New ladies ride night encourages women to hit the trails

Getting after it: The group of local riders on their first Ladies Ride Night. - Photo Supplied
Getting after it: The group of local riders on their first Ladies Ride Night. – Photo Supplied

A local mountain bike coach wants to see more women riding the
downhill trails.

Meg Broswick started the Thursday Night Ladies Ride, taking advantage of the extended chairlift hours to explore the Sun Peaks Bike Park with other women.

“I just want to get more women comfortable with this bike park. It’s a challenging bike park,” Broswick said. “Parks like Whistler or Silver Star, they’re kind of more user-friendly parks. This one is trying to be like that. Sun Peaks is making all these changes but people aren’t aware of them so people have this stigma in their mind.”

Broswick is trying to help attract women to a sport that is predominantly male oriented. For example, the recent Canadian championship held in Sun Peaks had 253 riders but only 23 were women.

“I think there could be a lot more potential for women up here, they just don’t know about it yet,” she said.

Broswick said the Thursday night atmosphere is casual and social, and the group has been catching the eye of other riders in the park.

“I’m not trying to make a clinic out of it or anything, just more get together, go ride and learn some trails. Also (giving) tips as we go, whether it’s on cornering, something technical, drops, jumps or whatever the park has to offer,” Broswick said. “It’s a combination of a familiarity (with the trails), confidence building and building skills.”

Broswick has been riding in the Sun Peaks Bike Park since 2010, but she said it wasn’t until last summer that she really started to know the trails which made biking even more fun.

“All of a sudden it blew my mind once I knew it,” she said. “That’s the thing, once you get to know the park there’s all these little tricks and these really fun things people don’t necessarily know otherwise.”

“I even found that with our (first) ride. I took the ladies on some different routes they hadn’t necessarily ridden before and it was just all smiles because they can ride it and it’s awesome.”

The group rides on Thursdays from 5 to 7 p.m. The schedule and more information is available by calling the Elevation shop at 250-578-5555.

Broswick is also part of the coaching staff for the Women’s Freeride Camp on Aug. 6 and 7, which will pair small groups of intermediate riders with local, experienced coaches to improve riding skills and confidence.

“Doing ladies rides, whether it’s for a couple hours or for a full blown weekend clinic, it’s just awesome riding with a group of women,” Broswick said. “It’s one of the more confidence building and secure environments you could possibly imagine.”

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