Words and photos by local rider Dylan Sherrard.
“Sun Peaks is the place I’ve always felt drawn to come back to. It’s my home,” Zuzy admits, as the late summer sun spills over the village. “It’s slow and cozy, and I just love that,” she continues as we roll toward the chairlift. “It’s the little things about home that are really important to me. Seeing friends in lift lines, knowing the person I buy a coffee from at the local café. I’ve found a lot of other places to be quite nice, but they’ve all felt a little too fast and crazy for me.”
Hopping off the chair and cruising along on Canada Line, it’s easy to forget that Zuzy is new to mountain biking. Her lifelong love of snowboarding clearly provides transferable skill as she carves turns and airs rolls with a natural approach to speed and flow.
“I always saw biking and enjoyed watching it,” Zuzy admits with a trailside smile.
“Initially I thought it looked a little too gnarly for me to get into it,” she laughs, “but I started seeing everyone riding, and watching my friends harbour that same stoked energy that snowboarding gives. Then I truly noticed the huge berms popping up in the hills. So I went for it. I wasn’t really sure it would be my thing, but after a few rides it really started to click.”
And click has it ever, as Zuzy hooks into Sugar, floating over roots and rocks playfully and creatively.
Creativity forms the core of Zuzy’s reasons for calling Sun Peaks home. Her career is a clean split between art and photography, as she captures images and crafts brush-strokes that portray her local forests and wildlife in an ethereal and fairytale-like fashion.
“I’ve always looked at snowboarding and art as one-in-the-same,” Zuzy explains. “The process of performing both has always made me feel so relaxed, happy, and truly imaginative. And biking has really been a charming addition to the tangle of all that. I’m even more excited to be here through all the seasons now.”
We descend into the shade of tall trees as the evening sets in slowly and we carry the conversation of learning to ride onto the patio, where I compliment Zuzy’s natural style on the trail.
“It’s just really fun unpacking all the parallels between snowboarding and biking,” she explains. Learning how to read terrain, play, go fast and find myself flowing with the bike,” Zuzy carries on, “I’m so excited about progressing now and I can’t wait to be truly in tune and maybe even whipping the bike around someday!”
“I can’t imagine doing what I’m doing - making a go at my career while riding and playing in the mountains - anywhere else but here, in Sun Peaks” Zuzy exclaims, wide-eyed and sincere as she takes a sip in the summer night breeze.
“Our community is so supportive, we all want to help each other and see each other succeed. There’s so much love. And I just know this is going to be the place for me to continue pursuing my creative potential.”