"The Dirt"

Edition #1 - November 2016


CAMBA Vision

With a focus on Canmore and area, CAMBA’s overarching mandate is to advocate for mountain biking and strive for a vibrant and exciting trail system for all ages and abilities.  CAMBA recognizes the importance of great mountain bike trails for locals and the positive impact that mountain bike tourism has as an important part of the visitor Economy.  CAMBA is a registered not-for-profit organization with the Government of Alberta.

Newsletter Content

1. CAMBA High Level Priorities
2. What We've Done So Far and Current Projects
3. Trails Update
4. Canmore Bike Packing Summit
5. Non-Sanctioned Trails
6. Maintaining or Dumbing Down Trails?
7. Membership and Volunteer Opportunities
8. Meet CAMBA's Board of Directors
9. Beyond the Board
10. CAMBA Partners
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1. CAMBA High Level Priorities

  • Establish CAMBA as a transparent and trusted advocate of mountain biking in Canmore and area
  • Create a strategic plan which identifies short, medium and long term projects that support the CAMBA vision

  • Build relationships and learn the political landscape

  • Work with fellow mountain biking alliances in Alberta and British Columbia to learn best practices and to progressively move forward on desirable trail projects

  • Identify issues and interests of mountain bikers in Canmore and area

  • Participate in fundraising activities to support CAMBA projects and other desirable trail projects within the area

  • Utilize the skills and experiences of our Board and members to create working groups that focus on specific mountain biking projects

  • Generate overall awareness on issues and opportunities around mountain biking in Canmore and area

2. What We’ve Done So Far and Current Projects

  • CAMBA has participated in more than 25 external meetings to provide a voice for mountain biking, including meetings with:
    • Trail Advisory Group

    • Canmore Trail Alliance

    • Town of Canmore

    • Alberta Parks

    • Public Lands

    • Government officials – MLA, etc.

    • Land owners & developers

  • More than 20 internal meetings to set up CAMBA’s organizational framework

  • Attend community and public events to generate awareness on mountain biking specific opportunities and issues and to gain insight from mountain bikers

  • Participate in volunteer trail building and bike park opportunities to help progress the state of mountain biking in Canmore and area

  • Opened the CNC Bike Skills Park with Hang Time Bike Parks, and Alberta Environment and Parks

  • Launched CAMBA membership and perks program

  • Driving fundraising activities to support maintenance for CNC bike park

  • Leading the administrative process to create G8 loopback re-routes and alternative signage information

  • Advocating for a plan to improve trail signage

  • Continue to work on CAMBA website to provide you with up-to-date information on CAMBA’s projects, volunteer opportunities, and more

  • Continue to develop the Trailforks program in Canmore and area

  • Developed and organized the 2016 Mountain Bike Survey.  CAMBA is currently working with volunteers to analyze data and prepare a final report to be publicly released, shortly

3. Trails Update

This has been a big year for all of us at CAMBA… a lot of time and effort, meetings and decisions.  As a newly formed association, we worked on a strategic plan for our first year. As much as we are passionate and motivated to achieve our goals we also wanted to respect the people and processes that were already in motion. We decided as a board that CAMBA should aim to be "respectfully assertive."  Although most of us were hoping to get our hands dirty right away, we soon realized that most of our first year would be devoted to forming relationships and educating ourselves on the many complex processes around trail development in the Bow Valley.  This year came with many lessons learned.  It has been very important to us at CAMBA to be open, transparent and to work with all people and groups involved.  CAMBA Board members have spent countless hours at meetings with the Canmore Trail Alliance (CTA), Alberta Environment and Parks, Town of Canmore and other stakeholders through the year.  Much of CAMBA's involvement has taken place behind the scenes and for investing in building these foundational relationships, we have earned trust and respect as an association and have had a positive influence in moving many projects forward.  What we’ve not yet been able to share is that there are projects and improvements discussed and planned for almost every riding area around Canmore, however these projects involve approval from various levels of government to move forward.  We’ve learned this is not a simple or quick process.  As hard as it is, we all need to be patient. We have seen that things are changing, and that things are happening.  Although it’s easy to compare trail development in Canmore to towns west of us, we have to respect that we are in a very different place with different rules and environmental considerations.

