Updated: Apr 26
Attention all mountain bikers and trail lovers!
As the Edmonton Mountain Bike Alliance dives into the exhilarating Spring season, we're eager to bring you the latest updates and a special tribute to a local OG, known by the initials GO. Moreover, with busier trails ahead, we'd like to offer a friendly reminder on proper riding etiquette to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all.
April 2023 Updates from EMBA
Proper single track trail etiquette for mixed-use trails involving mountain bikers, walkers, hikers, dog walkers, and runners is crucial for maintaining a safe and enjoyable environment for all users. Here are some essential guidelines to follow:
Yield to others: Generally, mountain bikers should yield to hikers and runners. However, it's essential to use common sense and courtesy when approaching others on the trail. If it's easier for you to step aside, do so.
Uphill traffic has the right of way: When encountering others on a single track trail, the general rule is that downhill traffic should yield to uphill traffic. Uphill riders or hikers may have limited visibility and momentum, making it more difficult for them to stop or move aside.
Announce your presence: When approaching other trail users, especially from behind, politely announce your presence by calling out, ringing a bike bell, or simply saying, "Hello!" This helps prevent startling others and allows them to prepare for your approach.
Stay on designated trails: To minimize environmental impact and maintain trail integrity, stick to the designated trails. Avoid creating new trails or widening existing ones by riding or walking around obstacles.
Control your speed: Be aware of your surroundings and ride or walk at a controlled speed, particularly around blind corners or when visibility is limited. This helps prevent accidents and keeps the trail enjoyable for everyone.
Be courteous and friendly: A smile, nod, or quick hello goes a long way in fostering a positive atmosphere on the trail. Cooperation and understanding among all trail users help create an enjoyable experience for everyone.
Avoid muddy trails: Help preserve trail integrity by checking local trail conditions before heading out. If you encounter muddy sections, consider turning around or choosing an alternative route to prevent long-lasting damage to the trail surface.
Edmonton Bike Park Progress: The Bike Park Committee has crossed a major milestone! Having completed all required steps, we've submitted a business case to the city, proposing funding for 2024. Additionally, Devon and the Oxburger Studios team have revamped our bike park website. Visit edmbikepark.ca to explore the fresh new look and keep up with the latest bike park news! And don't forget, your input matters - stay tuned for our upcoming Bike Park Survey, where you can share your thoughts and help shape the future of the park.
Bike Park Design Survey: Could you spare 3 to 5 minutes to provide valuable input for EMBA regarding our Bike Park? Our dedicated Bike Park Committee has crafted a survey, and your responses will significantly influence our future direction. Please find the Edmonton Bike Park Survey link below as you scroll down and take a moment to share your thoughts, or visit the bike park website now.
Check out our new website: We're excited to showcase our updated online presence and networking capabilities to the mountain biking community. Our website has been given a facelift, thanks to the hard work of Devon and the team at Oxburger Studios. Head over to edmmtnbike.ca to see the new look and stay up to date with all things EMBA!
Ribbon of Green: Our team is dedicated to ensuring that the single-track trails in Edmonton remain open and accessible to all riders. We're continuing to collaborate with the City of Edmonton to maintain and improve these trails, so you can enjoy your next ride or trail adventure on the best possible terrain.
Join us for Trail Days: Calling all trail lovers! The Edmonton Mountain Bike Alliance is getting geared up for an exciting season of trail maintenance, and we want YOU to be a part of it. Our Adopt a Trail (AAT) groups are currently scheduling their trail duties for the year, and our AAT Coordinators are planning some awesome events for you to get involved. Don't have a club or group to do trail maintenance with? No problem! Our "Find Love on the Trails: Singles Day(s) of Trail Maintenance" event is just the ticket for solo riders who want to give back and meet other like-minded trail lovers. Spend the day out on the trails with new friends, getting your hands dirty and making a difference for the trails we all love. And if you're looking to meet the masterminds behind Edmonton Mountain Bike Alliance, come on down to our "Meet the Board - Trail Day". This is your chance to get up close and personal with the brains behind the operation while working hard on the trails. No official dates just yet, but trust us – these events are going to be epic. So mark your calendars and get ready to show some love for the trails with the Edmonton Mountain Bike Alliance!
