Refuge from the Cold – Joyride 150

The weather here in Southern Ontario can’t quite make up its mind, so mountain biking is off the table for the time being. To help combat the itch to ride trails, my friend Andrew and I made the trek up to Markham, Ontario to check out Joyride 150.

Joyride 150 is a two-wheeled refuge from the harshness of Canadian winter. Housed in a warehouse are a beginner’s skills area, an 800m xc loop, jump lines (beginner, intermediate, advanced, and expert), pump tracks, skinnies, a street plaza, and a vert park. More than enough to entertain both the most beginner and the most advanced riders seeking adrenaline. Check out the video below for a quick lap around the xc loop, pump tracks, and skinnies.

Setting Goals

One of the main reasons why I wanted to check out Joyride 150 was so I could have a controlled environment to build up my bike skills. After a few laps to get my bearings, and check out the whole complex, I spent most of my day whipping around the xc loop and working on my bike handling skills on both the pumptracks and the skinnies.

The skinnies were a great place for me to work on my bike control. There were at least 6 distinct lines, with more than a dozen different transfers and additions that could be made to the lines to keep things interesting. The skinnies had everything from wide boardwalks, to rocks and logs, and even a couple teeter-totters.

The first time I rolled through the skinnies, I noticed this maze of 2-4s that seemed nearly impossible. After a little studying, Andrew pointed out that the wide turns are for your front wheel, while your back wheel follows along on the more straight path. This skinny line became my new goal for the day.

It took a hell of a lot of trust in both my personal abilities and the fact that my bike could even follow through the maze properly, but I had to try it. The biggest thing I was scared that my front wheel would get stuck in a gap and send me tumbling down in front of all the “cool kids” that knew how to ride the whole park perfectly.

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Progression

The first number of tries ended with me simply dropping a foot before I even got to the part (as usual, the hardest part is the mental game). A few tries later, I was slowly rolling through the first corner, but getting unnerved as soon as I needed to try and pedal through to the next corner. The progression went like this throughout the day, inching closer and closer to completing it. However, in the end, I never quite managed to cleanly ride the entire line. The furthest I managed to get was to the last corner before my rear wheel skidded off and got stuck in the middle of the mess. Happy with my progression for the day, we decided to call it a day, but not before one last stop.

Foam Pit Fun

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Andrew getting some jumping advice.

There is no way we were leaving Joyride without at least one of us jumping into the foam pit. Andrew was the lucky one, as he was riding flats and I was riding clips (that’s definitely the only reason I didn’t do it, I swear!). At the risk of ending our friendship… here is the glorious footage of Andrew attempting his first jump into the foam pit. As you can see, it wasn’t the smoothest!

Bottom Line: Should you go?

Hell yeah! It’s a little pricey, but definitely worth the trip to escape from the cold and ride bikes for a day.

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