The Evolution of Bike Coaching in the Kootenays 

What makes Rossland, B.C. such a great mountain biking destination, especially for women looking to improve their skills 

By Sammy Berryman 

Cover photo courtesy Natasha Lockey

Just a short two-and-a-half-hour drive from Spokane is the small town of Rossland, BC. Home to Red Mountain Resort, the famous Seven Summits mountain bike trail, and trails that take you along old railway beds and whisky running routes—Rossland packs a punch. With 200k of professionally maintained trails thanks to the Kootenay Columbia Trail Society, it seriously pays to have a local show you around. Betty Go Hard founder, Natasha Lockey, is just that. The kiwi-born adventure seeker seems to have her tendrils in every part of what’s deemed the mountain biking capital of Canada. With a resume too long for this wee article, let’s cut to the good stuff.  

Over the last two decades, Natasha has developed a handful of businesses centered around helping more people get outdoors. Her earliest endeavor was creating a Facebook group for women who wanted to get out and ride together—an idea that sparked after having a chat with a friend who said, “you can’t be what you can’t see.” In 2007, she established a mountain biking business geared towards women under the name of Betty Go Hard.  

At the time, the majority of female bikers in the area were known as the “Rossland Housewives,” aka gals who ride double black diamonds and throw themselves off jumps. Basically, if you didn’t have the confidence or the knowledge to enter into the world of mountain biking, you were SOL. Natasha could feel this firsthand. She got a lot of questions from friends and acquaintances asking, “What line would you take?” And “Can you show me how to do this?” So, she would give them some instruction, show them the line, and found that the confidence gained from this was enough for them to achieve it. 

Courtesy Natasha Lockey

“When you have someone that can give you the key pointers, you can progress so much quicker,” Natasha says. “Confidence comes from your performance. If you’re not performing as well as you could be because you don’t know how, then you’re not able to get that confidence. This quickly leads to people dropping out of the sport because they can’t get past that initial plateau.” 

The combination of Natasha’s passion for coaching plus the close proximity to trails are a huge part of why so many riders in the area have been able to flourish. The Rossland trail system is maintained by a full-time trails crew that looks after the sprawling network of beginner to expert trails. This includes 34 easier trails, such as Blue Elephant and the new Mxiɬp Xewílh (Cedar Trail) that rolls, dips, and swoops through sections of old growth forest; 58 intermediate trails like Larch Ridge and Redtop; 32 difficult trails including local favorite SMD and the epic Seven Summits Trail, aka the crown jewel of Rossland; and 10 extra difficult trails, such as The Flume.  

If you’re popping into town for the weekend, take a look at the “Bike and Stay” packages at Kootenay Mountain Biking—another rad business started by Natasha and her husband. They offer two and a half days of shuttle riding and two nights’ accommodation with breakfast, lunch, and dinners included. Want a private lesson? They offer that too. Women’s retreats? Absolutely. They literally. Offer. Everything. If you’re a female rider looking to gain confidence, progress your skillset, or meet likeminded gals—Natasha offers various retreats and camps, a women’s ride series, private lessons, and an online bike confidence mastery course.  

As all good rides must come to an end, so must this read. If you’re curious about joining Natasha for a ride or looking for more tips, check out and Happy riding and see you out there!  

Sammy Berryman is the new Programs Director for Pend Oreille Pedalers (POP), the Sandpoint based MTB non-profit. After interviewing Natasha, she was quickly convinced it’s time for a visit to Rossland, B.C.   

Share this Post

Scroll to Top