Shore Sirens Race Team Early Season Roundup

Shore Sirens Race Team Early Season Roundup

Words: Gaby Jones
For 2024, Steed is sponsoring the newly formed Shore Sirens Race Team. The Shore Sirens are a women+ mountain bike community started in 2023 with the goal of making the local cycling community more diverse and inclusive. 
Shore Sirens Race Team reps their new Steed flannels
The Shore Sirens Race Team kicked off their inaugural season in March 2024. Eight members from the Shore Sirens Mountain Bike Community, a women+ riding club and non-profit based out of North Vancouver, signed "contracts" in February to commit to racing for the season. By committing to the team, the racers would attend bi-weekly rides, training sessions, and workshops, and three enduro races throughout the summer.


The team ranges in age from 16 to 40+ years, with varying levels of race experience. As the youngest rider, Sophie Harper also races on her high school team, and she feels grateful to be able to compete in this amazing sport with other women. Jessie Curell is the oldest member of the race team and founder of the Shore Sirens Mountain Bike Community, and it must be stated that this team could not have happened without her vision to gather more women+ together on bikes.


In preparation for upcoming races, the team attended multiple coaching sessions and rides. This included a ride and brake workshop with Jaime Hill from Hilltop Mtb and Ash Kelly, hosted by Steed Cycles for International Women's Day. Elladee Brown and Kelli Sherbinin (Endless Biking) generously donated their time to ride with the team at Fromme, while workshopping cornering, brake control, and speed. The race team then travelled up to Squamish to work with Jaime Hill of Hilltop Mtb again, to further work on and improve their cornering abilities and body positioning on the bike.
Shore Sirens Race Team members attend a training session at Train West Van Gym


Dr. Ashley MacInnes hosted the team at Train West Van Gym to walk through pre-race mind and body preparation, recovery, hydration, and nutrition, which has been invaluable in these first few races of the season. Prior to the first major race of the season in April, Adidas Terrex hosted the race team at the Adidas Outdoors/Terrex store in Kitsilano for a team pizza party and jersey unveiling. The team also went "shopping" to pick out the rest of their kits, sponsored by Adidas Terrex.


The first major enduro race of the season was the Squamish Enduro on April 21st. Wan-Yi Chu, Sophie Harper, and Charlotte Nelson took part in the Classics course (18.2 km distance, 652m elevation), while Gaby Jones raced the Short course (36.3km, 1099m elevation). Sophie took home bronze in the U21 category, while Charlotte and Wan-Yi respectively won 2nd and 3rd place in the 21-34 age category. Reflecting on her first-ever enduro race, Wan-Yi was glad she chose a shorter course to gain experience and better understand her racing abilities. She did not expect to podium, so it was a huge confidence boost. Charlotte was coming off an injury, so "flying down flow trails in the Classics course, podiuming, and riding with awesome women was pure joy".
Shore Sirens Race Team members Charlotte and Wan Yi stand on the Squamish Enduro podium
On May 11th, 7 out of the 8 Shore Sirens race team members (Wan-Yi Chu, Jessie Curell, Hanna Girndt, Gaby Jones, Charlotte Nelson, Cathleen Whitty, Izzy Wong) took part in the PORCA Spudcrusher in Pemberton. The 5 stage long course (21.9 km distance, 977m elevation) was challenging, with racers having to quickly acclimate to 25+ degree celsius sunny weather, while racing fast, rocky and dusty trails. Simply finishing the course was a big accomplishment to many racers, and for Izzy Wong it was her first ever enduro race. After the race, Izzy stated it was "exhausting, but in a good way", since she has "never had to push herself that hard and be happy about it".


The energy, support, and inclusive atmosphere of racing with amazing women made just being there a win for her. Most of the racers had never ridden in Pemberton until pre-riding the course. For Cathleen, she loved that the race course "provided a mix of trails for every style of rider, from techy jank, to steep loose descents, and lots of fast flow - it's always nerve racking racing on trails you don't know, but having the Sirens team giving me beta on every stage helped me know nothing was out of my skill set".


The race team got to cheer on a fellow Shore Siren member Ellie Richards, when she won 2nd place in the long course 19-30 age category, while multiple members of the race team took home top 10 finishes in their age categories. This includes Jessie Curell, who placed 7th in her age group (40-49), and "never prepared for a race more in her 2 years of racing", and is proud of all the work she put in leading up to race, which has her feeling "rewarded, motivated, and inspired by all the really fast women who came before her".


Shore Sirens Race Team at Pemberton Spud Crusher
The race team's season has a bit of a lull through June, and will pick back up again in July for the Sturdy Dirty (July 6 in Issaquah, Wash) and Silverstar Bombshell (July 13 in Vernon). However in the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for the Shore Sirens team out riding and training locally and at the NSMBA Fiver races.