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Hinton, Alberta

Hinton Mountain Bike Association.  Our goal is to develop, maintain and promote the best possible mountain biking opportunities around the Hinton area, while ensuring responsible and safe practices in environmental conservation, trail construction, trail maintenance and riding.

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Filtering by Category: 2014

8 Years Strong

HMBA VP

On November 30th, 2014,  the Hinton Mountain Bike Association's president, Jan Vassbotn, will be stepping down from his post.  Jan has given the club 4+ years as an executive member, with a number of those years as President. The current, and past executive, that have worked with Jan, want to give him a big THANK YOU for everything he has done to promote the HMBA, the Bike Park, and the sport of mountain biking in our region. In all honesty, it hasn't always been pretty and it hasn't always been fun, stress free work, but Jan poured heart and energy into making this club successful.  Thank You, we appreciate everything you have done!

HMBA has been very lucky!  Since starting in 2007, it has seen numerous dedicated members step up to the plate and volunteer their time on the executive and as directors and coordinators.  All these individuals deserve to be recognized!  In order of appearance between 2007 and 2014:

  • Kyle Madill
  • Nick Threinen
  • James Claggett
  • Jay Hore
  • Chris Lavoie
  • Stephen Hanus
  • Debbie Mucha
  • Ashley Kalk
  • Jacquie Hore
  • Mike Jodoin
  • Jailin Threinen
  • Tim Trahan
  • Shawn Cripps
  • Krista Paniec
  • Jan Vassbotn
  • Stacey Cherry
  • Alicia Bourbeau
  • Julie Duval
  • Tracy Allen
  • Melanie Dreyer
  • Nathan Friesen
  • Maria Koelbl
  • Riley Beauchamp
  • Kevin Myles
  • Sharon Meredith
  • Marie-Soleil Pinet
  • Sarah Keilbach
  • Mike Mahoney
  • Jenn Laing

Thanks for a great 2014 season! Our membership numbers were the highest we have ever had. Every weekend, we seemed to be meeting someone new at the Bike Park, so our amazing backyard is getting recognized as a great biking playground. Beaver Bike fest was a success and the 2 day August format may stick (we will be looking for consistency on the dates as well).

Thank you to all current and past executive, members, volunteers, and sponsors, for making this club as great as it is. It really is a great thing to be a part of.

Have a great winter and don't forget to contact us if you are interested in sitting on the board or helping with Beaver Bike Fest organizing!

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Hinton Decided!

HMBA VP

Great News!

Earlier this month, Hinton residents decided to award $30,000 towards the Happy Creek project submitted by the Hinton Mountain Bike Association.  

In September, HMBA had submitted a proposal for Hinton's Participatory Budget.  Hinton's amazing signature trail, Happy Creek, is going to need some major work done on all the bridges and wood features. This is not just a project that will benefit the mountain bikers, but it will benefit runners, walkers, hikers, and visitors who enjoy using this great trail!

Participatory Budgeting is a democratic process where community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget ($100,000). It is taxpayers working with local government to make budget decisions that affect their lives. It is a different way to manage public money that engages people and government.

Hinton's Participatory Budget Results

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HMBA jerseys and socks - Awesome gift ideas!

HMBA VP

Are you looking for a great gift idea for that special someone ?  Are you looking for a gift that looks awesome AND benefits a biking community?  The Hinton Mountain Bike Association has rad jerseys and socks for sale - and they can be bought via our website!  

All proceeds from apparel sales goes back to HMBA and supports our various activities and events.

 
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There's Gold in Them Hills!

HMBA VP

If you haven't been out riding or hiking these past few days - make sure you include it in your long weekend activities!  Even a simple jaunt around our extensive town trails in this fine Autumn weather is sure to be enjoyed by all!

(click on photos to enlarge)

 

Halloween Trail

Cleo's

 

Happy Creek Trail

"Wellsite" between The J and Halloween Connector

 

The J

EZ Lookout

 

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Hidden Gems: Ranger

HMBA VP

THIS WEEK'S HIDDEN GEM: RANGER

This week's gem has been a popular riding choice to many for the past few weeks.  I have had the opportunity to have a good chat with HMBA's Trail Coordinator, Kevin Myles, and hope it will be a testament to just how much goes into adding trails to our amazing trail systems.

