The second annual Cumberland Fall Classic bike race celebrated another successful event earlier this month.
The fall classic, hosted by the United Riders of Cumberland (UROC) — Cumberland’s mountain bike club — is a fun fundraiser for the Cumberland Community Forest Society.
“This year’s event had over 60 riders and raised over $1,000 for the forest society,” said UROC president Mike Manara. “A big thanks goes to all UROC members and other riders for their participation in the bike race. We had riders as young as 10 ride the course this year, adding to the community atmosphere of the event.
“This is key event for UROC,” said Manara. “The Cumberland Community Forest Society has been working hard for many years to preserve land in and around the Village of Cumberland, which ultimately will help protect our trails.
“Many riders come to Cumberland believing that most of the trails are protected under the community forest. However, this is far from being the case.”
“Only a handful of our great riding trails fall within the current community forest boundary. The remainder of the trails are on private forest land, built with permission, but still subject to logging (as is readily evident) and other potential developments.”
UROC is also initiating a research project that would allow them to better understand the value and characteristics of mountain biking in the community.
“In addition to gaining a better understanding of the economic impact of mountain biking in Cumberland and the greater Comox Valley, this study has a number of benefits,” said Evan Loveless, who is organizing the research project for UROC.
“It will provide us with a better understanding of the characteristics of mountain biking in the area so we can work to develop better trails and supporting services.
“It will provide us with a better understanding of the demographics of mountain biking in our community, thus allowing us to target marketing activities to mountain bike tourists visiting our area. It will also assist us when dealing with local landowners when discussing future logging plans, trail development and land acquisitions.”
“A research project like this is an ambitious undertaking for a relatively small club like UROC”, said Manara. “But we are fortunate to have a wealth of talented and skilled people in our group and in Cumberland. We also have a great core of volunteers.
“UROC will also be partnering with local governments and potential funders to make the project a success, fulfilling all our goals.”
For more information about UROC, its events and its work, visit the club website. www.unitedridersofcumberland.com.
— United Riders of Cumberland