TRAIL N EWS Fall 20 11
Meet our 2011 X-Fusion Trail Ambassadors 2011 Model Trails Announced:
on, BC . Phot
o by Sterling
Epics, Flow Trails + more
IMBA CANADA TRAIL NEWS Fall 2011, Volume 1, Number 2
IMBA Canada creates, enhances and preserves great trail experiences for mountain bikers across Canada. Staff James Brown, BC Regional Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org Chad and Deanne Lazaruk, Trail Care Crew, email@example.com Eric Leonard, Quebec Regional Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org David Mills, Alberta Regional Coordinator, email@example.com Jason Murray, Ontario Regional Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org
IMBA loves trails That’s why our staff are involved in trail projects all over Canada, making sure there are great riding opportunities, near and far.
Rachael Raven, Trail Care Crew + Communications Coordinator, rachael.raven@imba. com
Daniel Scott, Trail Specialist, email@example.com Lora Woolner, Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
presenting SPONSORS OF THIS EDITION OF ICTN
In the past year, our Trail Care Crew has been as far north as Fort Smith, NT, all the way out to Corner Brook, NL, and everywhere in between, meeting with clubs and riders like you. Trail Specialist Daniel Scott is working on trails masterplans in Crowsnest Pass, AB (p.5), Valemount, BC, and in Regina, SK, he’s helped to design the country’s first purpose-built handcycle trail system. Daniel’s also been part of the design team at the Outdoor Rec. Campus in Georgina, ON, and has been working hard to enhance trail experiences in Gros Morne National Park, NL. Take a look at the map to see where else we’ve been (or plan on going) this year! We’ve got almost 50 projects in the works, plus many others that our staff contribute to in their own regions. Help keep IMBA Canada’s momentum going in 2012 by donating to the Annual Fund. Supporters will receive a copy of the 2012 IMBA calendar as a free thank-you gift (check out the back cover for a preview). Donations fund great new mountain biking opportunities and help fight threats to the trails you love to ride! Get more info at: imbacanada. com/af
Additional support from Chico Racing. Corrections: Our last issue incorrectly referred to Thomas Hanrahan as president of the Durham Mountain Biking Association, when he is a director. Club president is Tom Hawks. DMBA was also omitted from the list of 2011 clubs.
Cover image by Sterling Lorence. Additional images by IMBA staff, and Dan Barham. Map by Alexander Strawson. Design adapted from Sugar Design, Inc. Images and stories available for re-use by permission only. IMBA CANADA PO Box 23034 Kitchener, ON N2B 3V1 (519) 208.2820 | email@example.com www.imbacanada.com
In their own words Kids comment on what mountain biking means to them. How fast can you ride? Leo, age 3: I can ride faster than you, Dad. Sam, age 3: I can stand on my pedals and go very, very fast. Rhys, age 6: Probably faster than I can run. What do you love most about riding your bike? NEARLY two thousand canadians get on bikes in support of take a kid mountain biking day! The 2011 edition of IMBA’s Take A Kid Mountain Biking day was a huge success, with more than 1,890 Canadians taking part, according to estimates from event organizers. Around the globe, more than 230 events took place on the October 1st weekend, with well over 21,000 kids and families in attendance. “We’re very excited about the growth of Take A Kid Mountain Bike day in Canada, especially since Parks Canada has come on board to promote the program,” said Lora Woolner, IMBA Canada’s executive director. “This is the biggest event that we know of that encourages youth to get outside and ride bikes in a natural setting.” Across Canada, events were held in conservation areas, provincial parks, and four National Parks – ranging from low-key rides to extravagant events with hundreds of participants joining in the fun. Rides were also held in Australia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, South Africa and the United States. This year marks the eighth installment of the international event — which challenges adults and biking clubs to introduce kids to the sport of mountain biking. Since its inception in 2004, IMBA’s Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day has put an estimated 63,000 kids and adults on bikes. Many thanks to the supporters of IMBA’s 2011 Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day in Canada: Parks Canada, Sprockids, Trips for Kids, CLIF Bar, Shimano, Specialized and Trek, who continue to support our efforts in getting kids outside and on bikes.
Maysa, age 4: Riding down the hills. And going to pick flowers. Jess, age 10: It makes me feel free, like I'm flying. It helps me calm down and gives me a good attitude. Anneka, age 10: It feels good to be out in nature. What's the best part about your bike? Maysa: The pedals, because they pedal. Tatum, age 5: I like my basket because I can put my soccer ball in it. Kaiden, age 6: My princess bell. I like ringing it when I pass other bikes and walkers on the trail. What would you say to kids who are just learning to bike? Jess: I know it is hard at first but trust me, it's totally worth it. Anneka: Try it! Even if you crash, still get up and keep going because it's fun. Rhys: If you look straight ahead, it will keep you more balanced. What do you enjoy about riding with your family? Jess: The bikes put us all in such a good mood; we're relaxed and happy! Conlen, age 7: That you can talk to them. Rhys: Just being together with them.