Location: Happy Creek Trail System, connects EZ Lookout and GS.

Difficulty: Intermediate

Type: Singletrack

Description:  Like a Ranger patrolling the bush, scouting trails, scanning for wildlife, and keeping quads off protected areas, so too can you experience HMBA newest singletrack!

A pedally 2.4 kilometer trail that connects the EZ viewpoint with the GS trail in the greater Happy Creek trail system. Ranger has a different challenge depending on which direction you ride it with something new around every corner. As the trail is still new, your keen tracking skills will be useful for navigation and looking for flags on important corners.

Built with the help of the Alberta Junior Forest Rangers in the summer of 2014, Ranger is a fitting tribute. Also, if you’re into geo-caching, look for the cache that the JFR’s created near the EZ viewpoint. 

Directions:  There are two main ways to access this trail.  The northern trailhead is found off the spur trail for the EZ Lookout, a favorite lookout spot after going up The J.  The second connects from Halloween and a fun downhill extension with the GS trail. 

 

Q & A with HMBA's Trail Coordinator

HMBA: How did you decide to build where you did?

Kevin:  In talking with Tim Trahan, the previous HMBA Trail Coordinator, during our master trail plan meeting about the potential GS connector and how the EZ Viewpoint is such a good spot. Normally you climb to the EZ viewpoint, take the Halloween connector and then rely on the pipeline/cutlines to link together with the other trails. It made sense to consider a new trail using the interesting terrain below to connect a longer perimeter style trail with the other dead-ends. The next step was to get TFA (basically permission to build) from AESRD.  Tim guided me through the proposal and I gathered a rough trail location using map imagery, submitted the legal land coordinates and a description of the trail type, features and purpose and it was ultimately approved.

HMBA:  How did you pick the route?

Kevin:  Just started walking in the bush, looking at terrain, drainages, forest types, existing game trails, etc. Walked different sections and flagged what made sense.  Tried to use side hills and elevated areas to maximize the terrain and stay out of wet/low areas.  Linking tricky sections together, usually the hardest part, especially when there is no obvious route. Trying to minimize disturbance, avoiding cutting green trees, sensitive areas etc.  Using natural terrain features and grade reversals for good water drainage and staying within the IMBA guidelines as much as possible.

HMBA:  Did you do a lot of re-routes?

Kevin:  Not really, there’s still a lot of cool terrain to work with though.  I want to link to a new viewpoint and fix a few T corners.  Tim provided good feedback, like avoiding high-traffic game trails, hiding sightlines etc.

HMBA:  What were the biggest challenges?

Kevin:  Running out of time with the end of the season looming and without volunteer support to dig the trail down to mineral soil.  Having to rely on people riding it –which is great in the short term but may lead to more maintenance later as roots expose and corners and hill challenges get beat up.  More chainsaw work was needed to remove potential deadfall to lessen potential future maintenance.

HMBA:  What was the best part of building this trail?

Kevin:  The best part is yet to come!  More speed as it hardens up and we get familiar with the route.

HMBA:  Tell me about the volunteer support

Kevin:  The unsung hero is Gabby Lyons: she gets dragged out to work on every on-going HMBA project (sometimes willingly haha) and a normal ride will mysteriously turn into trail maintenance. Like after building Vigilante last year and having to hike out as many tools that we could pack or carry out in the snow. Also had a few organized trail days attended by HMBA members and the odd trail fairy clear a section of trail. Then of course the involvement of the Junior Forest Rangers -more later. So much more happens than what appears on Facebook.

HMBA:  Which way should we ride it?

Kevin:  Both ways. From Halloween and down GS, it continues the downward grade to the pipeline. Then steady mixed terrain and gradual climb to the viewpoint.  The ride from the EZ  out to GS is a bit more of a grunt on the last section. The goal was to have this trail link together with other trails back there and utilize more terrain and avoid using cutlines and pipelines. It makes for better loops, tying into Vigilante or longer rides along the perimeter.

HMBA:  How were the Junior Forest Rangers (JFR’s) involved?

