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WORCA releases annual membership survey


According to the most recent survey, the average member of the Whistler Off Road Cycling Association rides a lot, likes to race for social reasons, and is reasonably well off. He or she is also approaching or well into the middle age bracket, and spends a fair amount of time on Cut Yer Bars and A River Runs Through It.

The board of directors of WORCA uses the survey to get a sense of who their members are and where they would like to see the organization put its resources. It also gives WORCA an idea which trails to devote time and energy to.

According to the survey, 43 per cent of WORCA?s 583 members ride two or three times a week, while 39 per cent ride four or more times. Only 18 per cent could only make it out once or twice a week.

The lion?s share of members, some 58 per cent, joined WORCA to participate in Loonie races. Fourteen per cent joined WORCA to support trail maintenance, while 28 per cent said they joined to support cycling in the community.

Although the majority of members joined to participate in Loonie races, 66 per cent of race participants take part because they see it as a social activity. Some 29 per cent take part for fitness and training, and to improve their skills, while only 5 per cent take part for the sake of competition.

A full 78 per cent of members live in Whistler, with the remaining membership divided between Pemberton (7 per cent), the Lower Mainland (7 per cent), Squamish (4 per cent), and other (4 per cent).

In terms of annual income, 34 per cent of WORCA members make between $35,000 and $50,000 while 26 per cent make more than $75,000. Fourteen per cent make between $26,000 and $35,000, 12 per cent make $50,000 to $75,000, 12 per cent make less than $26,000 and two per cent don?t make anything at all (e.g. students).

The average age of members makes the incomes a little easier to understand. The majority of respondents, 26 per cent were between the ages of 41 and 49. Another 25 per cent were 36 to 40, 25 per cent were 31 to 35, 14 per cent were 25 to 30, 5 per cent were 19 to 24, and 5 per cent were 50 and over. About 61 per cent of members are male.

In terms of trail popularity, by area, the west side trails were preferred by 37 per cent of riders. Another 28 per cent preferred the Interpretive Forest and Function Junction, 19 per cent preferred Emerald, and 16 per cent preferred the bike park and village areas.

For the first time ever, WORCA also conducted detailed trail counts on three of the more popular and accessible trails in Whistler: Cut Yer Bars, A River Runs Through It, and Foreplay.

The trail counters used can?t distinguish between hikers and cyclists, and can register the same person as two hits if they pass the counter twice, and therefore the numbers are inexact.

From May 26 to July 26, 7,425 people used Cut Yer Bars, or an average of 117 people per day on average.

Foreplay, from July 29 to Sept. 23, saw 1,302 people, or 23 per day, taking into account that users come down by the same route they go up.

A River Runs Through it was the most popular trail, with 13,320 users between June 1 and Sept. 24 for an average of 115 per day.