A Spring Message from the Trail Maintenance Director

Hello Trail Loving Folks

When I first took this “job” a few years ago, after welcoming me warmly, local builders Dave Reid and Ted Tempany told me that it was the most difficult job on the SORCA board. Yes, there are challenges, but don’t underestimate the chaos that a pre-race frog migration, a misunderstood newspaper article or discussions with disgruntled stakeholders can add to some of our other  volunteer board member’s week as well! Not only has this role has enabled me to perfect my spelling of the word ‘main-ten-ance’ but also allowed me to work with many of the wonderful  people who have and continue to make Squamish such a great place to ride bikes — thanks y’all.

Your trail dollars, our corporate donations, and grants have now allowed us to invest in more than 1050 hours of paid hand work on the trails so far this year and its only going to ramp up from here with the addition of summer students and more than 4000 hours budgeted by the end of the year.

In the past two months the trail crew has been all over town doing work on more than 20 trails including:

Brushing: Recycle, Spencer’s, Riverside Trail, Cherry Drive Entrance, Legacy Climb, Lowdown
Drainage and Dirt work: Mcleod, East Infection, Hybrid, Pseudo, Credit Line, Cliffs Corners, Rupert. Lowdown
Woodwork Repair and Replacement: The Convenant, Coho Park Trail, Somewhere Over There, Labour of Love
Reroutes / Rebuilds: Hoods in the Woods, Somewhere Over There

(cont’d below)

Somewhere Over There transition woodwork with wonderful trail Fairy Mr Hairy Scary Gary

Shoring up bridge transitions on the graduate – efforts to make valleycliffe not uphill both ways have been futile.

Somewhere Over There Reroute, but watch out for the tree roots. This trail is on the Squamish 50 run course and helps keep runners off the long foot catching bridge – it also just happens to be pretty sweet to ride.

Cherry Dr entrance to VC, you can still play unintended games of ‘Chicken’ if you like but now you’ll just have to close your eyes

Rupert Surgery – way cheaper than the Vet and we use more rebar.

Coho Park Bridge Handrail/Beer can shuffleboard fix

A lot of this work you might not otherwise notice, unless it doesn’t get done. It’s not all sexy, but then again, neither is my seven-year old bike and the way I ride it. We’ve also had a lot of other wins this spring including:

  • A community grant from BC Hydro to upgrade the trail crew’s chainsaw training
  • 5 Amazingly attended trail days thanks to great sponsors
  • Working with Joyride Bike Parks Building road transitions an upgrading the lower sections of Meadow of the Grizzly
  • Donated Health and Safety Review from Pulse Human Resources
  • Successful Canada Summer Jobs Grant
  • The prettiest little truck you ever did see donated by Greg Gardiner GM for the crew to use this summer.
  • Planned major maintenance projects on lower Diamond Head for the late summer / fall that we are bringing our friends with Dream Wizards in to take on (more on these next time)

(cont’d below)

A solid crew out on Hoods Trail Night  – now more jumps per foot of trail than anywhere else in Squamish.

Diamond Head Trail Day –  we split up into small groups and did some divide and conquering throughout Diamond Head. Thanks to all the experienced builders who came out to lead groups.

Mid trail functional art installations. @joyridebikeparks @jacksutter photo.

Thanks Greg Gardiner GM for the Wheels. We can wait until next year for air conditioned seats.

As it always has, this trail network needs the help of everyone to keep it running as smooth as a porcupine’s back. Thanks to all of the SORCA members who are trail builders and maintainers out there doing their part, this has always been a volunteer driven community and needs to continue this way.

So how can YOU help? With a trail network of this magnitude we can’t be everywhere. We rely on reports on Trailforks, and the SORCA Trail Maintenance FB Page to guide much of our work. In the interest being as cost-efficient as possible, the trail crew is generally not out walking between downed trees, volunteers have always done the lions share of this work which is wonderful. Brushing, raking and clearing drainages are other great ways to give back to the trails. Questions? get in touch – [email protected] and we can help guide you on your way.

If you hadn’t noticed, a lot of people really love these trails, they are why so many of us live in this little(ish) town. This passion is what has driven trail builders, advocates, weekly event organizers and sponsors to create a place we can all be proud of.   I’ve worked hard to build consensus between the riding community and trail builders who are out there actively maintaining trails on as many trail projects as I can, but it is impossible to please everyone all the time. The diversity of trails in Squamish is one of the things that make it a very special place to ride bikes, my overarching goal is to keep it that way.

I give this role a ton of my time and attention; it takes between 10 and 30 hours of free time a week, every week, and deservedly so, thanks to everyone who have been supportive thus far. Want to see more of what we are doing? head on over to the @squamishbikes instagram account where there are less words and more photos.

Thanks to Andrew, James, Will, Dan and now Tobin for your hard work out there. Keep at it.

Jeff Norman

Trail Maintenance Director

 

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