Support Edmonton's Single-Track Trails, Get Discounts on Gear! EMBA members can enjoy discounts and special incentives at a growing number of local retailers. Check out our list of participating stores below and be sure to show your support!
Don't have a membership yet? Get one today:
Edmonton Bike Park Survey
We sure hope you've heard by now that EMBA is working on building a mountain bike skills park in the heart of Edmonton! Using local feedback and observations from bike parks in Alberta, Canada, and beyond, we have developed a concept that we believe will best serve the community. We want to know what you think about this concept. Your insights will help us finalize the design of the skills park and that'll help us advance the project towards construction.
Please note that the images of the bike park in the survey and on the website will be much easier to read on your computer or tablet than on your phone. The survey will be open until May 15. Thanks in advance for taking a look and sharing your thoughts!
Edmonton Mountain Bike Film Festival
The evening will feature mountain bike themed films, vendors, creators, ambassadors, games, and, of course, prizes.
This event is a fundraiser for the construction of the Edmonton Bike Park, and 100% of proceeds will go to the project.
All tickets purchased before April 30 will be entered to win a special bonus prize from Fox Racing.
The venue is licensed, alcohol will be served, and the event is intended for adult audiences.
Lots of exciting details will be announced in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.
A huge shout out to the growing list of partners and supporters for the event: EMBFest, Mud, Sweat and Gears, Oxburger Studios, SheShed, Metro Cinema, Fox Racing, RollingDale Cycles, AlleyKat Brewing, and BELL Helmets..
If you have questions, check out the ticketing link above, or reach out to email@example.com
Local Legends Film Contest
To all of our local talent - Edmonton Mountain Bike Film Fest will be accepting submissions to their “Local Legends” Film Contest!
The winning film will receive $500 in prize money, and be screened at the Edmonton Mountain Bike Film Fest on May 25th . The person submitting must be an Alberta resident, though films may feature riders from different areas. Anyone who is a professional filmmaker or rider is not permitted to enter.
A huge shout out to Mud, Sweat, and Gears bike shop for generously supporting the contest prizing.
Submissions must be:
between 2 and 10 minutes in length
in .mp4 or .mov format
feature mountain biking
received by noon on May 4th, 2023
If interested, please email YEGFilmFest@gmail.com to receive details on how to submit your entry.
EMBA & TRAILS: Mountain Biking History in Edmonton
EMBA is proud to introduce a series of stories about the history of mountain biking in YEG, including the people as well as trails that make it happen. From the past, present, and what we can hope for in the future, we want to write about it. Learn with us as we continue to grow as a community. Want to be featured? Email us and we will definitely be in touch with you.
From an OG who is the GO: Garry Ogletree
It's not every day you get to meet someone with so much history and stories to share especially about mountain biking in Edmonton. A passion that continues to grow because of foundations set from early on, and by those like our very own Garry Ogletree.
The bar was busier than usual for an early evening, with music playing, and some hockey game other than oilers on the tube. He was sitting there knowing who I was right away. Big grin on the face, hand out to shake, and a beer already on the table. Garry had been waiting for me as I was late because of traffic. Sitting down, I was greeted by the server and ordered a beer too. Asking if Garry was hungry to which he replied he could eat I also got us some nachos. Waiting for the food to come to the table, we engaged in some small talk and this is when I was able to find out a little about one of Edmonton's OG's for getting mountain biking here on the map.
Before coming to Edmonton in 1982, Garry hailed from Chatham, Ontario. After racing motorcycles and meeting his wife he started mountain biking in 1988. This was after getting his first bike in June of that year. Knowing Rich from Cycle-Logic, who has been operating now for over 30 years, Garry would be the proud owner of a Hoo Koo e Koo.
