The Revelstoke Cycling Association opened its first official adaptive mountain biking trail at Mount Macpherson on Saturday, May 26.
The Miller Time loop trail is named after local mountain biker Chris Miller, who rides a recumbent adaptive mountain bike, or aMTB. He was on hand to cut the ribbon and take the first lap after the grand opening, followed by dozens of kids and parents who were there for the opening and a fun race.
Miller said it was an honour to have the trail named after him, noting that the trail was also a great facility for little mountain bikers taking their first trip out to the Macpherson trails.
The 1.1-kilometre cross country trail starts and finishes at the Griffith Creek parking lot, with a trailhead at the top and bottom lot.
In general, aMTB trails are wider with more even surfaces and have mellower curves that allow for wider radius turns. The bumps and climbs are mellowed out, with fewer rocks and roots.
AMTB rider Matt Krueger travelled to Revelstoke from Vancouver for the grand opening event with his $15,000 aMTB bike. He heard about the event through an online group, and was stoked to be at the grand opening.
Krueger said the bike technology has come a long way in the past five years. AMTB bikes come in many forms, tailored to the abilities and preferences of individual riders. Some are pedalled by foot, others by hand cranks, and there are gravity-only bikes. Some have electric assist motors. Some have a kneeling stance, while others are recumbent. Other riders use traditional mountain bikes that have built-in electric-assist motors. Across the spectrum, aMTB bike technology has improved dramatically in the past five years as the sport has grown in popularity.
RCA president Henning Schipper said that aMTB trail standards are new and undergoing development and refinement. He said that Revelstoke’s steep geography makes finding locations for aMTB trails a challenge. One requirement is vehicle access to the trailhead. The location at Griffith Creek was a natural selection. He added that future aMTB trail development in the area could incorporate other riding styles, such as a downhill trail on Bouder Mountain.
Revelstoke joins a recent aMTB trail-building trend in the region, with new trails in the Nakusp and New Denver areas.
Adaptive mountain bike trails come in many different forms, too, depending on the preferences and the abilities of riders. For some aMTB riders, downhill trails are a personal preference, and others ride them due to restricted pedaling capacity. The Miller Time loop is a cross country trail.
DBP Construction Services did the construction work on the trail. Owner Dave Biggin-Pound was on hand for the grand opening.
The Miller Time trail doubles as a beginner and kids trail, and is much easier than existing beginner trails at Macpherson such as Stimulus. An intermediate rider could pedal it with a kids chariot in tow. The RCA event also served as the grand opening of two new beginner trails, Leap Frog and Beaver Tail, both of which are also very near the Griffith Creek parking lot. Several dozen kids were on hand for a fun race around the new loop.
Funding for the Miller Time loop came from a number of supporters and sponsors, including the Columbia Basin Trust, Revelstoke Rotary Club, Revelstoke Credit Union, Pharmasave Revelstoke and more.