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April 2024 Newsletter

After a short winter that seemed like a long winter, Spring is here and the Edmonton mountain bike season kicks off soon.  From Adopt-a-Trail (AAT) Lead training to the Mountain Bike Film Fest, there’s a lot of activity this month.  A special thanks to those of you who attended our AGM in March.  It was great to connect with new faces and reconnect with familiar ones. 

If you didn’t ride this winter, you’re probably eager to get out on the trails.  As always, we ask that you remind your riding partners to stay off the singletrack until things dry out.  The less we disturb the trails in April, the less repair work we have this Summer – and that means more riding for everyone!

The EMBA Executive

In this Edition

  • The Edmonton Mountain Bike Film Fest is on Saturday, April 20

  • Adopt-a-Trail (AAT) Lead training: Online sessions are April 19 or April 24 (your choice)

  • Bike Check: Wanda Mauricio's Norco Fluid

  • Our AGM had pizza, beer and good times

  • The FSTA Poker Rally went all in

  • Bike Park updates

 

2024 Edmonton Mountain Bike Film Fest: Saturday, April 20 at Garneau Theatre

We are stoked for the return of the Edmonton Mountain Bike Film Fest! This event was a roaring success in it’s inaugural year, and we were so excited to be a part of it.

The 2024 Edmonton Mountain Bike Film Fest will kick off our riding season, and bring our community together to celebrate dirt, bikes, and trails. And beer. The evening will feature mountain bike themed films, vendors, creators, games, and, of course, sweet prizes, including a bike giveaway from the fine folks at Mud, Sweat, and Gears.

Join us on Saturday, April 20th at the Garneau Theatre, for great times with rad people. Doors open at 6:15pm. Tickets are available here.

The Film Fest will once again be held as a fundraiser to support the Edmonton Bike Park, and 100% of proceeds will go to the project via the Edmonton Mountain Bike Alliance. Reach out to yegfilmfest@gmail.com with any questions, and follow them on Instagram at @yegmtbfilmfest.

A shout out to the amazing sponsors, partners, and supporters, including Mud, Sweat and Gears, Fox Racing, Smith Optics, Elev8 MTB, Sheshed YEG, Alley Kat Brewing, Rosso Pizzeria, Bianco YEG, and Oxburger Studios.

 

Adopt-a-Trail (AAT) Lead training: April 19 or April 24 (your choice)

We’re actively looking for ATT Leads this year and we have a 2-part training program that will take you from Absolute Newbie to Expert Trail Maintenance status.

The first part is a 90-minute online (Zoom) session on your choice of Friday, April 19 or Wednesday, April 24. Times and specifics to follow.  In the meantime, you can sign up by sending Jesse and Kent an email to aatlead@edmmtnbike.ca  Let them know you’d like to attend and they’ll take care of the rest.

The second part will be on the trail in May.  Jesse and Kent will be coaching you through all the finer points of trail maintenance include trimming, trail shaping and dirt work.  Those dates will be announced later in the month.

Even if you donate 1 or 2 nights this season to trail maintenance, we would really appreciate it – and so will your trails.  Don’t feel intimidated – we need all the help we can get and it’s very rewarding to give back to the trails you enjoy.  We’re excited to see you out there this summer!

 

Bike Check: Wanda Mauricio's 2023 Norco Fluid FS A2

Wanda joined the EMBA executive last year and she is our Secretary.  She keeps our monthly meetings organized and on track.  She got into mountain biking about 10 years ago after a few shoulder injuries kept her out of the triathlon circuit. 

Wanda has been riding with Women On Wheels https://www.womenonwheelsyeg.com/ for the past 6 years and she has her BICP certification.  They have about 50 members in the club and they offer coaching and camps.  WOW did trail maintenance on Root Canal, Back Breaker, Wonder Woman and Purple Haze and she’s also an AAT Lead.

Just like Kent’s Yeti, Wanda also has a fancy wrap job on her bike.  Jay at Ottalaus https://ottalausinc.ca/ did it for her. 


