UROC blazing trails in Cumberland

United Riders of Cumberland at the vanguard of world-class mountain biking venue

THIS MOUNTAIN BIKER competed in an Island Cup cross-country race in Cumberland.

The United Riders of Cumberland (UROC) hosted the Island Cup XC and the Dodge City Downhill men’s bike race in April.

The latter drew 150-some competitors, the youngest five years old. The field included several national-calibre racers.

Established five years ago, UROC has a growing membership, which does not represent the number of trail users.

“We’re a group of 200; we can say we’re a group of 400,” said UROC board member member Matt Powsey, who lived in the village in 1993 when he and others started building trails. He and a friend started Dodge City Cycles.

“Mountain biking in Cumberland goes back many moons. In the winter of ’93/’94 me and a couple of guys started building the first trails on that north slope.”

One is called Buggered Pig, in reference to a piggery back in the day when Cumberland contained a Chinatown.

“There’s a lot of historical names in the trails,” Powsey said.

These include Haigai, which was the name of the main street in Chinatown; Bucket of Blood, named after the Wellington Hotel; Trail Tuna Juice, a nickname of a kid who delivered lunches in the mines; Bronco’s Perseverance, in reference to longtime mayor/alderman Bronco Moncrief; Shaker, built where Japanese shake mill lines were located; Black Hole, in reference to coal seams in a deep hole; and Steam Donkey.

“It’s pretty fantastic,” said Powsey, who feels mountain biking is the major draw to Cumberland. “There’s people coming on big vacations to ride British Columbia single track. They’re going to Whistler, Vancouver and Cumberland … Regardless of what anybody says, mountain biking has been the catalyst for what turned Cumberland around in terms of a thriving village.”

The club is in the initial stages of designing a jump park at Village Park, where they hope to break dirt in the fall.

UROC has entered a two-year agreement with the Village to work with staff on land access agreements with land owners. The Memo of Understanding will help the club to further promote mountain biking in Cumberland — and to further build a destination tourism product locally.

“There’s a real population to do that in Cumberland,” said UROC president Mike Manara, noting the village rivals the Sea to Sky corridor in terms of mountain biking, according to the Mountain Bike Tourism Association. “To be considered in that kind of league is pretty special.”

UROC youth memberships are available at Dodge City Cycles. All-mountain Mondays are for riders aged 11 to 17. There are also rides for women and beginners.

Check unitedridersofcumberland.com and Facebook for more information.

 

The next event is a 12-hour endurance race in June.

 

 

Just Posted

Comox Valley firefighters assist with wildfire effort

Four Courtenay firefighters are in Fort St. James helping with the fight… Continue reading

Woman rescued from Stotan Falls calling for safety measures

3L Developments did not comment on immediate plans to add safety precautions

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

More than 22,000 blood donors needed

Canadian Blood Services is urging Canadians to help meet patients’ needs this… Continue reading

Kiyoshi Kosky running for Courtenay City Council

I am Kiyoshi Kosky and am running in the upcoming Courtenay Municipal… Continue reading

Interim GoFundMe payments approved in Humboldt Broncos crash

$50,000 to be given to each of the 13 survivors and each family of the 16 people who died

Altidore nets 3 as Toronto drubs Whitecaps 5-2

Vancouver falls 7-4 on aggregate in Canadian Championship final

Ottawa intervenes to get B.C. ball player, 13, to Little League World Series

Before immigration issue was resolved, Dio Gama was out practicing the game he loves Wednesday

Pet goldfish invades small B.C. lake

Pinecrest Lake is located between Whistler and Squamish

Mounties deployed to help B.C. communities affected by wildfires

RCMP officers heading to places particularly within central, northern and southern B.C.

Quebec sets aside $900 million for companies hurt by U.S. tariffs

Premier Philippe Couillard says his government will make $863 million available over five years

B.C. company patents Sasquatch, the country’s first homegrown hops plant

Created by Hops Connect, Sasquatch hops are being grown commercially for the first time in B.C.

Farmers ponder impact of alternatives to pesticides being banned

The nicotine-based pesticides scientists have linked to a rising number of honey bee deaths will be phased out of use in Canada over a three year period starting in 2021.

Most Read