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Ask an expert - mountain biking

Nanaimo has numerous options for mountain biking. - The News Bulletin
Nanaimo has numerous options for mountain biking.
— image credit: The News Bulletin

Nanaimo has great mountain biking trails all over. If I only had one day to spend riding, where should I go?

Depending on your level of experience, Nanaimo Mountain Bike club director Bill McMillan points to three trail systems to try.

The first, and suitable for beginner levels, is Hemer Park in Cedar, off Hemer Road. The park offers 12 kilometres of wide, even trails.

“It’s a good intro to off-road riding,” McMillan said.

For more of a challenge for the intermediate rider, McMillan said you can’t go wrong with the Abyss. To get to the trail head, drive up Nanaimo Lakes Road and park under the powerlines.

“The general grade is moderate, but there’s lots of up and down,” McMillan said.

If you’re an experienced rider, you’ll want to try Rollercoaster, a trail accessed off a logging road near Mount Benson Road.

“It’s been used as a downhill race course in the past,” McMillan said.

The Nanaimo Mountain Bike Club, which offers directions to trails and maps on its website, is working with landowners in the Nanaimo area on formal agreements to provide access. Some trails are located in active logging areas.

Riders not familiar with Nanaimo trails should be aware of tree roots which litter the trails and can foul up a rider hitting them at less than a 90-degree angle.

“It’s a quick trip to the ground,” McMillan said. “They can be tricky.”

Riders should always inspect man-made obstacles before riding.

The club is building a trail that has the blessings of government and land managers – the first trail of its kind – in the Doumont Road area.

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