A trio of Castlegar men took on a mountain of a task June 21 — riding all of Castlegar’s mountain bike trails in a single day.
Drew Labonte, Steven Wells and Kevin Little rode more than 120 kilometres of trails and climbed 4,250 metres of elevation in what’s referred to as enduro mountain biking — a hybrid of endurance and downhill riding.
The rides include the Merry Creek network of trails and a number of trails in the Robson area, but Labonte says his favourite is Awakener near Rialto Road in Robson.
“It’s an awesome combination of everything,” Labonte says. “There’s steep technical rooty rocky terrain, ladder bridges and very big jumps,” ranging from 1.5-metre gaps to nine-metre gaps.
Labonte is also working on another challenge — riding mountain bike trails 250 days during 2020. Since the end of January, he has only missed five days.
Often heading out before sunrise to get to the top of the trail he plans to ride, Labonte says he watches the sunrise and then heads down the trail — all before he heads off to work.
The mountain biking trails in the area are continually seeing maintenance and expansion, mostly thanks to the Castlegar Parks and Trails Society and the grants they receive. The organization manages more than 80 km of trails and assists with the bike skills park at Millennium Park.
Volunteers are out every week, weather permitting, working on enhancing local trails. Parks and Trails volunteers racked up 1,500 trail building hours last summer.
Labonte also gives much of the credit for the area’s superior trails to Parks and Trail’s main trail builder and “visionary” Dave Sutton.