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February 2024 Newsletter

Mark your calendar: Our AGM is Saturday, March 16

We are pleased to announce that our 2024 AGM will take place on Saturday, March 16 at Alley Kat Brewing Company, located at 9929 60 Avenue NW from 1PM to 3PM.

At the AGM you’ll hear about:

• Trail work approved by the city – and where we need your help

• Adopt-A-Trail (AAT) training dates and what to expect

• Important bike park updates - we are expecting to be out of concept and into detailed design and fundraising will be ramping up soon

Although we are limited to 47 attendees, we hope you can make it out and participate - we’d love to get your feedback and input. If you're an EMBA member, you should have received an email notice on Friday, which has a link to reserve your spot.

If you're reading this newsletter and you aren't an EMBA member, let's fix that. Membership is only $20 and comes with numerous benefits, including participation in the AGM.

Click here to get your membership:

The EMBA Executive

In this Edition

  • Your trails need YOU: We have a lot of new trails to maintain in 2024 and we need your help

  • The Edmonton Mountain Bike Film Fest is back

  • Bike Check: Kent Zucchet's Yeti SB115

  • EMBA in the Kitchen: Home brew energy drink

  • Fat bike grooming update


Your trails need YOU!

Jesse and Kent head up EMBA’s trail maintenance and have been working closely with the city to expand our scope. They are happy to report that we’ve been awarded an extra 11km of trails to maintain for 2024. Highlights of new trails include:

• EMP Blast (which needs some love)

• All of the trails from Kinsmen Field House to the start of EMP Blast

• Cloverdale bridge detour

• Farm Frolic

• Farmer’s Daughter

• Snow Sally

• LansDown

• Pet Cemetery

• Higher Edukation

• Low Class

• Science Park trails (Kent’s note: Home Wrecker is a must-ride)

This is very exciting news – but we need your help to maintain them. What’s in it for you, you might ask? Part of our maintenance includes improving drainage. Better drainage means trails dry out faster and you get more days on the bike.

Don’t forget – we also maintain trails in:

• Goldbar

• Capilano

• Old Timers

• Mill Creek

• Oleskiw

• Terwillegar

We have a lot of trails and we need a lot of volunteers! It’s exciting to have these new trails, but we need YOU to keep them in tip-top shape. Here’s how you can help:

• Attend the AGM in March and find out more about our trail maintenance plans

• Contact Jesse and Kent at and they will help you lead your own trail days

• Keep your eye on EMBA’s Facebook page for Trail Nights this season


The Edmonton Mountain Bike Film Fest is back

Spring is coming, and we are BACK!

The 2024 Edmonton Mountain Bike Film Fest will be held at the Garneau Theatre on Saturday, April 20. The event will kick off our riding season and bring our community together to celebrate dirt, bikes and trails. And beer.

This event will once again be held as a fundraiser to support the Edmonton Bike Park, and 100% of the proceeds will go to the project. This would not be possible without the amazing support of our rad friends at Mud, Sweat and Gears.

Tickets go on sale in early March. Details will be announced in the coming weeks, so stay tuned and follow us on Instagram @yegmtbfilmfest

To all of our local talent: Edmonton Mountain Bike Film Fest will be accepting submissions to our 2024 "Local Legends" Film Contest!

The winning film will receive $500 in prize money and be screened at the Edmonton Mountain Bike Fest on April 20th. 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.

Submissions must be:

  • Under 8 minutes in length

  • In .mp4 or .mov format

  • Feature mountain biking

  • Received by Noon on April 12, 2024

Please email to receive details on how to submit your entry.

Editor's note: Last year's event sold out and this year it will sell out even faster. If you missed last year, don't make the same mistake twice. It was an excellent event and as soon as tickets are available, jump on it.


Bike Check: Kent Zucchet's Yeti SB115

Kent is our Vice President and has served on the board for 6 years. Kent and Jesse (you met him in the November newsletter) are responsible for trail maintenance and Kent meets with the city to discuss trail work and planning.

When I stopped by to interview Kent and check out his bikes, the first thing I noticed was that we have the same electric socks. I always felt that a good judge of a person is their sock selection and he didn’t disappoint. After we chatted about how awesome our socks are, we got down to the topic of his bikes.

It comes as no surprise that Kent has more than one bike. When I saw his fleet and had to choose, we went with his daily driver in Edmonton: his Yeti SB115.

We pulled it down off the rack and he put it on his work stand for the photo shoot. Classic Yeti turquoise.

I started doing my thing and taking photos. Check this out:

I asked Kent, "Hey, what's this?"

"Oh, that's just a custom wrap I had done"

I've seen lots of nice bikes. But apart from EWS pros, I've never seen a custom wrap before. To give you some background on the windsurfer, Kent used to race sailboats in his late teens and got into windsurfing - and he's pretty good at it. He goes to The Gorge in Oregon every year and he's windsurfed in Hawaii and Venezuela, to name a few spots.

At this point, I was more than impressed and asked, "That is so cool!! Who did it for you?"

