Pushing Limits, Pursuing Passions

Excerpt from www.osprey.com
Written by: Kylee Toth Ohler | Photo: Robb Thompson
Posted by Kami York-Feirn | December 7, 2017

I have always loved the act of being in motion from the time I was a small girl on skis at 18 months, through my teen years as a competitive speed skater and now as a multi-sport athlete.  The drive to go higher, faster, longer is never fully quenched, and neither is my love for beautiful views and natural landscapes. My foray into mountain biking started in my late teens. I wasn’t a natural at biking, going out for the first time with my brother when I was 15 years old because my mom made him take me. The ride started with some convincing, midway through tears, and ended with me determined to improve! As I practiced, I caught glimpses of that magical flow state you feel on a mountain bike when everything lines up just right and you’re ripping effortlessly down the trail. Sometimes a passion is built out of love at first pedal and sometimes it’s built out of persistence, dedication and sweat.  Regardless of its origin, its effect is the same: pure joy in the pursuit.

My passion for mountain biking led me to team up with one of my friends, fellow Osprey Ambassador and pro mountain biker, Lorraine Blancher. We wanted to do something that combined our love for mountain biking, respect for the environment and a journey.  Since we’re both originally from the province of British Columbia which incidentally has some of the best mountain biking in Canada, the Purcell mountain range was an obvious fit for our trip. We both spend a considerable amount of time in the alpine – myself trail running, scrambling and skiing while Lorraine prefers hiking and mountain biking.  Since becoming a mom of two little boys, aged four and six, stewardship of the environment has become even more important to me. I want my children and grandchildren to be able to see the sights I have seen, run the trails I have run, ski the slopes I’ve skied and breathe the clean, fresh mountain air I love so much. Lorraine and I both share this respect for the environment so the goal on our trip was to use only sustainable forms of leave no trace riding and camping.