It’s late August and the phone call comes from Sumar Clarke of the Bicycle Trade Association of Canada that they are looking for someone to design & build an indoor test track for the upcoming ExpoCycle. E-mails are subsequently sent out to various IMBA staff as to their thoughts on the feasibility of pulling of such a feat. In typical fashion when cool opportunities are involved, answers came back that sure enough, it was not only do-able but something that staff would be keen to do despite schedules already being jam packed.

The task was to design and build a test track that would allow various manufacturers to demonstrate the capabilities of their bicycles. A road course which comprised of the various obstacles and conditions that bikes may face was called for as was an off road course which would allow riders to test a mountain bike’s various handling and suspension characteristics.

Partnering with former IMBA Quebec representative Jerome Pelland’s trail building company, Sentiers Boréals, the team set about putting things in motion with a mere week and a half until ExpoCycle opened it’s doors.

Concept drawings were drafted by Daniel Scott at Worlds Championships while material lists, prices, and suppliers were pursued by Jerome shortly there after. Using Jerome’s house as a base of operations, the Canadian Trail Care Crew along with carpentry superstar John Bernard became building the various modular components, braving some rather nasty weather.

With many of the wooden structures pre-built, the build day descended on the staff. Sentiers Boréals transported all of the components and other raw materials to Place Bonadventures first thing Saturday morning. Lora, Daniel, Rachael, Chad, and Deanne of IMBA Canada along with Jerome, JF, John, and Bernard from either Sentiers Boréals or ADSVMQ were on hand to put this creation together. The crew was fortunate to have former executive director of IMBA Canada and current Parks Canada employee, Mark Schmidt show up to lend a hand as well.

Over the course of the next 25 hours, the build crew assembled the test track while combat stress and fatigue. By 6:30 am on the Sunday of opening, the last two crew members placed the last piece of white tape and called the course complete.

The test track opened for 9 am that Sunday and over the course of the three day exhibition was put through its paces by all manner of bicycles and riders. E-bikes, hybrids, dirt jumpers, downhill rigs and more were all tested on course with great success.

IMBA Canada would like to extend its thanks to the following:

Sentiers Boréals for all the time, and equipment that was donated to the cause.

IMBA Staff and other volunteers for answering the call and putting a product of high standards above their own sleep or dietary needs. BTAC for providing us with the opportunity to display our skills and talents to the industry.