Kevin:  The JFR’s were the big motivation for the trail. They have approached HMBA for several consecutive years now requesting projects where the JFR leaders can work and learn. So the building of the GS extension was the perfect fit and we organized 3 days of work on the extension (and one day on Jack’s). The JFR’s used this project to learn how to use GPS’s and maps to navigate to the site. They hiked from the beaver boardwalk in full nomex coveralls with tools and packs. They learned about the history of HMBA, our partnerships with land managers and the importance of outdoor recreation and tourism to the area.  They Learned trail building techniques and got hands-on experience with tools such as polaski’s and mcleod’s. In total the JFR crews put in approximately 300 hours on this trail this summer on the first 0.5 kilometer of the trail.  In total, over 400 hours was spent building Ranger!

HMBA:  Why "Ranger"?

Kevin:  After many hours of discussion over trail names with Julie, HMBA's VP, and whittling down some of my crazier suggestions, "Ranger" seems to be the most appropriate.   A bit ordinary maybe, but there needed to be a tie-in with the Junior Forest Rangers. They contributed hundreds of man hours so I think it's a decent connection to their contribution (and hopefully on-going partnership).

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HMBA seeking your input on Happy Creek Trail

HMBA VP

The HMBA would like some feedback from all trail users for our Participatory Budget project for the Happy Creek Trail boardwalk restoration... Please share some reasons why the Happy Creek trail is important to you!   It would be awesome to get some 'user' quotes for this project.   Please indicate how often you ride/hike/run/walk it.   What makes it stand apart from the other trails? Thanks everyone!

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Please indicate how we can reference you in the feedback. Feedback will be used in the Participatory Budget presentation and materials.


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Talisman Investing in our Community, again!

HMBA VP

Much thanks to Cody Begon and Talisman for a generous donation of $500 to HMBA! Through its 'Investing in our Community' program, Talisman gave Cody $500 to donate to his choice of group or program and he once again chose HMBA! Thanks Cody!

 The cheque was presented to Jan Vassbotn, HMBA president, at the year-end BBQ for HMBA's Sprockids program at the Hinton Bike Park.

The cheque was presented to Jan Vassbotn, HMBA president, at the year-end BBQ for HMBA's Sprockids program at the Hinton Bike Park.


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HMBA submits proposal for Hinton's Participatory Budget

HMBA VP

HMBA has submitted a proposal for the 'Participatory Budget'. Hinton's amazing signature trail, Happy Creek, is going to need some major work done on all the bridges and wood features. We will keep you all in the loop with reminders to come down and vote when the time comes! This is not just a project that will benefit the mountain bikers, but it will benefit runners, walkers, hikers, and visitors who enjoy using this great trail!

What is Participatory Budgeting?

Participatory Budgeting is a democratic process where community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. It is taxpayers working with local government to make budget decisions that affect their lives. It is a different way to manage public money that engages people and government.  Click HERE for more information on this process!

Voting

Citizens of Hinton and Yellowhead County (west of Obed) over the age of 14 may vote on one of two days (a Wednesday and Saturday) by paper ballot. 
Only ONE vote per person!

Latest Trail News: 

On Monday, September 29th, a group of trail users describe the state of the boardwalks found on Happy Creek: 

 
Howdy, had a man down while hiking on the Happy Creek Trail tonight. Several boards rotted through, one tipped up under foot weight. Didn’t have any tools with us and wasn’t sure how to leave this. Put rotted boards to the side, hoping the gap would be obvious to riders
— Sarah Burns - via HMBA's facebook group page

Photo by HMBA Member, Sarah Burns

 

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Hidden Gems: Totally Lost

HMBA VP

THIS WEEK'S HIDDEN GEM: TOTALLY LOST

This week's gem is not necessarily hidden (it can be found on current maps and signs), but may yet to be explored by those still unfamiliar with the park's network of trails.  A favorite to many, this twisty trail is a definite must when playing in the park!

Location: Hinton Bike Park

Difficulty: Beginner

Type: Singletrack

Description: This 1km flow trail keeps you guessing as it weaves and loops in all directions through the Park but don’t worry, it’s safe to leave your compass at home. Return to ride the opposite way or take “Okey Spokey” back to the start. Explore the other options such as “Gully Trail” or the new “Stinger” flow trail - another gem!

