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Riding with the Goddess

Women are mountain biking’s fastest growing demographic

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"Patrol is a male dominated career," she said. "I've never had any real issues with that. I think it is just the way."

She said riders don't need to be the gnarliest of gnarl riders to become a patroller. Along with First Aid skills, being a solid rider, good team player, quick thinker and strong multi-tasker are important requirements for the job.

"Those are the types of skills needed, which women are really good at," she said. "We patrol because we love what we do. It's a passion driven thing that isn't gender dictated."

Passion is what drives all of Whistler's gear goddesses. And when they share that passion, whether through instructing, creating events or just being who they are, that excitement passes on to others. The female presence becomes more visible in Whistler's mountain biking scene and how they move within it just gets higher.

But like putting your two hands together and bowing your head, everything comes down to two grips, two tires and two pedals.

"I think everybody wants to be a mountain biker, they just don't know it yet," Strand said. "Bikes are an international thing. You get off the train in Amsterdam; only bikes are used for transportation. Everyone knows what a bike is, but not a lot of people know you can bring it off-road. We need to let people know."

Women and men alike.

Links:

Dirt Series Camps - www.dirtseries.com

Whistler Mountain Bike Park (clinics, camps and "Women's Wednesdays" deals) - www.whistlerbike.com

Whistler Off Road Cycling Association (camps and clinics for men and women, youth toonie nights) - www.worca.com

Mad March Racing (kids camps) - www.madmarchracing.com

Epic Ride (camps for all ages) - www.epicride.com

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