my bike! More importantly I have already noticed an enhanced amount of stability on my bike based on experiencing these balancing points.


We took these skills into the next exercise that had us weave in and out of tight corners; forcing slow speeds and focused core balance. We took turns and supported each others attempts and celebrating the gains that were made in each rider’s style.


The beauty of riding with my peers is the variety in individual strengths and weaknesses. This allows you to showcase your strengths to inspire others and witness others talents to be inspired by. Sure watching the pros is a thing of beauty but seeing your riding partners conquer challenges transcends directly into your riding belief: if they can do it then so can I!

As the day came to a close it was obvious that the ladies were excited about what they had learned and were taking away from them to try on the track, trail or city streets.


This experience for me is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to hanging with the ladies and riding bikes; with always much to learn. Don’t get me wrong: it is great to ride with guys and gals alike but there is definitely something unique about being with fellow female rippers.

The Muddbunnies Riding Club is greatly enhancing the opportunities for female riders to congregate, motivate and celebrate riding successes! The professional packaging of the club on both the website and forum represents the lively subculture that is blossoming in the biking community.

bmxbunnies.jpg for the next up and coming clinic. What are you waiting for?

Have something to say about women in extreme biking? Love to write? Contact ryanATmuddbunniesDOTcom to join our team of writers.


March 11, 2007



I love mountain biking. I love to ride up and then ride down sort of slowly. I’m new to mountain biking and also running, I am actually new to the concept of propelling my body quickly forward in general. But I’ve become a pretty good runner and have recently done a half marathon.

The dirty duo is a relay in which one person runs twenty-five kilometers and one person rides thirty. And all this for the low low price of eighty dollars. The ride and the run are done mostly on the same trails. Thirty kilometers of shore riding at race speeds was not feasible for me. Krista, my relay partner, would do the riding; however, she would use my bike. My bike is beautiful, so beautiful she is named for a super model: Heidi Klum.

This left me with the running portion of the race. This run was twenty-five kilometers and a half-marathon is twenty-one. What’s another four, right? This was trail running which I had never done before. Trails are like roads, I thought, except brown and bumpy. I can deal with bumpy.

An hour into the race however, I had already gotten lost twice. The rain had thrown the orange ribbons, marking the course, onto the ground. Why does everyone mark every course, trail, and children’s birthday party with orange flagging tape? There were orange ribbons everywhere in the woods, some from this race and some from the ghost of races past.

I was slow because it turns out that the other thing about trails is that they go up before they go down. So there I was lost in the woods, cold, wet, vision blurring, tears flowing, and I swear I could feel my body starting to shut down. In this moment of despair who should appear?

The friendly old men ultra-marathoners, who were not doing one but two laps of the twenty-five kilometer course. For anyone who needs help with the math, that is fifty kilometers, which is really far, crazy far. So these were crazy men in the woods, wearing technical fabric and alarmingly short shorts. They were my saviours and for this I will call them my brothers. They steered me back on course and for the next two hours we proceeded to run this race together. The chatty one noted “we’re walking up all the hills and you’re running and you’re still not passing us.”

The critique of my running came at the wrong time. I had been lost. I was scared, and worried about disappointing my biking partner and the combination of these things made me want to punch him. I didn’t. I did start walking the up the hills, and through the slush and then I saw it: an oasis of power bars and nugget potatoes (an aid station), and a trail undeniably heading down. My moral was restored-or possibly just my blood sugar. Suddenly, I had an edge as I started running down I remembered riding these biking trails. I ran down Ned’s and Bottle Top. The very same biking trails I had ridden/walked down in the past.


When I say that I am a new rider there is one thing I have become very accomplished at, an expert of sorts: avoiding stunts. Running down these trails was all about avoiding the stunts. I raced ahead of my brothers who wished me luck. I began to pass people, not a lot of people, actually only two people and one of them could be described as “elderly”.

By the time I actually got to the bottom to tag off my biking partner I felt totally insane, I also could barely move. Krista was off and I hobbled inside and ate slice after slice of free olive bread. Krista is a really good rider, such a good rider that even though my run was slow: second to last kind of slow.

We came in third over all which meant we got a medal and also our choice of what we wanted from a table of free stuff. Unfortunately, you had only fifteen seconds to choose and though there were alluring items such as spandex pants and helmets all I could see were socks, though they are nice socks: pink, blue and small.

Even though my run was definitely not what made us place I would like to think that I did contribute in some small way – I finished. And what were my saving graces? My brothers, timid mountain biking past, and olive bread. Also I would like to think that in some small way my bike contributed to Krista’s winning ride. I bred the stallion (and by this I mean purchased). And Krista rode that stallion to victory – or rather third place. []

What is the DIRTY DUO?
Being mountain bikers and trail runners, we want to share what living and playing on the rugged North Shore trails is all about!! This scenic trail race will challenge beginners as well as extreme athletes. Here are the five options:
Run 25 km,
Run 15 km (NEW in 2007),
Run 50 km ultra (first of the Montrail Ultrarunning Series),
Do a relay; one runs and the other rides,
Do it all! Go solo and do both the 25 km run and 30 km bike,
Mountain bike 30 km only.
Note: You do not need to run and bike; you can choose one event!
For more information check out

Sarah Hyde is the newest addition to our team of writers.


Have your own stories? Want to be an official Muddbunnies Writer? Contact