Volunteers open new mountain bike trails in Fredericton

Mountain bikers who like speed along with downhill and technical challenges were excited to spin their wheels over five kilometres of new trails in Fredericton on Saturday.

It's an expansion at the MVP trail system, located in Marysville. The trails are run and maintained by volunteers.

The new trails were designed to help hone technical abilities. There is a new learners' park so riders can practise their skills before testing them on the trails.

Gary Moore/CBC

Bev Bunker of River Valley Cycling, the group that builds and maintain the trails, says he logged about 200 hours this summer working on the new additions. 

"We were approached that the people around, the bikers, wanted to have a little bit more flow trails to go down hill and then … work their way back up after that," Bunker said.

Bunker said that was missing from the current trail system so they started looking at ways to build the new trails.

Gary Moore/CBC

Younger riders were at a disadvantage when they travelled outside of the area to compete because they didn't have the technical skills.

"Now there's a lot more technical features and drops and jumps that they have to go over," Bunker said Saturday at the official opening for the trails. "So they were getting left behind because of that."

Excited younger riders were at MVP Saturday to be some of the first people to try out the new trails and learners' park.

Gary Moore/CBC

Mathias Banville, 13, said the new park will help him prepare for his next race.

Mia Baxter, 11, agrees. She said the new additions to MVP are a good way to practise going over different terrain.

"I think it's perfect for people who don't really know how to jump because they can start by the little one and go higher."

Volunteer community

One thing that's apparent Saturday is the strong volunteer community that builds and maintain the trails. 

There's no funding for the trails. Bunker said it's all built on membership money and volunteer time. 

"We have a lot of volunteers, we have trail days," Bunker said about how the group was able to build the new trails this summer. 

Gary Moore/CBC

"We have people out that are scouting trails all the time. And then they bring it back and talk to us about what can we do here." 

Bunker says membership is at an all-time high with 550 people signed up.