Yesterday was Aboriginal Solidarity Day here in Canada and Mountain Equipment Coop (our equivalent of America’s R.E.I.) posted this 2015 video telling the story of member Melody Markle’s “healing journey of decolonizing my body”. Because, besides being an MEC member, Melody is also a member of the Long Point (Winneway) First Nation in Quebec. She is healing from the effects of colonization on Canada’s First Nations but for all of us it’s a reminder of the healing power of mountain biking, whatever your burden.
All cycling is healing and healthful but mountain biking probably most of all. There’s very real fear that must be overcome to be a good mountain biker and overcoming fear is very liberating. In many ways, Melody’s story is one of liberation and empowerment. Even if you’re not indigenous, you may be a woman who can identify with the difficulties of entering such a testosterone-riddled activity, or just a newbie whose greatest challenge is within. Melody’s story is one mountain bikers know well. It may also be one of the stories that helps bring indigenous and non-indigenous Canadians together as we begin a difficult journey of reconciliation.
To read more about Melody and the Aboriginal Youth Mountain Biking Program, check out the feature on MEC’s website.