Bike Culture | Hey Canmore, Show us your goods

We tend to focus on the absolutes in life; white and black, day and night, fast and slow. Thinking categorically like this makes our busy lives just a little easier to swallow, smoothing out the multitude of daily decisions that life in the Twenty-first Century requires. I know that I’m definitely guilty of classifying things in terms of opposites – I have two trail paces, barely moving and full throttle – since it’s a mindset that helps remove some of the chatter, and after a while it simply becomes habit. Is it healthy? No. Does it appeal to my drive for simplicity? Yes.

So when a friend asked me recently if I thought Canmore has a bike culture I had two answers available, and my gut instinctively answered “No, definitely not.” When I think of “bike culture” I think of the places in the world that I want to travel to ride my bike, not just because of amazing trails and outdoor spaces, but also because of the vibe of a place. Places like Fruita, Colorado, celebrating in 2015 the 20th anniversary of their annual Fat Tire Festival. Places like Bend, Oregon, with kilometer after kilometer of fast, flowy, singletrack, and more breweries to finish your ride than you can shake a stick at. And of course places like Squamish, British Columbia. Oh, Squamish. The fact that they have some of the best riding in western North America cannot be the only reason they consistently average approximately 180 riders participating in their Tuesday night Toonie race series. But again, bike culture isn’t just about what happens on the trails; it involves to an equal extent on how a town or place reacts to using bicycles as part of mainstream life. So many elements happen quietly under a town’s veneer that contribute to building a culture. Off the cuff while I understand that Canmore has tried over the past couple of years to develop a sense of bike-yness (yes, I made that up, patent pending), there was nothing there that actually gelled into something coherent and more tangible. I felt that efforts to build a bike “something” in our lovely little mountain bliss landed flat at the dog pond.

But if I am guilty of chasing simpBY KD | DYCKKNOWS.COMlistic thought patterns, I am also guilty of always thinking. I rarely let an idea go as soon as it’s been spoken, so I’ve been turningBY KD | DYCKKNOWS.COM this notion of Canmore’s bike culture over in my head. In spite of rarely seeing more than a couple of bikers on the trails on even the busiest of days in town, I started thinking that maybe there is an established bike-yness (I’ll stop using that now) in Canmore that I’ve been ignoring, happily driving around town sheltered in my slick black Tacoma and blissfully ignorant of what is actually going on here.

So this summer I’m going to be dropping my regular modus operandi of solitary trail rides to start poking my head out of my helmet a little more to discover and define what bike culture is in Canmore. After lengthy consideration I am confident that there is indeed a deep, ingrained “bike town” here and that Canmore – if it isn’t already – is definitely one of those A-list destinations for bikers of all flavors.

So Canmore, drop that chamois and let’s see your goods!



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