Directions: Two-way. Follow “Mid Access trail and look for the first trail on the right before the pump track to ride clockwise. Follow “Jodoin’s Journey” to the “Gully Trail” to ride counter clockwise. Are you lost yet?

 
 

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Secure Energy Donation

HMBA VP

HMBA sometimes takes heed of the well known quote "Good things come to those that wait!" -- So it may have taken a year to get this photo, but its a good one! Seriously, a year ago Secure Energy donated $10k to HMBA and for that we are very grateful. It took this long to be able to get both groups together for this photo opportunity, but it was nice to finally meet and be able to thank them in person.  It's because of generous donations like this from our corporate friends that projects like this summer's Skill's Area and Dirt Jump Facelift can happen, so THANK YOU to Secure Energy!

  Pictured left-to-right: Jan (HMBA Prez), Jason Kazmir (Obed Manager), Laura Balcaen (Sales/Marketing), Julie (HMBA VP), Marie-Soleil (HMBA Treasurer) and Kevin (HMBA Trails/Operations).

Pictured left-to-right: Jan (HMBA Prez), Jason Kazmir (Obed Manager), Laura Balcaen (Sales/Marketing), Julie (HMBA VP), Marie-Soleil (HMBA Treasurer) and Kevin (HMBA Trails/Operations).

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Hidden Gems: Bubba's

HMBA VP

THIS WEEK'S HIDDEN GEM: BUBBA'S

Location: Happy Creek Trail System

Difficulty: Intermediate

Type: Singletrack

Description: Welcome to the backwoods. Pack your saw, bear spray and banjo as Bubba's is a root'n toot'n good ole remote wilderness singletrack along the outer limits of the HMBA maintained trails. Roughly 2.2 kms of mixed terrain with some navigation required on 4x4 trails and a mud bog crossing that will make your brakes squeal like a pig. Bubba's is a great extension to Phil's Thriller or Slowcooker, so grab yourself a 2014 HMBA map and go find your inner hill billy!

 
 Wednesday Group Ride on Bubba's, Summer 2014

Wednesday Group Ride on Bubba's, Summer 2014

 

Direction: Bubba's can be found partway through on Phil's Thriller or across the southern entrance/exit to Slowcooker.  The suggested direction for a nice flow is starting from the Phil's Thriller intersection.

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Hidden Gems: Vigilante

HMBA VP

THIS WEEK'S HIDDEN GEM: VIGILANTE

 
 

Location: Happy Creek Trail System

Difficulty: Intermediate

Type: Singletrack, Dowhhill

Description: Take the law into your own hands with this rowdy sub kilometer, downhill-grade, singletrack version of a high speed car chase. Tight and twisty, off camber and quick pedal sections make you earn your turns even more than the ride up. Access this from the climb up “Cleo’s”, “Halloween” or “GS” and look for the antler shed “Vigilante” sign. This trail was dedicated to founding HMBA super couple Stephen Hanus and Debbie Mucha.

Direction: Vigilante can be reached by climbing up Cleo's or Halloween Trails.  The quickest route is to follow Happy Creek West onto Halloween.  Follow Halloween past it's switchback climb.   Start on Cleo's with a quick right onto Vigilante.

 
 

Trail Background: Vigilante was built in 2013 by the Hinton Mountain Bike Association with the help of Junior Forest Ranger Leaders.   The name Vigilante is in recognition of a past president, Stephen Hanus, who's known to call his old truck "Vigilante".

 
 Monday Ladies on Vigilante

Monday Ladies on Vigilante

 Testing out a section built by the Junior Forest Rangers.

Testing out a section built by the Junior Forest Rangers.

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AFD Gravity Cup Update: Event Cancelled

HMBA VP

Recent weather conditions forces this weekend's event to be cancelled.

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Trail Update: Phase 1 of New Trail on Happy Creek Trail System is Ready to Ride

HMBA VP

Update on the "GS Extension" trail. A small crew has been hard at work and the first section is rideable! Please watch for flags on corners and use caution as this is still in a early state until it gets more traffic. Refer to the 2014 HMBA map "proposed trail" and note the route in green below. Connect back from the cutline to GS, Halloween / Cleo's. Trail work will continue this week (snow pending?!?). Feel free to contact Kevin, hmba.trailsATgmail.com, if you would like to help. Thanks!

