Contributed by Mountain Bike Atlantic Advocate for Woolastook, Scott Dubreuil
According to the Elgin Eco Association: Cycling Canada has deemed the Tour of Elgin to be “One of the top ten events to do in Canada”.
The Elgin Eco Association (EEA) was incorporated in July, 2004 as a partner in the Fundy Model Forest. The EEA’s mandate includes promoting the Elgin area through education, events, and fundraisers. Their largest annual fundraiser is the annual Tour of Elgin, also colloquially referred to as the Elgin 120 after the showcase race category that is 120 km in length. This is the category for you if you want that famous Elgin Belt Buckle!
The Elgin terrain ranges from logging roads to doubletrack to flowing singletrack. The singletrack descent back into town was particularly memorable and there were some spectacular views if you took the time to look around and didn’t get too race focused.
This year was the 18th annual running of the race with 4 main categories: 20, 40, 80 and 120 km. New this year, was the first e-bike category within the 40km distance.
E-bikes can be a controversial topic for discussion, especially for racing, so the new e-bike category at this year’s Tour of Elgin was an intriguing opportunity presented by the race organizers.
Yard Gear in Hanwell were kind enough to provide a Husqvarna Mountain Cross 7 e-bike for the race, which was well set up and was more than up to the task. I would encourage anyone who is on the fence or hard-set against e-bikes to look for an opportunity to try one. It was more fun than anticipated and now I want one even more than I expected.
When I reached the ¾ mark or so I had only used ¼ of the battery! I think I could have finished much faster had I used more aggressive settings more frequently. Next year! I had so much fun I’m looking forward to next year and knowing what to expect and maybe I’ll even have my own e-bike by then.
The race itself lived up to the hype. It truly had something for everyone.
A 5 year old completed the 20 km with his Dad!
The son of one of the organizers finished his first 80 km race at only 14 years old and his daughter, at 11, finished the 40 km!
While still in Elgin on my drive home, I was happy to have finally seen my first black bear after 11 years in New Brunswick – that is rural New Brunswick! The Tour of Elgin is a great way to see some of that beauty. Try it next year. What do you have to lose?