Traces of dust stick to the back of your sweaty neck as you drink some cold and much needed water. Ahhhh, refreshing. Behind you, an excruciatingly long fire road climb. In front of you, a view that makes it all worth it, especially knowing what lies ahead, a ribbon of single-track that will offer an adrenaline fuelled descent back down to the valley from which you climbed. Nothing but hoots, hollers and high fives ahead!
We all have our reasons for riding, but the elements that make us fall for this sport are something we share. Trail Trybe, a bike camp for kids located at heart the Laurentian mountains in Mont-Tremblant, Québec, has been searching for the perfect combination of ingredients that together form an epic ride. Why? To develop the recipe for stoke and cook up the next generation of passionate mountain bikers.
Stoked Riders: An organic recipe for getting young riders hooked on the flavours of Mountain Biking
- 1 bicycle per person – well greased and tuned (20”, 24”, 26”,27.5” or 29” will work)
- 1 or more friends – happy and hungry for adventure.
- 1 map of the area (sourced locally for best quality)
- 1-2 handfuls of tasty snacks and lots of water. To taste.
- Clothing and protection (doesn’t have to be beautiful, but needs to be reliable and comfortable)
- 1 challenging but attainable objective (the top of a mountain is always a good one)
Whisk together the group of friends and organize a meeting spot that will set the tone for the ride. Locations near rivers and lakes, close to a set of jumps or a pump-track, or a short walk away from a cold slurpy for post-ride refreshments are ideal.
Take out the map so that the whole group can see, it is important that everyone can visualize the terrain you will be traveling through on the map. Locate a distant, but not too distant trail as your objective. Be careful not to choose an objective that will burn the group.
Ideal temperature for the ride is between 15 and 25 degrees with a little bit of humidity in the dirt but not in the air. A couple of days after heavy rain is usually the best. If done too hot, exhaustion will lead to poor results and roasting. If done too cold, discomfort may also lead to poor results.
Chef’s wisdom: Golden hour (the hour before sunset) is the most efficient time of day for creating epic ride experiences and delivering stoke directly to the soul!
Expect group morale to fall when just under halfway to objective. Distance to travel still seems great but fatigue will have started to set in. This is a very delicate part in the process and, like a freshly baked pastry, must be handled with care. Overcoming challenges is what boosts confidence and confidence is a crucial part of igniting passion in young riders. Reassuring words like “Wow, look at everything we have ridden already! Very impressive!” or “You’re doing great, you gotta be pretty heckin' tough to get this far!” are mixed in carefully here. Pay attention to the group and mix in only what is needed, kids know when you are lying. Keep cool with water as you ride.
Chef’s wisdom: Sugar! The mere thought of it can accelerate the group and boost morale. Season with candy and other tasty treats throughout the ride to help the group get through difficult sections. (Clif BLOKS are amazing for this)
Once you have made it to the objective, celebrate! Confidence comes from overcoming challenges. Make sure the group knows they have overcome a challenge and that they can be proud of themselves. Let spirits rise.
Chef’s wisdom: Begin to teach a respect for our natural world by taking the time to appreciate viewpoints, trees, rivers etc. Take it all in, it’s good for everyone.
The ride back is the home stretch and should be full of fun! Throw in some hoots, hollers and screams of delight as you descend or ride back. The auditive experience is more important than most people think. By the end of this step you should start to see a golden glow around the riders.
Once back from the ride, celebrate again! Have a cold slurpy, share some stories from the ride and throw in some high-fives to taste. You have just done an epic ride; you should be stoked!
Every serving of stoked kid is loaded with fibre, proteins and a desire to live life to its fullest!
*Note: This recipe can be tricky. If you do not get the desired results on the first try, do not be discouraged. Listen and pay attention to your group and make the appropriate adjustments in the following attempts.
For more information on Felix's program visit www.trailtrybe.com.