• 04-03-2006
    Ro.nin
    Where would you take a newbie for the 1st time?
    One of my friends keeps hearing me yappin' about bikes and mountains and all that stuff.
    And he says he wants to try it... :D

    He's a tiny bit outta shape... ( ;) ) and I don't wanna scare him with Sulphur Springs or Moose Packers for a first trail.
    Ah, he never mountain biked before.

    Where would you take him?

    I don't wanna do anything that's super easy too - like Spray Loop. I want him to see it's a bit challenging - but not too much so I scare him.
    Was thinking of Minnewanka. It's kinda technical in some spots and kinda long - but it's gorgeous...

    Let me know what you think.
  • 04-03-2006
    ferday
    minnewanka is very pretty and any beginner can do it. boring though...

    something with a bit of challenge (sulpur springs, powderface/prarie link) might be better, as the "hard" parts might get him stoked to keep getting better. packers might be a bit tech for a newb. there are some easy trails in the benchlands, and if you're located in calgary nose hill has enuff tech stuff to tempt him, while being completely rideable (and it's in great shape right now!!)
  • 04-03-2006
    Ro.nin
    pp
    Powderface would be my second choice... but there's that [email protected]#ch of a climb at the beginning...

    Hmm, keep'em coming guys!

    Benchlands??
  • 04-03-2006
    ferday
    the benchlands is the plateau area on the north side of canmore. also, the canmore nordic centre has a ton of trails and you can link up all day. not terribly challenging (other than to the poor lungs 'n legs...)

    buy this book at MEC : http://www.rmbooks.com/books/easbac.htm (it's $25)

    it has hundreds of trails, some easy some hard most in between. good directions and excellent trail descriptions. dozens of trails in teh bragg creek area, canmore and turner valley areas (ie within an hour drive of calgary)
  • 04-03-2006
    BikeLust
    Powderface short loop
    I have taken newbies on this one before and they love it. If worse comes to worse, you walk the first hill. This will let them know they need to be in descent shape to have fun on the trails, and it gives them a sample of everything from open mountain glades, to tree covered singletrack, and a creek crossing. I'd ride it once before you take your friend to see how bad the erosion is on the first downhill section. Big rain ruts, and someone going faster than they should could be a problem.

    BL
  • 04-03-2006
    Ro.nin
    Thanks ferday!
    (I have the book... :) )

    Didn't know about the benchlands. Gotta check it out.

    BikeLust, I think you're right. The short loop it's great. Although he might walk the second hill too... :)

    Do you guys know where can he rent a decent bike in Calgary?

    Cheers!
  • 04-06-2006
    GaryM
    The jumpingpound loop is another good first ride of the season. Not real technical but also no killer climbs...good all around trail and only about 12km if I remember correctly.
  • 04-06-2006
    Ro.nin
    Yeah.
    Jumpingpound Loop it's probably my favourite after-work ride. It's exactly 30 minutes from my house adn it doesn't take more than 1 hour. Fun and fast. If there's enough daylight you can squeeze two laps in. The only thing that's missing is the wow factor. That's why I wouldn't take him there for the first time.

    Think my best bet is Powderface (short loop) - he's gonna regret it till we start descending... but hey! Powderface it's a lot of fun. :D

    THEN I can take him for practice on Jumpingpound Loop...:p

    Well, I can use the practice myself too.

    Thanks guys!!! Any other ideas? Anything near Canmore perhaps?

    Bring'em on!
  • 04-06-2006
    BikeLust
    Rundle riverside a.k.a. Canmore to Banff along the river is a good one. Because it's an out and back, you can always turn around before Banff if he's getting tired. Rocky, bumpy, a little bit of tech, and good views along the river make this one another good choice.

    BL
  • 04-06-2006
    Ro.nin
    Loop
    Heard that you can make this a loop.

    Do you know how? Well, except for the road.

