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When Brodie discontinued with its Test of Metal in 1994, Squamish Off-Road Cycling Association (SORCA) founder and president Cliff Miller and Squamish mountain biking and rock climbing guidebook author and publisher Kevin McLane met in a pub one night and drew out a proposed new Test of Metal race course on the back of a coaster.

10 Ways Gardening is like Mountain Biking

Coast Aggregates Landscape Depot 
by Amy Fast, Coast Aggregates Landscape Depot

With spring just around the corner (fingers crossed!), that means longer days, a bit less rain, some more blue sky, and time to get outside more. Spring also means the height of two great outdoor activities: mountain biking and gardening. I know what you’re thinking, how are mountain biking and gardening anything alike? Surprisingly, I’ve come up with ten ways they are actually kind of similar.

1. You’re Probably Going to Get Dirty

A major prerequisite for biking and gardening is “must love dirt”. It will be on your face, your clothes and your gear, but that just means you’re having fun. And if you’re not dirty, then you’re probably doing it wrong!

2. You need gear

Part of the biking experience is the gear, am I right? The bikes, the clothes, the aftermarket ad-ons, are all something to talk about before or after your ride. What wheels do you run? Flats or Clipless?

And gardening is really no different. If you went out to the garden without your knee pads, shovel, plants, gloves, and soil, you’d just be standing around outside.

3. You’ll connect with a community

Mountain bikers have SORCA, WORCA, or NSMBA and local gardeners have the Squamish Gardeners Club and the Squamish CAN Community Garden. It’s great to connect with a group of fun, likeminded people to share stories about your favourite rides, cool new gear, or a great deal on plants.

4. You’ll spend time with your kids

What better way to spend time with your kids then learning a new skill. Many kids don’t know where their food comes from, and a great way to teach them is by starting your own garden. Whether it’s a few containers in the window sill or a veggie garden in the backyard, they’ll love getting their hands dirty and watching something grow. And if your child needs to burn off some energy, get out the run bike and hit the Skills Park before nap time.

5. It’ll help relieve stress

Get your mind off whatever is bringing you down and get outside! Focus on the peace of spending a little time in the woods on your bike or simply sitting in the garden.

6. You’ll get a workout

While gardening might not seem like a workout to you mountain bikers, an hour of raking, weeding, and moving soil can burn around 250 calories (biking around 450). And just like biking, you get to enjoy the fresh air and you won’t be watching the clock as you get your workout.

7. That warm fuzzy feeling of accomplishment

When you ride a new trail for the first time, or beat your best time on Strava, you feel a sense of pride. You’ll get that same feeling when you finally put in that raised garden bed in the back yard and fill it with delicious organic veggies!

8. Competition & bragging rights

Nobody likes a show off, but when you win a race or take top prize in the Garden Tour you feel pretty damn good about it! And hey, you deserve your moment of fame, you worked hard to get to the top. Plus, a little healthy competition keeps people motivated and working hard.

9. You’ll enjoy all types of weather

Let’s face it, it rains a lot in Squamish. But does that keep the mountain bikers and gardeners inside? No Way! Rain helps keep your body temp and the dust down on the trails and means one less day of watering in the garden.

10. Fun for all experience levels

To a beginner, both gardening and mountain biking can seem intimidating. Where do you even begin? But, there are so many resources both locally and online that can help you get started. The SORCA Skills Park can build your confidence before you hit the trails (and there are trails for beginners in Squamish!), or you can try out your green thumb by connecting with the Squamish Gardeners Club or stopping by the Coast Aggregates Landscape Depot.


Coast Aggregates Landscape Depot
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