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Come Ride with Alberta 66 Mountain Bikers

Mar 5, 2017
by Laura Mislan  
Come Ride with Alberta 66 Mountain Bikers
"Do you think they'll wanna ride with us?" "Yes, just play it cool."

Today is official launch day for www.alberta66mtb.com. Alberta 66 Mountain Biking provides guided rides, coaching and custom mountain biking adventures near Calgary Alberta, for both locals and tourists to the region. AB 66 will showcase the extensive trail system located along Highway 66 south of Bragg Creek, Alberta – this 28 km stretch of highway is home to 5 trailheads each accessing distinct but connected trail networks. We’ll also access the Kananaskis parks trail network and the High Rockies trail, once it is completed in summer of 2017.

Laura riding the slabs on Prospector

Laura riding the slab line on Prospector trail near Exshaw, Alberta. Photographer: Tara Walmsley

Our first offerings of the spring will be beginner and intermediate level “Discovery Series”, a 5-week program that will take riders on one new trail each week and focus on one skill each week. Throughout the summer we’ll have one-day programs such as “Meet Moose Mountain” and “Classic Tours” that will introduce people to areas beyond the heavily accessed and well-signed West Bragg Creek trail network. Finally we’ll offer custom coaching and tours - come ride the “best of” southern Alberta with us, or let us help you prepare for your first Enduro mountain bike race!

Come Ride with Alberta 66 Mountain Bikers
Riding on top of the world on local classic Cox Hill

Alberta 66 Mtb is husband and wife team, Laura Mislan and Jeff Woodgate, from Calgary Alberta. It was born of a passion for mountain biking, having fun and sharing our amazing trail systems with new people. The founders have offered informal guiding to friends and acquaintances for over 10 years and are looking to extend this offering to the larger public of locals and tourists to the region. Laura and Jeff have dabbled in cross country mountain bike racing in the past and since 2014 have been racing Enduro in the BC enduro series, Trans BC and are fresh off the inaugural Trans Costa Rica. Have fun, Ride bikes!

Come Ride with Alberta 66 Mountain Bikers
Laura and Jeff on top of Prairie View

Check out our Website, Facebook and Instagram:
www.alberta66mtb.com
facebook.com/alberta66mtb
instagram.com/alberta66mtb


40 Comments

  • + 11
 Calgary might not be as well-known as Whistler or Squamish, but the riding here is pretty incredible. The good thing is that there are trails for everyone, from all day epic to fun xc to some awesome all mountain trails. Jeff and Laura have been part of the mountain biking community for ever and know all the fun spot. If you are in the area, give them a shout, they'll show you the best the area has to offer.
  • + 3
 Very true, I live in Calgary and there is a lot of trail and XC oriented riding, our Dh however is mostly Moose in Bragg Creek as COP is an awful bike park. Still lots of riding in and nearby Calgary though
  • + 3
 @snowboarderboy: But the DH action at Moose is stellar!!!!
From a global perspective that is very much in the Calgary area.
  • + 8
 I lived in Whistler for 8 years. I have now been in Calgary on and off going on 2 years.
Even mentioning Whistler/Squamish in the same breath as a comparison is something only a Calgarian would say.
Not meant to offend. I have a lot of friends that I ride with when I am here, but the riding between the two places are not even in the same league.
Reminds me of when I was in Jasper and they thought they were a mountain bike mecca of Canada.
Moose and Bragg are ok if you are stuck here though.

