The Columbia Valley, just 3 hours from Calgary is an amazing place to get away to. I have been riding Mountain Bikes out there from the time that the only real trail was located on the South bank of Toby Creek. It’s on private land now and though still used by some, there are much better trails to be had in the area.
The Columbia Valley Cycling Society since 2006 has been busy building and maintaining a World Class system of Mountain Bike Trails. The best part of having them so close to Calgary is that they are usually dryer and the season begins and ends months before trails in the Calgary area are in good shape.
Trails vary in difficulty from very beginner to technical. It’s easy to find a trail that meets your needs by purchasing maps at the local bike stores, or by accessing them online through CVCS website or downloading on your phone such apps as Trailforks. I prefer the latter as when you are new to the trails you can use the apps to find exactly where you are at any given time. That’s helpful when you come to an intersection that gives you four choices.
A Bulls eBike is the perfect ride on these trails. Not only can you ride from the town of Invermere to most of the trailheads, but you can explore further than you normally would.
Whether you or a fit avid mountain biker, or a novice, the time getting up some of the steep climbs is easier and faster. Downhill is the same as on a regular similarly equipped bike but the uphill makes the difference.
The other thing that continues to impress me about the Bulls ebike is that they actually leave less of an impact on a trail that a non-eBike would do. How is that possible? It’s called momentum. On a regular bike, on a difficult hill you will stand to put power to the pedals to get you over the top. This often results in a loss of traction and slippage of the rear tire digging into the trail and messing it up.
On a Bulls you still have to pedal. With a maximum of 350Watts of peak power, plus your input you likely will produce less than a pro-cyclist standing and mashing his or her pedals. The difference is that now you can sustain power while putting your weight where it is needed over the rear tire, and cruise over the top.
Gear selection and your input are still important but instead of a grimace on your face, a wide toothy smile ensues!
After two days of riding and two 50km rides, we certainly felt that we had a workout. Speaking with other mountain bikers that day, we found that many of them in much better shape and younger than us, were only attempting half the kilometers that we rode.
Either way it’s about choice. I like the distance!