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Trail Tours- Ontario Review

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Last week I had the opportunity to attend a full day training / trail ride session at the Trail Tours facility in the Ganaraska facility in Ontario, near Peterborough. Overall I had a great time and would recommend this event to others looking to enjoy a trail ride experience. I had asked if I could book a spot on a Thursday, which they were normally closed, but the owner told me he would open for us for the day which is extremely nice. He must have then also booked another group of 2 people which made for nice riding company. 

We arrived at the meeting point (they ask you to park in a public carpool parking lot down the road and wait for someone to meet you there). A rider on a dirt bike arrived on time and guided us down the road to the entrance of the facility. We parked, and two groups of adventure goers (2 groups of 2, we didn't know each other at first, but you end up with the riders bond by the end) walked to the gear up facility. They assign you your protective gear and have arched tents for their change rooms which were quite nice. There was no real instruction for the beginners as to how you wear the gear and one of the adventurers came out with it on all wrong and provided some laughs. Once all of our gear was on it was time to select the bikes. The staff recommended the CRF 150f's for all of the riders, however owning a wr250f I opted for the CRF250x. Personally I prefer my WR but I will not go down that path on this thread. The staff at the time we were there was mostly older teenagers or young adults in their low 20's. They were a little lack luster and seemed bored to be there and not interested in what they were doing and did not engage with the customers at all unless directly asked questions.

We then separated into 2 groups, beginners and intermediate. I was in the intermediate group. The day is supposed to start with what the website describes as customized training for the first half of the day at their facility, then move to the trails in the afternoon for an adventure ride. There was no training provided to which I was a little disappointed. I was hoping to get some feedback on some of my riding habits, either good or bad, but nothing like this was provided. We rode the circular dirt oval approximately 20 times, first the instructor told us to practice our cornering and leaning the bike, then do this while seated and standing. This is a good drill, however the instructor never provided feedback on our performance. I had asked a few times for feedback as was only responded to with "its good". We then drove to another training location where were were told to ride slowly around an S track with a log obstacle. The purpose was to traverse the log (12 inch log, could simply just ride over it) and apply basic clutch control. Again, no feedback on our performance and again I was disappointed that this in no way resembled any instruction or training, merely a warm up for the day. 

After this the instructors informed us they would lead us on some single track, and to watch the line of the instructors and how they rode and mimic these movements. The instructor I was behind went too fast in the track he knows very well and went out of sight in the first few minutes. Again opportunity lost for improvement. We rode a little while longer and ended up losing 2 of our group, in the woods so him and I were alone at the end of the trail. He reminded me that I need to be shoulder checking to make sure we didn't lose the group. Because apparently that was my job. At this point I asked if we could return back to the beginners group and all ride together as I was not getting anything from this "instruction/training" and would at least like to start the trail ride with everyone. We then returned back to the main group. 

After we grouped back up we had lunch, we had brought our own but lunch can be purchased there and looked to be pretty good actually. We then set out as a whole group for the main ride of the afternoon through the Ganaraska forest. This part of the day was by far the best and made the trip worth while. We did have to go slow and one of the beginners had a hard time with sand (which made up most of the trails this time of year) however the instructor was patient and did his best to find more hard packed trails. The forest is beautiful and was pretty empty being a Thursday mid-afternoon. There were a few hills and a couple mud spots, however we had to stick to the double track to accommodate the beginner riders. I was there with my father who had not been on a bike in 30 years, his last one being a 1970 trail boss 125, so these new power machines were incredible to him. My main goal in coming to the Trail Tours was to have a great time riding with my dad and Trail Tours was able to provide just that. 

 

Overall my main reason for going was to get out and ride with my dad, and to this extend I would fully recommend this place to anyone looking for a guided tour with all rental equipment included. I would advise people that if you are looking for any form of feedback on riding performance or training of any kind, this is probably not the place for you. 

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