HIT­TING (AND BUILD­ING) THE TRAILS IN CEN­TRAL

A rep­re­sen­ta­tive from IMBA Canada pro­vides hope for Cen­tral moun­tain bik­ers

The Central Voice - - Front Page - ZACHARY COOK

Grand Falls-Wind­sor has no trails de­signed specif­i­cally for moun­tain bik­ers, but that’s about to change.

The In­ter­na­tional Moun­tain Bike As­so­ci­a­tion Canada (IMBA) came to town Sept. 22 to of­fer a free moun­tain bike trail build­ing course, unit­ing in­ter­ested vol­un­teers from across the prov­ince.

Justin Tru­elove, trails spe­cial­ist and pro­gram co-or­di­na­tor at IMBA Canada, led the course.

He told The Cen­tral Voice there is cer­tainly po­ten­tial for moun­tain bik­ing trails in the area, not­ing an ex­ist­ing snow­shoe trail could ac­com­mo­date bik­ing.

“The pos­si­bil­ity and po­ten­tial in the Grand Falls-Wind­sor area is fan­tas­tic; there’s no rea­son why this moun­tain bike trail can’t be cre­ated and why it can’t be a des­ti­na­tion for peo­ple to come,” said Tru­elove.

His visit to Grand Falls-Wind­sor came about when the lo­cal moun­tain bik­ing club reached out to IMBA Canada and the town coun­cil. The town then con­tacted IMBA Canada to host the course and as­sess lo­cal trails.

In the mean­time, in 2017 the town re­ceived fund­ing from pro­vin­cial and fed­eral gov­ern­ments to im­prove ski trails and build a five-kilo­me­tre moun­tain bike trail.

Although im­prove­ments have been made to the ski trails, mem­bers of the moun­tain bike club say the bike trail devel­op­ment is tak­ing too long.

“As a club, we want to en­sure that the town of Grand Falls-Wind­sor uti­lizes the grant money given to them to build a qual­ity, sus­tain­able moun­tain bike trail,” said club mem­ber Colin Clark­son.

Tru­elove will pre­pare a re­port from his visit to the town, of­fer­ing sug­ges­tions on how to prop­erly de­velop and im­prove the snow­shoe trail to al­low it to dou­ble as a moun­tain bik­ing path.

Grand Falls-Wind­sor is not the only town in the cen­tral re­gion that sees the po­ten­tial in hav­ing good moun­tain bik­ing trails.

Gan­der, East­port and Glover­town also want to build trails.

“Our big­gest con­cern has al­ways been that we don’t have any ac­cess to real moun­tain bike trails; we ride a lot on quad trails and dirt roads,” said An­drew Poole, a phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion teacher in East­port.

“It’s all about get­ting out on new trails and seek­ing new ex­pe­ri­ences; the more trails, the bet­ter,” added Rocky Strong, a mem­ber of the Gan­der moun­tain bik­ing com­mu­nity.

A rep­re­sen­ta­tive from the Town of Grand-Falls Wind­sor said a moun­tain bik­ing trail would cer­tainly add value, for both cit­i­zens and vis­i­tors.

“We would like to see peo­ple from around the prov­ince trav­el­ling to our com­mu­nity to make use of our trails,” said Keith An­tle, di­rec­tor of Parks and Recre­ation for the town.

Once Tru­elove hands in his re­port, An­tle said the town plans to work with the lo­cal moun­tain bike club to en­sure the devel­op­ment of the trail.

Their goal is to have por­tions of the trail open to the pub­lic by next sum­mer.

“It’s one of our top pri­or­i­ties; bring­ing some­body from IMBA cer­tainly shows that we’re very se­ri­ous about de­vel­op­ing this trail and very anx­ious to see the re­sults,” said An­tle.

KRYSTA CAR­ROLL/ SPE­CIAL TO THE CEN­TRAL VOICE

More than 20 peo­ple from Grand Falls-Wind­sor, Bot­wood, Gan­der, Cor­ner Brook and Stephenville par­tic­i­pated in a moun­tain bik­ing trail devel­op­ment ses­sion on Sept 22 One of the things they did was prac­tice trail plan­ning Delia Young (left) uses the in­cli­nome­ter, with Jenelle Grandy as­sist­ing, to mea­sure the slope of a sec­tion of trail

KRYSTA CAR­ROLL/SPE­CIAL TO THE CEN­TRAL VOICE

Krista McKin­non marks a trail in Grand Falls-Wind­sor dur­ing a moun­tain bike trail build­ing ses­sion with Justin Tru­elove of In­ter­na­tional Moun­tain Bik­ing As­so­ci­a­tion Canada (IMBA)

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