This weekend some of Specialized’s top freeriders and BMX athletes came to ride with everyone at Joyride 150 in Markham, Ontario. It was an incredible event that brought together riders of all ages and skill levels in one common area to share their passion for cycling.
For five weeks leading up to the event, Specialized held a contest where people could guess who the guest riders would be and where this event would be held. Whenever we hear of an event in Canada, it is usually on the West Coast and most likely in Whistler. As details started to unfold and names like Darren Berrecloth, Mike Montgomery and Daniel Dhers started to appear, everyone in the East knew that Joyride 150 would be an awesome place to host these athletes. Mike Montgomery came out to last year’s ride so it was “possible” and anticipation was high that it could be here. It was not unveiled until the final week that this was actually happening.
“We brought: Darren Berrecloth, Mike Montgomery and Daniel Dhers here. We just really wanted to get everybody together – people from 20”, people from 26” and just get everybody together to ride with some of our athletes.” – Todd Cannatelli | Product Manager, ATB, Specialized Bicycle Components
Ontario has an amazing riding scene, boasting some of the largest race series in the country. The community here is very centered around competition and has always longed for some of the culture and atmosphere found in other parts of the world. Specialized Canada’s Hannah Parish had the vision and saw an opportunity with Joyride 150 to hold an event that was just about fun and riding bikes.
“You see parents and men and women of all ages, all walks of life on all different kinds of bikes. It’s just a really inviting atmosphere and everybody is just happy to be riding. It’s not intimidating, it’s not about competition, it’s just about people being excited to get out on their bike to learn and progress and just have a good time. That is what this whole weekend has been about. It’s been really awesome to just get to experience it.” – Todd Cannatelli | Product Manager, ATB, Specialized Bicycle Components
Joyride 150 has been one of the most significant additions to our scene, maybe the greatest ever. It has been a key factor in producing superstars like Brett Rheeder and will ensure plenty more like him in the future. The park is home to BMX phenom Drew Bezanson and the 102,000 square foot playground has something to offer riders of all levels. Despite all this place has to offer, the park struggles to get attention on the world stage. What Specialized held there this weekend is a top level event and the sort of thing that needs to happen more at this amazing facility.
“The place is awesome, everybody is super cool you know. It’s a good combination – it’s a good vibe. I’m glad they have this local scene here, it’s sweet.” – Daniel Dhers
On the Friday night, Darren hosted a Where The Trail Ends premiere right in the park for all to experience. Moms, dads, boys and girls stared with glowing faces, captivated by this epic film. It is truly a cinematic masterpiece and one of the greatest homages to our sport ever produced. Having Darren there to introduce it and do a Q&A afterwards was just icing on the cake. We recently had Kurt Sorge in town for a screening of WTTE at the Bell TIFF Lightbox. We went years without these sorts of social cycling events and it’s really important that we support them if we want them to keep happening. Even though our races are extremely friendly and encouraging, we need this sort of experience to balance it out.
Seeing kids’ faces light up when they are able to interact with their heroes is extremely gratifying. It’s like seeing them touch giants. For fans and enthusiasts to be able to ride and interrelate with them without barriers is invaluable. This is no different to how kids would feel having Sidney Crosby stop in for a game of shinny at their local rink. It just makes it about a common love for the game. These guys are true ambassadors to the sport and seeing them amongst all those kids, simply sharing their passion for bikes is amazing. Even the riders themselves shine in this non-competitive environment and seem at ease and happy to just be riding for fun.
“It was amazing to have Specialized bring in some legends of our sport to come ride at Joyride 150 with our community of riders! Everyone was pretty stoked to ride side by side with Darren, Daniel and Mike. Great to have a big player like Specialized to show it is about the kids…get them hooked on riding while they are young and keep them riding for the rest of their lives!” – Mark Summers | Joyride 150
“Coming to non-competitive events is way better for me I think. Events are cool but I think this is where the heart and soul of riding is at: it’s with the kids” – Mike Montgomery
Over the course of the weekend, Specialized would be giving away one P.26 Pro and two P.20 Pro bikes to three lucky winners. Keeping with the fun vibe of the weekend, these bike would not be won for best trick or biggest air but because of things like a good attitude and a genuine love of riding. “He just likes riding. He wants to start some downhill racing and this is one way to get better at all-around bike skills, taking a bike like that to the park” said Montgomery when asked why he chose P.26 Pro winner Jack Mackenzie.
“The event was awesome! We were so pleased to be able to bring our top freeriders and BMX riders to Joyride150 this past weekend. The best part for me was seeing the bikes go to three very deserving kids. Every employee and athlete at Specialized is passionate about bikes and these kids have it in spades. We would like to take a moment to thank everyone who helped this event come together: Darren Berrecloth, Mike Montgomery, Daniel Dhers, Todd Cannatelli.” – Hannah Parish | Specialized Canada
Specialized and Joyride 150 knocked this one out of the park. Many companies talk about their passion for cycling but this event was about living it.