Kelly Ault: What Keeps Me Moving

I once counted the number of sports I’ve participated in (for at least a month or a season) in my life and stopped counting at 30. I guess the quote by writer V.S. Naipaul, “the world is always in movement,” applies to me as well.

Kelly Ault (third from left) and her Mountain Moxie teammates

Recreation has served as the ultimate anchor throughout a lifetime of change. I played team sports ranging from tennis to swim team, while moving frequently during my youth. As a young adult, I was game for just about any travel adventure to different landscapes, from canoe camping in Canada’s Algonquin Park to trekking in northern Scotland, snowboarding in Chamonix, ski mountaineering in Yosemite, and backpacking in Colorado.

Settling in Vermont, the adventures became increasingly local: backcountry skiing in the White Mountains, climbing in the Adirondacks, and trail running in the Green Mountains. After the birth of identical twin boys, I sought to restore balance with a 5-year love affair with the sport of triathlon.

Which brings me to the athlete that I am today, where my week is designed around mountain bike rides with friends and family members (often including my almost 8-year old sons, Austin and Carson, and a chocolate lab named Ali).

Underlying all this exercise is a competitive streak. Although the reasons have varied over the years, I‘ve always loved the challenge of a race or event, moving fast and long through wild landscapes, pushing physical and mental boundaries, the camaraderie of other racers and organizing a schedule that keeps me moving.

Despite decades of racing any and every event that I fancied, I’m quite an average athlete. I’m not super-technical or “a natural” at sports. I simply love the lifestyle, seek out play every chance I get, have good athletic instincts, and am resourceful in finding the friends, places and gear that lead to joy and challenge.

As I approached 40 years old, I was looking for two things: more women to ride mountain bikes with and an epic mountain bike adventure. These came together in the form of Mountain Moxie, a newly formed women’s mountain bike race team, and the BC Bike Race, a seven day mountain bike stage race from Vancouver and Whistler.


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