"The Dirt"

Edition #2 - March 2017

Newsletter Content

1. Give the Gift of Dirt
2. Trails Update
3. RMCC Collaboration
4. Trail Conditions
5. Are You Ready for "Brown Pow" Season?
6. Bike Love
7. Coming soon - CAMBA Q&A
8. CAMBA Partners

1. Give the Gift of Dirt

If you or your organization is looking to help make riding rock in Canmore and Area, please consider giving the Gift of Dirt! It’s shaping up to be a busy season and we plan to kick off our fundraising and sponsorship drive in the upcoming months. But in the meantime, there are many ways to give and get involved:    

1. Become a CAMBA member

The single most important way to give and get involved is to become a CAMBA member.  Your annual membership dollars go straight to the trails. And in addition to some great discounts from our partners (see the end of the newsletter), you can sleep well at night knowing that CAMBA is representing your advocacy voice and desire for a sustainable, diverse and vibrant mountain biking trail network in Canmore and area.  We’re working on making memberships available online, but until then, sign up at Rebound Cycle, Outside Bike & Ski or Bicycle Cafe today! Then you can stock up on some gear and use that awesome CAMBA discount.

Membership Costs
  • $20 Youth (up to 17 years old)
  • $25 Adult (18+ years)
  • $45 Family (for first 2 members, plus $10 for additional members)
2. Send us some dough!

CAMBA can accept donations in a few ways:

  • Email us a donation to via Interac money transfer using the password “giftofdirt”. You will be our new best friend and will be thanked many times over.
  • Donate through the TrailForks app or website ( by clicking on Trail Karma and searching for Canmore and Area Mountain Bike Association. 100% of your donation will go directly to us.
  • Visit one of our partner bike shops, find the CAMBA donation box and drop your cash/cheque donation.  Think of it as a trail wishing well ;-)

3. Become a community partner and host a CAMBA donation box

We have some beautifully crafted donation boxes created by Fraser McGurk and CanSign. We can arrange to have them grace your front counter for all your customers to see. We have heard unconfirmed rumours that businesses who currently host our donation boxes have seen massive increases in sales and employee morale. Karma points are apparently HUGE!

4. Volunteer

Money is awesome, but so are volunteers. CAMBA is gearing up for an exciting and busy season and although cash is king, volunteers are critical.  Whatever is above a king, that’s the regard we hold our volunteers in.  Their help is needed and their efforts mean a lot to us.

5. Send beer!

After a hard day planning, digging and sculpting in the dirt, our volunteers love beer.  

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2. Trails Update

CAMBA has been investing time and effort over the winter getting ready for projects this 2017 season.  The reality is that many of the larger projects that CAMBA has been working on with other groups are much larger than just CAMBA. These projects have many stages and involve many different groups and departments all signing off on their part for these projects to become reality.  Some major trail projects in this area have taken over 10 years from application to construction.  CAMBA is committed to seeing these projects happen and we continue to offer our time and assistance to move them forward.  We look forward to being able to release more information on these projects in the near future.

We know that it has been a challenge to understand the role and responsibilities of these different groups and how their processes work; even we at CAMBA still have some unanswered questions and we hope to be able to paint a clearer picture of this in a future newsletter.

CAMBA has been working with the Town of Canmore on some really exciting projects closer to home. Although there are still many details to work through we expect work to start on these projects in the spring of 2017.  When we are able to release more information on these projects we also be sending out a call to action for volunteers; we will need you and we will not be able to succeed without your help!

Please support CAMBA by becoming a member or make sure you are on our mailing list for future updates on these projects and to find out how to be involved.

3. RMCC Collaboration

There have recently been some changes for Canmore’s largest cycling club, RMCC.  The RMCC board recently voted Doug Hallett to the position of President, and Simon Dove to the position of Trail Director.  This is great news for all mountain bikers in the Bow Valley as both Doug and Simon are super passionate and skilled mountain bikers and general nice guys.

RMCC has been a huge supporter of CAMBA since our creation and has recently added a trail levy to their memberships. This money will be used to help support local trail development and maintenance through donations to CAMBA and other groups.

Both CAMBA, RMCC and other local groups have already committed funds to assist the CTA in building a community cache of tools and equipment to be used by all groups on trail projects.  Simon Dove will also be working closely with CAMBA's Trail Director in the planning process of future projects to represent the interests of RMCC members, keep their members updated and insure that RMCC members are involved throughout the process.

4. Trail Conditions

As we all move towards the spring of course we are all excited to ride again.  Now is a great time to discuss trail conditions and some thoughts on where we should ride and when.

I am as excited as anybody to ride when the sun is shining and the snow is slowly disappearing from our trails, however as we all know, riding on wet and muddy trails can do extensive long lasting damage. In this transitional time there are some things we can do to avoid additional wear and tear on our beloved trials.

Every year in the spring we end up with a few weeks of mixed trail conditions where some trails still have some snow and ice sections however our favourite dry dirt is also starting to show through in open areas. Some of us who ride throughout the winter may still have our studded tires on, and this is a tricky one because studded tires can really tear up a dry trail, however they are a lifesaver on the icy sections.

If you find yourself in this situation, try to ride earlier in the day when the dry trail sections are still frozen. Also keep in mind that the north facing trails like the Highline will hold their snow longer and stay frozen longer in the day.

As the temperatures and sunshine hours increase and our trails become more dirt than ice, it is time to take those studs off.  If it is only the odd icy section or two, it is better to be riding real rubber and just walk or ride over these sections carefully.

