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Whistler's Off-Road Cycling Association launches season

Bike swap, trail sweep this weekend

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The Whistler Off-Road Cycling Association is getting the mountain bike season underway this Saturday, April 27 with their annual bike swap, a fundraiser for the association's youth programs.

The venue will be the same as the past few years, taking place at Whistler Olympic Plaza. The bike and equipment drop-off starts at 8:30 a.m. and the swap opens to the public at 10 a.m. The line-ups get longer every year, so get there early to get your first choice.

The cost of selling bikes and gear is $2 per item, and WORCA collects a commission of 15 per cent on the first $1,000 and 10 per cent on the balance.

Unsold equipment must be picked up between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Payments from WORCA will be available soon after the sale at a location to be announced.

Hosting this event takes a lot of volunteers. If you can help out, email info@worca.com and let them know your availability.

In recent years the event has raised roughly $12,000 for youth mountain biking, with funds supporting the Whistler Secondary School's team, keeping costs of summer Dirt Camps low and hosting youth toonie nights through the season.

Trail sweep on Sunday

Each year WORCA hosts a trail sweep day where volunteers walk popular bike trails and clear away fallen branches, loose rocks and other obstacles, and maybe help out with a larger project as well.

The first trail day of the season is on Sunday, April 28, meeting at Lot 4 at 9 a.m. Dress for the weather and bring loppers, hand saws, drain diggers, pulaskis, mattocks and water. Snacks will be provided.

There will also be a trail maintenance evening on Tuesday, May 7; meeting at 5:30 p.m. Additional trail days/evenings will be announced over the course of the season.

Volunteers that participate in at least three events will get an invite to WORCA's annual volunteer party at the end of the season.

Another way that people can support the trails this season is to purchase a Trail Pass sticker, which is available for $10 with a membership, or $15 as a standalone purchase. All of the proceeds will go towards the maintenance of trails.

Dirt Camp registration opening

Registration for WORCA's Dirt Camps gets underway at 8 p.m. on April 28 at www.worca.com. Each camp is capped at 31 riders and there will be a 5:1 coaching ratio. The camps run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday, or from Tuesday during holiday weeks. The cost is $320, with a $100 discount available for kids attending schools in Whistler and Pemberton.

For kids aged six to nine, there are camps from July 1 to 5, July 8 to 12, July 22 to 26, July 29 to Aug. 2, Aug. 12 to 16 and Aug. 19 to 23. Camps that will have splits for kids aged 10 to 12 and 13 to 15 take place July 15 to 19, Aug. 5 to 9 and Aug. 26 to 30.

Kids must be WORCA members to take part, and have a working bike with hand brakes and gears, plus helmet and gloves that fit, a hydration pack and basic cycling skills.

Special General Meeting set for May 2

In the fall, WORCA's board held a special general meeting to pass an amended constitution and bylaws, when they discovered that the previous bylaws had not been officially registered with the Provincial Registrar. The association worked with a lawyer to bring the organization up to date, and now a second special general meeting is required to pass the updated documents. The meeting takes place on Thursday, May 2 at 7:30 p.m., Lost Lake Passive House. The special resolutions are available online at www.worca.com.

Ride/race season to get underway

WORCA is hosting more than 30 events this season, including weekly Toonie Rides, Monday Night Rides, the Phat Wednesday Downhill Series with Whistler Blackcomb, at least two Enduro-style events and a women's only bike race following in the tracks of Betty vs. Veronica and Charlie's Angels.

The first Toonie Ride is scheduled for Thursday, May 9, meeting at Lost Lake Passive House. Sign-in is at 5:30 p.m. and the race gets underway at 6:30 p.m. Memberships are required to race. If you plan to sign up at the start, get there early - the first few races are always busy at the registration table. Online registration is also available at www.worca.com.

Races take place every Thursday through to the second week of September, plus a special Halloween ride on the last Thursday in October.

Monday night rides get underway on May 27, with options to ride with beginner, intermediate or advanced guides. It's a great way to practice skills and learn the trails, organized with Whistler Bike Co., Back in Action, Nesters Market and WORCA. Riders should meet at the Whistler Bike Co. in Whistler Village at 6 p.m. and be ready to ride at 6:30 p.m. sharp.

Details on the Phat Wednesday series, enduro races and women's event will be announced soon.

<p>WORCA assembling Ironman volunteer team

Ironman Canada is coming to Whistler and Sea to Sky, and organizers estimate they could need between 2,500 and 3,000 volunteers to support the race. To entice volunteers, race organizers will make cash donations to non-profits that provide groups of volunteers to the event.

WORCA is hoping to find at least 30 volunteers for the race, which will be tasked with the setting up and operating the Transition 2 area in Lot 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on a Thursday. The money will go towards WORCA's trail fund.

To volunteer, go to www.ironman.ca, click on "volunteers" and then "click here to volunteer." That will take you to page where you can click on a box for Transition 2 Set Up.

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