Building a riding lifestyle
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Photo credit: Tony Hutcheson
Trail Builder: Felix Bernard
Location (City, Country): Bromont, Québec
Social handle: https://www.facebook.com/messages/t/felix.bernard
Some friends call me Ermit because I live in a van hidden behind Bromont's velodrome structure and spend most of my time in the woods. If you spot my Ermit Cave (VW Eurovan) parked somewhere in Bromont, I’m probably out riding or building in the area.
When I came home to Bromont 6 years ago, a long-time friend of mine offered me a trail building job. That’s when my professional trail building journey started, with a non-profit organization called Les Amis des Sentiers.
We build a lot of multi-use trails, designed to have riders and other users co-existing. Some trails are mountain bike specific but most of our public network is multi-use.
When I started building all-mountain/enduro trails, it opened my eyes to another dimension of mountain biking. I swapped my DH bike for a trail bike to be able to ride what I build.
What Knolly do you ride?
Last year, I spent the Canadian winter season in New Zealand riding mostly bike parks and alpine trails on a Delirium. It got me up some massive climbs!
I swapped for an Endorphin when I came home to have more of an everyday swiss-army-knife-bike, so that I could ride all over the place.
What is your favorite ride experience on your Knolly bike?
We're fortunate enough to have all types of riding here in Bromont. I can smash some bike park laps on my way to longer XC/Enduro rides.
What trail project are you currently working on?
We just started a big season! Immediately, we sweep everything and do general maintenance of all the trails. It’s a good time of the year to spot any damage and see how the trails we built in past seasons have evolved through use. We're also about to finish a pumptrack we built last year by adding a final layer of asphalt to the surface.
In regards to a larger project, we have acquired a new chunk of land called Le Parc Des Sommets. It’s a beautiful, protected, pristine mountain area. We now need to link the previously existing trail network to this new area. Once complete, we will have about 150km of official trails!
What completed trail project are you most proud of and why?
My best overall trail building experience was the Cumulus Project 3 seasons ago. I am proud of it not only because the trail required a lot of hard work, but also because it was a great addition to the network. When I sit at the top of Cumulus, I get countless memories of long days with the crew slamming tools in the ground. We were bench cutting into steep off-camber rocky terrain, slicing our hands moving big sharp rocks and where dirt was lacking, we dug pits and carried fresh dirt. It was a huge project, definitely a trail to be proud of!