IMBA Canada Trail Care Crew leaders AJ Strawson and Rachael Raven wrap up their time on the road and say goodbye!
For the past year and a half, AJ and I have travelled all across the country - visiting all of Canada's beautiful and unique provinces (plus the Yukon!), riding our bikes, building trails, and spreading the word about how mountain biking and singletrack make our communities better places to live.
It's no surprise that frontcountry trails get more attention than backcountry. It is tough to get out and monitor or assess backcountry routes, let alone get materials or people out to maintain them. So this week we took to Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic Site's 60km Liberty Loop to assess the condition of the trails and get the full park experience.
With a week off in the schedule before we are due to work back on the mainland, AJ and I found ourselves with time to explore Newfoundland's spectacularly beautiful Gros Morne National Park. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Park features amazing terrain and geology, including the second highest peak on the island.
Great trails take us to amazing locations. Away from civilization, roads, and the monotony of everyday life, our trails seek out vistas and lookouts, rivers and lakes, and rugged terrain deep in the wild.
But this can put us at odds with the power of mother nature, and the environment around us. By having minimal impact on our surroundings - exposing the terrain, rather than changing it - our trails are often vulnerable to storms, flooding, slides, or other changes to the ecosystem.
The energy and enthusiasm that we felt from the folks with the Avalon Mountain Bike Association was infectious. A relatively new organization, the club is currently beginning the process of managing the trail network in Pippy Park, a popular urban multi use within the city. The park contains a number of forest types, ponds, viewpoints, and fantastic rock, making for an excellent canvas to craft beginner friendly multi-use trail.
Our visit to Cornerbrook, NL, happened during a time of great excitement and activity as the West Coast Cycling Association was nearly finished building their first trail, the Ginger Route. The trail is part of a 50km masterplan (that IMBA Canada's Trail Solutions had a hand in designing) which will draw in mountain bikers from near and far with progressive and sustainable trails.
If you are like me, you've been spending tons of time on the saddle, exploring new trails, loving old favourites and enjoying many great rides with friends.
I hope that you can take a few minutes out of your busy ride schedule to think ahead to the fall and the annual Take A Kid Mountain Biking Event. The official day is on Saturday October 5, 2013, but we already have many events planned in the weeks leading up to the 5th. It's time to share the love with kids in your community and IMBA Canada is here to help make it easy for you.
There are a myriad of kid friendly events happening across Canada every day!
With the generous support of MEC, our Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day coordinator Deanne Lazaruk has been able to put together an interactive map that links you directly to events happening across Canada so it's easier for you to find out more information on the events near you.
We are encouraging clubs, groups, event planners to get in touch with us with your event information so that we can add it to our map. Check back often as we will be posting events on a regular basis.
IMBA Canada believes that Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day can be much more than just one day on the calendar each year. To achieve this goal, we’ve partnered with Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) for 2013! Together we intend to make each and every day Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day.