By Sarah Norman
Published: Feb 28, 2017
2017 is a BIG year for Squamish Off-Road Cycling Association. We are celebrating our 25th Anniversary of trail advocacy, sustainability and fun events in Squamish. Over the past quarter century we’ve garnered quite a reputation for putting on some of epic (and fun) biking events in town. We’ve hosted hundreds upon hundreds of Toonie races, social rides and other special biking events.
SORCA also plays a really important role in our community. Squamish’s world-class trails increase the quality of life for people who live here, support our emerging rec-tech businesses, attract new residents to Squamish and grow a recreation-focused tourism industry. Squamish is now home to no less than fifteen different companies directly involved in the biking industry: ranging from PinkBike; the world’s largest mountain biking website, to bike component manufacturer OneUp Components.
SORCA’s 2017 resolutions:
Resolution #1: Build Squamish’s epic 20km bike loop: The biggest project we’ve ever undertaken is the Diamond Head Trail Project. We launched a very successful crowdfunding campaign last year to raise the funds to complete SORCA’s most ambitious trail project yet. 2017 will see us wrapping up the project and opening it to the public. Once completed, you’ll see 9km of new trail that features old growth forests, killer views and will link up with existing trails to form a massive 20km singletrack loop. We made great building progress during the torrential rains this fall and will have it open by the summer.
Resolution #2: Keep building new trails: On the new trail front, a few SORCA members have also embarked on a number of ambitious volunteer trail projects this year with new trails coming soon near Alice Lake, Alice Ridge and Debecks Hill. Stay tuned!
Resolution #3: A full time trail crew: Trail Maintenance is a big focus of what SORCA does, last year our trail crew was able to complete rebuilds of some of our more popular trails to make them sustainable and ride-able in wet conditions. The increased ridership of Squamish’s trail network over last few years has really taken its toll on the trails. SORCA volunteers manage a three-person trail maintenance crew that is funded through our trail pass and membership program and through a District of Squamish grant which is split between SDBA, STS and SORCA projects. Maintaining a nearly 200km trail network on the budget that we have is very difficult, and this year our goal is to work towards keeping the trail crew on full time.
Resolution #4: Protect our trails: Protection of trail network is also high on our priority list this year, especially given the numerous developments that have popped up around town. We have been approached by and are working with a handful of developers to ensure a number of Squamish trails are protected and maintained. It is our hope that we continue the dialogue with new developments that may have an effect on our trail network.
Resolution #5: Celebrate our 25th Anniversary by growing our membership: We’ll stick to our roots and ensure that there’s an awesome anniversary event planned this year to celebrate our 25 years. There is no better year to become a member and join in on the fun. We’ve got some awesome new events lined up this year, along with our usual bi-weekly Toonie Races and Social Rides. There really is something for every level of rider. Join us! Membership includes a trail pass and access to all of our fun events. Join now! http://www.sorca.ca/about/become-a-member/