Comox Valley & Vancouver Island mountain bikers looking for another challenge after the recent 12 Hours of Cumberland and Coal Town Classic races can mark June 26 on their calendars. That’s when the Dodge City Enduro will take place on the trails of Cumberland.
Invented in France 11 years ago as a “middle ground” between downhill and cross-country racing, an enduro race involves timed downhill sections and untimed climbs spread out over several stages.
“The rider with the fastest combined time over all the stages wins,” explains Mike Manara, president of the United Riders of Cumberland (UROC), which is hosting the event. “This is the type of riding most of us do here in Cumberland – we climb up and rip down. If you’re like most of us and can only afford one bike in the garage, it’s likely suited to this kind of race.”
The 2016 Dodge City Enduro will be comprised of four timed stages, each covering a selection of Cumberland’s world-class network of singletrack. Between stages, riders will traverse the terrain that has made Cumberland mountain biking famous via logging roads and cross-country trails; the total race will cover approximately 23 kilometres.
Plate pick up begins at 9 a.m. at the Cumberland Village Park, with racing getting underway at 11 a.m. Riders can register online at www.islandcupseries.com; various categories will be tailored toward beginner, advanced and expert riders, with separate divisions for male and female competitors. On the up side, the $50 entrance fee includes pulled pork sandwiches from UROC gold sponsor the Waverley Hotel; on the down side, the event is limited to the first 140 riders, so register now.
The United Riders of Cumberland is a non-profit society that promotes and supports the Comox Valley mountain bike community through trail building and advocacy, volunteerism, promotion of the sport and fundraising. UROC wishes to send a huge shout out to all of its sponsors, including 2016 platinum sponsors Can West Mechanical, Dodge City Cycles, Mountain City Cycle, Trail Bicycles and Riding Fool Hostel.
We are very excited to announce that, following a three-year hiatus, the Mount Washington Bike Park will reopen this summer for lift-accessed mountain biking!
With the support of our new owners, Pacific Group Resorts ULC, the decision to reintroduce the Bike Park is the first step in our long-term summer development plan. We’ll be investing approximately $250,000 into the Park this year, with enhancements each year thereafter.
15-year Mount Washington veteran and Snow School Director, Mike Manara, will be our Bike Park Manager, taking the lead on the planning and development of the trail system. He is one of the founding board members as well as the current president of the United Riders of Cumberland. He also sat on the Mountain Bike Tourism board and has been an integral part of the planning and maintenance of the Cumberland trail system for the last 15 years.
The Bike Park will have trail offerings for all ability levels, from never-evers to advanced freeriders. Our goal is to take the fun and relaxed feel of the local valley trails and bring them up to mountain, and we’ll be looking to partner with the riding community to help make that happen.
We’re in the planning stages right now so the trail building will take place as soon as the snow melts. With a quickly-eroding snow base, we anticipate having the park operational in early to mid-July. Stay tuned for regular updates on our progress, along with details of opening dates and pricing.
We can’t wait to see you all back up here this summer!
Cumberland, BC – The United Riders of Cumberland (UROC), Village of Cumberland, TimberWest Forest Corp., and Hancock Forest Management are excited to announce that a land access agreement has been reached to formally allow non-motorized recreation on private managed forest lands adjacent to the Village of Cumberland.
This progressive and multi-faceted agreement not only authorizes public recreation on private and public forest lands south of the Village, but gives the private landowners the opportunity to better communicate and manage risks associated with people recreating on their land.
“This agreement represents the collective efforts of all parties involved and demonstrates what can be achieved through collaboration,” said Mike Manara, UROC President. “I am proud of the UROC board for their dedication to this project and the commitment to making mountain biking a legitimate industry in our community. We are stoked to put Cumberland and our amazing trails on the map! I would also like to thank the Village of Cumberland for their support in this endeavour, as well as all the volunteers that have contributed to our trail network over the years – you know who you are and we thank you!”
“Completion of this project is a very positive step,” said Domenico Iannidinardo, Chief Forester and VP Sustainability for TimberWest. “Years in the making, this agreement provides for legitimate access to mountain bikers and recreationists to enjoy a series of trails over multiple ownerships. Much credit must go to UROC and the Village of Cumberland for their efforts in bringing this agreement together.”
“Hancock Forest Management endeavors to give back to the communities that surround our managed forest lands and a Trails Agreement gives us an opportunity to do that,” said Matthew Merritt, Forester for Hancock Forest Management. “We are excited to move forward, working with the bike club to ensure a safe and sustainable use of the Valley’s resources.”
For the Village of Cumberland, the agreement helps to move forward Council’s goal of improving recreation opportunities in the community.
“Trails mean so much to our community from both a quality of life perspective, as well as an economic driver,” said Mayor Leslie Baird. “The parties know that working forests and trail-based recreational can be compatible land uses and that everybody – including residents of the Village – will benefit from this collaborative agreement.”