One of Edmonton's first ever single track trails is the Old Timer's trail where Garry would ride, and even lead rides. In 1995 he would lead for Sport Shack including helping organize the Croaker's Race. Since then and for 35 years Garry still gets on a mountain bike. Even after busting a kneecap when riding his bike in 2022. The studs did not hold, so he slipped on his bike hitting the ice really hard. This happened so quick that Garry couldn't even get his foot off the pedal.
The biggest thing Garry is proud of when it comes to mountain biking here in Edmonton is the GO Trail. Before the GO Trail, there was a single-track called the Golf Course Trail. This was under the Terwilliger Park revamp, and it was going to be destroyed being replaced by the current gravel trail with no plans to replace it. Garry, along with some others, would spend hundreds of hours of work which included advocating, building, maintaining and caring for the trails, this is what lead to the beginning of EMBA. With some community groups getting into the mix, they would build a single-track trail that would be the new golf course trail. Being a big win for mountain biking in Edmonton, this is the trail that got the whole network going. Because of all of Garry's work, it was rightfully named after him.
It didn't stop there. Garry remembers guys like Mike Chernecki, Evan Sherman, and Harvey Brauer who would help him to maintain, trim and work on the trails. This includes the ones for the Canada Cup and building some trails known then as the Walterdale and Goat Trail, for the races. There was also the Canada Summer Games which had Garry and others building trails at a local ski hill. They could see their hard work pay off when those who participated in the games would rave about the trails and great conditions.
Too bad that the recognition for mountain biking and its economic impact in Edmonton was not really recognized. Nor is it really recognized by the city as an attractant for tourists like it could be. For example, it would be nice to see the city recognize single-track trails. It would have been nice if the city supported a bike park.
Garry is not sure what he thinks about a Bike Park in Edmonton. He initiated the idea of a Bike Park years ago and tried to have it at Rabbit Hill. At that time, EMBA made a decision to just focus on trails and improve on the trail network because of red tape. Garry loves how EMBA is now taking an initiative to get a Bike Park here and knows it can work. Every town around us has a bike park, and Garry says Edmonton needs one, especially for kids who are new up and comers to the sport. "We are a city with over a million people and we should support a bike park. Hopefully the funding for a bike park happens sooner rather than later so that it can be built."
When it comes to the trails and maintenance, Garry didn't do it alone, and definitely had help. He just had it on his heart to do something one day when advocacy was much needed. Before there was a mountain bike alliance, there was Kristi from a group known at the time as Dirt Girls. With some help she would get some trails going in the Mill Creek area back in around 2002. A few years later, EMBA would be formed in 2005, and officially registered as a society in 2006.
The individuals who founded EMBA would bring Garry on board, and from there he would offer up his home for meetings getting mountain biking more structured here in Edmonton. Or there was always a coffee shop in Forest Heights. Mostly it would do with starting trail work and maintenance with little to no money. One of his biggest memories from doing trails, is one of the very first trail days having sixty people come out. Garry remembers the friendships formed, board members for EMBA coming out and participating, and the whole experience being very productive. As EMBA began to grow and become more structured, Garry saw the opportunity for a trail adoption program, reaching out to the people or groups who were already doing this. This included building the old brewery trails in the north side of the river valley just west of Dawson Park.
Attending all the park meetings with the City of Edmonton, Garry would also be at all the original Ribbon of Green meetings. For forty plus years now, Garry sees the recognition of mountain biking and its legitimacy here in Edmonton being the biggest hurdle. This includes keeping track of its progress and popularity. "The biggest challenge with the city is they have new people always coming in. So having to tell them the story over and over again, instead of
having a continued relationship that was built from the ground up." This could feel like being knocked down continuously, but just like Garry that one icy day in 2022, we get back up and ride on.
He had to go. Leaving a bit of nachos still to be conquered, Garry shook my hand once again and was out the door. I can't wait for the next time I meet Garry as he has so many stories to share. In fact I bet if anyone were to buy him a beer he would be happy to chat. In the meantime he will keep his passion for mountain biking going riding the trails, working at MSG, hanging out at events and festivals, and the sky is the limit. Thank you Garry Ogletree.
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!