The ShredHERS Enduro race on Aug. 14 celebrated its second anniversary.
The race is for women and those who identify as female as well as non-binary folks, said organizer Michelle Friesen.
The ShredHERS Enduro started amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Friesen said it’s more than just an event to get people on mountain bikes.
“It’s about being an inclusive space and connecting folks with supports and mental health and wellness resources,” said Friesen. “It’s why I did ShredHERS last year because we were coming out of the first wave of COVID-19.
“We’d been isolating all winter and spring and I wanted to get people out and connect them with those resources and with some other folks in a safe and healthy way.”
Enduro races are usually downhill races where the descent is timed and the climb back up the hill is not. But the ShredHERS event, Friesen said isn’t a true enduro.
“There are some flat sections, there are some climbs,” said Friesen. “I call it enduro because there’s separate timed portions. I did try this year to make some downhills.”
The race was three separate timed portions.
Last year, the races began in Copper Ridge and used the Quikie, Sparky and Midnight Run trails. For the 2021 event, the enduro was done on Grey Mountain.
“There’s still a ton of new people coming into the sport and maybe they don’t know the trails yet,” said Friesen. “I thought it was a good way to just explore some new trails as well.”
To be inclusive, Friesen said the courses were designed so every range of biker, beginner to experienced, would have fun on the course.
“It was really important to me to have a space where people felt comfortable to come and ride and that it wasn’t out of their realm,” said Friesen. “I didn’t want people to feel intimidated or I didn’t want anyone to get on a trail that they weren’t quite ready for.
“I just wanted everyone to have a good time on the trails.”
The courses used sections of Yellow Brick, Woodcutter’s, Downtown Boogaloo, Boogaloo Heights, Upper Boogaloo, Rip, Upper Riverdale Trail and Upper Roller Coaster, all Grey Mountain area bike trails.
“It’s a barrier-free track that’s also fun for all levels,” said Friesen. “It’s you’re a beginner there’s ride arounds for you. Or if you’re a more experienced rider, maybe you do want to hit that feature and go a little faster. It’s going to be fun no matter where you’re at.”
Mathilde Roldan put up the quickest time of six minutes, 58 seconds. Aisha Roldan, seven minutes, two seconds was the next fastest and Sierra Van Der meer was third.
A five-year-old named Rylan was the youngest ShredHER. Rylan took home the Heart and Hustle award.
In total, 23 riders participated in the second annual event. Friesen hopes the ShredHERS Enduro keeps on going, and growing.
“I definitely want to do year three,” said Friesen. “We’re still getting that community support and people are still excited. The riders who come out are excited and they’re pumped at the end of the race.
“They’re feeling empowered and they go to get out and explore more trails and they got new riding buddies.”
Friesen said future events will still focus on mental health awareness.
“I want to tie that in every year,” said Friesen. “It’s important to talk about and it’s something I think shouldn’t be hard to talk about. It’s nice to let people know that that’s normal and tie it in with a fun event for everybody.”
Contact John Tonin at firstname.lastname@example.org