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North Shore Betty Birrell

by Jorrit Pinckaers

You’re never too old to learn right? A common saying that often goes as a cliché. In case of 73 year old Betty Birrell who lives in British Colombia it sure ain’t. In 1994, at the age of 45, she bought her first mountain bike, and a good friend took her down a trail on Mount Fromme. Betty’s entrance into mountain biking as a single mother a few years short of 50 is unconventional, by any measure. But to start on Vancouver’s North Shore during the 1990s … well, that’s another level of gnarly.

The misty forests above North Vancouver, British Columbia are hallowed ground for mountain biking. A place so harrowing it’s influenced and defined almost every aspect of the sport over the years. It’s also where Betty Birrell, almost 30 years ago, picked up mountain biking following a career as a mountaineer and professional windsurfer. Three decades later, Betty is a role model for her son, her friends and anyone she’s met along the way – and proof that you’re never too old to send.

Patagonia shares her incredible story in a short movie – North Shore Betty – which is a great watch, even when you’re not into mountain biking at all. Interested in the full article? Head over to the story at Patagonia.ca

“When I was 50 years old, I never thought I’d be able to ride a mountain bike fast down a trail at 73. It’s interesting how your perception of age changes as you get older. I would love to be 65 again. Isn’t that crazy? Who would have ever thought. The biggest thing I’ve learned is to appreciate where you are.”

North Shore Betty is the work of Darcy Hennessey Turenne and Travis Rummel.

Directors: Travis Rummel // Felt Soul Media & Darcy Hennessey Turenne // Well Travelled Collective
Edited By: Nico Frank // Friendly Neighbor
Cinematographers: Scott Secco, Joey Schusler & Travis Rummel
Producers: Travis Rummel & Darcy Hennessey Turenne
Executive Producers: Monika McClure, Alex Lowther, Sakeus Bankson & Jimmy Hopper
Original Composition: Jeff Melanson // Friendly Neighbor

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