It was nearly 1 year ago that unsafe features were assessed and removed from Mary Jane, Flow Show, and The Simple Life. Let’s preface this by saying: feature removal is not something anyone at the NMBC enjoys doing, especially because we enjoy riding the features too. That said, many of the features removed were rotten and structurally compromised, while others were simply poorly constructed and not up to the safety standards required by landowners. All of this comes down to safety and fulfilling our duty of care to prevent hospital visits resulting from compromised and unsafe structures. What makes this situation extra challenging, is that these trails are on crown land and the NMBC doesn’t have the required permissions to manage them, much less replace the rotten features that require removal. This post will provide more context on that issue.
Fast forward 1 year to today and progress has been made, but it has and will continue to take time.
A Task Force Has Been Formed
In January, a task force of appointed community members was created to conduct a trail assessment and plan for future upgrades, which includes feature replacements, reroutes, water management, and improved flow. This task force consists of members from the NMBC trail committee, mountain bike coaches, engaged freeriders, and some of the original builders of the trails.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what’s been done so far and what needs to be done next:
- Remove compromised / unsafe structures ✅
- Apply for a Letter of Understand with Rec Sites & Trails ✅
- Complete a trail assessment and create a plan for future upgrades. – In Progress
- Consult with Snuneymuxw regarding the trails in and around the area.
- Submit assessment and plan to Rec Sites & Trails, along with an application to officially manage the trail.
- Source funding for this project. The materials and professional time needed for this project will be substantial.
- Once the permissions are granted from the landowner, construction can begin.
- The long-term vision for this set of trails is to maintain its current casual freeride aesthetic while adhering to Rec Sites & Trails trail guidelines. The vision includes adding more jumps, moving existing gaps away from road crossings, rehabilitating existing drops, adding a skills area, adding reroutes and berms to improve flow, and skinnies lower down where the grade tapers off. This of course is all contingent on landowner approval.
- This will be a multi-year project unless we are able to source significant grant funding to contract the project to a professional once all approvals are in place.
- Like all projects, this one will be an iceberg. A great deal of work needs to happen before shovels can hit the ground. So while you may not visually see changes on the trail for quite some time, we are working as quickly as we can (within our volunteer capacity) to make this happen for our community.