VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – In the hopes of reaching more women, the North Shore Mountain Bike Association (NSMBA) is hosting a trail building day for girls.
Mountain biking is still arguably a male dominated sport, and a big part of that sport is building the trails – something else that’s traditionally been reserved for the boys.
60 women and girls have signed up for a day of mentorship in the forest, participating in the ForTheGirls Dig Day this weekend.
It’s not easy work hauling buckets of dirt, heavy rocks and wood around, but North Vancouver city councillor Jessica McIlroy hopes trail building with the sisterhood will show her daughters the forest is a place for them too. She’ll have her seven and her nine-year-old along with her for the event.
“It’s an opportunity for young girls to be introduced to mountain biking and the volunteer work and wonderful effort that goes into keeping the trail system on the North Shore maintained and safe,” she says.
The sport is definitely still testosterone heavy, McIlroy says, but she’s hoping her daughters fall for the adrenaline.
“They have bikes that they use quite often, but haven’t mountain biked before,” she says. “[I] really want to support opportunities that introduce girls to outdoor activities and sports that have typically been male dominated.”
Trail days are open to everyone, in which experts teach volunteers about trail maintenance best practices. The Bridle Path, this weekend’s focus, is one of the most used trails on the North Shore.
“It shows us how much dedication and work goes into maintaining those trail systems and how much the community does care about having a positive environment out on the trails, ” McIlroy says.
Most of the build leaders participating this weekend are female, but the MSNBA says it wasn’t possible to find enough professional women builders to fill out the whole roster. They’re hoping events like this will change that.
The trail build takes place on Sunday April 7, 2019.