You know you’re doing something right when the guy sitting across from you at the après ride asks if you have more teeth than the average human being, because you can’t quite wipe the grin off your face from such an epic day of riding. One of my best girlfriends and I created and wore our very own version of an alpine glow that day, having ridden miles of singletrack amongst Whistler’s alpine flowers with scenic mountain views for as far as the eye can see. Wow. Wow. Wow. The stoke on our faces, passion radiating from our pores and buzzing energy was absolutely contagious. Grateful would be the word I would use to sum up the day. Incredibly grateful.

There are endless things that keep bringing me back to my bike. The never ending challenges, the feel-good burn in my legs, the holler inducing flow, the mud on my face, the beautiful places I get to see and the closeness I feel to the forest… just to name a few. The one thing that I didn’t ever expect to gain from this sport were the deep and irreplaceable friendships that come about from sharing all of these things together. That feeling of chasing each other down the mountain, hooting and hollering, busting a gut from laughing so hard. Stopping to session the steep, sketchy sections and encouraging one another to push just a little bit more out of that familiar comfort zone. The silent grin that magically forms from finding the perfect flow with a friend, knowing that they felt it too from the helluva high five you get at the bottom of the trail. These friends. Who say yes. Who give me yet another reason to ride. Who make me feel so much more alive. These friends, these experiences. This is my tribe. My tribe that makes me smile bigger than humanly possible (apparently). I am forever grateful for this sport!

Author Bio

Jenn Thiel is an Emergency Nurse and outdoor enthusiast living in Squamish, BC. She is passionate about enjoying a healthy work-life balance, spending as much time as she can travelling & adventuring around BC and beyond. As a Juliana Bicycles Ambassador, she helps to inspire others by sharing her love of mountain biking as well as encouraging others to live their best life!