photo by Nicole Matei

Living in the Canadian Rockies we have some of the best mountain biking opportunities in North America. British Columbia offers the best mountain biking in Canada and is so close that it is a no brainer to visit this summer.

But many have not tried the sport of mountain biking yet. Why not? Think some of it has to do with the sports image of only being for the experts or hard core. There is a big difference between trail riding (Cross Country style biking), traditional Mountain Biking, more akin to normal biking but on dirt trail where you peddle up the hills and enjoy riding down versus the Lift Accessed, Downhill Mountain Biking, where you use the ski resort chairlift to take you up the mountain and then you ride down. In the Downhill Mountain Biking you are fully armored up with protective gear from elbow pads, shin pads etc..).

Both Cross Country and Downhill Mountain Biking can be enjoyed by beginners or first timers. Key is to start out riding with friends who are into the sport or take a lesson from one of the local guides or in the case of Downhill Mountain Biking, at either Fernie Alpine Resort and or Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.

Powder Matt believes that more people should try the sport of Mountain Biking for three reasons, Social, Health Benefit and Enjoy Nature. Recentl I introduced some residents of Calgary, Alberta to the sport of Mountain Biking. We started off with a flat, gravel trail, next to the Elk River, in Fernie, British Columbia and progressed over the weekend to some easy and flat single track trail in the woods. Fernie, British Columbia has one of the best single track trail networks in North America- here you can find trails for all levels of mountain biking, and it makes a perfect destination for trying Mountain Biking for the first time! It is so much fun that you will get Goose Bumps for sure! My recipe for the day is take beginners on the river trail for an hour, visit a hip cafe in town for lunch, and then go into the woods on a beginner single track trail for a cool forest riding experience.

Both Fernie Alpine Resort and Kicking Horse Mountain Resort offer program focused on first timers or beginner riders who want to try lift accessed Downhill Mountain Biking. Over the past couple of years new trails have been built specifically focused on providing new riders the best experience. Downhill Mountain biking is loads of fun but the key step for first timers is to make sure they take a lesson to learn the basic skills of Downhill Mountain Biking; including neutral stance, braking and cornering.

Mountain biking is a blast and if you live near the Canadian Rockies, you owe it to yourself to give this great Life Sport a try! Enjoy the trails!!

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