When I ride my mountain bike around home in Toronto, it is normally on flat pavement or easy waterfront trail paths. Nothing too exciting, but still plenty of fun.
Well, up at Buckwallow, in Muskoka, the idea of flat pavement is far from your mind as the many winding trails all have you riding through the forest, over rocks and bumping against trees and logs along the way.
With somewhere near 25km of trails, they are rated intermediate to difficult with plenty of singletrack as well as doubletrack options.
My little mountain biking group didn’t include any hardcore riders, which I was happy about, as my mountain biking skills are novice at best. When I lived in the Galapagos Islands I rode a bike everywhere, but that was still on easy roads and paths, not pure mountain bike trails.
As it had been a couple of years since my last real mountain biking adventure, I was curious to see how I’d fare! Riding along the one hoof and two hoof trails, I seemed to meet my skill level on the two hoofed trails.
Winding around and up and down, we had a great time testing ourselves on some top quality bikes. Well, except for one of us who managed to try out the trails on a crazy looking “fat bike” with tires the size of a dirt bikes. Let’s just say those big tires had a knack for climbing over barriers that were meant to keep us on the trails!
My bike was great though, and by the end of our adventures I was excited to try some more challenging vertical drops and quick turns. Hard on the brakes, sliding down sheer rock surfaces with the back tire skidding along…that was fun times! Moving along at a quick pace also helped keep the pesky mosquitoes at bay, as they were quite plentiful in the forest around Buckwallow.
The lunch afterwards at Inn on the Lake in Bracebridge felt well deserved and I started to think that next time I’ll start tackling more challenging options, maybe even a three-hoofer. But really, what I want to try is to ride that crazy fat bike in the snow in winter, now that would be fun!
Editorial note: This mountain biking adventure was courtesy of Muskoka Outfitters and Explorer’s Edge as part of an epic 3-day “Quintessentially Canadian” tour in Ontario during the Toronto TBEX conference.