As the winter draws to a close, some Revelstokians will be trading in their skis for bikes, and the Revelstoke Cycling Association (RCA) is ready to welcome everyone back to the trails.
The Revelstoke Cycling Association (RCA) are stewards for the incredible mountain biking trails that surround the community. Although the double-digit temperatures haven’t graced the forecast, the bicycle-clad vehicles around town suggest that some residents have already turned their attention to two wheels. This season, the RCA are back with volunteer events, competitions, and a project that local riders have been demanding for some time. RCA Executive Director Alex Cooper talked about what the biking season will look like for the RCA.
“I think the most exciting thing that’s happening at the RCA this year is we’re building a climb trail on Boulder Mountain,” said Cooper.
For years riders have complained about, sought, and petitioned for an up-track on Boulder Mountain.
“It’s definitely been something that’s been asked for by our members for a few years. So, we’re excited that we finally get to build it.”
In its absence riders have had to ride up along a hectic logging road, making for an unsafe commute to the top. In the mid-summer the road ride also leaves the riders no cover, which means the ride is also extremely hot.
Without a trail some riders would shuttle the mountain, which only contributed to more traffic on the road.
“I think having a climb trail that will get people off the road, both bikers and hopefully some shuttlers, will also choose to pedal now that there’s a better option for climbing,” said Cooper.
Cooper said the new climb trail will be built by an outside contractor, and the RCA hopes to have it complete before the end of the summer.
What’s coming back
The RCA will be bringing back their Fiver series races for members. Returning with three categories: cross country, sponsored by Skookum, downhill sponsored by Tantrum; and enduro sponsored by Flowt. The first of the Fiver races is scheduled to be an enduro race near the end of May.
“Exact dates will kind of vary depending on what trails are open to that time,” said Cooper.
The plan is to have three races in each category over the course of the season.
Cooper stressed that having volunteers for events makes all the difference. More volunteers help make the events run smoothly, but they also help attract bigger events by ensuring that Revelstoke has the capacity to host.
The Canadian Enduro League will also be returning at the end of June, bringing lots of riders to the area.
“There’ll be over possibly over 200 racers coming on Boulder,” said Cooper.
The RCA said the event is exciting and tough for the racers, and a treat to watch for spectators.
“I think it brings a lot of exposure to our trails and brings a lot of people here to ride,” said Cooper.
The other two big races for the riding season are the Women’s Enduro and the Revy 50 which will return this year.
Show me the money
With events like the Canadian Enduro League (CEL) set to return to Revelstoke, the RCA is acutely aware of the extra wear that the event will have on the trails. At the request of the RCA, the CEL competitors will all have to become members of the RCA, including paying the $40 membership fee.
“That funding can go back into doing maintenance on boulder after the event,” said Cooper.
The membership fees are key to the RCA’s projects, which was Cooper’s main reminder to locals for the season.
“It’s really good value. It helps support our trail programs. It gets you access to our Fiver races and any of our volunteer events and generally it just supports having all these amazing trails around Revelstoke,” said Cooper.
Apart from the financial benefit to the RCA, having strong membership numbers help them when applying for grants, making requests for future trail building, and demonstrates the support that mountain biking has in the community.
To become a member visit the Revelstoke Cycling Association website. Volunteer opportunities can also be found on the website, or by emailing email@example.com.