Granite Fondo, 2022 edition!
The 2nd annual Granite Fondo is here!!!
Come on out for a day of social mountain bike riding on the singletrack and post ride mingling on Saturday, October 29, 2022.
**Let us know you are coming and the distance you plan to ride** Say you are ‘going’ by Oct 26 by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We require RSVPs to manage the rides and BBQ.
Sign-in is at 10:00 am Saturday at Hartlen Park. The first wave of riders will start around 10:30am.
Donation in lieu of Fees. We ask that each participant donates $25 by e-transfer to email@example.com. This will be used to support Phase 2 trail building efforts over the next year (yes, Phase 2 is about to begin!). We will also accept credit cards and cash on-site, but the e-transfer option avoids fees and will speed up the pre-event checkins.
This is an untimed social ride, not a race. The trails remain open to hikers, dog walkers, other MTBers, and there might be two-way Fondo traffic. Smile, say hi, follow the usual yield rules – it’ll all work out!
Already know your way around, and just want to ride on your own or with a small group of friends? Cool, please feel free to ride on your own rather than with the organized ride group. The routes are posted below. Last year some of the groups got rather huge, and spreading out the more independent riders would help.
The courses are not marked so you should either a) stay close to a guide, b) have the route on your GPS, or c) already know your way around the trails.
34 km: Ride nearly all the sanctioned McIntosh trails, some in both directions. Includes expert trails. Passes NER Feed Zone at 10.5km, 19km and 25.5km. Major regroup at 19km turn-around to avoid two-way traffic on Granitude. Led by Kaarin Tae, Mackenzie Myatt and Artur Sagat.
22 km: Mostly blues (some dark blues), no black trails. NER Feed Zone at 7km and 13.5km. Led by Catherine-Anne Murray.
10km: Super fun front country greens and blues, down to Flat Lake. Led by MRWA prez, Alice Morgan.
3km, with basic skills intro, by RideEast: New option this year to encourage beginners to join in on the granite fun. Led by Marine Robertson, will start with a few skills on the field, then a short green (bit of blue) ride. 16 years or older, please specify this ride when registering by email as there is a cap.
All the routes require significant mountain biking experience. Expect granite slab, roots, ledges and drops, and steep but short climbs. Compared to most other trail systems, our trails are challenging and relatively slow.
Groups will be started in waves, with the 34km group first, closely followed by the 22km group. The 10km group will start 10 minutes later and the 3km/skills group will start around 11am. The start order and routes are intended to minimize group overlap and two-way traffic, but it may still happen! More info will be given at the start.
- Parking. The Hartlen Park lot is larger than last year but still limited for space – Consider car-pooling if possible! On-street parking is available but tight. Alternative option is Herring Cove Community Dentistry, 303 Herring Cove Road (parking permitted when business is closed, entrance is at corner of Williams Lake Road). Trail parking is also available at the back of the lot of the Lions Rink on Drysdale.
- BBQ! Cavicchis Meats will be at Hartlen Park after the ride. Have a tasty grillable while you warm up, reminisce, and share your ride exploits.
- Feed Zone by North End Runners! The NER are graciously staging a calorie reload stop at the Run bridge for the two longer route options. Thank you NER!
- Pace and Guides. The guides will keep a social, chill pace. If you are new to these trails, we recommend you stay close to a guide. This event is a great opportunity to have a guided ride of the trails if you are new to the area. You need significant MTB experience for the 10km, 22, and 34kms distances as none of these routes are good for novice riders.
- Presented and led by Mackenzie Myatt who has raced her bike all over the world as a member of the National Team and is aiming for the next Olympic cycle, and by Kaarin Tae, former Elite XCM National Champion, MRWA volunteer trailbuilder and organizer, and instrumental in developing multiuser nonmotorized trails in general across HRM by volunteering at HRTA.
- Our Helpers. This event is possible because of help from the North End Runners, ECMTB.net, Cavicchis Meats, Cyclesmith, RideEast, and NS-DNR, HRM Parks and others who continue to work with MRWA on land access for the trails. Thanks everyone!
- The fine print. Ride at own risk. 16y and over only; those younger must be accompanied by parent or guardian. This is a social group ride, not a fully supported event. Carry a cell phone and have what you need to be self-supported in case you need to turn around or have a mechanical.