We are fortunate that here in the Bow Valley we do not see a lot of rain and our trails generally dry quickly. We are also fortunate that we have trails facing different directions, with different soil types and surfaces.  Generally our trails that are on the southern north facing slopes (Highline, etc) have a harder and rockier surface that dries faster and holds up better to being ridden while wet. Our trails on the northern south facing slopes (Montane and G8, etc) are much dryer and are mostly fine soil.  These trails do not drain as well and will become rutted and damaged if ridden wet.

I know, sometimes you just have to ride, however it is worth a few minutes to consider the conditions before we choose where to ride. If we have received a lot of rain and it is wet everywhere it might be better to take a couple of days off the bike and drink coffee instead.  As a golden rule, if we are leaving a copy of our tire tread on the trail behind us, we shouldn’t be riding it.

Like a lot of other Canmore riders I also look at riding destinations like Invermere in the spring for early season dirt. I know it is really hard to give up on a ride after driving a few hours, but keep in mind that if the locals are not riding their trails yet, we shouldn't be either.  Early season damage to the Frisby Ridge trail in Revelstoke, mostly by visiting riders, resulted in the trail remaining closed for most of the season last year and required major repairs.  Checking online or with local bike shops before your trip is a great idea.

One of CAMBA's many goals is to see the development of an online source for checking and reporting on the condition of our trails and reporting trail hazards and issues.  We are not sure exactly what this will look like but we are working on it!  We want local riders and those wanting to visit from out of town to be able to make informed riding decisions.  Have a great, safe riding season with the rubber side down!

5. Are you ready for "brown pow" season?

With spring just around the corner, are you ready for the season of epic biking? There are lots of ways to be prepared and get ready for the riding season!

Coaching, clubs and camps

Go head on with confidence (and not over the bars) with any of the many mountain bike camps, seminars, sessions that you can look into.

For ladies who want to meet other like-minded mountain biking women, hone their skills, have a great time and learn something new…. check out Shred Sisters. Audrey Duval, owner of Shred Sisters, is professional mountain bike/yoga coach who can help you progress to your own “next level”. Audrey and her team of coaches provide camps, group sessions and private lessons. Check out their website here.

The Trek Dirt Series is a mountain bike camp that focuses on skill and technique building. They offer co-ed camps, however, the Canmore camp is ladies only. The Trek Dirt Series has professional coaches and trainers who can help out with the skills you may be looking for to progress your mountain biking.  Check out their website here.

Also check out our friends over at the Rundle Mountain Cycling Club (RMCC). They offer an extensive variety of skills camps and sessions all led by the Bow Valley’s top riders!  Their Rampage program for youth riders is top notch! Here’s the program description: “The RMCC Rampage Junior Race program is for riders ages 12-18 (born 1999-2004) who want to get into cross-country mountain bike racing, may have some experience racing… and love to ride their bike! Younger riders with strong skills, fitness and motivation may also be considered. Core competencies are having fun, riding lots and developing in a supportive team environment.” Check out more info here.

Plaid Goat launching this June

Want something new and fun to plan for? Get ready for the inaugural Plaid Goat Mountain Bike Fest June 23-25, 2017. This three-day event offers a buffet of for-fun activities for any and every rider. Come celebrate mountain bike culture; Canadian Rockies style right here in Canmore!

Here’s what will be on offer:

  • Demo-licious Days: come sample the tastiest bikes of the season from the best mountain bike brands in the industry

  • A local craft beer tent hosting handpicked high quality local brewers, wine and more

  • Fun spectator events like the Bike Rodeo hosted by The Flannel Crew

  • Family friendly non-race activities such as the Kids Only Hub, group rides and coaching clinics

  • Representation from grass-roots mountain bike associations (like CAMBA) across the whole region

  • Wildlife safety and trail building sessions: demonstrating our commitment to responsible riding

  • Plaid Goat will donate an annual contribution to mountain bike associations through creating the Ride the Rockies Regional Trails Fund and distributing grants to qualifying mountain bike alliances

  • Collaboration with partner-run, fun & friendly events like TransRockies Race Series’ Rundle’s Revenge.

Find out more here and we’ll see you there!

6. Bike Love

After seeing some of what’s coming up this season, let’s not forget about your mountain bike! You put a lot of trust into your steed and likely spent way too much on it, so how about giving it a little spa day to keep it happy. You owe it to your ride, as he or she has kept you safe, helped you explore our beautiful backyard, and of course, kept a big smile on your face at every pedal stroke!

Now’s the time to get your bike dialled for the season. Before the big rush of spring, take your bike to your favourite local shop and get a tune up, overhaul, some suspension work or whatever your need is. Our local shops are amazing and will help you in any way possible.

While you’re down there, make sure you style it up for the upcoming warmer weather and get your CAMBA T-shirts and trucker hats. They’re available at all three shops in town:

  • Outside Bike & Ski – (403) 675-7722

  • Bicycle Café – (403) 678-3021

  • Rebound Cycle – (403) 678-3668

7. CAMBA Q&A... coming soon!

Stay tuned for CAMBA's Q&A articles featuring questions and answers to all things mountain biking and trails! Have a question?  Email us directly at with your contact information, and we'll either reply to you directly, or publish the reply in an upcoming article! 


8. CAMBA is a proud partner of



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"The Dirt" by Canmore & Area Mountain Bike Association

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