Though we haven't lived in Ottawa for a few years, rumours about the great trails at Mont Ste Marie have travelled far and wide. So, when we heard that we'd be paying a visit to Velo MSM, Rachael and I were excited to finally see what was going on!
Our first day began with a group ride to check out the work they had been doing. With a few paid trailbuilders (thanks to multiple grants) they have put considerable effort into a blue level climbing trail to get to the top of the hill.
We have a saying at IMBA, "great trails build communities, and communities build great trails."
As Trail Care Crew, frequently working with exceptional people building great singletrack, we often witness the latter half of this statement, but sometimes forget that trails themselves bring people together.
We're seeking feeback on our Trail Care Crew program. If you've had the chance to attend a workshop this year with TCC leaders AJ Strawson and Rachael Raven, please take a moment and fill out this brief survey.
This past week, amid crisis and flooding in alberta, AJ and I visited the small valley town of Invermere, BC, just west of the Rockies. This visit was a follow up to last year's trail building school, with loftier goals: getting the larger community on board to support trail access in the region.
Our drive into the beautiful Vernon, BC, had us excited about the types of trail we might find in the Okanagan. With a wide range of vegetation types and geology, we guessed there would be plenty of variety to be had riding in the region. We were not wrong.
This past weekend, we had the pleasure to visit Surrey, BC, where the Surrey Off-Road Cycling Enthusiasts (SORCE), call home. Before arriving, we wondered what this large, but relatively flat city situated south-east of Vancouver would have to offer. Most input we received from others (upon mentioning our next visit) was that Surrey had lots of farmland, but had little to offer in the way of riding.
Last year we had the chance to visit two National Historic Sites in the Sault Ste. Marie region of central Ontario. In our blog, we contemplated the value of trails taking us places - not just for recreation, but to cultural and historical destinations.
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.