Septuagenarian Betty Birrell Shreds in ‘North Shore Betty’ Film

Proving age is just a number, 73-year-old Betty Birrell believes life is a playground — and you’re never too old to send it.

At the ripe age of 45, Birrell bought her first mountain bike. The year was 1994. “Old Rob,” as she refers to her friend, took her down the 7th Secret trail. Now a legendary run on Mount Fromme, on the North Shore of British Columbia, it sealed Birrell’s life to come.

“I was hooked right away,” said Birrell of that first ride. Fast-forward 30 years later, Birrell is still shredding, and shredding hard.

Patagonia rides with Birrell in the brand’s new film, “North Shore Betty.” The inspirational edit makes its debut just in time for Mother’s Day.

Age Is Just a Number

Betty Birrell of "North Shore Betty"
Betty Birrell, 73, on the trails in the North Shore, British Columbia; (photo/Patagonia)

“When I was 50 years old, I never thought I’d be able to ride a mountain bike fast down a trail at 73,” Birrell admitted in the film.

“It’s interesting how your perception of age changes as you get older. I would love to be 65 again. Isn’t that crazy? Who would have ever thought? The biggest thing I’ve learned is to appreciate where you are.”

When asked about her life as a mountain biker and a mom, she reveals that being a mom is the greatest journey. “I think motherhood is the best adventure ever, really,” says Birrell. “I was so surprised how much I loved being a mom, how much I loved being pregnant.”

Now, Birrell shreds with her adult son, Hayden. Their relationship has grown and thrived through a mutual love of slaying luscious loam through biking.

Betty Birrell inspires us. We bet she’ll inspire you, too.

This film was created by Patagonia. It was directed by Travis Rummel, Felt Soul Media, and Well Travelled Collective. Travis Rummel and Darcy Hennessey Turenne produced it.

Runtime: 12 minutes

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Heather Hendricks

Heather Hendricks is a writer at GearJunkie.

She’s been writing about snowboarding, women’s gear, travel, and mountain towns for more than 15 years. Prior to that, Heather worked at TransWorld SNOWboarding Magazine as a Contributing Editor and Special Projects Manager. She also worked as a Gear and Travel Editor at Teton Gravity Research. And she worked as an Online Editor of Snowboard Mag.

Based in Colorado, Heather likes to live by the seat of her pants, and is always up for a road trip or spontaneous adventure. She’s currently learning to fly fish, how-to-be a new dog mom, and is van-living and loving it.

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