    Cheers!
  • 04-07-2006
    GaryM
    If you want wow facotr I'd have to go for Baldy Pass or Barrier lookout...amazing views and great decents off of both but you have to earn it.

    Overall I would agree with Powderface short loop. It was the first real mountain ride I did out here and it got me stoked to keep going!

    I think the only way to loop Canmore to Banff is to rid ethe gravel road...not sure though. We quite often do it as a day trip. Ride to banff, have lunch and relax a bit and then ride back. Makes for a good day. Not a real exciting trail though.
  • 04-07-2006
    Ro.nin
    What if you take the Rudle Riverside back to Canmore?

    Anyone did this? How is it.
    Take the easy one - from Canmore to Banff - forgot the name. Then go around the golf course and take Rundle - which is supposed to be fun.

    Anyone?
  • 04-07-2006
    BikeLust
    I believe the other trail is called goat creek. You get to it via the fire road which takes you past a sport climbing area known as grassy. I have done this loop both ways, and I personally find the out and back on Rundle to be the most fun. If you go to Banff via goat creek trail, ride around the golf course, and back on Rundle it's an OK loop. The ride up the fire road at the start kinda sucks, especially if there are any red necks driving past at speed, as it's usually prett dusty. Once at the top of the fire road, it's about 85% downhill back into Banff. Rundle on the way back will have a longish climb just before you get onto the x-country ski trails and double track which takes you back into the nordic center. Riding the loop in revers (rundle first, goat creek back to Canmore) is OK, but the long climb back up Goat Creek is pretty boring, and you waste all that altitude riding back down the dusty fire road to the Nordic center.

    BL
  • 04-07-2006
    Ro.nin
    Rundle.
    Which way is Rundle more fun?

    Canmore to Banff or viceversa?

    Thanks!
  • 04-07-2006
    never
    If he has never mountain biked before and is a bit out of shape, why don't you just keep him in the city. It'll be more convenient and probably better for him to get into the sport. Remember, even little climbs are challenging to a newbie.

    When I want to go for a longer ride in the city alone or with riding buddies, we start out in Tuscany (where I live so it's a convenient starting point), ride south through 12 Mile Coulee (you can do extra loops there if you want). Then hit Bowmont and ride west through Bowmont Park, loop around and hit Sideshow Bob going east, at the end, loop again and ride west out of Bowmont. Head across the river to Edworthy, climb the hill and do some loops (descents/climbs). Then you can ride back to Bowmont (on either side of the river - tracks or path), hit Sideshow Bob again and the rest of Bowmont, and then up through 12 Mile Coulee.

    Depending on how many loops you do in each area, the ride will be a minimum of 30km. At least then if you do that, you always have support nearby and your buddy will have a decent riding challenge.
  • 04-07-2006
    Carbon Ken
    Hi,

    I did the Rundle Loop last year :
    http://www.takabe.ca/vertical/mtnbiking/goatcreek.htm

    If I had to do it all over again, I'd probably start at the golf course, ride the Rundle Riverside to the nordic center, climb up to Goats creek and coast back to Banff.

    Ken.
  • 04-08-2006
    Tourendo
    Terrace trail would be your best bet.
  • 04-09-2006
    BikeLust
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ro.nin
    Which way is Rundle more fun?

    Canmore to Banff or viceversa?

    Thanks!

    It's fun either direction. Slightly more downhill doing from Canmore to Banff.
  • 04-10-2006
    dbblackdiamond
    Telephone loop in Bragg Creek is pretty cool for a beginner. It is not too long and it is a nicely rolling trail. Nothing too technical, but still challenging.
  • 04-10-2006
    Ro.nin
    Would...
    Would you care to elaborate?
  • 04-10-2006
    dbblackdiamond
    The start of the loop is at the West Bragg Creek parking lot. You can do the loop either clock-wise or counter clock-wise. So far, I prefer the counter clock-wise way. I can't remember exactly how long the loop is but it usually takes us about 1 hour to do it.
    They are no major technical difficulties, just some nice short climbs with short downhills. There is one decent climb with an awesome fast downhill afterwards.