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Hidden Gems: Gasifier

HMBA VP

THIS WEEK'S HIDDEN GEM: GASIFIER

Difficulty: Intermediate, Advanced

Type: Downhill Trail

 Getting ready to rip down Gasifier!

Getting ready to rip down Gasifier!

Description:  A classic fall line downhill trail, nothing fancy here, leave your berms and jumps at home. Just get yourself to the bottom in one piece without gassing. Harder than it sounds, this trail is the venue for the annual AFD Gravity Cup downhill race where local rippers challenge pro and amateur racers from afar.

Direction:  Shuttle access only.  Travel South from the Bike Park on Robb Road (gravel road). Drop a shuttle vehicle at the Hardisty Creek Crossing Interpretive area. Continue and turn left onto McPherson Road until the second left. Follow the remote access road until the wellsite and find the trailhead on the NW corner. Caution: 4x4 vehicles may be required along gravel and access roads.  Please use caution when embarking and crossing the haul roads!  

Trail Background: Gasifier was built in 2012 by Nathan Friesen and many volunteers, including enthusiastic youth!   This downhill trail was built in preparation for the 1st AFD Gravity Cup in Hinton back in 2012.  This event is happening for it's 3rd year on September 13th and 14th!  Check out AFDracing.ca for more info.

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AFD Air Bag returns to Hinton on Friday, September 12

HMBA VP

AFD is bringing back the air bag! 

Cost is $5 and all proceeds go to the Hinton Mountain Bike Association.

  • Waivers must be signed by parents or guardians.
  • You must be 10 or older to jump.
  • Helmets are mandatory.
 
 

Location: Next to Hinton Curling Rink

Please note: there are a lot of cars parking in the field for the West Fraser Mill shut down. We have been assured that there will be an area roped off on the 12th.  Spectators and participants can park in the curling rink parking lot. Thank you to AFD, Barrow Safety, the Hinton Curling Club, and the Town for working this out!


AFD GRAVITY CUP is next weekend!!   You can still register online at AFDRacing.ca or onsite Sept 12/13 before 1 pm at the AFD Petroleum Hinton Office. 


For more information visit AFDRacing.ca



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Hidden Gems: Stinger

HMBA VP

The Hinton Mountain Bike Association continually strives to promote mountain bike culture in Hinton.  The 2014 Trail Maps have been updated and released this summer, but all our trail signage updates are still on our to-do list - which we hope we can tackle in the near future.  We could always use your help! (hint hint!)

Unfortunately, some of our trails and features have not been fully explored by visitors and locals alike because they don't know it's there!   To help with this, we'll put out some posts about our 'Hidden Gems' to help all riders better explore and enjoy our great trails!


This week's Hidden Gem: Stinger

Location: Hinton Bike Park

 
stinger.PNG
 

 

Difficulty: Intermediate, Advanced

Type: Flow Trail - Loop

Description: Get your buzz on the Park’s newest flow trail featuring berms, bumps and quick direction changes. Swarm around the nest above, traversing the cut-banks in a 360 to where you started. Enter and exit the hive as you wish, with a return lap option at the bottom. Treat this as a mini-enduro, climbing your way to each new fastest descent. How many stages can you complete before you’re stung?

Direction: Ride from the parking lot through “Jodoin’s Journey” to the “Gully Trail”. The popular option continues right to the bottom of the rooty “Gully Trail”, with left at the wooden bridge.

Trail Background: Stinger was built in 2013 by Hoots Inc. and many volunteers.  The project was funded in part by Quality of Life grant, Hoots Inc. and HMBA.  Materials (wood) were donated by Hinton Home Hardware.  Food for volunteers was provided by Boston Pizza and Subway.

For other great trail descriptions in the bike park, visit our Bike Park Info webpage.

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2014 Bike Hinton Campaign - Sponsor Recognition

HMBA VP

The Hinton Mountain Bike Association would like to thank the following sponsors for their support in all of or in part with bikehinton.com website sponsorship, Bike Hinton Giveaway prizes, 2014 Trails Map, and promotion of Alberta's Mountain Bike Mecca!

 
 

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