“North Shore” Betty Birrell on MTB at Age 73

Betty Birrell picked up mountain biking nearly 30 years ago and at 73, she’s still riding serious trails on the North Shore. So Kara Williard and I sat down with Betty to talk about her trajectory as a mountain biker; motherhood; how the sport has (and hasn’t) changed; and the North Shore Betty documentary short that Patagonia released recently. Along the way, Betty shares some great insights on staying motivated and continuing to do the things we love in the outdoors long after a lot of folks have hung it up.


  • Betty’s introduction to MTB (2:50)
  • The early North Shore riding scene (5:57)
  • Motherhood & having an “adventure buddy” (13:54)
  • Perseverance & keeping going (22:22)
  • Risk tolerance & aging (26:29)
  • Role models and mentorship (32:05)
  • Keeping current (36:15)
  • Self-identity & athletics (42:14)
  • Betty’s Big Idea (48:01)