By Andrew Mitchell
While the B.C. mountain bike community keeps a close eye on
access issues that might arise on Crown land as a result of a provincial planning
process, the Whistler Off Road Cycling Association is stronger than ever
heading into its annual general meeting this Tuesday, Oct. 3.
From a numbers perspective, WORCA sponsored 24 Loonie Race
events this year, two more than the previous season, as well as provided
support and insurance for six Phat Wednesday Downhill Series races, the Ken
Quon Memorial “Ride On”, the West Side Wheel Up, the Samurai of Singletrack,
weekly Wild Willies rides, and several guided tours during the IMBA
Summit/World Mountain Bike Conference in June.
As well, WORCA hosted bi-monthly clinics for adults throughout
the summer, and ran three one-week mountain bike camps for youths in different
On the youth side, WORCA helped to organize the B.C. High
School Mountain Bike Championships in May, and provided the first annual WORCA
scholarship to former national cross-country and downhill champion Brook Baker.
The Lumpy Leidal award, presented every year to a young rider
based on enthusiasm, ability, and sportsmanship, went to provincial Under 15
downhill and cross-country champion Tyler Allison.
At the start of the season WORCA received a $34,000
grant-in-aid from the municipality to help support youth programs, as well as
the association’s trail maintenance activities in the valley — $10,000
more than the previous year. Some of that budget helped to subsidize a four-day
IMBA trail building clinic, which was attended by seven locals with an interest
in trail construction and maintenance.
With trail builder Chris Markle leaving Whistler the goal of
the clinic was to ensure that his skills were passed on and that trails always
meet the highest standards. Markle has built several trails over the years,
including Kill Me Thrill Me and Comfortably Numb, and has held the WORCA trail
maintenance contract three out of the last four years.
This year a substantial amount of volunteer and paid trail work
was completed on Cut Yer Bars, but dozens of trails around Whistler have been
upgraded and maintained with WORCA support.
On the advocacy front, WORCA has been involved in dozens of
development and land use discussions, maintaining the organizations “no net
loss” policy. Discussions include a possible reroute on Shit Happens around the
Rainbow development, and replacing sections of Train Wreck that will be
impacted by highway development next year.