The Trail Ninja

In the 1990s my oldest son was in middle school. He was looking for an extra curricular activity and after trying band, decided that the mountain bike club was more to his liking. The club was in need of parent volunteers to ride with the kids so as a single parent, I collected my youngest son from elementary school on Thursdays and drove over to the middle school to ride with the bike club. It turns out that my oldest son didn’t stick with the club but my youngest took to mountain biking like a boss.

The club had been operational for a couple of years when we showed up but up until then they had been riding mostly on old logging roads and a couple of equestrian trails near the school. As an experienced trail builder, I took it upon myself to start a system of actual mountain bike trails. They are a little different than a typical hiking trail.

When I build a trail I like to start in the middle and work towards both ends mostly for the sake of safety. If someone tries to ride an unfinished mountain bike trail they could get seriously hurt. So after sometimes months of work, the last step is to open the entrance and exit of the trail. The end result of this was that the kids would go riding one week and suddenly there would be a completely buff trail a couple of kilometres long that wasn’t there the week before.

One of the kids was heard to say “How are they doing this without us knowing? It must be ninjas.” Somebody else said “Yeah, trail ninjas.”

The name kind of stuck and there are mountain bikers and trails builders all over the world who know me as The Trail Ninja.