Where to Go: Trails and Routes

Deciding on a suitable location is the least troublesome task. Canada is filled with paths, small and large. The majority of trails are found in Ontario and British Colombia. Due to its mountainous terrain, BC is the premier spot for mountain biking.

There is a great online guide at Dirtworld.com lists 334 trails scattered all across the various provinces and territories of Canada. It has ratings, directions, and other pertinent information to help you get out there. Also, there are comments for each individual trail by riders who have been there, and know the features they encountered. Their feedback is really crucial in deciding how suitable a visit from you would be, and I strongly advise reading what they have to say.

Beginners or recreational mountain bikers have their pick of local conservation areas, which offer fairly safe and user-friendly trails where you can build up your endurance and confidence. Other easier routes include pavement, sidewalks, and dirt trails with little gradient.

The more advanced riders can choose from a select variety of trails. Downhill riding on ski hills offers great thrills during the summer. For really difficult endurance challenges, trails with more uphill sections can really get the blood pumping. Finding a good rhythm is extremely important when climbing uphill, because you need to conserve your energy for the most difficult portions of the track.

If youíre in Ontario, there are a couple places that I recommend. Try 3-Stage in Collingwood. It has over 80 km of trails, and offers steep and technical climbing. Albion Hills in Palgrave offers very steep climbs, and over 20 km of trails.

In BC, there are numerous spots to choose from that cater to many different styles and tastes. Nedís Atomic Dustbin is a three kilometre single track trail on Vancouverís North Shore for the expert level rider, and contains many drop-offs (sheer drops that range in height). For the more tame at heart, Vancouverís Pacific Spirit Regional Park offers multi-use trails that are usable by nearly anyone. Beginners will definitely feel more at ease here, perhaps choosing to gradually expand their selection of trails with experience.

The bottom line is that Canada has everything riders could want in terms of trailsóand much more.

By Brian J. DíSouza, Trail Canada

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