skills and strategies to succeed in life. There is a hidden curriculum of goal setting, learning from your mistakes, getting along with your peers, and being creative.” Today, Sprockids is run in 19 countries by schools, cycling clubs, girl guides and boy scouts, and many other community organizations. The educational program connects kids with mentors to give them tools to enjoy cycling safely. Unlike sports like swimming or soccer, cycling doesn’t have a nationally recognized instruction program. “I wanted to create a resource that anyone could take and make their own,” says Doug. That resource has evolved into two instruction manuals, totaling more than 500 pages, training DVDs, skills passports, and schwag for participants. founder of sprockids honoured with imba canada leadership award Last month, IMBA Canada presented Doug Detwiller, founder of the Sprockids program, with an award in recognition of his contribution to youth in cycling. “Doug has done so much for promoting the sport of mountain biking and getting kids on bikes, by bringing fat-tires to the classroom,” said Lora Woolner, IMBA Canada’s executive director. “His passion for mountain biking and kids is contagious — All you have to do is visit his home on the Sunshine Coast of BC to experience it. A generation of young riders has been cultivated there, along with strong culture of responsibility and trail stewardship. It’s no wonder the Sprockids program has achieved such success.”
As the program grew, Doug started hosting local races, and eventually built the Sprockids Bike Park in Gibsons, BC – the first municipally built bike park in Canada, he says. In the early 2000s, he also planned two of the biggest trail building days in Canadian history, each with more than 1000 kids from kindergarten to grade 12 out on the trail. Over the years, Sprockids has partnered with both IMBA and the Canadian Cycling Association to further expand its reach, but now the program lies back in the hands of its founder. Just a few years from retirement at Gibsons Elementary, Doug says he is looking forward to working on Sprockids full time so that he can focus on training new instructors and updating and developing new resources.
What started as a club of 50 kids from Gibsons Elementary School more than two decades ago, has grown into a world-renowned cycling program that has put thousands of kids on bikes in Canada, and around the globe.
In recognition of his contribution to Canadian youth in mountain biking, we are presenting Doug with a handmade plaque, created by Toronto metalwork artist Rachel Best.
“Sprockids is all about getting young people involved in a healthy lifestyle,” says Doug, a public school teacher by profession. “At the same time you’re teaching them
“I’m humbled by the gorgeous award, and honoured to receive it. There are so many people doing great things in Canada with mountain biking at the moment, so it really means a lot,” said Doug.
apply for a 2012 trail care crew visit today IMBA Canada member clubs, Trans Canada Trail affiliates, Parks Canada sites and other land managers are invited to apply to host a free 4-day visit in 2012. Each crew visit is anchored around IMBA’s highly-respected Trail Building School, during which the crew teaches sustainable trail construction and maintenance practices through a classroom session and hands-on trail workshop. Go online to imbacanada.com/ tcc and apply soon. Deadline is Midnight EST on November 15, 2011. Thank you to Parks Canada the Trans Canada Trail, and Subaru for their ongoing support, and to all the individuals and affiliates who donated to the 2011 Trail Building Fund. Nearly $15,000 has been raised to ensure the continuation of the program next year. Crowsnest pass opens skills park and 5 km of trails Last month, United Riders of Crowsnest (UROC) and Community Futures Crowsnest Pass celebrated the official opening of the Blairmore skills park and more than 5 km of singletrack, adjacent to the Pass Powerkeg Ski Hill.
Built by Hoots Inc., the trails were designed by IMBA Canada Trail Specialist Daniel Scott as part of a trails masterplan in the Crowsnest Pass region. “We’re all very excited about new park as well as the new trail network above the park,” says Steve Atkinson, UROC Chair. “We’re well on our way to changing the face of the Crowsnest Pass into an amazing place to pedal your bike!” The skills park offers beginner and intermediate jumps along with a big jump line for more advanced riders. Also included is a drop zone, pump track and a variety of skills features, boasting a 170 ft log and rock ride, says park builder Jay Hoots. Still to come are more than 125 km of trails in the Crowsnest Pass: flow trails, an “epic” cross-country route, advanced downhill riding and more intermediate, cross-country singletrack. Located 230 km south of Calgary, The Crowsnest Pass is comprised of five small towns, connected by Hwy 3 in southern Alberta: Coleman, Blairmore, Bellevue, Hillcrest and Frank. In 2010, Community Futures Crowsnest Pass invited IMBA Canada to create a 5-year masterplan for the region, with a vision to create a mountain bike tourism destination. santa fe to host 2012 imba world summit Santa Fe, New Mexico, will host the 2012 IMBA World Summit. The gathering will be held Oct. 1013, with pre-conference activities on Oct. 8-9. “We’re thrilled to hold our next world summit in Santa Fe,” said IMBA USA Executive Director Mike Van
P; Jim Lucas.
