History of the Muddbunnies

Muddbunnies was founded by Ryan Petersen in 2005, the year she began “north shore” style mountain biking. She searched unsuccessfully for a women’s biking group to join so she created one, the Muddbunnies Riding Club.

Muddbunnies began with four members: Ryan Petersen, Michelle Santos, Syd K, and Jenn Crawford.  The clubs name came from Ryan when she and Jen were on their way to ride some favorite Burnaby Mountain trails back in the fall of 2005; Jen was on the phone with her boyfriend who told them that they were crazy for going biking on such a wet and cold day. Ryan laughed and told him that Jen and she were a couple of Muddbunnies.

A Yahoo Group was created to allow member to plan rides, introduce themselves and discuss everything biking related. Ryan would literally stop women on the trails and encourage them to join this “great new women’s biking group”, reciting the ridiculously long URL for them to memorize. And those riders remembered the name and soon more women started signing up online and showing up to scheduled rides.

After the first year there were 30 regular riders coming out for local and out-of-town rides. The next step was becoming officially recognized by the provincial cycling association, Cycling BC. To pay for the fees involved with this, member, Syd Kjekell came up with the idea of creating a calendar featuring our very own Muddbunnies.  Muddbunnies member and photographer, Danielle Baker took the, “Bunny by the horns” and led the project.  During the calendar project, Ryan created the famous bunny skull logo, (local artist, Ron Sombilon assembled the logo and added a 3Dimensional effect).

In 2007, the Yahoo Group was closed and so began Muddbunnies.com, a women’s’ cycling community offering: product reviews, interviews, industry news, training strategies, recipes, and stories from female riders from around the globe.

Months later, Ryan changed careers and left the film industry for the bike industry, and registered Muddbunnies Riding Inc as a for-profit company.  Also during this time efforts were invested in the club, ensuring multiple club rides, a BMX, Beginner and Intermediate Riding clinics and Learn to Race clinics.

Muddbunnies was featured in various magazines including: Pedal, Dirt Rag, Mountain Bike UK, Mountain Bike and online articles on Pinkbike.com and NSMB.com. Locally, we got the COVER of the North Shore Outlook and later a two-page article in the Globe and Mail! The BMX/Learn to Ride clinic that had more than 45 participants was featured on Shaw TV. Finally, four club members all wearing their Muddbunnies apparel and biking gear, made an appearance on the hit HBO series, the L Word. Muddbunnies were EVERYWHERE!

In 2008, Ryan made the decision to step away from the club and focus her efforts on the company and Racing Team. The club was getting much too large for her manage alone so she called the first ever official, “unofficial AGM”. Ryan’s vision has always been to have Muddbunnies Riding Club become an official, “Not for Profit Society”, sponsored by the profitable company, Muddbunnies Riding Inc.  A Board of Directors was elected and announced and  included the following: Aimee Dunn, Dorothy Lubke, Tina Yiu, Susan Sheldon, Diana Walker, Nina Parr, Lindsay Cox and Jerusha Millar.

The club had a total of 76 members at the end of 2008!  During the 2nd annual AGM held at the beginning of 2009, the Board decided to define 8 roles for the board of directors.  The 8 board positions created and members were elected to fill these rolls:

President – Aimee Dunn
Vice-President – Dorothy Luebke
Director of Corporate Relations – Ina Hunt
Director of Communications – Tina Yiu
Director of Events – Veronica Kacinik
Treasurer – Diana Walker
Secretary – Susan Sheldon
Member at Large – Jennifer Clarke

3 months later the Muddbunnies Riding Club was officially incorporated as a Non-Profit Society with a Constitution and By-Laws, and became incorporated under the Society Act.  The official name of the club is “Muddbunnies Riding Club (BC)”.  The club grew, to a total of 106 members by the end of 2009.

Muddbunnies Riding Inc continued supporting the club by having clothing made for members, as well as maintaining the webpage which the club actively uses to organize the weekly rides and promote and sell club memberships.

Diana Walker, had previously been involved in organizing the club as non-profit society and had led two calendar projects and organized various riding clinics.  She illustrated a clear understanding of the values, goals, and mandates of both the club and company. In 2010, Diana signed on as a partner of Muddbunnies Riding Inc and assumed the role of Managing Director. Diana helped to restructure the company and assists in daily operations.

In early 2011 Muddbunnies Riding Inc announced the rebirth of a race team featuring 14 women racing cross-country, downhill, four-cross, and trials competitions.

The company will continue to support the club through promoting the website, creating merchandise for the club’s members and providing an online community where members can meet.  The club, however, continues to focus its efforts in ensuring weekly club rides are happening, for all levels of mountain bikers in various locations throughout the province.  The club is active in the biking community, putting on trail maintenance days, volunteering for various bike related events.  The club and company will continue to grow together, continually cross-promoting one another. We recognize and appreciate the value in each other and the common goal is the same: get more women riding bikes!

Ride hard! Get Dirty! Muddbunnies.com