(From the) Wild. Wild West


#1

Hi all. My name is Andrew Drouin, I’m from BC and I’ve recently completed a month-long tour of a whack of NS singletrack trails. I thought that I might provide a West-Coaster’s thoughts on June/July riding in your fine province (once my home-province as well).

Roots;

You folks must have developed the same kind of adaptive riding habits for wet root riding as we Westerners have for large, sharp rocks!

I had a {crash-course} in root-riding during my stay; but was figuring it out pretty well by the end of my visit.

Fight Trail;

Holy Shiite – you guys have what can only be described as a national treasure there!! I sincerely hope that NS riders are aware of just how rare that kind of riding terrain is in Canada, if not North America.

I was so blown away by the Fight Trail Network that I found myself falling in lust with mountain biking all over again - this, coming from a bike-bum who travels with Mt.bike-at-hand, riding four / five days a week, spring, summer and fall.

I urge every one of you reading this to join a local trail alliance or bike club tomorrow and together rally hard and loud for the protection of that wildly fun riding area.

Bring local Tourism Halifax reps’ to the site and show them this amazing place. If you frame your goals in the light of an opportunity for the region to bring in tourists and generate revenue, you will get their attention.

Do the same with city councillors and even the mayor. Bring then in from the ‘top’ of the trails, just off Alabaster Way. This will allow them to see both the best of the trails and the looming development in short order. Time isn’t something that most of them have a lot of. Write letters to the editors of (every) print publication in the area - they are always seeking interesting content to print.

In my opinion, the Fight Trails offer the most enjoyable riding of the many trail networks that I visited while in NS.

Without a strong ridership voice however, I’d say that from what I can see, the local housing development Corp. is going to blast the land to smithereens and build street after street of generic housing atop your trails…

That would be the shame of shames, as the place is indescribably unique.

Do the right thing; join a local club ASAP and make your voice heard!<<

Horseflies;

Nova Scotia might just be Canada’s National Breeding Centre for deer-flies & horseflies! I mastered the art of riding with a pine bough in one hand in order to defend myself, as DEET seems to simply whet their appetite :slight_smile:

My mom, a NS equestrian, suggested that I wear a double-sided sticky patch on the back of my helmet, as many horseback riders do. I will stock up on those the next time through.

Beer;

Happened upon an establishment called Maxwell’s Plum in Halifax. 60 types of beer on tap; need I say more ?

Kudos;

I’d like to thank the Trail Flow crew for showing me around a bit while I was in their neighbourhood, The Bike Peddler in Dartmouth for fixing up my broken parts in very short order and BikeTrout.com for supplying a tasty list of trails for me to explore while I was in-province.

If any of you are ever in BC’s Okanagan Valley, contact me via either of the links below. I write / maintain SweetSingletrack.ca - our version of BikeTrout if you will, and am the president of the South Okanagan Trail Alliance.

I’d be more than happy to show you folks around any of the more than 100 (!!) trails that we have to play on in the valley.

Our riding areas are completely different from yours, as you might expect; featuring lots of smooth, fast, flowy trails, punctuated by masses of uber-technical rock.

Andrew Drouin
sweetsingletrack.ca
southokanagantrailalliance.com

mobile.twitter.com/sweetsinglet … 1251495936


#2

Andrew- glad you enjoyed Fight Trail. It really is a great area!


#3

Wow! What a great ‘outside looking in’ review of fight and of the many diverse trails we have.

Also some great suggestions for those not affiliated with a particular trail… proactivity will be the only hope of averting another Whopper disappearing act.

Thanx Digital for the offer of trail liason for us lucky Bluenosers that might happen out your way.


#4

thanks so much Andrew, for the kind words on our province.


#5

Thank you for taking the time to write about your experiences here in NS Andrew.
Regarding the protection of the Fight Trail network; there is group called the McIntosh Run Watershed Association (MRWA). The McIntosh Run is the river that runs from Long Lake across Old Sambro Road and Hearing Cove Road and then makes it way through Spryfield and the Backlands out to Hearing Cove. In order to help protect the river the MRWA worked with Trail Flow Adventures and developed a concept plan for a multi-use, singletrack (narrow tread) trail . The plan was presented to the public and garnered great support. The plan is currently working it’s way through the various levels of government (HRM, DNR, DND, Native group, etc.). Throw your support behind this project by attending one of the monthly meetings of the MRWA and become a member.
https://www.facebook.com/McIntoshRunWatershedAssociation


#6

That’s excellent news! I would love to attend their meetings as well… but about 4200km separates us now that I’m home :slight_smile:

Perhaps large color printouts of the excellent map shown on that Facebook page:

facebook.com/photo.php?fbid … =1&theater

…might be posted at every retailer of non-motorized, outdoor recreation related gear in the region. I was in numerous bike shops, and their staff, kind-hearted and cool as they were, had no idea about any of this stuff, despite my quizzing them on local trail lore / history / activism.

Is the Mountain Equipment Co-Op in on this? They have been excellent partners for us in land access, conservation and funding. Regardless, its obvious that you folks have an action plan and partners in place; and that’s fantastic news!

For those of you reading this; join if you haven’t already joined - its only $5 per year; IE; a coffee and a muffin! Join now: mcintoshrun.ca/trails/index.html

Nice work and Kudos to all of you who’ve put time, heart and soul into the project to date!!!

Andrew


#7

We’ve been fortunate to have many strong voices in the past fight for our trails. Randy Gray, and Sue Earle come to mind immediately. Now, with the internet and social media, I hope to see even greater success with the elevated visibility of people’s efforts.

The Annapolis Valley Mountian Bike Association is a leader in our area working out land agreements and having the most and best trails (IMO) in the province. With the pending loss of Whopper and always present question mark on some of the trails around Spider I think mountain bikers in general are seeing the importance of having a strong, legitimate voice for our trails.

Sue Earle and Troy Turple started the Nova Scotia Mountain Bike Association, which has since become part of Bicycle Nova Scotia. If folks want to be a part of it, there is a non-racing membership where a portion of your membership goes towards that part of Bicycle Nova Scotia. There are also many local associations throughout the Atlantic region. I’ve been meaning to update that portion of the site, but that has been slow going unfortunately.

If anyone wishes to update their personal efforts in the Atlantic Provinces please share them on the site. If you are involved with a local association please let us know and we will make sure you are listed in our directory so you can be contacted a bite easier. We also welcome any suggestions from folks abroad who can provide tips to help us keep our trails, all help is appreciated.

I’m glad you had a positive experience in Nova Scotia Digital and hope you visit again. I will visit BC again, and will certainly look you up when I do!


#8

Based on a cursory ‘Google-virtual-flyover’ of the terrain north and north east of Peggy’s Cove, there appears to be a lot of exposed granite there as well; does anyone on this board have any input / experience as to whether there are established ‘granite trails’ there also?

Google (appears) to show even more granite terrain than ‘Whopper’ and ‘Fight’ put together…

Andrew


#9

The BNS Mountain Bike Trails committee will be back up and running again very soon…I promise!


#10

@Lawrence, have you seen this thread before. I just happened across it but it is a gem.