With plentiful trails, beautiful scenery and temperate weather, Sooke seems the ideal place for mountain biking groups to flourish. But surprisingly, there is no local biking club for women — yet, said avid riding enthusiast Kelly Burns.
Burns used to live on Church Road but moved to Metchosin about 10 years ago. She still works in Sooke as a hostess at the Sooke Harbour House and comes into town for biking. She is currently working with Lorien Arnold, owner of Sooke Mountain Cycle to get something started up.
“We want to get group rides going — for safety, and to help people learn and get to know the different trails,” said Burns.
“It’s really in its infancy, they’re trying to get a website contact list going.”
Burns said her and Arnold want to establish Sooke as a premier mountain biking destination. One spot that she said deserves particular attention is Sooke Mountain Provincial Park that features a variety of riding terrain including jumps. Broomhill is another gem that Burns recently discovered also, laden with stunt opportunities and great views.
Coming from Quebec 14 years ago, Burns has always been outdoorsy and hasn’t looked back since relocating to the West Coast. Growing up with bikes, she met Arnold by following a recommendation from their mutual friend and purchased a Norco mountain bike to replace an aging Cannondale she owned for a decade.
“He does followups and tuneups on the bikes he sells. He has so much information on the sport.”
Eventually, they want to have something similar to the Dirty Girls Bike Club that has been run in Victoria since 2001.
“They organize group tours on a weekly basis. They have a fabulous website with a calendar telling you what’s going on, where, and when,” she said.
So far, the the only advertisement has been by word of mouth but they hope to build enough of a membership to pick up a regular routine in the fall.
“It’ll be pretty exciting, actually.”
To sign up or get some more information call Sooke Mountain Cycle at 250-642-3123 or email Kelly at email@example.com.