Kentville’s 4X Course
“That was scary!” said Daniel when he got to the bottom of Kentville’s newest addition – the 4x Course!
Pronounced four-cross, this course is the biggest east of Montreal! And we are lucky to have it in our own backyard – for us, that is almost literally! It is located on Burgher Hill next to the Research Station on Route 1 in Kentville.
Don’t worry! It’s on the side of the hill and doesn’t cut into the sledding hill at all!
I was assigned to cover the story on the creation of the course on CBC radio Information Morning. To get the full effect, I decided to go there with the kids to check it out for ourselves.
Rachel Bedingfield, the Recreation Director for Kentville explained to me about 4X. 4X is a form of mountain bike racing that combines elements of BMX racing with mountain biking. It is a sport that is established in the x-games (extreme games) but this style of racing is probably more familiar to folks who watched the winter Olympics and saw the 4X ski and 4X snowboarding races. It’s the same idea: four racers at the start race through the course and the first one to the bottom moves on the next race until there is a final event of four and a winner is declared.
The tracks are fast, technical and extremely fun! The course was specially designed with riders of all ages and abilities in mind. The track includes features like bridges, a rock garden, rollers, berms and jumps. A raised start ramp helps riders get off to a fast start!
The course was designed in conjunction with Ryan Lindh from Trail Flow Outdoor Adventures.
Because of the nature of the course, you can make the ride as challenging as you wish. Bedingfield had told me that she went there with her 5 year old son who loved it, so I decided to try it with my boys!
Thomas (6) refuses to ride his bike. There would be no way to get him on the course. However, he decided to run the entire course 3 times! He ran up the hills, jumped over the logs, and had a great time! And, he never got tired!
Daniel (7) started at the top of the hill and looked down wondering how he was going to do it. At the top, there is a big sign that outlines some rules (like you must wear a helmet), but better yet, there are some tips, too. “Never ride outside your means” and “keep your body loose when you ride” were two important ones.
Daniel and my husband went down together the first time. He did it! When he got to the top, he said, “that was scary.” But then, he proceeded to go down again, and again and again. Each time, it was exhilarating, a bit scary, but he was so proud of himself, and so was I!
While Daniel was doing a basic ride down, there were also some young adults who were taking full advantage of the course with jumps and full speed.
To learn more, the Town of Kentville, in conjuction with Trail Flow, will be hosting several workshops. There will also be a series of races coming up, too!
If you are in the area and are looking for something new to try out, I would recommend going to the new 4X course in Kentville.