Whitehorse Daily Star

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NAVIGATING THE DOWNHILL – Marisa Hindemith competes during the first ShredHers 3 Stage Enduro race last Saturday. Photo by COLBY KNOWLER

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THE CREW – Twenty-six women competed in the ShredHers first enduro mountain bike race over the weekend. Participants competed on three trails, Sparky, Midnight Run and Quickie in the Copper Ridge area. Photo by COLBY KNOWLER

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PODIUM FINISHERS – Meagan Wilson’s accumulated times over the three stages earned her the victory. Jennifer Baardseth, left, placed second and Sammy Salter, right, earned third. Photo by COLBY KNOWLER

Women race in inaugural enduro event

The rain gave way last Saturday for the inaugural ShredHers 3 Stage Enduro mountain bike race.

By Whitehorse Star on July 23, 2020

The rain gave way last Saturday for the inaugural ShredHers 3 Stage Enduro mountain bike race. The day was for all women, experienced and first-timers, to get out and ride together.

Organizer Michelle Friesen said the idea was formulated because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I wanted to do this because I wanted to meet new women, connect with women and be around people," said Friesen. "I would usually ride with CMBC's (Contagious Mountain Bike Club) Dirt Girls and I gained a lot of confidence there.

"Because of COVID, there was no weekly rides. I started ShredHers to fill that gap so women could connect with each other. I missed riding with my ladies; it's important."

Friesen said the focus of the race was on mental health and wellness and that every one of the participants went home with mental health resources.

Enduro events, Friesen said, are typically downhill race, where the descent is timed and the climb back up the hill is not.

The races began in Copper Ridge and used three trails: Quikie, Sparky and Midnight Run. Friesen said she chose trails that offered a little of everything for the riders.

"Sparky was more cross country, Midnight Run had more climbing and Quickie had downhills," said Friesen.

The mountain bikers were timed on each trail and then their times were added to receive their overall result.

Meagan Wilson was the day's top rider. Jennifer Baardseth came second and Samantha Salter third.

To be able to run the event, Friesen applied for the Rising Youth Community Service Grant, operated by TakingITGlobal and funded by the Government of Canada.

The funding allowed Friesen to budget for 30 riders and ensure they all received a jersey. The endure race had 26 women compete on Saturday, a great turnout said Friesen.

"I was really happy with the turnout," said Friesen. "The event was inclusive for all, and we had a lot of first-time women. The event went really well and everyone was supportive of it.

"Speaking for myself, when I go to a race, they are usually majority men and that can be intimidating."

Since the race happened during a pandemic, Friesen said precautions were taken to ensure the health and safety of the participants.

"We got an operational plan from the chief medical officer," said Friesen. "We had a hand sanitizer station and no refill station. We served pizza, but it was one person with gloves and a mask on who put it on a plate and everyone just took their plate and moved on.

"We were very careful about that stuff. We wanted a healthy and safe event and we had the space to physically distance."

To maintain distance on the trails, riders left in one-minute intervals.

For its inaugural year, Friesen said the enduro race "did awesome" but was still undecided if it was going to become an annual event.

She did say if there are women out there looking for a weekly ride, they should join the ShredHers Facebook group, where rides are posted.

Comments (6)

Up 13 Down 5

Question on Jul 28, 2020 at 11:48 am

@ Michelle Friesen: "We wanted to ensure we were being respectful and made sure to leave the space better than we found it."
Just curious how did you do that, leave the space better than you found it, please elaborate. Did you collect garbage after? Restored the trail you just biked down?

Up 16 Down 2

Obi on Jul 28, 2020 at 10:00 am

My quote....
"The day will never come that I will ask permission to walk in the Territory, or on the land on which I was born."

Up 9 Down 7

Yukoner on Jul 24, 2020 at 1:58 pm

Seems like a bit of mixed messaging, to quote their news release.
"Ta’an Kwäch’än Council and Kwanlin Dün First Nation are asking members of the public to refrain from using Settlement Land sites in order to allow the land, water, and wildlife populations time to heal."
But now it sounds like if you ask they will grant permission to certain users/groups.

Up 16 Down 3

Leah Battersby on Jul 23, 2020 at 10:20 pm

Yes, the trails are on KDFN land. Permission was asked and granted. A representative attended the event. Very thankful to KDFN for allowing us to hold the event and supporting the race. Was an fantastic day.

Up 16 Down 5

Michelle Friesen on Jul 23, 2020 at 5:45 pm

We did ask for permission from KDFN to host our event on these trails and they did approve ahead of time. These trails are also marked for public use. We wanted to ensure we were being respectful and made sure to leave the space better than we found it.

Up 9 Down 19

Yukoner on Jul 23, 2020 at 4:42 pm

Hold on, aren't some of those trails on KDFN lands.. I thought people were supposed to be staying off of them to allow them to heal, surely running an enduro race on them is only promoting more hard use of the trails. https://www.whitehorsestar.com/News/settlement-lands-being-damaged-first-nations-say

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