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Kevin B. said "Hint #2 - You have to learn how to ride."

Hmm ... School, College or University land???
Not-So-Secret Coop-er Tom
I was never that great at keeping secrets (good thing I fly unclassified SAR missions now!) and KK's just too observant - eh!

Time to spill the beans ...  spoiler pictures:

Thanks to a recent chat with Jennifer Kornelsen (nee Neufeld) with A Rocha in Winnipeg , I realized that the A Rocha -- Pembina Valley Field Study Centre was located just off the route of the Red-Assinboine-300 route I raced back in 07 (new pitstop location?), that they (Nick & Susan P.) had trails and were willing to allow us to bike there and check it out as a possible race course in conjunction with Pembina Valley Prov Park (located directly adjacent to the A Rocha Centre).  

Our hosts Nick & Susan were very welcoming and gave a tour of the beautiful site they manage and stay at throughout the year.  They have had over 1000 visitors since this summer (when they started there as site managers), including 300 Manitoba Amazing Race participants who used the site as a waypoint and interpretive stop-over.  Interestingly, the name 'A Rocha' is Portuguese for 'The Rock' ... makes sense.


Scott and I were quickly impressed with the well established sweeping and twisting trails that took advantage of the terrain to full advantage.  No - they are not technically challenging, but they were cut with motion in mind ... read - a real blast on a bike!!!
* (Note pic on right) - Check out Nick with his arms up, standing on the patio of the old cabin up on the hill, which we plan to use as a race HQ.

There are more than a few switchbacks and steep hill runs that will 'challenge' any rider who wants to go for it with speed and burn their legs middle-ringing some 'granny set' climbs.

The views of the Pembina Valley are terrific and the trail builder (original owner and donater of the land) has captured this with a number of good viewpoints located along and just off the trail.  We already have a secret plan for incorporating one of them into a race!

There is much more to say about the fun trails at the A Rocha Pembina Valley Centre, the excellent facilities and the terrific hosts there, but for now, let's just say that with all that and plenty of good biking trails of varied difficulty at Pembina Valley Prov Park next door, that we (The Training Coop) have found a perfect venue for a new MTB race in 2010 !

MCA coordination has already begun and info will be out soon to all MB Bike Shops, Clubs and Bloggers.

Date TBD, but likely early to mid July 2010.

More to follow in posts and website updates shortly.
Kevin B
Awesome! GREAT to have a new venue and the terrain is obviously very nice. Looking forward to this.

The new city trails are at U of M. There is currently about 2 km of new  singletrack. The trails run on the North side of the U. Starts at the west end of the Wallace Building. Goes for about 200-300 meters (this section is the called "trash bin" - once you ride it, you'll know why. Then you hit the open field for about 200 meters, ride past the white metal fort/castle thing, then get back into the single track about 50-75 meters later (heading east - look for an orange piece of tape). Take this section (called "Upper Cut") until you get to the fence, once through the fence, head right up the quad track a little bit, then head left about half way up the bank. This second section goes for about 2-3 minutes, a little more flowing and open.

Overall the trail basically run as close to the dike around the fields at the east end of U of M. I tried to keep the trail at a higher elevation (so close to the dike) for a couple of reasons. One - so it hopefully gets flooded less in spring. Two, so I can finish the trail coming back, closer to the river (started).

From one end to the other takes me about 8 - 9 minutes. More work to do to finish off the complete loop. Any helpers out there?

These are renegade trails, so you didn't hear it from me. Please respect the area and the wildlife and try to keep a low profile.

Map attached - have fun.

Attached Images
Click image for larger version - Name: uppercut.gif, Views: 14, Size: 386.76 KB 

Good stuff Kevin.  Some of the best all-season biking I've had in town has been on 'renegade' river-edge trails, etc.  Well done ... mums the word!
So....the secret has been revealed....let the planning begin!
It's awesome to hear of new race venues and new trail development. I look forward to checking out both the "secret" Pembina Valley course and the new U of M trail.

Kevin - I'm always willing to get out and help, though a busy family schedule limits my availability. Time will be even more crunched going into the Christmas season, but keep me in mind for future efforts.
Kevin Braun
thanks KK - if the weather allows, maybe some more work will get done this year - who knows. i will email you if i decide to go freeze my toes.

so, back to the original thread topic... what kinda enduro race are you guys planning? 8 hour? 12 hour? solo? teams?

Hey Kevin, really glad you are interested because you are one of the persons I hope to get advice from wrt our growing vision of a XC & Enduro MTB Race and Event Weekend at A Rocha and Pembina Valley Prov Park.  The Back 40 has been a great success and as have the Fall Birch Classics as well.

We want to hold an all-inclusive race event that all MTB racers will be excited about (read normal XC MTB race for Citizens up to Elite), including enduro specialists (if a 4-6 hr length Enduro attached interests them?), as well as their families and friends (fun night ride, BBQs & camping).  We have some cool ideas and a venue with excellent facilities and terrific hosts (plus a great cause they are involved in)!

I will be sending out an email to around 25 contact persons for all the MB MCA Reps, Bike Clubs, Bike Shops and Bike Bloggers to detail our plan for a race likely happening July 10th or 17th, 2010.  I am looking for your email address (you can send it to my "tom@thetrainingcoop.com" address if you wish).  I have already been coordinating with Hal Loewen as MCA MTB Coordinator.

Good times ahead.

Thanks to Scott's GPS tracking and Google Earth plotting skills, I can show you some of the facilities available at the A Rocha Pembina Valley Centre:

Thanks Scott.
Not my picture, but check out this view of the old cabin at the A Rocha Centre.

We are using the cabin as our race HQ ... pretty cool eh!
Care about our Environment? ...
   Passionate about Conservation? ...
        Interested in Sustainable Living? ...
          Want to combine these with your Biking Interests? ...
               Want to know more about A Rocha - Canada - Manitoba? ...

Then check out this video:

Here's why we are excited about our friendly A Rocha hosts at the Pembina Valley Field Study Centre!

* Note - the map above includes some structures that are planned for future development (eg. Interpretive Centre).

We will use some of their trails for our planned bike race (the rest being in the adjacent Pembina Valley Prov Park) and also get to see what A Rocha Manitoba is all about (besides Nick & Susan Pharoah's awesome hospitality!).
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