It can be very challenging for trail builders and land managers to strike a balance between trail experiences for beginner or novice users, all the way to experienced users seeking wilderness.
Factor in rugged terrain (like our experience building beginner mountain bike trails in Abbotsford, BC) and it can create a very difficult situation for trail builders to offer green-level singletrack.
3...2...1...the doors open and IMBA Canada Staff are ready to go!
It’s the annual hussle and bussle of this event that spells springtime for me, one because we get the opportunity to see a great number of likeminded people, the other, because we are passionate about riding bikes and like to see if we can score a few last minute deals before the upcoming season.
Twenty five — it's a number you'll be seeing a lot of from IMBA this year as we celebrate our founding in 1988. To get the silver anniversary year underway we'll start with a look at some of last year's successes in Canada, and around the world:
Throughout the past 6 months on the road, we'd always get a laugh when we told folks that we were wintering in Thunder Bay. Our final visit of the year was December 9th, in balmy Nanaimo, then AJ and I repacked the car one last time and did the four day drive back to Ontario. We're hibernating for the next few months, while we wait for spring and the trail building season to arrive. Meanwhile we have lots of time to catch up on office work, and couch surfing.
We had a great day of building and teaching in Nanaimo; tons of great volunteers ready to tackle the challenging terrain we had, plus help from the previous Trail Care Crew to supervise other sections of trail. The project consisted of about 150 metres of trail construction and rehabilitating older trail to bring up to sustainable guidelines.
Trail design can sometimes be a pretty complicated endeavour. One must balance many considerations when adding new trail to an existing network. This includes the basics like user types, difficulty level, existing trails, and the ever present question of sustainability. Furthermore, different types of terrain provide additional challenges; a beginner trail in rooty and rocky terrain can require significant effort.
It can take quite a while for an organization or club representing a group of people to become an established part of the community. Especially when the club has to work with both local or regional governments, and at the same time establish a membership base which can support the activities and long term goals. Furthermore, when an organization is just starting out, the list of obstacles and challenges is often much larger than the lists of successes.
For years, mountain bikers have had to tell land managers exactly what type of trail we like. For those who've never ridden a mountain bike, it would be reasonable to assume a wide doubletrack with gravel or wood chips is good enough. But anyone who has ridden a mountain bike knows the amount of fun that can be had on narrow and twisty singletrack.