Canmore is a town we love.  A town we live and ride in, and all of us involved in CAMBA are not going anywhere soon.  I am happy to say there are some very exciting projects in discussion for the Canmore area. It may be too early to talk specifics, but I can say that CAMBA, the Town of Canmore and others are working hard to make these ideas a reality.  Thank you all for your support and patience.  We will be asking for and relying on your input, support and hard work to achieve great things mountain bike related for our area.  If you have not already purchased a CAMBA membership please consider doing so; for yourself or friends and family.  We’ll keep you updated over the winter months and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or ideas.


4. Canmore Bike Packing Summit

For those of you who do not know, “bike packing” is a form of cycling, racing, and adventure on two wheels. The popularity of this genre of cycling is fast growing, especially here in Alberta.  Banff is the starting point of the ever popular race, Tour Divide. This race follows the Continental Divide all the way south into New Mexico USA, via off road trails with the least amount of paved road ways as possible.  Bike Packing is a self supported type of cycling adventure, that requires the rider to carry all their gear to eat, sleep, and stay safe, on multi day excursions. A three day bike packing summit was held in Canmore from October 21-23, 2016.  This summit was the centre point of all things bike packing, with discussions focused on gear, bikes, land use (restrictions and permissions), future of bike packing, group rides, and of course, lots of storytelling from speakers and attendees.  The first evening on the 21st was an open invitation for anyone who wished to come and participate in an open discussion forum.  CAMBA Board members were in attendance during the night's discussion which included panel representation from Alberta Parks staff.

Photo Credit: Neil Sheppard

Special thanks to Ryan Correy of Hammer Nutrition and Bikepack Canada, Ryan Draper of Cycling 101, and Rebound Cycle for organizing a great weekend!


5. Non-Sanctioned Trails

As I'm sure you all know we have many non-sanctioned trails throughout the Bow Valley.  Non-sanctioned trails are those that are not officially recognized nor maintained by the Province.  Due to the location of some of our trails, available funding and resources, and approvals processes with the relevant government bodies, it will be almost impossible to ever have them all officially recognized as mountain bike trails.  However, there are some trails that are currently non-sanctioned that CAMBA will be aiming to bring into the officially recognized trail system. This means they can be signed!  It will be a long and hard fight before we can dig dirt and finally ride these trails officially and legally.  In our discussions with land managers and other community members, we have been warned that there will likely be an increase in efforts to stop mountain bikes from riding in some of these trails. CAMBA has never and will never tell you what trails you can and cannot ride, but be aware that if you choose to ride past closed trail signs or wildlife corridor signs, there may be a price to pay.  We honour those who spend time and sweat working on our trails, however building trail features like berms and jumps on non-sanctioned trails, re-opening closed trails, and the removal of official signs can also add unwanted attention and push them higher up the hit list.  I know those responsible have good intentions and usually want to share experiences we are lacking in our area, but there’s a risk that this work will make it more difficult to get trails approved in the future.

Here’s an example of some of the pop up work that we came across this past season. CAMBA supports building according to the highest standards of mountain bike trails such as the Whistler Trail Standards. For those who want to learn more, please reach out and let’s talk rad trails! 

6. Maintaining or Dumbing Down Trails?

This season many of us noticed small changes to the trails we love.  We saw some jumps and berms appear on the Three Sisters end of the Highline trail and there has been many reports of entire sections of roots being removed from parts of the Montane and Horseshoe trails.  The Canmore Nordic Center was also surprised by small changes to their trails in the park.  None of these changes were completed by CAMBA, and when we inquired, we were told that the Canmore Trail Alliance, Alberta Environment and Parks nor the Canmore Nordic Centre had done the work.  Well, we wonder then - who done it? As we mobilize with the intention to have greater access to trail work, we all need to acknowledge that there’s a big difference between moving a fallen tree or cutting a channel for a puddle to drain compared to building jumps, berms and removing entire sections of roots.  Those of us that do trail work always walk a fine line between maintenance and improvements, and we need to remember that the section we want to “fix” could be another rider’s favourite challenge. It might be something a fellow rider has been working towards cleaning for weeks or months.  We have unique rocky and natural trails here in the Bow Valley and should be proud of this. Let’s embrace the challenges in our terrain to help make us better riders.  Although we know there is a need for work to maintain trails… beautifying, buffing or making sections easier should be avoided.  Let’s focus our efforts on improving the safety, sight lines, drainage and sustainability of our trails instead.  Many of us have also worked and built on our trails for years and share your passion and commitment to mountain biking and our community.  We hope that those of you who have the skills and motivation to work on our trails will join and support CAMBA to help us in the fight to improve trails and trail access together.  We need your passion, your skills and your voice, so please consider working with us.


