March 2012 Newsletter

2011 – It Was A Blast

First things first, A big shout out to all those who supported us in 2011!

To the local bike shops who provide us with much needed financial support, awesome prizes and run the after-party portion of our Toonie Rides; Sovereign Cycle, Outbound Cycle, Chainline Cycle, Cyclepath, Kelowna Cycle, Fresh Air Experience/Fresh Air Concept, and Union Cycle. Thanks for the support, wicked shwag, cold beer and tasty burgers! We owe you more than we could ever give back!

To our loyal membership who felt a need to put forward their hard earned cash and lend their free-time to support the clubs efforts.  Thank you for the blood sweat and tears you put into trail days. Thank you for riding the local trails hard and as often as you could. Thank you for attending our toonie races and making them so much damn fun. Most of all, thank you for motivating us to keep this ship afloat!

The last year was a rocky one for MTBco. We owe apologies to our sponsors and to our members for lack of communication, for dropping the ball on some initiatives and for generally not living up to even our own expectations. We’ve made some mistakes but overall we’ve learnt and are striving forward. MTBco accomplished a lot In 2011, The following is just a highlight:

  • Held 9 Shop Toonie Rides with an average attendance of 25+ riders
  • Supported trail days on all major local trail networks
  • Aided MTBco member trail builders in the re-opening of some neglected local trails
  • Renegotiated the Bike Park contract allowing MTBco members greater freedom to build and maintain the park.
  • Represented the mountain bike community at city planning meetings regarding the new Knox mountain management plan.
  • Increased our membership over past seasons, fostering a growth of the Kelowna mountain bike community.
  • Continued to work towards the Section 57 approval of local trail networks.
  • Began talks with Tourism Kelowna and the Mountain Bike Tourism Association to begin to promote Kelowna as a riding destination.
  • Re-opened communication with FOSS in regards to maintaining the Crawford riding area.

2012 – To Infinity and Beyond

On Wednesday, February 22nd we held our annual AGM. We would like to thank everyone that attended! Ideas where tossed about, slideshows were presented, coffee and cookies were consumed and everyone left with a positive outlook for MTBco in 2012! Our general membership provided lot’s of input and the executive promises to take your suggestions to heart. Speaking of the executive, the board of directors for 2012 is as follows:

  •  President – Brian McClelland
  •  Vice President – Geoff Jukema
  •  Secretary – Justin Darbyshire (Jay Darby)
  •  Treasurer/Membership director – Andrew Mcintosh
  •  Trail Development Director – Jeff Rempel
  •  Bike Park Director – Eric Rosswell

Some of our goals for 2012 are:

  • – Build upon the success of past toonie rides by increasing rider attendance
  • Secure support from the RDCO, The District of West Kelowna and The City of Kelowna in our bid to achieve Section 57 approval for local trail networks.
  • Adopt one of the premier trails within Myra-Bellvue provincial park and through a 3 year plan revitalize it as a showpiece of Okanagan riding.
  • Work towards securing grant funds to install a sprinkler system at the bike park and to expand its features.
  • Continue to be the voice of the mountain bike community through communication with local and regional governments.
  • Increase our membership and continue to foster the growing mountain bike community of  the central Okanagan.
  • With support of Tourism Kelowna begin to develop strategic partnerships with the tourism industry.
  • Become a more open and vocal organization communicating better with our members, sponsors and other organizations.
  • Develop partnerships with other regional trail advocacy groups and cycling organizations.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, there is always more to be done. At our AGM we had to answer for some of our shortcomings and we aim to fix those. That will be a large part of our efforts for 2012. We encourage anyone who wishes to volunteer or contribute to get in contact with us through email. We can be reached by emailing [email protected]. This is a direct line to all of us at once!

Upcoming Events

The season will be starting off with our Bike Park Opening and a Season Opener Party. Then we will be diving in to our Toonie rides and Trail Days. There will most likely be 8 shop supported toonie rides this year and at least three scheduled Trail Days on Hillbilly. We will be hosting a couple Bike Park Maintenance days that will be scheduled by our bike park director Eric.

Our preliminary 2012 event schedule is as follows (Subject to Change):

18-Mar Bike Park Opening
30-May Toonie Ride 1
13-Jun Toonie Ride 2
27-Jun Toonie Ride 3
11-Jul  Toonie Ride 4
25-Jul  Toonie Ride 5
8-Aug  Toonie Ride 6
15-Aug Toonie Ride 7
29-Aug Toonie Ride 8

TBD  Season Opener Party
TBD  Hillbilly Trail Day X3
TBD  Install signage at Crawford (In Partnership With FOSS)
TBD  Bike Park Maintenance Days

Trail News

Knox Mountain Closures

In the fall of last year MTBco sat in on stakeholder meetings with the City of Kelowna related to the the development of a new management plan for Knox Mountain. A large part of this plan is to rehabilitate the natural landscape back to a more pristine environment. This will involve a number of impacts to mountain biking within the park. There are going to be multiple trail closures, trail re-routes and new trail construction. MTBco would like to request our membership to respect the cities plans for Knox mountain by obeying posted trail closures and by utilizing only those trails designated for cycling once the new trails and signage are in place. It is important that as a community we work with the city in regards to Knox mountain as it will benefit and progress our relationship with them into the future. They are going to be an important partner in helping us to protect the other trail systems within the valley that are larger and are in immediate risk.

Powers Creek

MTBco and local trail builders were recently contacted by regional forestry officials regarding the trail network and man made structures that exist within the Powers Creek area. Apparently, public complaints about the trails and structures were filed by local individuals. These complaints have led to government officials wanting to dismantle the constructed elements and remediate the trails to a natural state. This would lead to the permanent closure of a riding area that is popular and well known. The powers creek area was developed almost solely by one individual who has spent countless hours and invested large amounts of personal finances into the trail network and structures. MTBco currently has an application in with the provincial government to make the Gillard area an official trail system. Powers Creek/Smith Creek was the second network that we wished to apply to have sectioned off as an official trail network. Currently we are in contact with local and regional officials and are attempting to have the proposed destruction of the Powers Creek area halted so that we have time to alleviate any concerns of the officials and file an application in due course to have the area transferred to legal trail status. The last thing MTBco wants to see is the destruction of trail networks laboured on by our builders and loved by our riders. If you wish to lend us a hand emails of support are always fuel for the fire. Feel free to send emails [email protected] outlining your passion for the Powers Creek area. Encourage your friends to do the same. Please put “Powers Creek” in the subject line and try to be positive and to the point when writing.

Reader Submissions

Throughout the season we are going to be accepting submissions from our membership  to be featured within this section of our newsletter. Please feel free to forward any stories, trail reports, mountain biking news or general interest articles to [email protected] and you may find your article in our next newsletter!!

In Memorial: Paul Edgar

Recently MTBco received a donation from an individual in memorial of Paul Edgar. Paul was a local rider known to many who passed away in 2011. He had a passion for mountain-biking eclipsed by few and unlike most, the skill to match it. It was suggested by his next of kin that donations to MTBco in his name would be a way to memorialize him by helping our organization promote and protect trails that he used to shred.

Remember to always pin it like its your last and raise a glass after for the fallen riders!

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