Late Winter Nights and Fat Bikes at The Railyard

It is 12:45 am on Saturday morning in Truro’s Victoria Park aka The Railyard Mountain Bike Park and we just finished loading « Babushka » and her counterpart back onto the trailer after a night out with the Bike Truro and Corduroy Crew. It has been another late night of grooming just over 30 kms of winter fat biking trails.

It’s now 9 am it seems like we had just left. The three of us come together in the pipeline parking lot and say…

Hey, you know what’s fun? Fat biking with friends!

Groomed trails level out the playing field. Grooming can make the most difficult trail smooth and flowy. The regular bike scene can be intimidating for new riders, but not so much on a fat bike.

there really is something for everyone

This past winter, The Railyard has been a hot spot for fat biking. People have been asking about our plan for winter trail grooming even before snow was in the forecast. Riders of every skill level and age can enjoy these trails as there really is something for everyone. The white pavement is a nice contrast from the singletrack summer rides that offer more challenging terrain. Gone are the rocks, roots and little dips. The groomed snow changes the trail into a smooth track that twists and turns through the Park.

The Railyard is drawing people from all over Nova Scotia

The Railyard is drawing people from all over Nova Scotia. Some say it is the groomed trails, some say it’s the option to bike, ski, snowshoe or check out the water falls in the park. We think it was the purchase of a snowdog in 2018 that really contributed to the increase in visitation to The Railyard in the winter months. Hub Cycle bike shop, the Town of Truro and the County of Colchester came together to make the purchase.

We quickly learned grooming is a trial and error in Nova Scotia weather. It involved many late nights, as the best grooming is done in the evening to allow the trail to set overnight. We made different drags for the ever-changing snow conditions. One drag was built and donated from a local machine shop owned by a local rider. A late night in a garage involved some tires and slabs of hardwood our corduroy drag was born.

The first night of trying our hardwood Corduroy drag was like a New Years Eve party seeing that white corduroy snake its way through the park. We couldn’t wait to ride at sunrise to test it out after it set.

The Town and local business started to hear about the fat bike scene

Word got out quickly and riders from all over the Maritimes were planning their weeks to come ride The Railyard. Fat bike rentals were booked weeks in advanced to enjoy the newfound fun. Weekend rides were topped off with lots of chats and laughter over a post ride meal at a local pub and those travelling found a new favourite coffee shop for their favorite drink before heading out.  The Town and local business started to hear about the fat bike scene and how people were coming to Truro for their weekend and/or night rides. The word was out – The Railyard is a destination for great winter fat biking.

It is now 10:15am and a group of beginner riders are out on the trails learning new skills and getting familiar with their fat bike experience. Locals are showing up with their friends and people from away have filled up both parking lots. A group of us count bikes and cars and update the Town of Truro staff each weekend and ensure a trail report is sent to the towns social media contact to further the message.

common to see 100 bikes in the park on any given day of weekend

During the months of January and February, it was common to see 100 bikes in the park on any given day of weekend. The Town of Truro parking lots overflow with cars laden with bikes. Local businesses have noticed the increase in cyclist patronage this winter. As a result, there has been such an outpouring of support from the local business community, which has resulted in the purchase of a second and third snowdog!

As we stop and look out into the parking lot we can’t help notice it’s overflowing with bikes and smiling faces. Success is being able to do that all winter long.

Let your passion drive you, see you on the trails!

Contributed by Bike Truro / Corduroy Crew: Aaron, Keith, and Mike

March 2021

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