Good luck to the couple starting this though. Great to see people making a living on passion. Smile
  • + 1
 @B-rad74: True the biking in squamish and pemberton are better and this is coming from someone who grew up on the island and has ridden through out BC. Ive found being over here though it has given really good access to Fernie and revy, places i would never had gone to, due to the distance if i hadn't moved to Calgary. I was very happy with just the access to trails areas like bragg and moose which i never though existed
  • + 3
 @B-rad74: True that, we are low in the "flow" department. It feels like we are pretty rich in steeps and gnar though. I don't think you are far off when you say (in you other comment) that we are 20 years behind the marquee destinations like Whistler/Squamish. However, weren't 90s on the westcoast an exciting an formative time? Let's get excited about what we do well around the greater Calgary area and be helpful in letting that expand organically. Will we every become Squamish? no way! Lets see what the enthusiastic folks that contribute to the scene here are able to build though.
Previously the MTB scene here was just too small to support a major trail system. In the past 5 years though Alberta is experiencing a large increase in locals riders new to the sport, who's increasing capabilities are now starting to push them out of West Bragg.
You've worked in the industry, you've seen it done right, and I don't doubt that you have seen it done wrong. With a little effort we can work together as members of the MTB scene in Alberta to try to not make any missteps.
  • + 1
 @Hastings:
well said. Smile
Not tryin to crap on what is here. I just always cringe a bit when I hear the Whistler/Squamish comparison, as they are, and have been pushing the line to new extremes for 20 years. The 90's were a great and exciting time, but the new trail designs with flow are what is making the MTB scene so popular with new riders and riders that have been at it a long time.
You are right that the direction is moving forward here, but there is a reason Whistler/Squamish and N. Van are the MTB destinations that they are. It is a completely different beast there. Smile
The potential is here for sure though.
  • + 1
 @gunners1:
Glad to hear you are getting to enjoy the Koots for riding. They have amazing trails. I also lived in that region for 8ish years.
I must say that Bragg and Moose are great areas, but there is a reason why so many Calgarians and Albertans are traveling to BC to ride. They don't have that type of riding here yet.
They could though...
  • + 2
 I grew up in southern Ontario watching DropIn in awe of the mountain biking scene that was happening in the west. Over a decade later when I finally did move to Calgary I was absolutely shocked at the lack of trail development.
  • + 5
 What we need is a quality bike park. I understand Nakiska is on crown land but isn't there a way to petition to have summer trail riding there? Perfect distance and terrain I would think.
  • + 3
 The XC around Calgary is world class (alpine rides, big loops in Canmore and Moose) and there are lots of great, untapped hike-a-bikes, but difficulty wise, unless you go all Hans Rey off trail in the mountain, the trail difficulty tops out. I can ride everything on Razors Edge, but did a lot of walking on black diamond trails on a recent road trip to BC.
  • + 6
 Everyone from around the world flocks to BC for mountain biking not realizing Alberta is also a great destination. I think Alberta needs to start creating its own mountain biking scene that's as recognized as BC.
  • + 2
 Start building the trails like they do in BC then. AB seems to be more like BC riding 20 years ago. I have not found one trail in Alberta that has jump and flow like they do all over BC. Additionally, in BC a good climb can go up for 2 hours and the descent after the climb can be a full hour of true downhill. Never even heard of a descent of that length anywhere in AB. 727 is a nice start on flowy trail I suppose, except that the jumps are way too small to develop true speed and flow. Overshooting transition is a common occurrence unless you ride at 1/2 to 3/4 speed and the trail is over in 5 minutes, no joke
Then there is the favorite "merlins loop" were they have a line of jumps on a high speed section about 1/2 to 2/3 down the trail that I stop my bike afterwards so I can turn to watch the carnage as riders get successively bucked and then over shoot the ridiculous jumps that have been constructed in that section. The terrain is here to make epic trails. It just hasn't been done yet.
  • + 4
 @B-rad74: a 2 hour climb for a 1hour decent!!! You must be a beast on the climbs!!
  • + 2
 @slickwilly1:
I don't do them quickly.
I am sure there are some grueling 2 hour climbs here in the Rockies, but the sustained DH descent is lacking. My point was more that there is the potential to make big waves and put AB on the MTB tourism destination. I just feel that there needs to be a fresh look at the trail designs. This is a very XC type area in the trail designs. What has put BC on the map is the smorgasbord of different trails from XC though to DH in every corner of the province.
  • + 4
 @B-rad74: go back to whistler with your machine built flow trails! Trails on Husky that's where it's at, steep and loamy single track!
  • + 1
 @Hullesti: I figured that my comments would offend some...
typical that you would think that machine built trails is all that there is in Whistler and Squamish. They have every kind of trail multiple times over. from machine groomed to technical steep loamy single track and everything in between.
Pretty sure I already made that point though.
I am not looking for a mud slinging competition here. Just commenting on the comparison made to Whistler/Squamish and why AB is not the destination for biking that BC is.
This is the mindset that will keep AB from growing. I can and do ride multiple trails and enjoy them all. Variety is the key if a destination market is what AB wants to promote. Offering more types of trails for different riding styles and desires is how you build a destination MTB culture.
  • + 2
 @B-rad74: totally agree we need more variety. Edmonton is the worst we have 100s of xc trails but if you wanna build a freeride trail people act as its a waste of time because everyone needs to be able to ride it I guess
  • + 6
 Jeff and Laura are two the bestest folks, super fun to ride with, and super laid back but can lay it down as well. So stoked for their new venture.
  • + 4
 Great that these guys are doing this!! But I would say after living in Calgary for 2 years the mentality of riders their is pretty crappy. Too many know it alls!!!
  • + 2
 Right on! might have to make use of one of their half days and get shown up by the pros on some local trails! hope you guys can show people from around the world what Alberta has to offer!
  • + 3
 I feel the heart attack in my heart attacking area. Exshaw is pretty cool, went to Moose Mountain and was too lazy to pedal up. I wish I was my dad, he was a real man.
  • + 4
 Wicked guys!!! Alberta 66's Love Bird Connection!! Braaaapp!!
  • + 2
 Hope you folks can run with this! Plan to visit friends in Calgary sometime this summer and hopefully will be able to schedule a full-day session.
  • + 2
 Well done, congrats to you both, seeing that mtn bikings on the uprise over the lst few years im sure itll take off
  • + 3
 Awesome guys! Hope to ride in the area with you sometime.
  • + 2
 Congrats you guys, hope it goes well for you! I'll be sure to send some road trippers your way this summer!
  • + 2
 Thanks a lot! We'll do the same!
  • + 2
 This is rad! As someone who grew up in Bragg it is good to see the town becoming so invested in Mountain biking.
  • + 1
 Will a portion of the the fees go to the local trail association to help with the upkeep of the local trails that you will be using for your clients?
  • + 5
 Thanks for the question! Yes money and time will go back to the local trail systems. We will be doing this in a few different ways over the season Smile .
  • + 7
 I can attest Jeff and Laura already spend more volunteer hours than most at our trail associations' maintence/build days. And are big encouragers/organizers/bringers of extra people too.
  • + 3
 I can second that Jeff and Laura have been active with the local trail socities and provided more than their fair share of volunteer hours. Trail societies are here to provide trails for people to ride. If someone wants to make a go of making a living off those trails, which will introduce more people to the trails then that's all good in my books. Also, some commercialization can only strengthen the trails' position with the government, which is better for everyone.
  • + 3
 Congrats you two, this is so awesome!
  • + 1
 Best of Southern Alberta? Should probably come check out Crowsnest Pass then.
  • + 3
 @NMK187 We like the trails down there, and will be racing or volunteering at the BC Enduro series race. The pass is a bit farther out than we would like, in terms of guiding folks (for now at least). The good folks of UROC and Sweetriders are doing a great job of building the scene along the #3.
  • + 2
 @Hastings: Right on, see you down here. Best of luck on the 66!
  • + 3
 cool jersey's!
  • + 2
 This is super cool guys!
  • + 2
 Awesome work!

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