A huge shout out to all our friends, members, and partners that have helped us so far - THANK YOU!
How did this thing all get started?
About 3 years ago a bunch of us were talking about how much we loved riding and the conversation evolved into thinking of ways we could make a business out of our passion for both mountain biking and craft beer. Well 3 years later, we are still kicking around in the dirt and while we are not retiring anytime soon, we are having fun building the business and meeting new people.
Last year was our biggest year since our launch in late 2017, as we tripled our membership and hosted more rides than any previous year. Our destinations have expanded, the experiences are getting better and we are learning how to provide great value to our members and riding community.
So what about this year? Well, we are planning some of our biggest trips yet with our 7-day adventure to Kingdom Trails in Vermont and a stopover at Mont St. Anne's Quebec to watch the MTB World Cup races. We are also planning a couple of trips up to Buckwallow near Gravenhurst (new favourite trail for a quite a few of us), a trip to Blue Mountain to ride the trails at Pretty River Valley, and a few others.
Another trip that will be getting planned out this will be our first international trip which will happen in 2021 to Mexico and hosted by our beloved Stephane Sauve. This trip will go beyond Mountain Biking to include other options such as Golf, Hiking, Sailing, Watersports etc - keep an eye for more information on this trip.
Stephane also started hosting road rides last year which will continue in 2020. Every Sunday morning, Stephane and a few others will be meeting at the Kilbride School to hit the backcountry roads of Burlington and surrounding areas.
Whitney Surgenor came on board last year and was a huge value add to our riding community. She worked closely with Charles to run our MTB training sessions and she spearheaded our Monday night Ladies ride which was much appreciated by all our female riders. Whitney is an avid road rider and is striving to race more and at higher levels - we are doing our best to support her dreams and hope[fully cheer her on one day at the big race.
Last year, we also decided to create a separate brand "HopHead Social Club" to cater to our Craft beer passion. The goal with the new brand was to enable us to create an online community of craft beer lovers made up of people that are already passionate about craft beer to the newbies that want to learn more. We will be busy this year building the online community which will include a craft beer directory, food pairings and recommendations, exclusive video content including interviews of brewers. If you want more information on this check out the website at https;//www.hopheadsocialclub.com
So what does all this mean for our future? We will continue to build on our original goal of encouraging and supporting riders of all levels. We will continue to build a fun-loving and friendly community of riders that encourages all skill levels to participate, helps each other out with knowledge and skills, shares a few craft beers, and most of all has a great time. So come on out and ride with us, I guarantee you will enjoy the activity, you will meet some great people, and you will keep coming back!
As a very good friend of mine says about Mountain Biking - "It is all about the GRIN factor"
I love to ride because it gets me outside in nature with my friends. We can ride together, share stories, motivate each other and laugh at each other.
Mark's favorite thing about riding:
There is no judgment - just friendship. You compete only with yourself, get exercise, and learn a few new tricks at the same time.
Former racer turned weekend warrior who loves finding new trails to explore with good friends and a rewarding beer after the ride.
Charles favorite thing about riding:
To enjoy the challenge of riding a perfect line through singletrack and the feel of the trees and rocks rushing past you at close range.
Do the right thing and do the best you can! Biking is therapeutic – it combines excellent exercise and nature.
Andy's favorite thing about riding:
I love mountain biking because it is not only a physical endeavor that pushes one's athletic ability but it is also a spiritual connection between the rider, their bike, and the stunning beauty through which we propel ourselves.
Riding allows me to explore the outdoors, develop new skills and continue to search for improvement with an open mindset.
Whitney's favorite thing about riding:
I enjoy sharing my passion for riding and the outdoors with friends and meeting new people along the way. While setting goals and embracing the process even when the path may not be direct.