The founding members of the Whistler Off Road Cycling Association (WORCA) were presented with the inaugural Cheaky Awards on Sept. 23 at the BrewHouse.
The Cheaky awards were created by Cheakamus Challenge race organizer Grant Lamont to recognize the often behind-the-scenes contributions that members of the mountain bike community make to raising the profile of the sport in the Sea to Sky area.
Those founding WORCA members are Eric Wight, Vincent Massey, Paul Rawlinson, Charlie Doyle, Richard Kelly and Bob Eakins. They each received a personalized mug that will be left at the BrewHouse bar, a $100 gift certificate to the BrewHouse, and a picture on the new Mountain Bike Wall of Fame at the BrewHouse.
"These guys are not glory hounds," says Lamont. "Theyre all good, grounded individuals who have been at it for a long time. These guys contributed a lot."
WORCA started back in 1989 when B.C. Parks made the Singing Pass Trail off-limits to mountain bikes. "The main focus back then was access," says Lamont.
The first step in protecting trails was to identify them. Lamont and Doyle put together the first guide book in the valley to show cyclists how to get to the trails. "A lot of private land owners didnt like that, but that was our focus."
The WORCA Loonie races also helped, bringing people to the trails and leading the community to take an interest in keeping them open.
"Its easy to get people out to ride their bikes and eat for two bucks, but the trail building and access side of things is more what we should be focusing on as a community right now," Lamont says. "These guys are the reason we have that community.
"When youre building a wall of fame like were doing at the BrewHouse and were going to be awarding six different spots each year you start with a foundation, and for me the foundation of WORCA is these six guys.
"Some people might get bent out of shape because theres no girls in there, but you have to remember that there werent any girls in Whistler back then," Lamont jokes.