Two Canadian female riders are headed to Africa this weekend, to compete in the BMW GS Trophy’s female team qualifier.
Of course, the Canadian team has already been selected; at qualifier held at the 2017 Fundy Adventure Rally, Joel Goulet, Jamie Jones, and Bela Herman earned the right to represent our country in the 2018 international motorcycle skills showdown in Mongolia.
But along with that three-man team, a couple of Canadian women might also be riding at the event. Louise Mitchell (a teacher from Ontario, age 54) and Valérie Héroux (a video editor from Montreal, age 44) are flying to Africa this week to compete for a spot on the women’s team. They’re sponsored by Canadian protective gear manufacturer TekrRider and by PR company ParsonSweet.
This will be the second time an all-female team has competed at the GS Trophy; an all-ladies team went to the 2016 event in Thailand, but Canadian competitor Caroline Stevenson missed the cut on that event.
This time, there are 25 female riders competing for one of three spots on that team (there’s also a journalist riding with the team).
They fly into Johannesburg, South Africa, this weekend; from there, they’ll head out to the various riding challenges and other adventure-oriented competitions that BMW has designed to determine which riders are best-suited to challenge at the Trophy next June.
You can find our coverage of past GS Trophy events in the CMG archives. It’s BMW’s in-house competition for adventure riders, all on board its own big-bore adventure bikes. Riders are tested not just for their ability behind bars, but also mechanical aptitude, survival skills, and other smarts and abilities. Find out more here.