What happens when you combine the following: a late ferry, a Coquihalla Highway rainstorm, running out of gas just prior to the long descent into Merritt and a German Shepherd cramped in the back seat with very bad indigestion? Why the “less than typical” beginnings of an IMBA workshop…

In spite of any initial hiccups, this past weekend I had the opportunity to travel to Kelowna with the intent of observing Jason Van Horne & Inga Beck of the IMBA / Subaru Trail Crew run a typical workshop.

Hosted by the local club, Mountain Bikers of the Central Okanogan (MTBCo), the workshop went ever so smoothly. Jason & Inga presented trailbuilding 101 Saturday morning in the classroom, covering such key concepts as proper benchcut trail construction, the elements of design and so forth with a solid group of volunteers in attendance.

From a professional perspective it was a great opportunity to see another take on the material we here at IMBA have to convey. It certainly stirred up the creative juices to improve upon my own presentation materials & approach.

Jason & Inga start up the afternoon of building

For the afternoon, the group of approximately 30 volunteers made their way up to one of the closer riding locales in Kelowna, Knox Mountain. With a miriad of tools, a water tank and some fall line trail to re-route, people went to work. By day’s end, a good portion of steep fall line trail had been beautifully closed, a near line established, a little technical trail feature installed and a new, more sustainable piece of trail on the ground.

Hurray for Teamwork!

Following the afternoon’s work was a great little BBQ hosted by Cyclepath and beer courtesy of the locally situated Tree Brewing Co. Ah, very little trumps good times with like-minded folk over a few tasty beers to cap off a productive afternoon.

Huge thank yous to Mike Kittmer of MTBCo for coordinating the event, the Bicycle Cafe for one of the best volunteer lunches ever (seriously), Dave, Kinga & Barley for putting a roof over our heads (and a whole lot more), all the other sponsors and of course all the volunteers who gave their time and minds to help further the development of sustainable trail design practices in the Okanogan.

Curious to see what the IMBA / Subaru Trail Crew are doing? Check them out at their slick new website:


~ Daniel