Trish Brom­ley

The first woman to par­tic­i­pate in Crankworx’s Speed and Style event

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - Q&A - By Peter Glass­ford STATS

In Au­gust 2015 Trish Brom­ley be­came the first, and only, fe­male rider to par­tic­i­pate in the Crankworx Speed and Style event. The freerider and coach, and for­mer eques­trian rider, is in­spir­ing other women to get on bikes and to get those bikes jump­ing off the ground. She has spent the past few win­ters work­ing and rid­ing at in­door bike parks, such as Joyride 150 in Markham, Ont., and Ray’s In­door Bike Park in Cleve­land. In the sum­mer, Trish’s search for op­por­tu­ni­ties to play and, ul­ti­mately, a place in the world of slopestyle, bring her to Whistler, B.C.

How did you start rid­ing? I started with train­ing wheels in the drive­way when I was six. Then bik­ing be­came a method of trans­port to the horse stable. I al­ways thought of it as trans­port, rather than the thing I was do­ing, un­til 2009. I was 19. I took a year off col­lege and went out to Whistler. I saw all th­ese peo­ple bomb­ing down the hill and I said, “I want to do that.” I signed up for a women’s night, which in­cluded a les­son, all the gear and a beer af­ter. It was ter­ri­fy­ing. It took me two hours to get down the eas­i­est trail at Whistler, but I was hooked. I spent the next week look­ing up bikes on­line and had one a week later. What was it about the two-hour jour­ney down Whistler that hooked you? It was the most ex­cit­ing thing I had ever done, even just get­ting on the chair­lift and hav­ing my feet dan­gle. I was so ex­posed and vul­ner­a­ble, but at the same time, I felt so in­vin­ci­ble in all the gear. With all the other women who were in the same po­si­tion, it was so fun: we laughed the whole way down the hill. That safe, pro­gres­sive, wel­com­ing en­vi­ron­ment is definitely the way to get into it. This past year you were the first fe­male to par­tic­i­pate in the Crankworx’s Speed and Style event. How did you get there? I vol­un­teered in 2009 and 2010 for Crankworx. That turned into jobs with Crankworx and sim­i­lar events, such as Ram­page and the Bearclaw In­vi­ta­tional. This past year, I knew more about the in­vi­ta­tion process and was given the op­por­tu­nity to at­tend qual­i­fy­ing. I still worked as I knew I wanted to ride as well as work the event. Also, I’ve raced in other events, like pump track, most years while still work­ing. But this year’s ex­pe­ri­ence really pushed my com­fort zone.

Do you think next year there will be more women in that event? Will there be a fe­male cat­e­gory? There are so many women out there rid­ing with more speed and more grace than I am. It would be great to see them com­pet­ing in th­ese grav­ity dis­ci­plines to show other women it is pos­si­ble. There is a split in the cur­rent abil­ity, but hav­ing com­peted along­side guys in the eques­trian ring and now in cy­cling, I like the idea of a sin­gle cat­e­gory for­mat on the same course. In any case, the goal is to get more girls rid­ing and more girls com­pet­ing.

Do you see your­self as open­ing doors to women who want to be grav­ity ath­letes? It is really cool be­cause a lot of other girls are com­ing for­ward and ask­ing me about my ex­pe­ri­ence. Mo­men­tum is build­ing; other girls are push­ing the lim­its. One girl I fol­low on In­sta­gram has a foam pit in her barn. There are young girls at places like Joyride who are there all the time. The num­ber of hours they are practising is huge.

When you are coach­ing and have some­one who can’t get off the ground on a jump, what do you do? If they have been try­ing a bunch, we will go back to the pump track or an eas­ier trail to work more on the pump­ing mo­tion in an en­vi­ron­ment where they feel safe. Learn­ing to pump and ab­sorb, we can ex­ag­ger­ate that mo­tion, and then head back to slightly big­ger jumps.

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