Biking at Mont Ste-Marie, back to the source

September 13 2017

BIKING AT MONT STE-MARIE – Back to the source

As the dates of the 4th annual Velo MSM Mountain Fest, one of eastern Canada’s premiere mountain bike events, drew closer, I decided it was high time I tried out the trails in the expanded mountain bike park at Mont Ste-Marie (MSM).

A sustainable project

I’ve been hearing about the upgrades to MSM’s mountain bike trail network for several years, and my friends wax more enthusiastic about it with every passing season. The quality of the trails is set by the design and construction standards of IMBA (the International Mountain Bicycling Association), an organization that has been promoting mountain biking and responsible and sustainable trail development for nearly 30 years.

“If we build it, he will come”

This mythical quote (slightly paraphrased) from the movie Field of Dreams, starring Kevin Costner, takes on a whole new meaning when you take a few minutes to read the “History” section of Velo MSM’s website. I’m impressed and inspired by the vision, determination and energy that the volunteer team at Velo MSM has invested in this project. They are true pioneers.

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Flashback: The summer I was 11

I remember it as if it were yesterday: my dad agreed to buy me my very first REAL mountain bike! It was a shrewd investment at the time; he probably figured that my new purple GT Timberline FS would keep me too busy to get into any teenage shenanigans. And he was right: the bike and the sport helped me develop an active lifestyle that I’ve maintained into adulthood. Unfortunately for him, 22 years later, I’m still getting into teenage shenanigans. 😉

WOW.

For the past few years I’ve spent most of my time on my road bike, and I decided to seize the opportunity to renew acquaintance with my mountain bike. It didn’t take long for the word “Wow” to spring to my lips.

I was really impressed by the absence of erosion on the trails, despite the heavy rain over the last few months. Even riding in the rain, I enjoyed the trail layouts, and I didn’t hold back on the downhills and coming out of the turns. Grinning all the way, I confess I let out a few excited shrieks.

I also appreciated the well-signposted trail intersections, which made it easy to keep my bearings on the mountain. I also noticed a few signs marking the level of difficulty of the trails. When the rain stopped, I even took a break to sit on a bench, admire the view and enjoy the moment.

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Mountain Fest – Fun for the whole family!

With free bike demos, a three-stage enduro race, and lots of activities for kids of all ages, there’s fun for all on the slopes of Mont Ste-Marie on Mountain Fest weekend!

Warning

I should warn you that attending the Velo MSM Mountain Fest at Mont Ste-Marie may cause you to experience feelings of intense excitement.

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Outdoor sports

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