7. Membership and Volunteer Opportunities

CAMBA was very excited to launch our membership program this past Fall.  Similar to other mountain bike alliances and trail societies, our membership is an opportunity for you to help support and fund mountain bike trail development and maintenance projects in our community.  As a member, you also receive voting privilege at our Annual General Meeting, and exclusive discounts to our partnering shops:

  • Rave Coffee - 10% off drinks

  • An Edible Life - 10% off food and drinks

  • Rebound, Bicycle Café and Outside Bike and Ski - 10% off regular priced items (not including bikes or labour)

As CAMBA develops more partnerships with local businesses, we will be continuously updating member perks on Facebook and our website (  CAMBA memberships expire on December 31st each year, however, if you purchase your membership this year, your membership will be valid until December 2017.  Get your membership at Rebound Cycle, Outside Bike & Ski, or Bicycle Cafe, just in time for holiday shopping!


Membership Costs

$20 Youth (up to 17 years old)

$25 Adult (18+ years)

$45 Family (for first 2 members, plus $10 for additional members)


Aside from membership, we also welcome anyone and everyone to volunteer with CAMBA.  We have lots of opportunities to get involved from trail building, events, fundraising, social media and technical support and more!  Please contact our volunteer coordinator Darlene Paranaque at for more information!

8. Meet CAMBA's Board of Directors

Photo credit: Jacob Johnson

Wanda Bogdane: all mountain/downhill/tech lover

Founding president, recreational builder & avid rider. Wanda brings a long-term recreational riding perspective with tons of international riding experience, offering a global mountain biking point of view. A local entrepreneur, she’s the operator of Plaid Goat Mountain Bike Festival, launching in Canmore in June, 2017.

Chad Holowatuk:  Riding style best compared to a mullet….business on the climbs and party on the descents.

Chad is a 44 year old Professional Engineer who works in the Alberta energy industry and has been a part of the Canmore community for 4 years.  Chad joins the CAMBA board as Vice-President and brings experience with project management and working with government, external regulatory bodies and stakeholders.  He also has experience in fundraising, most recently with his involvement with Fast and Female, an organization dedicated to keeping young girls in sport.  Chad loves single malt whisky, IPA’s, heavy metal and is always up for a conversation about tires and hub engagement.  Giving back to the community and trails that he loves is the fuel that pumps his engines.  That and scotch.
Andrew Dickison, 37 year old Trail rider and coffee drinker.  Andrew is CAMBA’s Trail Director and works hard to turn vision into reality, from complete trail systems down to the perfect corner.  Andrew assists in the creation of systems and processes for future trail development, management and maintenance. He also acts as a liaison for CAMBA, working with the Town of Canmore, CTA, Alberta Parks, RMCC and other stakeholders.
Tyson Podruzny is an Owner at Rebound Cycle and Treasurer with CAMBA.  Tyson is responsible for keeping track of CAMBA finances.  Tyson is highly involved in trail discussions and projects, CAMBA events, and community support.
Having moved to the valley in 2002, Paul Kerfoot quickly realized his passion for biking. His buddy rented him a sweet (maybe not) giant warp and Paul hurled myself down the first hill - then it was on.  Paul has since raced elite downhill and currently races pro men's enduro in the Kootenay and BC, and Canadian National enduro series.  Paul has also been a professional bike mechanic for over a decade and has had the pleasure to wrench at prestigious events including the BC bike race, Trans Rockies and 24 Hours of Adrenaline.  As well as managing Outside Bike & Ski, Paul enjoys being a big part of the local bike community, and joins CAMBA as the Community Outreach Director.  Whether it's going for epic XC, gnarly DH, getting upside down on dirt jumps, cruiser riding or sending as big of jumps, Paul finds that there's not much that can beat fun on  2 wheels.

