Partnership with local bike business helps young riders explore new ground

Youth from Power To Be’s Wilderness School took to the trails on two wheels thanks to a partnership with Nolan Riding. Run by Patrick Nolan and his team, this organization offers high-quality mountain bike programs for youth and adults on Vancouver Island. With focuses on fun and community building, Nolan Riding’s values aligned well to get Power To Be out on the trails.

The program, which took place over two evenings, began at Power To Be’s Prospect Lake site where the youth started from the ground up, building skills and confidence on the bike. Patrick de-bunked some classic myths (like the front brake is not your friend, it is your friend) and helped youth unlearn bad habits and hone in on good ones such as the ready position. Otherwise known as the Ninja Position, the ready position allows riders to be ready for anything the trail throws at them: even weight on feet, knees bent and out, bum off the saddle, torso down to lower centre of gravity, elbows bent and out, finger on the brake and, most importantly, heads up.

After testing their skills on some of Nolan Riding’s technical training features, the youth headed to Hartland Mountain Bike Park for the second night of the program to put their skills to the test on trail.

Once on the trail the energy and excitement was almost uncontainable. The more experienced youth got to test their bike handling while riding cross-country mountain bikes for the first time and the youth newest to riding left the trails with a new-found confidence stoked to get out on the trails again. The youth’s excitement was matched by the mountain bike community’s excitement to see a Power To Be van in the parking lot and program on the trails. The evening was topped off by serendipitously having the group run into a former Power To Be participant who now owns a local bike shop, a very cool way to top off a great program.

Thanks to Nolan Riding for all their support in helping get this program off the ground! This program was a fun complement to Wilderness School’s standard adventures of hiking, camping, kayaking and more.  If you are wanting to hit up the trails yourself, check out Nolan Ridings summer programming for youth and adults or get out on your own with Patrick’s top trail recommendations for the South Island below.

 – Story shared by Clay Webb, Power To Be Curriculum Coordinator

Get Out There – Adventure Recommendations From Patrick Nolan

Hartland Mountain Bike Park

A central trail network located 25 minutes from downtown in the beautiful rolling hills of West Saanich. Excellent trail signage, and a wide variety of trails make it an exciting park to explore by bike! Learn more.

Harbourview Trails, Sooke Mountain Provincial Park

Worth the drive out, Harbourview offers an expansive area to explore. From technical West Coast terrain to mellow single track, there are trails for everyone to enjoy. Did I mention the incredible views of the Sooke Basin from the top of Mt Quimper? Trails are well signed and easy to access. Learn more.

Cobble Hill Bike Park

This park is a great entry point to trails for the beginner to novice rider. Trails are well signed, and maintained. At 350 metres the summit is attainable and offers fantastic views of the ocean. A beautiful park full of old growth maples, mixed with big cedars and arbutus as you get closer to the top. Definitely worth the drive! Learn more.