Beginners the focus of Revelstoke Cycling Association efforts in 2017

RCA building adaptive trail, pump track and skills area at Mount Macpherson, extending Frisby Ridge trail this summer.

Riders make their up way the Frisby Ridge trail

The Revelstoke Cycling Association is building a trail for adaptive mountain bikers this summer alongside a new pump track, skills area and green trails at Mount Macpherson.

“It’s a wider trail and easier gradient that will allow adaptive riders in specially designed off-road bikes or wheelchairs to ride and enjoy this trail,” said Matt Yaki, a director with the RCA, at the club’s membership night last week.

The trail is part of an effort by the RCA to make the Mount Macpherson network friendlier to beginners. The 1.3-kilometre loop trail will be located at the Griffith Creek parking lot next to a small pump track and a bike skills area with small drops, skinnies and other features.

“There’s not many mountain bike communities in B.C. you don’t have a pump track and skills park at, so it’s about time to get that going,” said Yaki.

The RCA unveiled its plans at its annual membership night at the Powder Springs last Wednesday, April 12. The group saw a big turnover last fall with the election of five new board members and a restructuring of its committees. There is now one trail committee instead of separate cross-country and downhill groups, and a new committee focused on memberships and fundraising (Disclosure: The author is a member of this committee).

“We all think with the direction mountain biking is going, a lot of people are riding Macpherson and Boulder and Frisby. It just made sense,” said Yaki, on amalgamating the trail committees.

The club is bringing in Mark Wood of the Northshore Trail Builders Academy to give a trail building course to trail committee members and local BC Wildfire crew leaders. Yaki said the goal is to save money by elevating the RCA’s volunteer trail-building capacity. “That core group of builders will be educated and experienced and we can all get together and build trail,” he said.

The RCA’s biggest project this year is to complete the work to repair and extend the Frisby Ridge trail that began last year. Frisby Ridge is Revelstoke’s signature mountain bike trail, but it was badly damaged by a mixture of heavy rains and heavy crowds in September 2015.

Work to repair the damage was mostly completed last summer and this year crews will be going up the ridge to extend the alpine epic by another seven kilometres and connect it to the Ultimate Frisby downhill trail. Once completed, Frisby Ridge will feature 25 kilometres of trail that descends 1,500 metres from the alpine to the valley.

There are also plans to build new beginner trails at Macpherson that will make it easier to access the existing ones like Toad School and Dusty Beaver.

There are no major plans for Boulder Mountain.

The RCA is also wrestling with the ongoing logging at Mount Macpherson. The area around the TNT trail was harvested last fall and more logging is planned for this year to deal with a Douglas-fir beetle outbreak.

Yaki said the RCA is looking at other options to deal with the infestation. “The RCA is trying to push the envelope of are you sure this is the best practice and what else can we think about doing,” he said.

Plans are underway to develop a second trail network on the east side of the valley around the existing Mount Cartier trail. “The idea is to push our emphasis of trail building to that side of the valley and build a whole new trail network on the Cartier to RMR area,” said Yaki.

Twelve races are planned for this year — four cross-country, four downhill and four enduro. Each one will cost $5 and only RCA membership will be required to enter.