Clearly, the sport is catching on.
Twenty-four-year-old Katie Reid, having just completed her masters in political science at the University of Victoria, was introduced to mountain biking through her older brother and a friend from Laurentian University, Nico Tavchandjian.
"I'm living in Victoria right now, so I do road cycling every day, and I also teach spin classes at the gym, which really helps to increase your cardio," Reid said. "(But) the technical components of the course definitely require experience."
Starting as a beginner last summer, Reid made the jump to the "Sport" classification this spring, entering a handful of the races on the Ontario Cup circuit.
"I come home every summer," said Reid. "My dad owns a greenhouse gardening centre, so I help him out and race with the guys. Every year, I push myself harder and harder, especially with this course." Now that she is hooked, Reid hopes to continue her development, not missing a beat as she returns to the west coast.
"I'll be going back to Victoria in a few weeks, and there's some really, really gnarly riding out there as well,” she said.
Either way, she insists, the cycling provides just a small part of the entire weekend experience.
"It's my third race this summer, and I've made such good friends with the girls in my category," said Reid. "I rode with a girl most of the race today and it really just makes it so much more fun, as opposed to just riding by yourself."
That big picture approach is not lost, even on some of the youngest competitors on the course. Eleven-year-old Kitchener native Amanda Kleinikkink made her first visit to the Naughton Trails this summer, trying to incorporate most of the Ontario Cup races into her busy schedule.
"I lost my chain twice, and I fell a lot, but I just enjoyed it," Kleinikkink said with a smile. "If you lose your chain, you just put it back on, and then you keep going."
Her resiliency would be tested, as even the most seasoned rider noted the natural technical challenges that can be incorporated, quite easily, into the course design on the rugged terrain of Northern Ontario.
"This course is a lot different," said Kleinikkink. "It has flat areas, more flat areas, but if you go too fast, you will just fall."
Like Reid, Kleinikkink owes her start in mountain biking to some family prodding.
"My dad got me into it," she said. "I did one race, just to try it out at first, and I really enjoyed it. Last year, I started the real league and did all the races."
The local Canada Cup race, which is ideally scheduled just a week ahead of the national championships at Hardwood Hills, once again drew a wonderful selection of top-end talent.
Olympian Emily Batty captured the Senior Elite (19+) Female division, 90 seconds ahead of national team member Sandra Walter, with Derek Zandstra making it back-to-back victories in Sudbury, with Cameron Jette just 18 seconds back.
Following is a complete breakdown of the various category champions and top finishers in the Elite level:
Senior Elite (19+) Male
1st - Derek Zandstra - 1:42:33
2nd - Cameron Jette - 1:42:52
3rd - Evan McNeely - 1:43:54
4th - Leandre Bouchard - 1:45:17
5th - Evan Guthrie - 1:45:35
Senior Elite (19+) Female
1st - Emily Batty - 1:41:00
2nd - Sandra Walter - 1:42:31
3rd - Mikaela Kofman - 1:44:55
4th - Cindy Montambault - 1:45:44
5th - Catherine Fleury - 1:46:16
Junior Expert (17-18) Male
Marc-André Fortier - 1:12:29
Under 17 Cadet Expert (15-16) Male
Cédrick Cantin - 23:44.50
Senior Expert (19-29) Male
Jason Leblanc - 24:44.65
2nd - Dominic Girard (WMBC) - 25:37.11
4th - Charles Reid (WMBC) - 25:39.85
6th - Eddie Skala (WMBC) - 25:50.75
7th - Nico Tavchandjian (WMBC) - 26:03.67
12th - Scott Philipps (WMBC) - 27:19.95
Master Expert (30-39) Male
Dan Souter - 24:05.83
9th - Alex Anstice (WMBC) - 26:04.89
Master Expert (40-44) Male
Jon Barnes - 23:59.72
Master Expert (45-49) Male
Jeff Shikaze - 25:54.14
Master Expert (50-59) Male
Eric Orschel - 26:08.82
Junior Expert (17-18) Female
Soren Meeuwisse - 1:03:21
Under 17 Cadet Expert (15-16) Female
Sophianne Samson - 27:38.05
Senior Expert (19-29) Female
Rosalie Auger - 29:32.62
Master Expert (30-39) Female
Linda Shin - 30:02.31
Master Expert (40+) Female
Lisa Holmgren - 28:07.71
U17 Cadet Sport (15-16) Male
Connor Irving - 33:19.98
Junior Sport (17-18) Male
Riley Christensen - 1:33.50
Senior Sport (19-29) Male
Lachlan Armstrong - 1:26:40
8th - Peter Van Buren (WMBC) - 1:45.10
Master Sport (30-34) Male
Dylan Bailey - 1:21:54
5th - Marc Larochelle (Lively) - 1:51:05
Master Sport (35-39) Male
Seth Stewart - 1:28:39
6th - Jordan Burkitt (Sudbury) - 1:36:42
Master Sport (40-44) Male
Greg Knights - 1:27:49
Master Sport (45-49) Male
Brent Lowes - 1:25:31
Master Sport (50-54) Male
Fritz Kipfer - 1:29:48
Master Sport (55-59) Male
David Staples - 1:32.21
Master Sport (60+) Male
Bob Kinsie - 1:02:34
Junior/Cadet Sport (15-18) Female
Elissa Cummings - 39:42.83
Senior Sport (19-29) Female
Victoria Ferguson - 1:13:32
4th - Katie Reid (WMBC) - 1:19:56
Master Sport (30-39) Female
Alicia Berthiaume - 1:07:01
Master Sport (40-49) Female
Meghan Le Dez - 1:12:50
Master Sport (50+) Female
Lynn Derrick - 1:12:48
2nd - Patti Kitlar (Lively) - 2:03.26
U15 Minime (13-14) Male
Colton Woods - 32:01.13
U15 Minime (13-14) Female
Mireille Larose-Gingras - 34:46.48
U13 Peewee (11-12) Male
Matthew Leliveld - 15:34.05
U13 Peewee (11-12) Female
Juliette Larose-Gingras - 19:36.05
U11 Squirt (9-10) Male
Bohdan Hrotovytskyy - 17:57.77
U11 Squirt (9-10) Female
Elli Clark - 20:38.53
Try an O-Cup Male
Don Blue - 1:06:05
Try an O-Cup Female
Janelle Anderson - 41:06.50
2nd - Amanda Maybee (Sudbury) - 1:01:21
Brendan Matheson - 25:09.22