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Trail Organizations Forced to Get Creative in COVID Times

Posted on Jul 08, 2020 by Danielle Baker

Words by Danielle Baker

With indoor recreation facilities and most organized sports cancelled for this spring and summer, trails in British Columbia have seen an explosion of users in the last few months. With the traditional mountain bike fundraising events usually held at this time of year also cancelled, trail organizations in the province are looking at new ways to support trail maintenance.

“COVID-19 has definitely increased trail usership by all groups, which is great, but our trails got pretty beat up,” says Julie Henderson, President of the Fraser Valley Mountain Bikers Association (FVMBA). “The trail usage tracking data on Trailforks shows that the Fraser Valley region alone had a 97% increase for the month of April from 2019 to 2020.”    

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With the long weekend coming up and the closure of many federal, provincial and municipal parks/facilities, we expect another influx in visitors who are looking to use the trails. As a result, you will likely not be the only one looking to get outside to take advantage of the nice weather and time off. Unfortunately, this also means that it will be difficult, if not impossible, to meet social distancing requirements. While we cannot prevent, nor do we want to prevent, the public from accessing the mountains or trails, we are asking everyone to make responsible choices for the health and safety of the communities that you're looking to visit. Please stay local. #nocar #notfar #nognar Stay safe and happy holidays to you and yours. Sincerely, Julie Henderson President FVMBA #fvmba #trails #mountainbike #bikes #community #thankyou #fraservalley #mtb #covid_19 #stayhome

A post shared by FVMBA (@fvmba) on Apr 9, 2020 at 11:45am PDT

Fundraising Alternatives 

Most mountain bike organizations would have already run races as revenue generators by this time of year. Events such as the Vedder Mountain Classic in the Fraser Valley; the Rusty Chain Poker Ride in Terrace; the first stops of the Island Cup Race Series on Vancouver Island; and many more have all been cancelled. 

For locations like Terrace, the lack of fundraising and trail work events is especially problematic. “We have a much shorter riding and building season than places like the Sea to Sky,” explains Aleksa Havelaar, Trails Director and Vice-President, Terrace Off-Road Cycling Association (TORCA North), “so to have the pandemic hit right when we would nor

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While we can't start the Fiver Series as anticipated this year, we've been cooking up a great alternative! Mark your calendars because NEXT WEEK we're kicking off our new Virtual Strava Challenge series. Every two weeks we will give you two challenges to choose from. You have 1 week to complete the challenge to be entered to win awesome prizes. Stay tuned for Monday, June 29th for the announcement of the first set of challenges. ⁠ ⁠ RULES:⁠