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.
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.
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.