In 2009 several families and friends decided to put words into action and the concept of Velo MSM was born. Best described as a Self Organized Collective, each of these individuals deserve a TON of credit because of the hundreds, if not thousands, of hours which have been put into developing this network. 2010 saw the continuation of trail building, plus the addition of Peter Verheyden, Ottawa’s best known and most accomplished trail builder, to help lead Velo MSM into the future.
2011 was an exciting year for Velo MSM. The group became an official chapter under Club MSM and were successful with a proposal to the local municipality of Lac Ste Marie for $55,000 in trail building funds. In addition, we also got all the land owners together, explained our long term goal and proposed trail network and gained their overwhelming support and signed access. Also in 2011 we designed and refined a trail network of over 40km of future trail with potential for tons more, organized 20 trail days with 1000′s of volunteer hours to improve existing trails and build new, plus with the help of our funding we put together and managed a full time crew of 5 trail builders.
In 2012 Velo MSM was successful in getting more grant funding which meant a trail crew was employed for a second year in a row. This year saw the completion of the around the lake trail network, and the commencement of a trail going up the mountain, TTOP.
2013 brought new funding partners in Mountain Equipment Coo-op and the Federal government’s Economic Action Plan. This enabled further trail crew work on TTOP. Interest in riding at MSM amongst local and further afield mt bikers grew considerably. Volunteer trail days continued the strong tradition of targeting a grassroots support network for building sweet single track at MSM.
2014 was another exciting year for Velo with several major achievements to note. First of all TTOP was completed – and is now being talked about as one of the best ‘up’ trails ever ridden! It is also connected with the rest of the network through Stout trail. Secondly, we held our first ever festival, Mountain Fest. What started as a ‘cool idea’ for fundraising and celebrating Velo MSM turned into an overnight success. We had just shy of 500 participants, numerous retailers, tonnes of high end demo bikes, kids events, yoga on the beach, trail running, local beef on the BBQ, delicious Boreale beer, and incredible music that included JW Jones, Canada’s top touring blues artist.
Velo MSM Future
Plans for 2015 are very exciting – We hope to host our first ever fat bike event in cooperation with the ski hill. Once spring hits we plan to begin trail building, again with a paid crew thanks to our new grant money. Trail priorities are building fast and flowy down trails from both the TTOP gazebo and the top of Vanier. We have a group of volunteers working on our beginner loop that runs towards the golf course. Other volunteer priorities will be Pilsner improvements, trail adoptions to encourage maintenance, and some edits to Stout.