Abel. “The city offers vibrant culture, top-shelf food and accommodations and more. But more importantly to our crowd there’s also a fantastic array of mountain bike trails in and around the city.” The event, expected to draw hundreds of enthusiasts, advocates, and leaders of local and regional mountain bike organizations from throughout the world, is open to the public. IMBA summits provide unparalleled learning opportunities: Topics will include strategies for building topshelf bicycling facilities, balancing recreation and land conservation, developing mountain bike tourism, and attracting youth and other new riders to IMBA’s global network. IMBA hires new U.S. Trail Care Crew The sixteenth couple to roam the U.S. with the Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew program has begun their two-year tour. Jake Carsten and Jenny Abraham hail from Austin, Texas. The U.S. Trail Care Crew program, supported by Subaru since its inception in 1997, is now in its 15th year and remains one of IMBA’s most popular and successful initiatives. Jake and Jenny replaced Chris and Leslie Kehmeier, both of whom have joined IMBA USA’s Trail Solutions team. Jake and Jenny both love educating and empowering mountain bikers, from teaching sustainable trail building and advocacy techniques to improving r i d i n g skills. IMBA recently rolled out a new print and 5 ” Look electronic ad campaign, “Trail Love. for it in a variety of media outlets, and on new IMBA Canada schwag!
Made possible by Renegade Cycle Solutions (RCS), the X-Fusion Trail Ambassador Awards seek to recognize advocates across Canada who go ‘above and beyond’ their volunteer roles to give back to the mountain biking community. Congratulations to Ryan Lindh of Wolfville, NS, and Brad Proctor of Sechelt, BC, who are IMBA Canada’s first-ever X-Fusion Trail Ambassadors!
Mountain biking since ‘99, Ryan got involved with the Annapolis Valley Mountain Bike Association (AVMBA) in 2007 when a number of local trails came under threat of closure. Like many others, Ryan says he started building because their trails – built in the early 90s – were in poor shape. “When I started it was because some of the original builders had stopped looking after them...Now it’s something I love doing. It’s really rewarding to do a positive thing for the community that a lot of people are getting enjoyment from,” says Ryan.
A dedicated builder, Brad spends 1-2 days in the field per week, maintaining nearly 100 km of cross-country trails on the Sunshine Coast. “He is truly an unsung hero, says Sue Duxbury, SCUMB member. “Almost every Saturday from March to when the snow flies, you can find Brad out trail building. Sometimes with his wife and friends, and sometimes just by himself.”
rail builder and mountain bike guide by trade, Ryan Lindh, 27, spends most of his time playing in dirt. When he’s not working for Shoreline Dirtworks, he can be found in Nova Scotia’s beautiful Annapolis Valley, building (and riding) trails.
In his role as board member of the AVMBA, Ryan organizes festivals, events, and a number of large races each year. Being a graduate of Capilano University’s Mountain Bike Operations program, Ryan is also the go-to guy for trail building, spending 4-5 nights a week repairing existing trails, and expanding the AVMBA’s 20+ kilometer network of singletrack. “Ryan’s passion for mountain biking and trail building have helped create some of the best and most technical and flowy trails Nova Scotia has to offer,” said Adam Shore, owner of Shoreline Dirtworks. “Ryan is definitely most deserving of this award and more.” “This is a great honour. Its really great to be recognized for your work,” said Ryan. “A little recognition helps keep you motivated to go out there and do more and keep working for the community’s sake.” 6
t’s an understatement to say that Brad Proctor, Sechelt, BC, loves cycling. Riding since he was a kid, the 60-year-old has owned his own shop, and even built custom frames for Canada’s elite cyclists back in the eighties (Proctor Cycles). Now working as a public servant, Brad is actively involved with the Sunshine Coast United Mountain Bikers (SCUMB), and considered a local trail sage.
When he’s not building, Brad manages SCUMB’s volunteer base and coordinates trail projects and hugely successful build days. He also sits on a number of committees, such as the Sunshine Coast Community Forest Advisory Committee, to represent all disciplines of cycling. “Its a real honour to be named Trail Ambassador,” said Brad. “I’m driven by my love of riding and the outdoors. With a high pressure job, I love the freedom that exists when you’re out in the woods on a bike.” Congrats also to runners up,Rod Camposano (Sechelt, BC), Morris Martini (Guelph, ON), and Josh Kessler (Regina, SK)! Our Trail Ambassadors will be receiving a 2011 X-Fusion Velvet RL fork, while runners up are getting a set of Hygia Elite Carbon brakes, courtesy of RCS.
