Rad­i­cal Women:

Tr­ish Brom­ley Fat Bikes Aren’t Just for Boys

Mountain Bike for Her - - Front Page - Words by Teresa Edgar

A Toronto na­tive, Tr­ish Brom­ley got her start in moun­tain bik­ing when she to moved to Whistler in the win­ter of 2009. She had the in­ten­tion of be­ing a ski bum for the sea­son, how­ever, she re­turned to Toronto a moun­tain bike ad­dict. Six years later, Brom­ley is mak­ing a name for her­self as a trail­blazer in women’s freeride.

Her 2015 moun­tain bike sea­son started with the Freeride Moun­tain Bike (FMB) World Tour with their ad­di­tion of the Jump Jam to Whistler’s GO Fest, which in­cluded a cat­e­gory for women. It was the only event on the FMB World Tour to do so and Brom­ley was the sole woman to com­pete in the inau­gu­ral bronze-level event. She would make head­lines again when she be­came the first woman to qual­ify for the Crankworx Whistler Dual Speed and Style (DS&S) later that sea­son.

Brom­ley had thought about try­ing to qual­ify for other male dom­i­nated events be­fore but, “Too many ex­cuses were con­ve­nient. This time felt right,” she says. “Qual­i­fy­ing [for the DS&S] was based on speed alone, so all I had to do was get through the course.”

Know­ing that the best way to gain speed was to mem­o­rize the course, Brom­ley de­cided to go to the prac­tice ses­sion early. Her goal was to get in a few laps of the course be­fore the ma­jor­ity of the rac­ers ar­rived. Ex­cept, “by the time I made it there it was well un­der­way,” Brom­ley re­calls, “See­ing ev­ery­one else flow­ing the fea­tures was a lit­tle in­tim­i­dat­ing but also re­ally helped me judge speed and watch for zesty corners.”

“I wasted a lot of time look­ing at the last jump,” Brom­ley had found it to be a bit daunt­ing, “but I’d al­ready de­cided I wanted to do it and I re­al­ized I’d bet­ter get good at it. Then [the] last jump was changed af­ter qual­i­fy­ing- it got big­ger.”

Af­ter she com­pleted the qual­i­fy­ing round, Crankworx gave her the thumbs up to ride and let her know that there would only be one cat­e­gory and ev­ery­one would ride the same fea­tures. She would be rac­ing against the men.

For the first heat of the com­pe­ti­tion, Brom­ley was paired with An­drew Tay­lor. They raced each other on the par­al­lel runs, switched sides and raced again. This was to en­sure that the riders didn’t have any ad­van­tages by rac­ing one course

ver­sus the other. In the end, Tay­lor de­feated Brom­ley and ad­vanced in the com­pe­ti­tion.

“[Tay­lor] is such [a] rider and his jokes in the gate took a lot of the edge off,” she says as she re­calls her first time as a com­peti­tor in the Crankworx DS&S. For Brom­ley, just hav­ing the op­por­tu­nity to com­pete in the event was an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

She con­tin­ued by say­ing, “The course was play­ful and fast, and the energy was elec­tric. Ad­dict­ing for sure.”

The feed­back she has re­ceived since com­pet­ing has also been en­cour­ag­ing, “Other fe­male riders want to com­pete, too. I’m not sure how next year will look, but it was pretty rad hav­ing one in­clu­sive cat­e­gory,” she said.

When asked what she thinks the fu­ture holds for women’s freeride events Brom­ley re­sponds, “Women in freeride is in its in­fancy... so there has to be more de­vel­op­ment at the grass­roots level in or­der to see an in­crease at the top level. But it works both ways. There are a ton of great con­tests cur­rently out there, and I look for­ward to see­ing women com­pet­ing in them in the next cou­ple of years.”

Now that the sea­son is over, Brom­ley is get­ting ready to head back to Toronto for the win­ter; and to her job at the Joyride 150, which she calls a phe­nom­e­nal play­ground. It’s an in­door moun­tain bike fa­cil­ity where she says she gets to “train, work, and play”. We know she’s go­ing to spend the win­ter hon­ing her skills and we can’t wait to see what the 2016 moun­tain bike sea­son has in store for her.

Photo Credit: Carolyn Ka­vanagh

Brom­ley was the first, and only, woman to com­pete in the FMB Jump Jam at Whistler’s GO Fest.

Photo Credit: Scott Ro­barts

Brom­ley gets in a prac­tice lap at the Crankworx Whistler Dual Speed & Style.

Photo Credit: Colin Wil­son

Crankworx was a busy week for Brom­ley. She com­peted in the Dual Speed & Style, the Pump Track Chal­lenge, and the Gi­ant Slalom.

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