CHASING WHEELS: LIVING LIFE, RIDING BIKES IN SQUAMISH, BC

This past Wednesday I had the opportunity to chase the wheel of Donna (@liveliferidebikes), a fun-loving, Toyota-driving Irish girl living in Squamish, BC.  I have followed Donna for a while now on Instagram and, like many others, have been encouraged by her optimistic and cheerful posts outlining her life as a mountain-biker and general nature enthusiast.  When I saw a short Instavid that Donna posted and noted her comment about starting to make short bike edits, I decided to contact her about the potential of me helping her to accomplish that goal. 

To be honest, before I actually contacted Donna I had no idea she had immigrated with her partner, Jerry, from Ireland.  We were due for a phone conversation after she responded to my initial message and I found myself a little giddy to hear her over the phone just because I knew I was in for a treat with her accent (I love accents).  She didn't let me down.  At the time of our conversation I was on my way from my home in Alberta to British Columbia to start a two month vacation, a time that would serve perfectly for bike edit making.

Long story short, due to scheduling conflicts we were unable to actually go through with the bike edit portion of this story; however, as of late I've been finding myself behind the lens more as a photographer and less as a videographer and thus decided it may be better to ride with Donna and photograph her instead.  

Having had a conversation with Donna beforehand over the phone left few surprises as to her character so it was with little effort that settled into an easy-going conversationimmediately upon meeting and soaked up an hour talking about trucks and bikes before we actually made our way to the mountain.  We decided on the Diamond Head riding area in Squamish, then planned out our route for Let'r Rip, Angry Midget and Half Nelson.  We took our respective Toyota pickups (1989 Pick up & 2013 Tacoma) as shuttles to the base of the trail then set out from there.

 A little pre-ride instagramming.

A little pre-ride instagramming.

 a moment of quiet before the first push.

a moment of quiet before the first push.

 Navigating steep, rocky and rooty terrain is made to look easy by this girl...

Navigating steep, rocky and rooty terrain is made to look easy by this girl...

 All smiles, all the time.

All smiles, all the time.

 Playing on the new Half Nelson berm section.

Playing on the new Half Nelson berm section.

 Among other brands, Donna is an ambassador for Julianna Bicycles.  I don't think they could have chosen any better.

Among other brands, Donna is an ambassador for Julianna Bicycles.  I don't think they could have chosen any better.

After our ride it was a unanimous decision to take a quick dip in Brohm lake to rinse off the days dust and sweat.  It was also agreed upon that beer accompany the occasion.  Brohm lake has some pretty excellent jumping cliffs, with a decent progression in height.  As Donna approached the edge she reminisced of her past in Ireland and how she used to jump cliffs such as the one she was standing on.  Although a little hesitant at first Donna found her courage and returned to her former splendor while vaulting herself from the heights into the depths of the cool waters of the lake below.

FINAL WORDS: My day spent with Donna and Jerry was a truly memorable time.  Donna is a bubbly spit fire personality, and she can ride a bike pretty damn well too!  I felt immediately comfortable around Donna and struck up conversation like we'd been friends for years.  Donna, if you're reading, thanks for a superb time, till next time!