Little Critter Rides are a great way to encourage kids to get outside, get some exercise and work on their biking skills. Photo Submitted

Fernie Mountain Bike Club embraces virtual racing

The Gravel Grind and the Little Critter Criterium Rides are both conducted via Strava this year

The Fernie Mountain Bike Club (FMBC) continues their summer events with more virtual races and socially distant bike rides.

Three weeks into their virtual Fernie Gravel Grind, a nonprofit fundraising adventure ride for the Fernie Trails Alliance (FTA), anyone still interested in taking part in the action is encouraged to sign up for one, or all three of the challenges.

Created to cover some of the province’s greatest gravel roads, registration gives riders access to seven alpine backcountry gravel routes, a variety of epic challenges, and tempting draw prizes. Participants have until August 30 to complete the rides, with draw prize winners being announced September 1.

“The Fernie Gravel Grind sees a clear causation between trail advocacy and community development, which is why all proceeds from the event will go to the beneficiary, the Fernie Trails Alliance, to help them continue being an essential part of Fernie’s development as a healthy and prosperous community,” reads a post on the Fernie Gravel Grind’s website.

Registration is $54. For more information, visit

Offering young riders the opportunity to improve their skills despite pandemic related cancellations, the FMBC also moved their annual Little Critter Criterium Rides online. Rather than getting together to complete as many laps of a short course as possible, this year’s participants are given the predetermined race routes via FMBC’s Facebook page, and then track and share the timing and length of their rides using Strava.

“Mountain biking is a healthy outdoor activity for kids,” said Madi Bragg, FMBC director and Little Critter Rides coordinator. “Biking makes you happy, it’s a fact. There are so many ways that exercise can boost your mood, there’s the basic release of adrenalin and endorphins, and the improved confidence that comes from achieving new things. Mountain biking is a full body workout including engagement of the core, arms, legs and cardiovascular systems. It improves balance and challenges your stamina. Plus the kiddos are just soaking up the vitamin D.”

All FMBC members are invited to join the rides, though they are geared towards children 12 and under on pedal bikes. For more information on the Little Critter Rides, check out the FMBC’s weekly newsletter.

FMBC organizers thank the community for their support, and remind the public that all trail pass proceeds go towards running events, and building and maintaining trails in and around Fernie.

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