A Race of Her Own


The exclusively female Hot on Your Heels mountain bike race is coming back for its second year on July 27. Photo: Brad Martyn

By Bronwyn Scott
Published: July 6, 2013

Some of Squamish’s hottest trails are about to get sexier.

The exclusively female Hot on Your Heels mountain bike race is coming back for its second year on July 27.

After the success of last year’s event, Melissa Sheridan, the mastermind behind it all, decided to bring Hot on Your Heels back with a few improvements.

This year the trail is longer, and the route is a little different.

Also, rather than timing it from start to finish, there will be three distinct runs so that cyclists can focus on enjoying the ride.

“I’m hoping that will slow everybody down and gives the riders a little bit more time to mingle with their friends,” Sheridan said.

Hot on Your Heels is a racing event, but more than that, it’s also a social event.

Most of the races in this area tend to involve somebody at the start line saying 3, 2, 1, go !, said Patrick Skinner, media spokesperson.

“I think a lot of women are intimidated by that.”

Hot on Your Heels is also an opportunity for women to have fun in a testosterone-free environment.

Sheridan decided to start the race because she noticed the number of female riders was always quite low in comparison to the men.

She knew so many women who loved to mountain bike but were not coming out to the toonies, partly because they were intimidated by the race factor.

“The women’s only race isn’t meant so much as to exclude the guys but it’s meant more to embrace the women,” she added.

Besides the social factor, there will be prizes like tickets to Live at Squamish, a cruiser bike and various women’s cycling and outdoor clothing.

“The sponsors have really stepped up this year,” Skinner said.

Tickets went on sale a week ago and although it’s not sold out yet, just a few spots remain.

Proceeds go to Go Girls!, a Big Brothers, Big Sisters charity that helps young girls make healthy choices and gives them the support they need as they enter the difficult pre-teen years.

After the race an after party will take place at the Squamish Valley Golf Club for riders and volunteers.

Sheridan believes the women’s only races will grow in the future, as they provide women an opportunity to meet other women and make new friends.



  1. Dottie says:

    Great story. Clair Bonde, who founded the once ‘New Bikes and Tikes Gym’ to instruct kids in basic mountain biking skills, will love this story. Looking forward to seeing some of the race. Break a leg girls!