Guest Blogger: Scott Bentley is a die-hard two-wheel enthusiast, and has raced his mountain bike as far afield as Africa. He is the current Ontario Single Speed Marathon Champion and a volunteer with the Ontario Cycling Association (OCA) and Durham Mountain Biking Association (DMBA). Scott is also co-owner of Joyride 150 Indoor Bike Park and a small media company in Markham. He has twice been nominated for Entrepreneur of the Year.
This month marked the beginning of the grassroots mountain bike racing scene in Ontario with low-key races organized for riders ranging in age from 3 to over 60. Substance Projects put on a family-friendly event recently, where the youngest racers did a 500 metre loop and the smiles were ear-to-ear coming through the final turn. This past weekend was the beginning of the Ontario Cup series which has 40 categories to accommodate all ability levels.
But you don’t have to race to enjoy mountain-biking in Ontario. Just ask your local bike shop for the clubs in your area or contact the Ontario Cycling Association. You’ll soon find a great group of mountain-bikers that ride just for fun and fitness.
While the Ontario Cup race was on this weekend, I opted for a leisurely ride in another trail system, Glen Major in the East Duffins Headwaters. I pulled into the trailhead and within minutes I was surrounded by the sights, sounds and smells of the forest. As I rode, I met many riders just out for some fresh air and smiles. Groups of casually dressed riders on entry-level bikes cruised along, all cheerfully concentrating on the twisting ribbon of dirt.
Back at the trailhead with tired legs and dusty faces, we kicked back with some food and drinks while reliving the just-completed adventure. I know from experience, the same post-event festivities unfolded at the Ontario Cup race. Mountain biking will always have a large social aspect to it. Whether racing or riding, the grassroots of mountain-biking is about friends getting together for a little fun and fitness.
Another great day out-of-doors!
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