Upping the skills With Like-Minded Attitudes

Story by Misti Hurst// Photos by Alex Botton
May 31 2022

Proper training sets you on a path to do anything you set your mind to.

On a whim, I signed up for the Crystal Loves Moto girls-only clinic in Nelson, B.C., with my friend, Carly, because, well, what could be better than a weekend road trip and women riding dirtbikes? Who wouldn’t, right?

There we were, two moms zipping away from the city of Vancouver in a blue pickup truck, our dirtbikes in the back, windows down and music blaring, hair blowing in the wind. As we lazily curved around the mountains under the steamy blue sky, crunching on snacks, guzzling soda pop and laughing our cares away, the ideal song seemed to select itself from my playlist that perfectly matched the vibe. “There’s a place where I am going. It’s outta my control, so I’m gonna coast for a little while!” — Coast, by Gone Gone Beyond. Its zingy bluegrass, twang, boho beat, and banjo combined with dancey bass were perfect for our destination: Nelson, B.C.; more specifically, the Hippy Ranch. We were letting the road take us where we needed to go, like wandering, adventuring nomads, needing to ride some dirtbikes.

The Hippy Ranch

Located in B.C.’s Southern Interior, the Hippy Ranch is a plot of land owned by moto stunt rider Bill Hitchon. Complete with a cozy dorm-style cabin, main house, a full workshop and some quaint double cabins, and the property is dotted with old dilapidated buses, rusty pickup trucks and other eclectic adornments. It’s colourful, vibrant and fun, and the murals of flowers, mushrooms, third eyes, creepy clowns, lightning bolts, spaceships and aliens seem to fit with the authentic small-town, quirky, hippy vibe of Nelson. It’s a perfect home base for a dirtbike clinic.

Carly and I rocked up to the Ranch at about 8 p.m. to meet a few of the other women joining the clinic, unload our bikes, and unpack our stuff in the six to 10-person cabin, which was just a short walk up a path from the main house. It’s creatively built and uniquely decorated with large motorbike-themed murals, cozy mattresses and loft-style sleeping bunks. It was there that we first met our coach, Crystal Levesque, better known as Crystal Loves Moto.

Crystal Loves Moto

At the age of 22, Crystal started riding dirtbikes, encouraged — as many of us female riders are — by an at-the-time boyfriend. Competitive by nature and used to being good at various sports, she immediately took to riding and quickly found her passion. Over the years, she has built up a hard-earned following on Instagram by showcasing her methodical skills of log jumps…

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