She decided to get a set of We Are One wheels, which are pretty slick.  Coincidentally, we both got WAO’s during the Black Friday sale in November.  The quality is impressive and the price was pretty reasonable (for carbon wheels).  And they’re made in Canada.



She also has one of the cleanest chains I’ve ever seen. Jay at Ottalaus waxed the chain and she thinks it was $35.  We talked about waxed chains and how they’re all the rage.  She now swears by it and is really impressed with how clean it stays.  Between a crock pot and wax and everything else you need, she suggests getting one chain waxed by Jay and then you can decide if you want to take the plunge (or the dip in this case) and get the gear.

I asked her about cleaning it before getting it waxed and she said, “Oh, I just put it through the Sonicator”.  Wait….what?  Now I had about 50 questions for her.  She brought it down from the shelf:



A sonicator (or ultrasonic cleaner) uses ultrasonic sound waves to clean stuff.  You put your chain, cassette or jewelry in a bath of water or cleaner and presto!  Out comes a perfectly clean chain. Compared to using harsh solvents like Varsol, you can use water-based cleaners which are easier to dispose of.

Naturally, Wanda’s sonicator is lab-grade.  Everyone should strive at some point to own something lab-grade.  Failing that, Amazon sells ‘em and I suspect Princess Auto does too.  Personally, I think it’s the coolest thing ever for a home mechanic. 


Thanks Wanda!

 

Our March 16 AGM had pizza, beer and bike talk



This year we held our Annual General Meeting at Alley Kat Brewing just off 99 Street.  The venue had a different vibe from last year.  We had a bit of a tight fit during the presentation portion, but that didn’t seem to put a damper on things.

After the formal presentation, we enjoyed pizza and beer and if you attended, we hoped you enjoyed yourself and got some value out of the event.  The feedback was positive and we can definitely consider the same format for next year.

Our executive for the 2024-25 year are:

Joe Yurkovich, President

Chris Reckhard, Treasurer

Kent Zucchet, Vice President

Wanda Mauricio, Secretary

Josh Nowochin

Jesse Seright

John Dombroski

Jim Grant

Ryan Makela

Shantel Koenig

Gavin Radzick

Matt Edwards

Blair Pennock



 

FSTA's Fat Bike Poker Rally

by Gavin Radzick


On Saturday, March 10 the Fort Saskatchewan Trail Alliance (FSTA) hosted their first ever poker rally, and it was an excellent event.  They had over 270 people who wanted to sign up, which can only take 50 (due to the deck of card constraints). Lucky for me, they had a few no-shows.  If you’ve never participated in one, a poker rally has stops along a route where you get a playing card.  After the event, you use those cards to make a hand and prizes are awarded based on your hand.

The idea behind the event is to get riders to visit and explore the trail system in a casual, social way. Well, it’s casual unless you ride with FSTA executive member Jim Grant (who also sits on our board). In that case, be prepared to barf out a lung when he drops the hammer from the start.  I don’t know if they have a trail in Fort Sask called VO2 Max, but they should.

We rode a 15km loop groomed by FSTA’s Taiga Dog, which is a pretty fancy machine. It takes them about 4 hours to groom the loop and if you’ve never ridden the Fort in the winter, make a point of going out next season. The snowshoe and wooden groomer tracks I lay down don’t even remotely compare to the magic corduroy their machine produces.

They really did a bang-up job with this event.  Mannmade Cycles and Rollingdale had some titanium bikes on display. Mud, Sweat and Gears supplied the bike prizes and Spirits on 101 supplied the beer prizes. Friesen Bros supplied the hot dogs and I may have had more than one.

They had some seriously good prizes. I scored some chain lube with two pair, King high

After the event, I had the chance to have a great chat with FSTA board member Amber Grant. She's a trail runner and interestingly enough, their organization doesn’t have ‘mountain bike’ (or any kind of bike) in their name - and that’s by design. They target mountain bikers, trail runners, snowshoers, families and seniors who want to get out and enjoy the trails.  They’ve had their share of challenges with the city on trail access and other groups who wanted to restrict that access.

