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 never really left my home, because the outdoor lifestyle has always been so great.
In 2018 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 trainman 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.
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.
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. In 2019, my trip plans include 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 Pisgah or Moab again to celebrate my upcoming big birthday. And each year I do some bikepacking in Eastern Canada around Calabogie, Algonquin Park and maybe another Charlevoix run thsi year. But this time all the way to the St. Lawrence River so I can see some whales.
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’m a good storyteller and writer and public speaker and I’ve created a variety of ride related things that I think are interesting and decent. 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 one example, the Guide to Fatbike Tire Pressure below:
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 have already seen some good referral sales through our working relationships.
People are tapping Ride Ottawa for buying advice and we will continue to work with solid bike stores that can deliver the best customer experience in our area.
As a company, we want to be seen using products and bikes that are available in our local bike stores, so that our clients can demo and ultimately bikes and equipment locally to keep our shops and industry strong. So we're looking to represent Brands that are like minded about the importance of local dealers, good instruction and want to develop mountain biking communities everywhere.