Celebrating Mountain Biking on Prince Edward Island
It is no secret that the east coast of Canada is home to a friendly crowd of folks who enjoy a good sociable. Coming together is a bit more complicated these days, but possible in parts of Atlantic Canada – especially if the gathering space is outside.
Recently, the mountain biking community on Prince Edward Island came together to celebrate the season. This wasn’t a race just a gathering of people both new to- and deeply committed to- the sport of mountain biking. This weekend of riding bikes, drinking coffee, enjoying local brews, and socializing on the trails of Brookvale was the creative thought of three local entrepreneurs on PEI who wanted to celebrate riding bikes together.
As the bike season was winding down, the owners and leaders of Meridian63° MTB, PEI Bike Guy, Bits ‘n Bites, and the Thirsty Thursday riders were planning to host a ride for their clients to thank them for their support.
Owner of PEI Bike Guy and Advocate for Mountain Bike Atlantic, Geoff Murray, wanted to find a way to socialize with the growing community of mountain bikers, and celebrate a fantastic year of riding the trails on PEI.
“it just made sense to merge into one big, awesome group ride…just our way of collaborating to help celebrate the season and all of the new faces! – Murray
Murray owns and operates his mobile bike maintenance business, PEI Bike Guy, across the island and has been working in the industry for close to 40 years as a bike mechanic in both Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. He leads one of the largest group rides in the province, the Thirsty Thursday rides, which the coaching team from Meridian63° MTB frequently attends.
Continuing to build the community here on PEI and now in the Atlantic bubble is our key focus. It benefits us all. It’s a great time to be a Mountain Biker! – Murray
Leading a group of mountain bikers on the trails of Brookvale, Bonshaw, and Strathgartney is not new to owner of Meridian63° MTB and Advisory Committee member for Mountain Bike Atlantic, Mike Robertson.
One of the goals of their four week “Introduction to Mountain Biking” sessions is to provide students with the skills and confidence to join group rides. They also strive to provide more than just lessons, and give students an introduction to the culture of mountain biking and all the benefits that come along with it.
It’s extremely rewarding to see our former students out enjoying the trails on a group ride and loving the sport as much as we do – Robertson
We love what’s happening with the MTB scene on PEI and we are so happy to be a part of its growth – Robertson
The Thirsty Thursday riders joined the group to celebrate at one of their favourite post-ride hangouts, the PEI Brewing Company. The Thirsty riders have earned a reputation for their love of the sport of mountain biking, but also living up to their “thirsty” namesake making any brewery happy to host this group. Soon enough, they will have another post-ride-brew location with thanks to local entrepreneur Cynthia King.
King had an interesting season that resulted in the creation of an exciting new business venture. Colourful stickers proudly adorn King’s converted coffee and snack trailer, which was previously used to transport bikes for her company PEI Cycling Tours. This summer, the Bits ‘n Bites trailer was part of the scene at Brookvale every Saturday and Sunday – filled with treats, drinks, and even some small merchandise i.e. socks.
I had one of my best weekends all season! – King
Converting her PEI Cycling Tours trailer into a mobile coffee, bike repairs and accessories shop allowed King to ‘pivot’ her business while continuing to serve a community of riders. The Bits ‘n Bikes Coffee Club is a welcomed add-on allowing customers to purchase an annual membership giving them deals and discounts as well as their own numbered locally-made pottery coffee mug.
It feels good to be part of this great community and to be part of its growth – King
King now plans to expand Bits ‘n Bites to include Brews that will have her mobile business serving up local beer, cider and other treats to the growing community of mountain bikers all year long.