Updated: Sep 10, 2021
Late last week, the Avalon Mountain Bike Association (AMBA) wrote the three federal political party candidates in the riding of St. John’s East on behalf of the mountain biking community in Newfoundland and Labrador. We have inquired about their position regarding the status of the trail network located in East White Hills.
As some of you may know, work began last month by Mountain Bike Atlantic (https://mtbatlantic.com/) to evaluate the market readiness of select trails in the province. A key success factor in this evaluation is that trails are formalized with appropriate land use agreements in place. The showcase trail centre for St. John’s, and in our humble opinion Atlantic Canada, is located in the East White Hills area near Quidi Vidi. Unfortunately, the majority of this trail network does not meet the criteria for inclusion in this initiative due to no land use agreement being in place. AMBA has been actively working since 2019 (and many more individuals long prior to that date) to try and address this challenge to no avail. We have met with all levels of Government, who have all indicated support for our efforts; however, we continue to face roadblocks from the Federal Government for establishing formal access. The time has come for this to change.
We’re asking those of you in our community, especially if you are a resident of St. John’s East, to reach out to your candidates and ask their position on this matter. If this weekend's St. John’s Enduro Series race in East White Hills was any indication, the sport is continuing to grow at a rapid pace. All thanks to the efforts of our local community trail builders, industry businesses and advocates. We’re asking our Federal Government to finally recognize the East White Hills trail network as an official shared use trail centre and help our Province realize the full health, social and economic potential that mountain biking can offer.
Formalizing mountain bike trails allows AMBA and other stakeholders to establish signage and infrastructure around trail centres. This facilitates safe use by the multiple sport types that frequent them (hikers, bikers, skiers, snowshoers, etc.). Having supporting infrastructure also enables easier use by those not familiar with the area, especially tourists. Mountain bike tourism is a lost opportunity in the region because of the limited trail access. Mountain bike tourists have disposable income; are adventurous and mobilized to try new places; and feed the economy around accommodations, food, bike shops and more.
There is power in numbers. Every vote counts. We’re asking that you consider the stance of each candidate and how that might affect this trail network. We encourage you to write to your candidates in St. John’s East expressing your support for AMBA and the East White Hills trail network becoming an officially formalized shared use trail centre.
We’ve prepared a templated letter that you can send to all of the candidates in St. John’s East below. We’ve also provided each candidate’s respective contact information. We will share their responses with you here, once we receive them.
Thank you for your continued support of Mountain Biking in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Members of the Board of Directors for the Avalon Mountain Bike Association
Letters AMBA Sent to each candidate:
Federal Candidates Contact Information for St. John's East:
Conservative Candidate for St. John’s East
Liberal Candidate for St. John’s East
NDP Candidate for St. John’s East