Dean Campbell has been riding mountain bikes for two decades, and has been working in the bike industry almost as long. A reformed bike wrench, trailbuilder, and journalist, Dean now serves on the board of directors, chairing the communications committee.

Where do you live?
Gatineau, Quebec

What’s your day job?
Communications and Media consultant

What’s your favourite local trail?
I moved to Gatineau pretty recently, and really enjoy Pilsner and Lager at Mont Sainte Marie. Camp Fortune and Gatineau Park as minutes from home, and where you’ll find me riding most often. Having lived most of my life in Toronto, I built and maintained trails in the GTA, so for the effort I put into building Fire at Kelso Conservation Area, that one is really special.

Favourite riding destination(s)?
I’m fortunate that in my work I get to travel to the west coast every year. That said, I have to give the nod to Quebec City. There are so many incredible trail networks out there that seem pretty undiscovered. Vallée Bras du Nord is a fixture in the region, but E47 and Sentiers du Moulin are also well worth the time. Stop in at Portneuf on your way in and out of Quebec City for a fun set of flow trails. Give yourself at least a week if you really want to explore and enjoy the best of the region.

When did you first become an IMBA Canada member? When did you join the board?
I joined IMBA Canada as a member the year it was founded, 2004. I was introduced to IMBA through one of the Trail Care Crew visits to the Don Valley in Toronto and have been a supporter ever since. I believe in the value of the organization and stepped up to join the board in Spring 2018.

What brought you to riding?
I got started riding mountain bikes in the late 1990s with friends. By 2000, I was working in a bike shop as a mechanic. Since then, I’ve built trails as both a paid and volunteer builder, I’ve written about cycling regularly for Canadian Cycling Magazine, and covered mountain biking at the London 2012 Olympics and Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games. Travelling for work has also meant exploring fun places to ride. I’ve made so many great friends through biking that I can’t imagine how my life would be without mountain bikes and trails.

What’s drawn you to trail building and trail advocacy?
There’s a special feeling I get when I build or maintain trails. Rather than just consuming trails as a rider, building means a greater level of involvement whether you’re working with landowners years ahead from building trails, or moving rocks during a work session in the woods. Building and maintaining trails is a great way to impact rider experience to help to build the sport. I also think trail building has helped to make me a better rider through making me think about what is possible. Teaching people the basics of trail building is a lot of fun, especially when they build their own enthusiasm for the work, often by getting first tracks on a freshly built section. Trail work is also a great way to stay fit without ever having to head into a gym.

What do you hope to see for Canadian mountain biking and trail building three years from now?
Canada has been a mountain biking destination for so long, and much of that is a result of riding on the west coast. I’ve seen first-hand how many great trails are developing across the country. I’m excited to see how new destinations continue to develop across this country in places that wouldn’t immediately come to mind when you think of mountain biking. I’m also really excited to see new faces come to the sport I love and find a place as part of our community. Just like trails, our sport is ever evolving, and I’m excited to see things opening up to people of all ages, skills, and backgrounds.

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