Under the terms of the agreement, UROC will take on key trail management and maintenance responsibilities for the approximately 70km Cumberland trail network, while also continuing to work in partnership with local trail builders and other stakeholders. UROC will be working closely with the Village of Cumberland and private landowners on several trail infrastructure projects, including new trailhead information kiosks and the replacement of bridges over important stream crossings. Next up, UROC will be completing an inventory of the trail network to determine trail maintenance priorities and confirming trail difficulty ratings.
Over time visitors to the area can expect to see upgraded trail signage, improved route information, and consistent and proactive trail maintenance.
• The United Riders of Cumberland is a Cumberland-based registered society that organizes events, group rides and other activities for mountain bikers of all ages and advocates for trails on behalf of all users. UROC requests that all trail users consider becoming members of the organization to assist the club in its new role in trail management. Check out www.unitedridersofcumberland.com for more info, or search them on Facebook for updates and trail notices.
• TimberWest is Western Canada’s largest private timberland company with 325,400 hectares / 804,200 acres on Vancouver Island and leads the coastal industry in the growing and harvesting of second-growth timber. The Company is a leader in sustainable forest management and is committed to Vancouver Island communities.
• Hancock Forest Management manages timberlands for large private investors. Hancock Forest Management is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hancock Natural Resource Group (HNRG), providing property management services for HNRG investor-owned properties. The Company manages nearly 6.8 million acres of timberland globally. In the Northwest Division, Hancock manages land in Washington, Oregon, California and British Columbia.
• The Village of Cumberland will continue to maintain trail management responsibilities for trails in the Cumberland Community Forest, Coal Creek Historic Park and other Village parks and trails with the support of UROC and other stakeholders. UROC will take on primary trail management responsibilities on the 193 ha of Village-owned lands in the Perseverance and Cumberland Creek watersheds.
A process which began almost 8 years ago has succeeded in the first comprehensive land use agreement on Vancouver Island. Historically eastern Vancouver Island was granted to Robert Dunsmuir for the creation of the E&N Railway.
Many hands later private forest land dominates the hills behind many island communities. The United Riders of Cumberland with assistance from the Village of Cumberland drafted an agreement with Timberwest and Hancock Forest Management which may become a guideline for other recreation groups on Vancouver Island.
More details to come shortly, but we would like to congratulate the UROC board on this great step forward.
Trails are open! Please read the attached notification regarding the re-opening of the trail network and active hauling operations. Drought codes remain high and fire risk remains elevated, please be diligent and respect current conditions. PLEASE SHARE THE TRAIL LOVE!! Happy Trails!
Some of Vancouver Island’s best mountain bikers will descend on the Comox Valley this month as Cumberland hosts two Island Cup races that also promise to attract a strong contingent of local riders.
Elite cross-country riders, as well as amateurs, kids and weekend warriors, will test their mettle on Sunday, April 12 at the Cumberland XC, hosted by the United Riders of Cumberland (UROC). The third race of the Island Cup XC series and Cumberland’s first race of the season, the Cumberland XC will feature a great new course for racers, as well as a fun supervised group ride for children.
The Cumberland XC is open to riders of all ages and abilities and starts at noon on April 12, with check-in by 10 a.m. at Cumberland Village Park.
A week later, on April 19, downhillers will get the chance to showcase their skills at the Dodge City DH, the only downhill race on the Island this year. Like the XC event, the Dodge City DH is hosted by UROC and is open to riders of all ages and abilities, although full-face helmets are mandatory for all racers. This year’s race features an updated course and a single crown fork category. The race starts at 1 p.m. on April 19, with shuttles and sign-in beginning at 9 a.m. at Cumberland’s Chinese Heritage Park.
Participants of both events will be treated to a well-deserved free barbecue, and all riders will have a chance to win several sponsor-donated prizes. Registration is $30 for the XC race and $50 for the DH. Riders under 12 can participate in either event for free.
From Timberwest and the Village of Cumberland came the following notice.
Important Trail Notice!
Due to slope stability and public safety concerns Bear Buns trail in the Cumberland network are CLOSED until further notice.
Please obey all posted signage and respect closures. The Village and United Riders of Cumberland are working with the private landowner and will share more information as it becomes available.
The Comox Valley Echo also ran an article this week which highlighted the source of concern over the safety of users near Perseverance Creek.
Regional district staff produced photos and graphs that showed vast changes in the watershed, including significant riverbank shifts along a tributary to Perseverance Creek and the turbidity abnormality tracked in October and December at the CVRD chlorination station.
Going back, this is the major slide view during the rain storm of December 9th, 2014 which is the likely cause of much headache for the Comox Valley water users.
It has also deposited a significant amount if debris downstream of the slide and upstream of the Sykes Bridge, leaving it a safety risk for all users crossing during water runoff events.
Please respect the warnings by local officials so we can make sure this area is usable for years to come.