Put your town's trails on the map! Whether you’re a government official, a bike-shop owner, or an enthusiastic member of a mountain bike club, there are several things you can do to make your community more appealing to mountain bikers. Provide and promote trails for all abilities. Beginners enjoy lightly traveled paved roads, dirt roads, and wide dirt paths. Intermediate and advanced riders seek twisting, forest trails, challenging singletrack, and downhill routes. Providing all of these experiences in abundance, and promoting trails through websites, tourism brochures, and mountain bike clubs, will help establish your area as a first-rate mountain biking destination. Be sure to advertise a whole system of trails instead of just one in order to avoid over-use. Develop sustainable singletrack trails. IMBA provides advice on designing and building trails that require minimal maintenance. Mountain bikers crave singletrack, and designing interconnecting singletrack trails will bring them in droves. Showcase the land's natural beauty. Design and recommend rides that visit sites with historical interest and beautiful views. Sign your trails well. Riders who get lost may have a bad experience. Design, produce, and post accurate trail signs to supplement the signs and markers that may already be in place. Make sure to coordinate this effort with other trail groups. Great maps make it easy for visitors. Create excellent maps that clearly show the best trails for mountain biking. Elevation profiles and concise ride descriptions are helpful,
as are estimates of ride difficulty, descriptions of ride features, and weather and safety considerations. Maps should include parking and facility information. Use map revenues to improve trails and mitigate tourism impacts. Help your community understand mountain biking. Some people don't know the difference between mountain bicycling and motorcycling. Help residents understand that mountain biking is a low-impact, quiet, muscle-powered, off-pavement sport. Reference one of the studies available on imbacanada.com that shows the similarities between and biking and hiking in terms of their effects on trails and wildlife. Show that with proper trail management and design, all trail-user groups can recreate in harmony. Take town leaders on a ride. Get your community involved. Build community support for bicycle tourism by emphasizing the economic benefits. Cyclists spend money on gas, food, lodging, and souvenirs, and businesses that are friendly to riders will reap the rewards. Seek support from local bike shops. Tourists don't want to work to find out where to ride, lodge, eat, and shop … they usually just ask at the local bike shop. Shops can train their staff to be area ambassadors, which makes for happy bikers and satisfied customers. Giving mountain bikers the lay of the land, telling them where to park, and posting pictures of the area trailheads in the shop
reduces travel hassle and anxiety for first-time visitors.
Provide lodging with cyclists in mind. Cyclists look for convenient places to stay that complement their lifestyle. Campgrounds near trailheads, bed and breakfasts, and hotels that provide secure bike storage are all appealing. Hut-to-hut (or inn-to-inn) rides have become popular in places like Colorado and Utah because they allow cyclists to ride light and free. Photograph your trails professionally. A picture really is worth a thousand words. Commission a photographer to capture your trails, and send highquality digital files to magazines, newspapers, and tourism bureaus. Advertise other amenities in the area. Mountain bikers are active, adventurous people, and hiking, climbing, surfing, and other activities might appeal to them. Cyclists also love to eat and drink beer (especially following a long day in the saddle), so a list of easy restaurant or pub options is also appreciated. Woo the media. Offer all-expense-paid mountain bike trips for the media — not only to editors at cycling magazines but also to editors at general magazines and journalists at daily or local newspapers. Want your community’s trails featured in an upcoming issue? let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
ach year, IMBA collects online nominations for a new crop of Epics. This year, we’ve returned our focus to challenging backcountry excursions that most people associate with Epic riding. We hope you’ll find inspiration — and a sense of what can be accomplished when you know what to aim for — as you examine the current crop of Epics and Model Trails!
Mountain Hero Carcross, Yukon 32 km/5 hours Ride from the historic town of Carcross, home to the Carcross-Tagish First Nation who build and maintain the Montana Mountain trail network. A strenuous climb on old mining roads quickly pays off with stunning alpine views, glimpses of historic mining artifacts and a chance to watch caribou and other wildlife. From the remains of the namesake Mountain Hero mine, hand-built singletrack weaves through the alpine, linking into a century-old pack trail that plunges down to the shores of Nares Lake. Most have a vehicle waiting, but the 8
strongest ride back to Carcross, past the shores of Nares Lake on the scenic Klondike Highway. Rattling Creek Singletrack Lykens, Pennsylvania 38 km/4 hours Flowy trails punctuated with rock gardens create classic East Coast riding that rewards bike handling as much as fitness. Trails don’t get more sustainable than the Rocks Ridge section — a 1 km boulder field that’s featured on IMBA USA’s website under the heading “Toughen Your Trail With Rocks.” Unforgiving, yes. But it’s rideable if you’ve got the
chops, and even if you have to walk a few spots you’ll enjoy the mature hardwood forests and scenic stream valleys. Constant rollers offer fun descents and snappy climbs, with more total elevation change than you’d expect. Kerr Scott Trails Wilkesboro, North Carolina 56 km/6 hours The Kerr Scott trails offer lots of options, all of them good. Dark Mountain (13 km) features more sustained climbs and longer descents than the other trails. The OVT (14 km) provides beginner-friendly singletrack with little elevation change. Warrior
Creek combines 6 km of rugged trail with 10 km of fast, flowing singletrack. Also at Warrior Creek, the River Trail follows the Yadkin River and allows for a mellow, meandering ride. The Headwaters Loop (still in development) will be the most technically challenging areas with copious rock gardens and steep drops. Brown County State Park Brown County, Indiana 48 km/5 hours This is flowing singletrack at its best, built in one of the largest contiguous hardwood forests east of the Mississippi River. The
More Model Trails
trail designers used every bit of the 600 feet of elevation change available to create five independent loops and three connector trails. Difficulty ranges from a beginner-friendly loop to black diamond fare. Expect to drop into valleys and creek crossings before climbing to overlooks with vistas of the surrounding hills. The hardy clay soil allows for sculpted turns and features — get ready to carve, climb and do it again. W2 Trail Afan Forest Park, Wales 43 km/6 hours The amenities created for mountain bikers on this demanding ride include several cafes, parking lots equipped with bike washes, restrooms with showers and a well-stocked bike shop. The singletrack, however, is the real draw of this Epic, with narrow, twisty trails that open into well-crafted jump lines. Great flow and grippy rocks abound, and the trails hold up well to the soaking Welsh climate.
