Who am I
I'm a native of Ottawa-Gatineau. I grew up, went to school here. When I started mountain biking in 1986 on a 23", pink Nishiki mountain bike, I never saw any other people on mountain bike, only riders ob the scenic roadways. I worked at a local bike store, Rebec & Kroes after University before getting my first job as an Industrial Designer, and quickly starting my own consulting company. I updated my career recently and started as the Design Director for a SaaS company and I’m building a team to help take the company to the next level. I never really left my home, because the outdoor lifestyle has always been so great.
In 2017 I certified with PMBI as an instructor and founded a new instruction company, Ride Ottawa, with 2 friends. Why? Well, we couldn't take any lessons locally because we couldn't find any qualified instructors. So we decided to change that. in March 2017 on our annual trip southern Utah, we got to talking after some IPA's and conclude that our local bike scene in Ottawa-Gatineau could only grow a certain way without qualified, professional mountain bike instructors. We decided that if we wanted instruction, then others must be looking for it too. So we laid-out a 2 year training plan to certify with PMBIA, get first-aid and safety training, get permission to teach on our local public and private trail networks, and to build a business. Our BIG goal is to build a better riding community by providing professional instruction so riders can improve and be in love with mountain biking like we are. I've been a decent, all-mountain rider for a long time, but now I'm working hard on new skills and higher levels of fitness to be a great rider. This year in 2020 I’m working on my Ontario Cycling Coaches Certificate courses and certifying Level 2 PMBIA as we further develop our Ride Ottawa course curriculum and refine our coaching for the increasing number ps of advanced riders that are tapping us to help them meet their race and ride goals.
Where Am I
I think I'm pretty fortunate that I can spend so much time riding bikes. Ottawa-Gatineau has great riding in and around the city, in all 4 seasons. Mountain Biking, fat biking, gravel riding, road riding, bike paths, commuter bikeways, and even bikepacking close by. Anyone can easily piece together a 90km ride on our bike paths. In 2019 we will haev over 100km of new legal trail in our beloved Gatineau Park. And our newest area, Larose Forest, if and incredible, purpose-built riding area with fast, flow, family and beginner friendly tails. And I'm also a bit of an indoor training geek; I train indoors almost all year, mainly to keep my fitness level high. I really like to help people to started indoors and out. This winter season I researched and implemented a more,polarized training plan to better use my time in the pain cave.
I've spent the last few seasons helping the local mountain bike association, OMBA-AVMO, to grow membership and corporate sponsorship through social media engagement on Facebook and other ride community programming. Over 2 years we increased rider membership 200%, and corporate membership 300%, and increased out mailing list and Facebook Group by 400%. I'm still working behind the scenes with OMBA-AVMO, but now I am primarily focused on building Ride Ottawa and the local MTB teaching community.
I love to travel to ride other places. Riding new places is important to me. My annual trips usually include Hurricane, Utah, several trips to the Quebec City networks, riding areas in Vermont including Kingdom Trails, the Adirondacks in New York state, and maybe B.C., Pisgah or Moab. Each year we do some bikepacking in Eastern Canada around Calabogie, Algonquin Park and sometimes Charlevoix. COVID has changed things a bit, and last year we explored the less travelled trails close to home and just enjoyed a lot fo local riding.
And a Race
After working with 3 different race groups last year, and witnessing everyone meet their A-race goals (and beyond), I’ve decided to challlenge myself by participating in the 2020 Quebec Singletrack Experience. Although not strictly competitive, I intend to go hard and test my limits across the 6 stages. We’re booked into a huge B&B with a big group of friends so it should be a blast. My main goal is to joy it all and have fun. Details to follow.
Like a lot of people trying to make an impact online, I generate content and contribute to forums where I think I can add value. As my friends and I shift our focus to Ride Ottawa, our content is being built for our blog and for online sharing.
Since I have a creative background as an Industrial Designer and professional software including Adobe Creative Suite, I can produce high-quality content of all kinds of content; stories and video content, but also graphic content, imagery, t-shirt designs, posters. I even design and produce accessories for bikepacking and indoor training using my 3D Printer.
I like storytelling, writing and public speaking and I’ve created a variety of ride related things that I think are interesting and decent for sharing. A few online docs about Fatbiking, a few drone videos, many social media posts including Pinkbike user content, and lots of online graphics. I have a sizeable list of my own topics to work on that I know will help to get people excited about riding, equipment and travel.
I am active on online with Facebook, Instagram, Strava, and increasingly Trainer Road and Zwift forums. I've included links to a variety of stuff and some images at the bottom of this document. you can check out some examples below or at the Ride Ottawa Blog.
Ride Ottawa Partners
This season, after we launched Ride Ottawa we were contacted by a few local bike stores who offered their support. The stores were enthusiastic about our plans for regular MTB courses and understood our goal of elevating the community through instruction, much like the ski industry. The stores were also quick to say, "What do you need?"
We thought carefully and hard about this and decided that what we really need was shop support for our customers. We wanted to be able to refer Ride Ottawa clients to shops that provide great service, as quickly as possible to get them out on the trails riding.
We learned very quickly that riders who take a lesson get very excited about their new skills and then often want to upgrade their bikes and parts for more performance. From out first lessons we had riders asking us about bikes, hydration packs, tires, brakes, dropper posts, clothing, helmets and everything else bike related. Our shop partners take these referrals seriously and work hard to deliver great service, fast to get riders back out on the trails.
Feel free to tap Ride Ottawa for buying advice. We ride brands and bikes that are available through local dealers and we work,our parts and equipment hard. We can tell you what works for us. And we will continue to work with and recommend solid bike stores that can deliver great customer service.