One of the more recent additions to the IMBA Canada Board of Directors, Charlotte Batty has been riding mountain bikes for most of her life. She brings great perspective to the board and took a few minutes to share her take on mountain biking.

Where do you live?
Brooklin / Collingwood, Ontario

What’s your day job?
I am a professional mountain bike instructor in both cross country and downhill disciplines. Through my business, MINII ADVENTURES, I organize, run and lead everything from private skills lessons, to day-long clinics and weekend-long camps of all skill levels. I’m a big advocate for women in mountain biking, but most of the events I run are co-ed.

What’s your favourite local trail?
It’s so hard to pick just one! But my favourite would have to be 3 Stage (just outside of Collingwood, ON). Traversing along the Niagara Escarpment, it is technical and rugged and definitely makes you work for it!

Favourite riding destination(s)?
I, fortunately, get to travel a lot as a mountain bike instructor, so I have many! But my favourite place to go back to is Moab, Utah, a small town where everyone is outdoorsy and shares the stoke. The riding is world class and the views are spectacular along the way too.

When did you first become an IMBA Canada member? When did you join the board?
I actually just very recently joined IMBA Canada, prior to becoming a Board Member in June. IMBA was something that just hadn’t crossed my mind yet here in Ontario. After recognizing what they are capable of, and the work they were already doing, I wanted to be supportive of them in any way possible to create a sustainable future for mountain biking in Canada.

What brought you to riding?
I got into riding when I was about 8 or 9 years old. My oldest brother found mountain biking around when he was the same age, and it just snowballed from there, as we all grew up in the sport. I’m the youngest of four, and we all expressed an interest in riding and competing. I competed for 8 years and claimed many provincial titles and national titles. I even found myself racing one season overseas in Switzerland in their local Swiss Cup race series in an effort to try to represent Canada at the World Championships. Prior to making the jump into the Pro Elite category (19+) I took a step back from competing and refuelled my passion for the sport through a newly landed guiding position with a local women’s mtb club. Pedal forward a few years, I am now Professional Mountain Bike Instructors Association Level 2 Air certified coach and am instructing full time.

What’s drawn you to trail building and trail advocacy?
My job heavily relies on the trails. Ensuring they are built sustainably and maintained is critical for my clients’ experience, and could be the ‘make or break’ decision to make mountain biking a lifelong hobby or sport for them. By recognizing the importance and effort it takes, I am happy and willing to be supportive of the organizations and people that create and maintain these trails.

What do you hope to see for Canadian mountain biking and trail building three years from now?
As much as my job relies on the trails, there are a lot of people who use mountain biking as a healthy and fun activity, and depend on these trails for their outdoor recreation. Mountain biking is also a unique way to explore new areas, and seeing trail development happening around the country creates new destinations, and can help bring tourism to small communities. Mountain biking is buzzing in Canada and I hope to see it continue to grow and move forward, but in a sustainable and conscious manner, so the trails are around for generations to come.

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