    The only bad thing about it is that it tends to be very wet as one section of the trail is in some kind of marsh, so I would wait until the weather dries up a bit. It is my favourite after-work trail with the short Powderface loop.
    To give you a point of comparison, it is not as technical as Powderface, more free flowing.

    Does that help?
  • 04-10-2006
    Ro.nin
    Yes, a lot.

    Thanks Diamond. :D
    I kind of know the telephone loop. Never done it, cuz I heard it's pretty muddy.

    Was actually asking about Terrace (see above).

    But thanks! again. Great detail. Have you done it last season?

    cp
  • 04-10-2006
    dbblackdiamond
    Yes, I did it a couple of times including one where it was really really really muddy. The mud started just above the parking lot after the first fork.
  • 04-10-2006
    tequila joe
    I did Telephone Trail with a newbie yesterday and almost made him cry. It is really really muddy on the front side and muddy/snowy on the back side. It was a hard ride because the mud bogged you down so much that you had to pedal to keep moving even on some of the downhill portions.

    I'd wait till it dries out a bit but I agree that it is a really nice ride for newbs.
  • 04-12-2006
    fsrxc
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GaryM
    If you want wow facotr I'd have to go for Baldy Pass or Barrier lookout...amazing views and great decents off of both but you have to earn it.

    Overall I would agree with Powderface short loop. It was the first real mountain ride I did out here and it got me stoked to keep going!

    I think the only way to loop Canmore to Banff is to rid ethe gravel road...not sure though. We quite often do it as a day trip. Ride to banff, have lunch and relax a bit and then ride back. Makes for a good day. Not a real exciting trail though.

    I think Powerderface short loop was my first ride too. I like it best going up Powderface and down Prairie Creek.

    IMO Baldy Pass is not a great ride for a newbie - just too much techie downhill, too many places for a bad crash (steep loose rock at the top, then big sidehill roots/rocks lower down).

    Barrier has some tech downhill, but it's manageable by going slow or walking where needed, and like you said, great views.
  • 04-12-2006
    fsrxc
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dbblackdiamond
    Telephone loop in Bragg Creek is pretty cool for a beginner. It is not too long and it is a nicely rolling trail. Nothing too technical, but still challenging.

    except for the mud :D
  • 04-12-2006
    fsrxc
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tequila joe
    I did Telephone Trail with a newbie yesterday and almost made him cry. It is really really muddy on the front side and muddy/snowy on the back side. It was a hard ride because the mud bogged you down so much that you had to pedal to keep moving even on some of the downhill portions.

    I'd wait till it dries out a bit but I agree that it is a really nice ride for newbs.

    Some rides are just not great at this time of the year, Powderface will be muddy (very in spots) and Telephone loop, wait until it's been very dry everywhere for a month, then wait another dry month, then try it...

    Actually, wouldn't Sulphur Springs be an ok newbie ride? It has some loose, off-camber corners, etc, but it's an XC race course, so not bad at all. Even Moose Packers isn't too bad, might require walking some of the switchbacks, but otherwise a nice ride. The downed trees need clearing first, of course.
  • 04-12-2006
    fsrxc
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Ro.nin
    Thanks ferday!
    (I have the book... :) )

    Didn't know about the benchlands. Gotta check it out.

    BikeLust, I think you're right. The short loop it's great. Although he might walk the second hill too... :)

    Do you guys know where can he rent a decent bike in Calgary?

    Cheers!

    After the bear attack last year, the Benchlands trail was supposed to be closing, not sure if it is yet.
  • 04-13-2006
    hizzity
    this is a little bit off topic but has anyone been out to powderface this season and if so whats the trail like? I would like to go this weekend but if it sucks then i guess ride somewhere in town.