“North Shore Betty” didn’t start riding mountain bikes until she was 45 years old. It was 1987 when she got her first mountain bike — just something to ride around campgrounds; nothing too serious — but it was a bit of a life-changing moment.
Up until then, she’d led a life that even the most adventurous person would call exciting. She was a world-class wave sailor in Hawaii in the 1980s, climbed mountains, and generally treated the world as a playground. Her real name is Betty Birrell, and she’s an inspiration to anyone who knows her. Young or old, male, female, or anything else, Birrell leads a life that’s devoted to her son and her fun.
A few months after she had her son in 1987, a life of rough-and-tumble play caught up to her. She was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in her hips, and her doctor told her she had to cut impact sports. Fast forward a few years to 1993, and she decided to get her first “real” mountain bike because she was having a hard time exercising her dog.