Amber feels that trail advocacy groups need to play the ‘long game’ and try to work closely with the municipality to make sure it feels comfortable with trail work being done.  They always try to highlight that the trails are multi-use and family friendly and they’ve done a great job of showing the city that it needs FSTA.  

As a trail runner married to a mountain biker, Amber understands that the trail running community isn’t always aware of how the trails are maintained - or how they got there in the first place. But, they are a large and influential group that if included, can be a very important advocate.

FSTA’s focus is on the trails, not on the activities on those trails (like mountain biking). Their emphasis is on Education, Stewardship and Building Community, which they believe removes the “us vs. them” mentality.

As it happens, I chatted with a few EMBA members at the AGM who rode the poker rally and they really enjoyed it.  They asked us about putting on a similar event this summer.

If you rode the poker rally, or if you had a chance to fatbike the Fort this winter, make sure to send FSTA a donation at https://fortsasktrails.ca/

 

Bike Park Updates

Matt Edwards is on the Bike Park Committee and you know Adele from Edmonton Mountain Bike Film Fest fame.  They invited CTV news to check out the proposed site of the future bike park. The image below takes you to the news clip:



The Bike Park also has an update:

Exciting Progress on the Edmonton Bike Park: An Update from Behind the Scenes

Hello, Edmonton Bike Park enthusiasts!

We realize it’s been a while since our last update, and you might be wondering what's been happening. The truth is, a lot of hard work has been unfolding behind the scenes, much of which involves the less glamorous, yet absolutely critical stages of planning and development with the City of Edmonton.

Striding Through Strategy and Concept Phases

Our journey through the Strategy and Concept phases has been a marathon, not a sprint. These initial phases are all about laying the groundwork for the bike park—essentially crafting a detailed business case for the City, engaging in comprehensive circulations through various city departments, collecting and addressing feedback, and conducting numerous site meetings. While these tasks might not make the headlines, they are fundamental steps that pave the way for the exciting phases to come.


Design Phase and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

With the Strategy and Concept phases now behind us, we're thrilled to announce we're moving into the Design phase! This next stage will bring the conceptual plan to life through more detailed designs, shaping the dream into reality. Concurrently, we're working on completing an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), ensuring our project not only enhances our community's recreational opportunities but also respects and preserves our beautiful natural surroundings.

Securing Funding for Our Dream

Navigating the financial aspects of this project has felt a bit like a 'chicken and egg' scenario, but we're navigating it with determination. We've applied for the City of Edmonton's Recreation Partner and Facility Investment Program (RPFIP) grant, and we're gearing up to apply for the Alberta Community Facility Enhancement Program (CFEP). Together, these could cover up to 2/3rds of our estimated $1.2 million project cost, a crucial step towards making our vision a reality.

Fundraising Models and The Path Forward

We're fully committed to seeing this through and have been devising various fundraising models, exploring every avenue to secure the resources needed to build a world-class bike park for our community.

Our Commitment to You

Thank you for your patience and support. The road to the Edmonton Bike Park has been a journey of challenges and triumphs. But with each step, we grow closer to creating a vibrant, inclusive space for the joy of mountain biking to be shared by all.

Stay tuned on the bike park website for more updates as we dive into the Design phase and ramp up our fundraising efforts. Follow us on our newly launched Instagram and Facebook pages for bike park-specific updates, sneak peeks at design progress, and opportunities to get involved.

Together, we're making the Edmonton Bike Park a reality. Let's keep the momentum going!

 The Edmonton Bike Park Project Team

 

April 2024 Updates from EMBA


Don't have a membership yet? Get one today:


 

EMBA Membership Perks

Members get 10% (or more) off regular priced items at these amazing stores! Head on over to these incredible bike shops, show them some love, and take advantage of this incredible deal!

*Certain exclusions and limitations apply. Contact any of these stores for full details. Certain stores may offer other discounts.

Don't have a membership yet? Get one today:


Check out the EMBA Merch Shop! can enjoy wearing the swag and support EMBA as we continuing efforts to advocate as well as maintain single track trails. Plus the merch is pretty cool. Thank you for your support!









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