Opposite: Mountain Hero, Carcross, YT, by Dan Barham. Top: Brown County State Park, Indiana, US. Below: Carcross, YT, by Anthony DeLorenzo.
Gateway Trails: Rockburn Branch Park
Flow Trails: Sandy Ridge
Gateway Trails position standout facilities in places where lots of people can experience the joy of mountain biking. IMBA Trail Solutions, working with the Mid-Atlantic Off Road Enthusiasts (MORE), recently designed a new bike skills park in Maryland that exemplifies the category.
Flow Trails take mountain bikers on a terrain-induced roller coaster ride with an emphasis on trail features and little need for braking. This style of trail typically offers high-banked turns, rolling terrain, copious launch pads and consistent surfaces. Conspicuously absent are abrupt corners or obstacles — as a rider carves back and forth she develops a rhythm, a flow and a gigantic grin.
Rockburn Branch offers progressive flow-based trails for beginners, intermediate and advanced riders — all located in the seventhlargest metropolitan area in the U.S. The design features a 5,000-square-foot pump track, made possible by CLIF Bar’s Meet The Moment program. Special thanks go to CLIF athletes Jeff Lenosky and Marla Streb who joined the October opening festivities and shared their skills with a strong turnout of local riders.
Located within striking distance of Portland, Oregon, the Sandy Ridge trails offer a flow-based, purpose-built network that offers a variety of fun choices: black-diamond jump lines, rooty-and-rocky trails that challenge skills without killing momentum and gravity-based singletrack spiced with berms and rollers. With more than 2,500 user passes per month, the Sandy Ridge Trail System is quickly becoming Oregon’s most popular mountain bicycle trail network.
Learn more about IMBA’s Model Trails, including the 2011 Ride Centres, online at imbacanada.com/modeltrails
considered all the possibilities. The next step is to determine what resources you have to support each individual trail effort and what kind of commitment your club can make (including long-term maintenance). Be honest and realistic about what your club can accomplish now and later. Perhaps it would be to pick a “low-hanging fruit” project to energize your community and set the table for a bigger and better project. Once you’re moving forward, these are some things you should think about: •
If you’re dealing with a property that already has a lot of trails, assess your current trail inventory. Are there trails that could be better? How will you incorporate what you already have into what you want?
Don’t be afraid to close unsustainable trails.
Clubs shouldn’t settle for less than the best.
If you’re going for “Epic,” superb flow is the goal.
In the beginning, any dirt we got was good dirt. We evolved, and our dirt had to be sustainable. Now we’re all grown up and we’re picky! The good news is that in many places, getting access for trails is no longer the battle it used to be. Land managers are agreeing to trail proposals, even being proactive about involving user groups in designing and building them.
Quality is better than quantity.
Train your volunteers in sustainable trail building and find good crew leaders.
Focus on design, and even if you can’t afford to have a professional build your trails, at least consider hiring a professional to help you design them.
Use a clinometer, and don’t forget pin flags.
Find money to rent equipment. Money is out there, we promise.
By saying no more often, you create value around what you offer.
