How do you get a mountain bike club off the ground and get access to local trails? I am sure there are many riders out there that wonder about this on a regular basis and this past weekend’s Trail Care Crew visit with LACA is a perfect example of how it is done.

Lethbridge, Alberta was the location of this past weekend’s Trail Care Crew visit to work with the Lethbridge and Area Cycling Association (LACA). It was a great opportunity for me to work with a fledgling club and help provide them with the necessary knowledge, training and skills that will go a long way to ensuring access to local trails and the ability to work with the city to put mountain biking on the map in Lethbridge.

The club had recently contacted me in the hopes of getting some information on what to do to get land access, and what better way to provide that information then to go to Lethbridge in person and provide them with a Trail Care Crew workshop! The club had been established in the area some time ago but due to people moving on and life getting in the way the club unfortunately fell to the wayside, but not before they were the key force in building the Lethbridge Bike Park. Fast forward roughly six years and some very dedicated local riders have taken the torch and gotten LACA back up and running again. Through things like group rides, social events and social media, they have grown to a club with roughly 100 members and are on the verge of getting the necessary insurance to become a legitimate club.

With no actual access to trails, this visit was a little different in that it was all about our Trail Building School, conceptual discussion about the future renovations of the Lethbridge Bike Park, as well as how to work with the city it in getting access to lands and trails to ensure a great user experience. The great thing is that the City of Lethbridge is in the process of designing a 4km XC loop just off the Bike Park property and has approached LACA for their input and help in designing and building the loop.

The current trail offerings in Lethbridge are fantastic! Everything from technical XC to steep chutes are available for riders of all types, not to mention the bike park and new XC loop the will go in the ground soon. All of these factors, along with a club of dedicated members like the LACA will go a long way in putting Lethbridge on the map as a great mountain bike destination! I would like to thank the LACA for their fantastic hospitality and for showing me around the park and local trails. I am really looking forward to returning to the area in the future to work with them again and am excited for what’s to come for the future of mountain biking in Lethbridge!

For a link to the photos from my visit with LACA click here!

-Justin Truelove