Biking enthusiasts looking to connect with Crowsnest’s passionate mountain biking community are invited to contact the United Riders of Crowsnest Club (UROC). This homegrown initiative, with a strong female and male riding contingent provides information, clinics, events and comradery for locals and visitors of The Pass alike.
UROC’s mission is to grow the biking community through youth education, community rides, and building new trails.
UROC has fostered large-scale partnerships with the fellow trail junkies at Sweet Riders Canada and trail mapping website and application (app) TrailForks.
Want to hit the trails without children? UROC collaborates with the local Boys & Girls Club of Canada Chapter in Blairmore to offer drop-in, multi-hour kids activities. Little ones can enjoy supervised paddling, horseback riding, swimming and more.
What do Jiffy Pop, Berma-Grin, Pineapple Express and Little Shred Riding Hood have in common? They are wicked mountain bike trails that riders can now find online thanks to the app called Trailforks, and the United Riders of Crowsnest Club (UROC).
Trailforks is a database that allows thousands of riders around the world to upload GPS data as they ride. Once data is received, routes are mapped and named, graded based on skill level and submitted to local trail associations and trusted organizations (like UROC) who have the ability to approve and curate the data before it is shared with fellow mountain bikers.
Mapping the trails was no small feat, and local enthusiasts can be thanked for their determination and steadfastness to see this initiative through. Although it is very possible they had some fun doing it.
Beginner riders will feel at home on the section of the Crowsnest Community Trail, with terrain ramping up around the town of Frank. John says the Pass Powderkeg ski hill features trails suited to every level of rider. Beginners can start in the staging area, which also offers a seating area and a playground for those taking a break from the trails.
On the mountain, John recommends beginners check out the Little Shred Riding Hood trail just outside the Skills Park, or the Double Dirt-Spresso. For more advanced riders, he says to follow Chainsaw Massacre to a brand new trail funded by the Government of Canada for the country’s sesquicentennial: the Buck 50. The top-to-bottom loop will take two to three hours, with the last stretch being just “7 km with a big smile.”
Advanced and expert riders can find more challenging routes in the York Creek area, south of Coleman and Bellevue. Trails are more technical, requiring more exertion to master the stunts, narrow paths, and steep drops. Those up for the challenge can follow John’s favourite trail, Big Bear and be rewarded by a 360-degree view of The Pass. Then follow the Sooper Trooper down the slopes. For those who’ve mastered the trails of The Pass, John recommends a day trip to Fernie Mountain Resort, featuring lift service and downhill options.
Need a quick tune up, or a major repair? Visit the Alpenland Bike Shop, or contact Brian MacFarlane at CogNation Cyclery. Visitors without their own biking gear can visit Fernie Mountain Resort for the closest rentals.