Kent replied, "Gerry from Image West Graphics did it for me. He's done our EMBA stickers and some other projects for us". It's a pretty impressive job. The pieces are custom-cut and the seams are really tight.

"Aside from that, the bike is pretty stock. I did have Hardcore switch out the damper from a FIT4 to a GRIP2. You can't lock it out, but the small bump sensitivity is way better".

Editor's note: Personally, I would totally agree. One of my bikes has the GRIP2 and I think it's a better system. I rarely lock out my fork riding in Edmonton - and when I do, halfway down the trail I wonder why it's riding so rough.

In my opinion, the SB115 is just about the perfect Edmonton bike. It's his 3rd season on it and he doesn't have any changes planned. No need to.

Thanks Kent!


EMBA in the kitchen: Home brew energy drink

Interest rates are through the roof….inflation is eating into your bike fund….how do you fight back? Take to the kitchen and lower your fueling costs!

If you’re like us, you need energy and caffeine on big rides. Energy gels are nice, but at $2.65 a pop, they ain’t cheap. Here’s a recipe to get your fix:

EMBA's Stone Cold Maple Brew

You will need:

• A 6-oz plastic flask. I picked up this one up at MEC for $21.95

• Maple syrup

• Strong coffee

For my 6-oz flask, I went with 4 tbsp of maple syrup, which happened to measure out at the little 1/3 line:

I went with espresso for my stone cold brew:

A 6-oz flask gives you the same calories as 2 energy gels:

Why maple syrup?

  • Bursting with Riboflavin, Manganese and polyphenols (an antioxidant), maple syrup has a glycemic index (GI) of 54 – lower than honey (58), table sugar (65) and corn syrup (115). Sugars with a lower GI index don’t spike your blood sugar as badly

  • It's about as Canadian as you can get. One of the polyphenols in maple syrup is Quebecol

  • It's delicious

Be prepared for this level of energy from a Stone Cold Maple Brew

Based on my flask choice, the breakeven on this recipe is around 5.78 rides. And that’s the bottom line.


Fat Bike Grooming Update

by Gavin Radzick

I feel like my grand plans to groom our trails this winter jinxed us. With the season drawing to a close in the next few weeks, we wrap up a bit of a non-starter. However, it will probably (hopefully?) snow next winter and I thought I would give a little update with some observations.

Think differently about winter trails

Good summer trails do not necessarily mean good winter trails - and vice versa. Take BDSM for example - in the summer it's rife with bomb holes and parts are falling into the river. But in the winter, it's one of the best trails in the SW

Conversely, Six Shooter is a fantastic trail in the Summer and very popular. This season, it was a bit of a mess

...and that was on the same ride that EMP was in great shape. In fact, someone groomed it (it wasn't EMBA)

Why is that?

  1. Microclimate - the trails closest to the river are the coldest. Trails higher up (like Six Shooter) get warmer during the day, but didn't get cold enough at night. This season, it didn't stay cold enough to firm up. BDSM and EMP got cold and stayed cold

  2. Topography - trails that are relatively flat get packed down evenly and stay packed down. Trails with steeper grades like Six Shooter or Caddytrack get rutted, or not packed down. They are tough to groom and stay groomed

Why does this matter?

This all determines what we groom and why we groom it. Unlike summer trail work, winter grooming is not permanent. Our efforts last for 4-5 months at best and then our hard work melts away. Until we have grooming machines and an army of snowshoers, we need to pick our battles.

Think like a skier

Skiers obsess over snow conditions. After a snowfall, riders tend to gravitate to the area that holds a groom - and that is The Pete's. They get ridden before anything else in the SW and they're almost a destination ride.

The Pete's are good because a lot of people ride it. And because a lot of people ride it, the Pete's are good. After a big dump of snow, The Pete's and No Horses/Slinky are your best bet. But eventually all that traffic starts to work against it - you have pedestrians and cyclocross bikes degrading the groom.

When that happens, head out to GO and Justice and Mustang. By then, we should have had a chance to groom them.

Some trails groom better than others

Off-camber trails are the hardest to groom - they need shape so you don't wipe out. Some of these are the equivalent of mixing up your pizza with your french fries:

When you help out on trail nights this year, Jesse and Kent might talk about 'bench cutting'. We have to do this on Mustang and small sections of Justice in the winter using snow and it's time-consuming.

If a trail already has good shape, then it only needs to get packed down. Nothing packs down a trail like snowshoers. When FSTA grooms their trails, their snow dog tows a groomer that weighs over 50 pounds - and the snow dog itself weighs over 120.

After a trail is packed down, wooden groomers do a great job of smoothing things out. Unless the trail gets another really heavy snowfall, it only needs some wooden groomers to keep things tidy.

Final Thoughts

Although this season wasn't a barn-burner, I think we should try again next year. Fat bike grooming has the potential to benefit all trail users - not just bikes. Edmonton has excellent potential to be a winter biking destination that we can be proud of.

Make sure to attend the March 16 AGM - we would love to get your input on winter biking!


February 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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