Lilloet to Lytton with InstaFund

Aug 4, 2020

Four riders. Sixty kilometers. Six and a half hours spent exploring gravel alongside the Fraser River in British Columbia.

Photo & Video By: Nicholas Kupiak, Ride Gradient

When a UCI Continental Women’s team can’t race or host clinics, they do the next best option: just enjoy riding bikes. Partnering with River Shed Society, InstaFund La Prima wanted to find a way to bring awareness to protecting the Fraser River, a 1,300 km long river in Canada.

“What I like best about their (River Shed Society) approach is that they’re not necessarily preaching anything. They want people to experience the Fraser River, and make their own decisions about the environment from there,” said Isabella Bertold.

Originally, their plan involved racing bikes against a canoe team through a summer program provided by the River Shed Society.

“I had this idea of a cyclist racing the canoe team down the river. There so many questions of ‘How can this be a race? How fast are you going to go biking?’ and I just said, “I have no idea, but we can figure it out,” said Isabella.

With COVID-19, the program is canceled for the summer, but the team decided the ride was still necessary for their year. When travel restrictions lifted, four riders gathered to spend a day slowing down to experience the river valley via bike.

“For me, that was the most stressful time of the break. It brought the highest highs and the lowest lows, so it was great to get away with teammates that I haven’t seen since March to be able to be in nature and just shut off. I just rode my bike and remembered why I loved it,” said Isabella.

Switching out their O2s for ViSTAs, their route weaved through the Fraser River valley, with a mixture of pavement, hard-packed gravel, and a MTB-ing single-track course.

“Laura told me to hit a single track section with speed, and I went in with too much speed – completely overshooting the turn. I ended up in the air. I have never screamed so loud on a bike in my life, but I landed. It was perfect, it ended great, and that to me sums up how versatile that bike is,” said Isabella.

InstaFund plans to have team camps in October and November as they prepare to start their 2021 season in January.

“The team is committed to some early racing next year to make up for the lack of racing we’ve had this year. It’ll be a shorter offseason for us than normal, and for the rest of the 2021 season, but we are just taking it one section at a time,” said Isabella.

Follow along on Instagram and Facebook.

Read the latest news and articles from Factor

Bike Size Recommendation Guide

Bike Size Recommendation Guide

When it comes to choosing the right frame size, the decision-making process can often become confusing and time-consuming as all bike brands offer an array of different sizes with unique set-ups and dimensions. At Factor, we do our best to simplify this process for...

Season Reflections: Team Parkhotel Valkenburg

Season Reflections: Team Parkhotel Valkenburg

UCI Women’s Continental squad, Team Parkhotel Valkenburg have been a consistent force on the women’s pro tour since their establishment in 2013. Since then, they have only continued to improve and strengthen each season, standing by their ambition to develop the next...

A Year in Review: InstaFund Racing

A Year in Review: InstaFund Racing

InstaFund Racing endured their busiest season yet through 2021 taking on an action-packed schedule of racing that saw them jumping from the USA across to Europe where possible and when Covid restrictions allowed. Having only established themselves in 2019, the team...

Select your currency
USD United States (US) dollar
EUR Euro