Uncertainty may still be the order of the day here in Ontario, but cycling remains one of the safest ways to get out for some sun and exercise. Especially with the coming of the warmer weather, many of us are itching for an invigorating, stress-busting ride. If you’re wondering where to ride and what the season will look like, you’re not alone – luckily cycling clubs are a great way to stay updated, find new routes, connect with fellow riders, and support the growth of the sport. In this post we spotlight three local groups who can help you on all those fronts and more.
Millbrook MTB’s core membership has been helping to shape the local scene for some time, but as of November 2020, the organization is officially an International Mountain Bicycling Association-affiliated, not-for-profit mountain biking club. Their goals include building and maintaining local trails, advocating for the sport, coordinating social events, and fundraising for related projects. One of their intentions is to incorporate popular mountain biking trails into the current Millbrook Valley Trail system, in addition to developing new ones. You can find an already-impressive list of trails over on Trailforks.
Early membership demographics show a generous age range, with a promising boost from families and youth. Where and when possible, the group is also planning educational clinics and group rides geared towards different skill levels. One idea in the works is “session rides,” helping riders target specific skills. The hairpin turns of the Ganny Transit, for example, should provide an ideal training ground for anyone who needs practice negotiating tricky switchbacks.
If any of the above intrigues, visit https://my.cheddarup.com/c/millbrookmtb. There you’ll be able to purchase a membership, grab Millbrook MTB apparel, or simply offer a one-time donation to show your support. Other updates and community chatter can be found on their Facebook page. In the words of Millbrook MTB president David D’Agostino, “the future looks bright for mountain biking in Millbrook.”
Peterborough Cycling Club
The PCC has been a mainstay of the local biking scene for years. Though the launch of their April 2021 season has been delayed by the provincial shutdown order, their riding season typically offers around 20 groups geared for different goals, from recreation to competition prep. They also provide skill-development clinics and special events, capped by a cyclocross series in the fall.
As a member-driven club, members take an active role in determining the club’s direction. If there’s interest in a particular ride or set of skills, the PCC strives to provide resources on that theme. Its members include passionate cyclists of all stripes, from mountain bikers to competitive road cyclists, so you’ll likely find yourself in good company wherever your specific interest.
Peterborough Trail Builders
The PTA is “a volunteer run, not-for-profit organization dedicated to enhancing and maintaining single-track, natural surface trails in and around Peterborough, Ontario, for non-motorized use.” These locals volunteer their time to build and maintain trails with the mission to make Peterborough a more active community. With their hard work more people are encouraged to stay active and explore nature.
The PTA lend their skills in partnership with the conservation authorities at Ganaraska Forest (Ganaraska Conservation Authority) and Harold Town Conservation Area (Otonabee Region Conservation Authority), meeting once a month to build and maintain trails. These trails are loved by hundreds of cyclists, hikers, trail runners, dog walkers, equestrians, skiers, and geocachers year after year.
If you're interested in digging in to the work PTA does, consider volunteering or buying a membership. It can take a lot of time to build even a small feature, but more hands and the right resources make for lighter work. To learn more about joining the PTA visit www.ptbotrailbuilders.com/membership. You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram.