Aurelie Welterlin is a psychologist, mother, and nature enthusiast who loves to ride her bike. She grew up in North Carolina and travels the country photographing amazing hiking and biking destinations. She spoke with Triangle Land Conservancy about mountain biking at Brumley Nature Preserve. TLC is working on an expansion of the preserve. Learn more here.
How often are you out biking at Brumley?
I’m usually there about once a week.
Do you do any other activities (walking, running) out there?
I only bike out there. Sometimes bring my kids to bike, but mainly, it’s just me.
How did you first find out about Brumley, and how long have you been going there?
I’m a member of TORC (Triangle Off-Road Cyclists), and they host workdays, so several years ago there was a workday for Brumley. I heard about it through TORC and helped out building the trails, and was there at the grand opening, and have been using them ever since.
What was the trail building process like?
Usually volunteers don’t help design where the trail is going, but we can help clear the area of debris, cut down trees that are close to the trails, then use tools to flatten out the trail, pound the dirt in, those kinds of things. If the trail needs maintenance, we might go out there and fill in some holes or add some gravel or dirt and flatten things out.
What draws you to Brumley? Why is it a special place to you?
Brumley is definitely my favorite trail in the Triangle. I tend to be a fast rider and the trails are smooth and they flow very well, and on off-peak times you can go out there and have a really fun time riding them quickly. They’re just really well built, and I have many memories of riding with people and with groups and having a great time.
I like every inch of Brumley. I don’t have a favorite. There are some sections that are fun challenges, like there’s one that people call the Finger, and I don’t even think I could tell you exactly where it is, but it’s a small little loop in the trail that’s a fun start-to-finish. There are parts that are like roller coasters that go up and down really quickly, that are really fun as well. I like it all.
What are you most looking forward to about the expansion at Brumley?
I think it’s….more trails, having more amazing trails. Adding in some more variety. I always love riding new trails.
Why do you support TLC and/or expansion efforts at Brumley?
I am a psychologist, and one of the biggest recommendations I make to my patients is exercise and how important it is for mental health and wellbeing. I value time spent outside and exercise very highly, and I think it’s important in this ever-growing concrete jungle to have favorite places to be able to get out of the city and have fun and be healthy all at the same time.
When did you get into mountain biking, and what do you enjoy about it?
I did a little bit in college a long time, but joined TORC about four years ago after doing many years of trail running. I wanted a new hobby and joined TORC and met a lot of wonderful people, many of whom helped me learn the skills of mountain biking, and it’s been the best sport I’ve ever done. I consistently love it all the time, and now I’m introducing my children to it. There’s so many different aspects to biking, the type of bike you can have, the type of trail you ride, what you see, the skills, there’s so much variety it keeps it really interesting.