Mountain bikers shred the Midnight Dome Enduro
Nearly 40 mountain bikers took part in Cycling Association of Yukon and Dawson City’s first-ever Midnight Dome Enduro on August 21, 2021.
The Midnight Dome Enduro is a new event on the Yukon cycling calendar. It aims to celebrate and support the work that’s been done on the Dome, and to inspire more people to ride bikes in Dawson.
Paul Robitaille, Parks and Recreation Manager with the City of Dawson had this to say about the event and the growth of mountain biking there.
“The City of Dawson has been involved in the process of trail development for over 10 years. Our trail management plan, developed in partnership with Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in took the vision of our community and has been attempting to put it in action since its inception. The Midnight Dome Enduro event was a validation of how far we’ve come as a community and a destination for all trail users, especially bikers.”
“It was awesome to see the surprise and appreciation of new riders of our trails enjoying the fruits of our labour. We know there’s still work to be done to fulfill all of our goals related to trail management, but this event let us know we’re going in the right direction, and we should keep going.”
“This event has also sparked a new generations of local riders who are part of the development of a new culture in our community committed to trail riding, which is fantastic. A huge thanks to all the riders, volunteers and groups who made this event happen. We look forward to next year’s event, and invite all Yukoners to come see what we have in our community.”
38 people took part in this year’s edition of the Midnight Dome Enduro. Registration numbers were intentionally capped at 40 participants for COVID-19 and administrative reasons.
The enduro was a low-key, community-focused day that had youth riding in the morning and adults in the afternoon. Thankfully, the prior day’s heavy rain stopped and sunny blue skies welcomed event participants on Saturday morning.
Everyone got a race plate for their bike (donated by Arctic Star Printing), a Midnight Dome Enduro branded buff, food at a post-event BBQ by the Dawson City Volunteer Fire Department and 2 shuttles up the mountain provided by Husky Bus.
There were also amazing draw prizes thanks to sponsorship from Yukon Energy, Icycle Sports, Dawson City General Store, Eldorado Hotel and Fireweed Helicopters.
Youth rode 2 laps of the same course, featuring a flow trail called Hammarstrand. This was combined with a number of other trails that snaked their way down to the starting point at the Crocus Bluff baseball field. Kids as young as 7 entered, up to age 16.
There were 18 participants in the youth category; 14 of them from Dawson City. A coveted youth prize was a free chopper ride provided by Fireweed Helicopters at the end of the day.
In the afternoon, those 17 and older rode 3 downhill “segments” of different trails on the Midnight Dome including Paydirt, Dome Dive, Machete, Hammarstrand and many other parts of the mountain. Event organizers also threw in 1 uphill segment to keep the riders honest (and intentionally cause some fun drama. It worked!).
Participant hometowns were varied: 1 rider from Ontario, 2 from B.C., and from within Yukon, 7 from Whitehorse and 10 from Dawson City. It was amazing to see the wide variety of experience, interests and personalities intertwine with one another at the start and finish of every segment.
Josh Tower, a RCMP officer in Dawson City and the event’s lead organizer said this about the day:
“Dawson City’s first Midnight Dome Enduro was met with enthusiasm, camaraderie, joy and delivered heart-pumping fun. It was heartwarming to see kids grow their love of biking. It was also exciting to witness amazingly skilled riders shred trails like Hammarstrand, Paydirt and Dome Dive.”
“The event, for me, not only highlighted our great trails and supportive community that was open to and rallied together to start something new, but also the tremendous potential that Dawson City has to offer to Yukon mountain biking.”
“I’m hoping that the success of the Enduro will keep rolling with momentum for future trail development, more biking events and more opportunities for our local youth to be involved in building our community.“
A portion of the entry fees will be donated by Cycling Association of Yukon to Dawson’s Klondike Active Transport and Trails Society (KATTS). This money will help further promote and develop recreational trails in the Klondike region.
Event organizers are planning to host the Midnight Dome Enduro again in 2022, but of course even bigger and better. We’ll take lessons learned and improve our event to make it even more memorable and fun.
For information about Yukon cycling programs and events, go to https://yukoncycling.com.