Unfortunately, many mountain bikers are so busy saying yes, they’re spreading themselves too thin and missing the chance to build truly epic trails. And, by epic, we not only mean trails that people from outside your club will talk about, but also trails that add value to your community — trails that will have your land manager begging for more. Your work on the trails is the best advertisement for your club. Bad trails don’t speak well for your abilities, so be sure to measure your opportunities wisely. If you’re faced with too many opportunities, pause for a bit. The last thing you want is to jump at every opportunity and end up with mediocre or unsustainable trail. First, take stock of all your short-term and long-term opportunities and prioritize them based on the goals of your community. Would you rather develop a 50 kilometer IMBA Epic or a handful of 5 to 10 km neighborhood trails? There’s no wrong answer — as long as you’ve 10
Even a modest trail project can be demanding. Why not go big and build the trail you’ve always wanted to ride, right in your own backyard? Get more info like this at imbacanada.com/resources
Tales from the Outback
ith only four days on the ground with each host, Trail Care Crew visits are jam packed full of meetings, trail assessments, and consultations – not to mention the actual trail workshop and build day. We often help kick-start new projects, but the real work doesn’t begin until after we’ve left town. Here are stories about three groups the IMBA Canada Trail Care Crew has touched this season. ShortHills Cycling Club St. Catharines, ON | April 2011
Nestled in between wineries and suburban neighbourhoods, the trails within Short Hills Provincial Park are heavily used by hikers, bird watchers, dog walkers, mountain bikers and equestrians. Despite an unusually wet spring, in the weeks following the Trail Building School club volunteers replaced a rutted fall line trail with smooth flowing contour singletrack. Those who couldn’t attend the workshop were astounded at the quality of the build. Provincial Park staff are now looking to the Club for advice on how to continue trail improvements in the park, and the SHCC has answered that call enthusiastically with the formation of an official trails committee — orange work shirts and all! “The biggest impact to our club has
been establishing credibility among the broader trail user community, including Short Hills Provincial Park, The Friends of Short Hills Park and the Niagara Bruce Trail Club,” said Mike Bauer, member of the SHCC trail committee. Crow Wing Trail Association Otterburne, mb | June 2011
The Crow Wing Trail Association formed in 1999 to build a section of the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) from Emerson to Winnipeg, MB. The trail celebrates a historical trade route, and along its 191 km doesn’t utilize any abandoned rail bed, like other long sections of the TCT. Having completed the connection, the group has now shifted its focus to improving the trail for better user experience. During its visit, the Crew worked with the association on a section of the TCT which passes through Providence College in Otterburne. The Crow Wing’s eventual goal is to build a loop surrounding the campus, which would provide Southern Manitobans with some much needed singletrack. “The workshop provided us with a whole new way of looking at our trail. We are now looking at opportunities to build sections which will encourage trail use within the communities and more populated areas,” said Murielle Bugera, president of the CWTA.
Left to right: Group ride with the ShortHills Cycling Club; Despite rainy weather, volunteers are in good spirits at the ShortHills Trail Building School; Chad and Deanne work with Parks Canada staff on the trail, including Forillon’s superintendant; Members of the Crow Wing Trail Association get started on a singletrack loop surrounding the Providence College Campus.
Volunteers from the CWTA have shared their new knowledge with members of the community by hosting a follow-up trail building day in October. Forillon National Park Gaspé, QC | August 2011
Located on the Gaspé Peninsula of Eastern Quebec, Forillon National Park has breathtaking ocean vistas and over 100 km trails. With cycling growing in popularity, Parks staff are eager to engage local mountain bikers and improve trails for off-road cycling. The workshop brought together Parks staff, local trail users, and organizations interested in maintaining and developing trail systems in the region. Visitor Experience Officer Camille Malouin credits the visit with “creating momentum and generating positive energy to move forward and work together for developing mountain biking opportunities in Forillon.” Since the visit, plans have been made for Parks Canada’s Trail Analyst, Mark Schmidt, to visit the park to further assess trails, and determine how to accommodate mountain bike opportunities. It’s inspiring to know the impact IMBA can make on a community! If your club has hosted the Trail Care Crew, let us know what you’ve been up to. Email email@example.com.
Your Neck of the Woods Updates from IMBA Canada’s Regional Coordinators ALBERTA | David Mills It’s autumn in Southern Alberta, and arguably the best time of the year to ride trails. Most of the rain has finished, the weather is mild and dry, plus trail crews, hikers and bikers have buffed the trails. Singletrack at high elevations may get a dusting of snow, but it will be a while before there’s any accumulation. With a decent helmet light, you can get out for some great after-work rides, and the weekends are perfect for longer backcountry jaunts. Best of all, the time spent in the saddle earlier in the season is paying off now with technical skill improvement and awesome fitness. There are many things afoot in Alberta. The Moose Mountain Bicycle Trail Society and Calgary Mountain Bike Alliance are going strong and hosting trail days in both the Moose Mountain area and Calgary. Progress on approval for the Calgary Mountain Bike Skills Park is slow but steady. Fingers crossed for a late-season build. The Greater Bragg Creek Trail Association continues to build singletrack in the West Bragg Creek area, and has an ongoing need for volunteers to help clear corridor in advance of the main workforce. It’s very encouraging to see so many trails built so fast. By the end of next summer, they will have created somewhere around 45 km of new singletrack! Now, many riders are asking if a connection to Dawson trailhead could be next? In Banff, the Bow Valley Mountain Bike Alliance continues to do great work. The buffed Lake Minnewanka trail opened to cyclists on Sept. 16 following the seasonal closure, which led to miles of smiles. Hinton, Edmonton, Red Deer and Cochrane are moving and shaking as well. Good times for good rides! Alberta clubs and riders, stay in touch with David at: firstname.lastname@example.org
