Keeping up with the boys

It started off as a job on the farm, but now riding quads is her passion

by Breanne Massey |

A woman on a quad in the desert.

Nancy Dinsdale quads at Glamis Sand Dunes in California once a year, and she's eager to go back. — Photo courtesy Nancy Dinsdale

Chasing cattle on a farm encouraged Nancy Dinsdale to start riding quads 15 years ago. Then her husband encouraged her to consider doing it as a hobby and now it’s all she can think about.

The resident of Alberta placed second overall in the recent Rimbey Mud Bogs, and she placed first in a number of the heats that she competed in.

“It was really muddy, but it was a lot of fun,” said Dinsdale. “You have two mud pits side by side and you race two at a time. Sometimes if you hit a deep hole with water, it really slows you down and sometimes it turns you sideways.”

Dinsdale isn’t fazed by the fact that, periodically, she’s the only woman who rides with the boys. Currently she rides a side by side, and she believes that more women would come out if they could do the same thing.

“It’s hard to compete with the men on quads,” said Dinsdale, “just because of their strength and size. For example, a six-foot man who weighs 200 pounds can really throw the quads around, but for women who are 130 or 140 pounds—(there's) no comparison.”

Dinsdale said that it’s typical for the participation ratio to be 15 men to two or three women. But for Dinsdale, riding is all about pushing her limits and learning new skills. Dinsdale has a son and two daughters—her daughters think that the sport has too many risks, so Dinsdale usually rides with her husband and son. Sometimes their mutual friends come out in a big group.

“It’s not a sport you want to do by yourself,” said Dinsdale.

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