Gavin Conner, 29 year old freerider / bmxer / beer drinker

Gavin is a Professional Park & Trail Designer/Builder with his company Hang Time Bike Parks. Gavin contributes to CAMBA with a professional builder’s background and also represents younger riding demographic in trail projects and discussions.

Darlene Paranaque is the co-founder and former Managing Director of Prairie Girls Racing, a women’s DH and XC race team based in Edmonton.  Darlene recently moved to Canmore to enjoy all types of riding; steep and technical, fast and flowy, and all year round.  She joins the CAMBA board as secretary and Volunteer Coordinator.  Darlene brings expertise from her private and public sector, planning and development background.  

9. Beyond the Board

In the last 12 months, CAMBA has received a huge amount of help and support from some key rock star members.  We want to acknowledge their contributions and numerous hours that they have put in to get CAMBA to where it is today.  Without them, we would be in a very different place. 

Jay Balabas works behind the scenes to help CAMBA with social media and by spreading the CAMBA love through his shop, the Bicycle Cafe. He’s been instrumental in working with the board to help our promotional items look stylin, by attending CTA trail days and forging relationships with the Canmore Nordic Centre staff. At meetings, his insights have been invaluable whether from the shop floor, enduro scene or as a well traveled rider (founder of TransCR Enduro 2017 in Costa Rica). Respected for way more than just his super rad Shiba Jasper, we’re stoked that Jay has chosen to spend some of his time helping Canmore’s trails through CAMBA. 
Simon Lee is a local lawyer and rider, who was instrumental in setting up CAMBA as a fully formed legal non-profit society.  Simon took time away from his busy schedule to review the bylaws from other mountain bike associations and collaborated with the BVMBA to have alignment between ours and theirs.  Simon continues to be CAMBA’s legal counsel and somehow finds the time to review agreements with land owners, special resolutions, NUANS, TOR’s, MOU’s  and other weird acronyms that we need help with.  He is always available when we need to run things by him and ensures that we are always covered from a legal standpoint.  We are proud to say that CAMBA was set-up the right way with all legal bases covered and continues to adhere to a very high set of standards, which we owe very much to our “lovely lawyer”.
Simon Dove has been riding mountain bikes since he could ride a bike, and his passion for riding and racing has only intensified over the years.  He feels the culture and riding scene in Canmore has been evolving since he moved here 10 years ago, and he is excited to see the appearance of CAMBA to advocate for mountain biking in the Bow Valley.  Having ridden and raced all over the Americas, he feels confident in saying that we have some of the best riding in the continent and wants to contribute to making it even better.  Simon is a RMCC board member who works as the trails liaison between RMCC, CAMBA and other groups.
CAMBA would like to extend a special thanks to Jean McAllister at Dark Horse Company.  Jean is a local designer and mountain bike enthusiast who graciously donated her services to work with us in the early days to design CAMBA’s logo.  We absolutely love the result and hope you do too.  Jean’s design portfolio includes Bicycle Café, Singletrack 6, and 24 Hours of Adrenalin.  We think we are in pretty good company!  Check out her awesome work at
CAMBA would like to extend a very special thanks to our friends at the Iron Goat.  Not only has The Goat generously provided us with a place to meet, but they gone out of their way to make us feel comfortable and keep us fueled through 4 hour meetings that often go past closing time.  It’s become our second home.  Thank you to Mike and Mike, Joe, Amanda and all the staff that have welcomed CAMBA into the Iron Goat family.  You know us well and know that Darlene loves yam fries. We look forward to seeing you again soon.

10. CAMBA is a proud partner of




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"The Dirt" by Canmore & Area Mountain Bike Association

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CAMBA · 101 - 7 Blackrock Crescent · Canmore, Ab T1W 1A2 · Canada

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