ONTARIO | Jason Murray Over the past year I’ve noticed an increased interest in club formation in different areas across Ontario. Some are motivated by a lack of riding close to home, some have trails under direct threat of closure, and still others are responding to the request of the local land manager to speak with “the mountain bikers”. Forming a club is hard work; and keeping it going is also hard work. It’s a bit like herding cats. I’ve heard some say that mountain biking is existentially opposed to becoming anything more formal than a bunch of riding buddies. But this does not put us in a good position to address threats to land access, user conflicts, or slander from other user groups. I take my helmet off to everyone who tries. When the mountain bike community is not organized, there is a very real risk to trail access. If we wait for a threat to emerge and the worst to occur, it is too late. In a place like Greenwood Conservation Area, near Ajax, for example, mountain biking was eliminated as a permitted use because there was no local club to react during the 2004 management planning process. Due to the lack of foresight and organization, it’s going to take 10+ years of fighting to roll back the losses – and that’s only if funding cutbacks don’t delay the ten-year management plan revision cycle. Much better to be proactive: get organized, connect with existing land managers and stewards, find out what their challenges are, and most importantly, offer to be part of the solution. There are areas in the province of Ontario where there are little to no organized efforts to advocate for mountain biking. These communities have places to ride (some legit, some not); some even have local bike shops and clubs, but no one is “at the table” on our behalf. If we are going to be successful in our struggle to maintain, improve, and expand riding opportunities provincially, the only viable way to do it is by banding together: into local clubs, then into inter-club partnerships, and provincial councils under the larger IMBA Canada umbrella. Individuals and small groups don’t result in a successful lobby group, but together we can make real change happen. The next time you roll up to a trailhead ask yourself, ‘Who represents mountain biking on this property?’ Go find out, and thank them for their efforts. If the answer is ‘no one’, start asking, ‘why not?’ Perhaps it’s time to get organized.
IMBA Canada’s Regional Leadership Advisory Council program is made possible by generous funding from MEC.
BRITISH COLUMBIA | James Brown James Brown not only serves the province of BC as Regional Coordinator, but also handles IMBA Canada’s insurance program. Let him fill you in on the latest insurance updates. In Canada, IMBA partnered with Oasis Insurance to design and develop affordable insurance coverage that provides protection specifically for the members, volunteers, directors and officers of IMBA-affiliated mountain biking organizations. There are currently three policies available to our member clubs: 1) General Liability, 2) Directors and Officers Errors and Omissions, and 3) Accidental Death and Dismemberment for trail work days. But we’ve been working closely with Oasis to enhance insurance options for our affiliates and individual members. Here’s a sneak peak at what we’ve got in the works: Reduced special event premiums. In the past, affiliates participating in the general liability policy who wanted to host a competitive event were required to obtain a $500/day special event policy, a cost that was out of reach of most clubs. Now, groups will be able to acquire a special event policy for less — depending on the number of participants and spectators — starting as low as $250. Pedal Power. Available to all individual members, this exciting new policy will cover your bike for all risks, including theft, and cover you for personal accident injury and third party liability in Canada and the continental USA. For those wanting further coverage, there will also be an option to include protection during participation in races. We are still working with the underwriter on the wording for the policy, but should be accepting applications shortly. Personal accident insurance. IMBA Canada will also be offering personal accident insurance as a stand alone policy for both noncompetitive and competitive events. This policy is so new that we haven’t got the feature sheet ready for press yet, but it will offer the same personal accident coverage while riding your bike as what is included in the Pedal Power policy, without the third party liability or all-risk bike insurance. As soon as all feature sheets and FAQs are available for the new policies, they will be posted online. Find them at: imbacanada.com/ resources/insurance. Questions can be directed to james.brown@ imba.com Thank you clubs! In September we asked clubs to fill out a survey about having two general liability policies: one for non-competitive events, and one for clubs who wish to host races. Sixty-eight groups responded, and the results have been shared with Oasis who is now evaluating the merits of a hybrid or two-tier program. Look for some changes in the upcoming renewal year.
