Inspiration & Humour

You Can Choose Your Family. We Choose Our MTB Family!

August 15, 2022

Lit­tle did we know back in 2006 when we put our tod­dler, Tobin, on a push bike that all of our future fam­i­ly trav­el would revolve around moun­tain bik­ing; we’d been a ski fam­i­ly when Tobin joined our fam­i­ly. My hus­band and I both worked, lived and recre­at­ed at the ski resort. Fast for­ward to 2022, our fam­i­ly is immersed in moun­tain bik­ing. I now work for Sacred Rides, my hus­band works for Ever­green Moun­tain Bike Alliance and Tobin, now eigh­teen, is climb­ing the ranks as a DH (down­hill) moun­tain bike rac­er. When we are not work­ing, you can find us rid­ing our local trails, and seek­ing out new ones near race venues. 

For the past four weeks we’ve been work­ing remote­ly while trav­el­ing in an RV sup­port­ing Tobin at four races in Ida­ho, Col­orado, West Vir­ginia and Que­bec. We can now add pit crew to our resumes. 

Work­ing for Sacred Rides, I talk a lot about the amaz­ing places we vis­it on our rides, but I have learned from our guests that the des­ti­na­tion is only part of it. The real sto­ry is being part of a unique com­mu­ni­ty of moun­tain bike rid­ers, a com­mu­ni­ty that feels very much like fam­i­ly. It is what we love most about moun­tain bike rac­ing and the com­mu­ni­ty we’ve become part of. Espe­cial­ly while attend­ing UCI World Cup races where the cours­es are incred­i­bly dif­fi­cult, the com­pe­ti­tion stiff and stakes high, but every­one sup­ports one another. 

Nowhere was this more appar­ent than when Tobin was com­pet­ing in his first World Cup race. A GoFundMe estab­lished by the race team he rides for and sup­port­ed by the com­mu­ni­ty I men­tioned above financed a good part of the cost of get­ting him there. I will nev­er for­get the course walk and see­ing just how big the fea­tures were. Wow! Since it was Tobin’s first World Cup, we inter­viewed a cou­ple pros includ­ing Pinkbike Pro­duc­er, Ben Cathro, LSD Chan­nel Pro­duc­er, Bernard Kerr and retired rac­er and World Cup com­men­ta­tor, Rob Warn­er, to ask them what their first World Cup expe­ri­ence was like. They were all so will­ing and gen­er­ous with their time. Over the two days of prac­tice Tobin rode and cleaned all the fea­tures and was feel­ing good. The ener­gy grew expo­nen­tial­ly as the crowd swelled. It was a sea of red, white and blue, accom­pa­nied by chants of U.S.A inter­mixed with the revving of a chain­saw engine. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, Tobin had a bad crash and didn’t get to race, but the out­pour­ing of sup­port demon­strat­ed once again what a great fam­i­ly the moun­tain bike com­mu­ni­ty is. 

I’m sit­ting in the pits this morn­ing over­look­ing the Saint Lawrence Riv­er at Mont Sainte Anne (MSA) not far from Que­bec City. The brand reps for WD 40 and Shi­mano are set­ting up their booths. Jor­di with Fox just walked by and said hel­lo, anoth­er gen­tle­man said “Bon­jour”. The Com­men­sal Team and the San­ta Cruz Syn­di­cate just head­ed out for their course walk. We will be head­ed up soon for our first peek at the course. 

We have no idea where this jour­ney will take Tobin, but it has already intro­duced the three of us to incred­i­ble places to ride and amaz­ing new friends along the way. Whether you MTB for com­pe­ti­tion or MTB to expe­ri­ence dif­fer­ent des­ti­na­tions, that is only part of the sto­ry. The best part is the com­mu­ni­ty and fam­i­ly you gain along the way. 

If all this talk about the World Cup and Mont Sainte Anne has you intrigued about rid­ing in Que­bec, con­sid­er The Great Que­bec Escape or Women’s Wilder­ness and Water­falls: Que­bec City, both include a day at MSA. I know I’m excit­ed to come back here to ride. 

Sto­ry con­tributed by Lori Van­den­brink, Sacred Rides Mar­ket­ing Specialist.