The Muddbunnies are some of the finest riders to have participated in the past few Super-D races in the Fraser Valley. They are becoming a staple in women participation in our race series two years in a row. Racers and riders beware, they may look sweet and tamed at the race pits but they are way rowdy and feisty on the trails. The standings and podium appearances proves it.
The Muddbunnies Riding club www.muddbunnies.com is all about giving women who mountain bike (or want to mountain bike) a fun and supportive environment to do just that. Each year, the club put on a number of rides every week for all level of riders to come out and meet new people and ride their bikes!
The club have also been involved in maintaining the trails in North Vancouver and this will be their 4th year doing it. Under the NSMBA’s new Trail Adoption Program (TAP) they spent last year and now this year maintaining and improving Team Pangor on Seymour Mountain.
I think the short answer to this one would be how I was once described by my Physiotherapist. After discussing how important it was that I ride the next day and telling him that he just needed to fix me enough so I could pedal he sighed, shook his head and said “you are what we like to call a typical Type A personality, and… you’re Australian” I assume he was giving me a compliment? Right!?
To sum me up, I moved here at the end of 2007, discovered the North Shore and stayed, in 2009 I started mountain biking! In my ‘other life’ I run a Venture Capital company in Downtown Vancouver and I also teach bootcamp 6am Monday – Friday.
Knowing that we have nice cold beer at the bottom (thanks to Red Racer) helps! Yeah I know, shameless plug for our title sponsor, but hey, anyone that gives me beer is pretty damn good in my books!
I don’t know that there is any big secret, the Muddbunnies Race Team is made up of 25 girls this year with varying riding abilities, which is pretty awesome. I think most importantly, everyone on the team loves riding bikes and loves to have fun! As for me personally, I just don’t take myself too seriously. There is a great sense of camaraderie that I feel being part of the race team.
Q: What are the current bikes you ride/race and your set-up?
I race a 2011 Carbon Element. 120mm Fox 32 and Full Shimano spec mix of XTR/XT. For wheels I run 26” Stans with King hubs… currently have slightly heavier rubber but come dryer weather I will be switching out to a set of Maxxis Icons which should bring the bike weight back down under 25lbs (I blame the adjustable seatpost for the extra weight!)
I also have a second Element that has full XT build kit. James at SuspensionWerx lowered a fox 36 to 120mm for me, this gives me the extra stiffness up front for shore riding. Oh and we can’t forget my DH rig, a 2010 Flatline also hand-picked components to bring the weight down! That I use for park riding, Cypress and the occasional DH race!
Q: Do you ride left foot or right foot forward?
Left… though in a crunch I can ride right forward!
Q: How do you deal with the mental pressure of racing? Do you conjure up the MTB spirits before the race? Is it meditation? Music?
I don’t really feel any pressure from racing, I am having way to much fun to be stressed about it! I do like to listen to music before riding though… preferably really really loud, gets me pumped, though I tend to keep it down when I have other people in my car! My favourites would have to be Marilyn Manson and Rammstein…
Q: Energy drink or Coffee?
Haha that’s an easy one… Coffee!
Q: What is the place you call home?
Q: What is your favourite training regimen?
Trying to remember that it’s ok to rest! I admit I am bad for overtraining! Being a personal trainer I designed a program that includes weights training, cross training and plenty of bike riding… oh yeah and rest days! Sticking to it is another matter though! I think even more important though is eating and sleeping, when you are constantly going so hard it is so important to put good food into your body as well as getting plenty of rest every night!
Q: What is your favourite trail to ride/race in the Fraser Valley so far?
You know, the first time I rode a mountain bike ever (back in February 2009) was on Ledgeview! Picking a favourite trail though, that is a hard one! I have such fond memories of riding on all the mountains, I guess if I had to pick though, I would have to say Sumas, followed closely by Vedder, my favourite race last year was the Sumas Super D and so far this year it has been Vedder!
Muddbunnies.com, Pinkbike.com, nsmb.com
Q: Who or What do you appreciate the most in the MTB industry and community?
I have to say I have the highest respect for the trail builders and maintainers! I personally think they are often the unsung heroes of mountain biking, and yet without them (to state the obvious) we would all still be riding down fire roads!
Q: What do you think is the future of MTB racing in BC?
2. Super D/XC
3. Enduro All Mountain(i.e. BC Bike race)
I reckon there will be more people getting into the Enduro style races over the next few years but there are also more people getting into mountain biking every year so I suspect DH & XC will still be big draw card.
Q: In your opinion, what needs to be done to further the growth in women MTB racing and riding in B.C. as a whole?
Even in the few short years I have been riding I have seen a growth in women riders, for example the Muddbunnies Riding Club has been growing every year! I think last year we had 140 members
This is now my fourth year with the club and one thing I have noticed is that every year we get a group of new and relatively beginner girls join, at the end of every season it is always so wonderful to see these girls progress and become stronger and more confident riders.
I think it’s only a natural progression from here that more women will move into racing. There are so many grass roots competitions out there now, all promoting the fact that racing isn’t just about winning but about having fun! So I think the foundations are already there and more women are already both riding and racing!
Q: Please share us your insight on growing the Super-D series in the Fraser Valley?
You must be doing something right already! I participated last year, and was stoked when the series was announced again this year. I have definitely noticed some new faces around this year too! I think the fact that the whole series is now in spring is fantastic! Personally as the weather warms up I tend to roam further away from Vancouver to ride my bike and last year I never made it to the last two races.
Q: Any shout out and Sponsors to thank?
I would like to give a shout out to the Race Team’s title Sponsor Red Racer Beer, who provides us with nice cold beverages at the end of every race! For a full list of the Team’s sponsors you can check them out on the Muddbunnies web page.
I also want to give a personal shout out to the guys at Different Bikes in North Vancouver, Andrew, Craig and Andy have been looking after me and my bikes since I started riding! You guys are the best!