QUÉBEC | eric leonard Suite à l’embauche d’un agent de développement au lendemain du « sommet des sentiers » du mois d’avril, l’ADSVMQ est fière d’effectuer le lancement de ce nouveau programme permettant de mettre en réseaux différents intervenants dans toutes les régions du Québec. Basé sur le RLAC (Regionnal Leadership Advisory Council) d’IMBA, il visera principalement à orienter les principaux enjeux du développement de sentiers de vélo de montagne tant au niveau des infrastructures que de la pratique. En déléguant des coordonnateurs régionaux dans chaque coin de la province, l’ADSVMQ compte ainsi pouvoir transmettre les expériences acquises au fils des ans tout en profitant également de l’expérience vécue de ces coordonnateurs. Pour réaliser ce projet, des forums régionaux permettront aux acteurs d’échanger entre eux et surtout de bénéficier d’une voie unique lors de leurs démarches. Bien sur, le nouveau réseau pourra bénéficier des conseils et de l’encadrement de Francis Tétrault, coordonnateur de l’ADSVMQ. Cette démarche ne serait pas possible sans l’aide et le déploiement réalisés par Francois Derbas Thibodeau qui a su mettre en lien ces acteurs et surtout, permis à l’ADSVMQ d’étendre la portée de ces actions tout en assurant une continuité de sa mission partout en province. La rencontre d’amorce aura lieu prochainement et les équipes de travail seront invitées à participer à un maximum de 4 rencontres annuellement dont le « Sommet des sentiers » qui permettra de regrouper les coordonnateurs régionaux et les dirigeants de l’ADSVMQ lors d’une journée conférence tout juste avant le début de la saison. Bien sûr, le coordonnateur sera le point de contact pour toute intervention nécessaire dans sa région. Pour connaitres tous les développements et pour faire connaissance avec votre coordonateur régionnal (et si vous désirez participer à la démarche!), consultez le site web du CQS : http://www.adsvmq.org/CQS Read Eric’s column in English at imbacanada.com/blog
Thank you corporate supporters! above and Beyond supporters These organizations power IMBA Canada’s core programs with generous, title-level sponsorship and support.
Mountain Equipment Co-Op Norco Outdoor Gear Canada Renegade Cycle Solutions Ryders Eyewear The North Face Canada Trek 24 Hours of Adrenalin Chico Racing Canadian Corporate members, from a-z IMBA Canada is proud and thankful to receive support from a broad range of organizations, foundations, and companies.
Photos Top: IMBA Canada’s Trail Care Crew rides in beautiful Canmore, AB, during an October visit with the Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park; Middle: This past fall, IMBA Canada’s Trail Solutions conducted four trail building volunteer days in Crothers Woods with the City of Toronto, Lapdogs Cycling Club, Toronto Off Road Bicycle Association, and the Wild Bettys. Bottom: Mike Poulton tests a rock roll down in Wascana Provincial Rec Site. Trail Specialist Daniel Scott has been working with the Regina Handcycle Club and the province to design and manage the construction of Canada’s first handcycle-specific trail network.
24 Hours of Adrenalin / Twenty4 Sports Inc. Alpine Bike Parks Axis Gear Company Ltd. Boréale Mountain Biking Bruce County Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park Capilano University: Mountain Bike Operations Program Chico Racing Chromag Bikes Cobequid Trail Consultants Community Futures Crowsnest Pass Conservation Halton: Kelso / Hilton Falls / Mountsberg Creative Wheel/La Rocca XC MTB School Cycle Ontario Dirt Series Mountain Bike Camps Ltd. Geomatics Data Management Inc. Hardwood Ski and Bike Hoots Inc. Inter-Mtn Enterprises Inc. Joyride 150 Mountain Equipment Co-op
Mont-Sainte-Anne Norco Bikes Ontario Trails Council Origin Design + Communications Ltd. Outdoor Gear Canada Renegade Cycle Solutions Rocky Mountain Bicycles Ryders Eyewear Ryeka Sport Sentiers Boréals Inc. Sir Sam’s Resort Specialized Canada Subaru Canada Sustainable Trails Ltd. The North Face Canada Thule Canada Township of Georgian Bay Township of King TransRockies Inc. Trek Bicycle Corporation Canada Valhalla Trails Ltd. Western Canada Mountain Bike Tourism Association Whistler Mountain Bike Park Zeptechniques Mountain Bike Camps and Instructor Training
For information about how you or your organization can support IMBA Canada, including sponsorship of IMBA Canada Trail News, please contact Lora Woolner: email@example.com. National Partners
Love your trails? We know you do. Why not support them with a gift for yourself or a riding buddy? All proceeds from product sales go toward building trails and bike parks in Canada. What's not to love? imbacanada.com/store
BABY ONESIE | $20 "Save the trails for me!" This soft yellow onesie features a little tike popping a wheelie over the IMBA logo in mud brown print. Great for both girls and boys and available in Newborn, 12 months, and 24 months sizes. PINT GLASS | $15 Expose your inner Bavarian and flaunt your love for trails and beer with this 17oz pub glass — perfect for post-ride entertaining and imbibing. Makes a great gift. Order now for Christmas, as a limited number have been produced. Cheers! WOOLIE SOCK | $16 From long-time IMBA supporter Sock Guy, the IMBA tall (5" cuff!) woolie sock is ready for action on or off the trail. Acrylic wool blend with a touch of spandex for stretchy fit and no irritation, double stitched toe and heel for durability, and mesh weave construction for superior ventilation and moisture transfer. Small/Medium fits mens 6-10 Large/X Large fits 9-13.
PO BOX 23034 KITCHENER, ON N2B 3V1 CANADA
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