News from The United Riders of Cumberland

Winter Trail Use

Tips for responsible trail selection and usage in the wet season

As the days grow longer, and the snowline begins to creep up the mountain, we’re all itching to get out on the trails.  While we are fortunate to live where we do – which often enables use of our trails 12 months a year – trail use in the wet months requires special consideration.  Our goal is to not tell you not to use the trails, but is instead to provide you with information so that you can make an informed decision on what and when to ride/run/hike.

Trails built following modern trail building practices that follow IMBA and Whistler standards are able to withstand wet weather and heavy traffic better than ever, but building to these standards is incredibly labour intensive.  While Cumberland’s trails are gradually being improved and modernized over time to handle increased traffic, some of our trails are not well suited for use in wet conditions.  Learning how to identify which trails are better able to handle traffic in wet weather will increase your enjoyment while decreasing trail maintenance requirements. Remember, coming back from your ride covered in mud may be fun, but it also means that dirt on your bike and clothes has been displaced from the trails, where it serves a better purpose!

After several months of heavy rains and (sometimes) snow, here are a few things to keep in mind when you hit the trails:

  • Plan your ride.  Think about what trails are appropriate for the conditions.  Things like soil type, grade and elevation will all factor into current trail conditions.
    • Is the trail tread predominantly mineral soil or rock (that is well drained), or is it black, organic material that holds water like a sponge? 
    • After heavy rainfall, has the trail been given enough time to dry to a rideable level? Well drained and armored trails may be rideable 2 or 3 days after, while organic surfaced trails can sometimes take 1-2 weeks to dry, depending on slope, sunlight, etc.
    • Does the trail travel through low lying areas with poor drainage, or is it known to have lots of puddles, which often results in trail braiding? 
    • Did the snow just melt from the trail resulting in high soil moisture content?
    • Do you have a back-up plan in case the conditions are worse than anticipated?
  • Be alert! Watch for (and report) trail hazards.  Heavy winds and big snow loads may result in fallen trees blocking trails, while heavy rains can result in trail erosion.    
  • Check Trailforks for the latest report (or consider submitting your own reports).  Ask others you see along the way for trail condition updates. The more information that is available, the better!
  • Contribute to maintenance:
    • Considering carrying a small saw so that you can clear minor windfalls along the way.
    • Help drain puddles.  Trail builders and maintainers install “drains” in low spots to allow water to flow off the trail.  However, these drains become clogged with needles and branches over time, and need to be regularly cleaned out.  A foot or stick is sometimes all that is needed to allow a puddle to drain!
    • Watch for upcoming UROC Trail Maintenance Days, scheduled to begin in March.
  • Join UROC.  The more members that the club has, the more resources can be dedicated to trail maintenance and construction.
  • Have fun! After all, riding in the winter is a bonus that few Canadians get to enjoy ….

Special thanks to the Tri Cities Off Road Cycling Association (TORCA) for their 2017 article that was of great assistance in the drafting of these tips.  See their full article here: 

UROC Trail Maintenance Committee Call for New Members!

The United Riders of Cumberland (UROC) are looking for two new members to join the Trail Maintenance Committee. This is a volunteer committee that allows interested individuals to provide input and recommendations into UROC trail maintenance work, as well as organizes and implements public Trail Maintenance Day events throughout the year.

Learn more here »

Notice of UROC Annual General Meeting (AGM)

When: Feb 28, 2018; 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Where: Masonic Hall, 2687 Dunsmuir Ave, Cumberland BC


1) Introductions and welcome by the President 2) Approval of Agenda
3) Approval of minutes from the 2017 AGM
4) Report from the President

5) Financial Report from the Treasurer 6) Board Elections
7) Closing Remarks from President
8) Motion to Adjourn

Only members in good standing may vote at the AGM.

Board Member Nominations

Nominations for new Board members can be done by using the below form and sending to the UROC Secretary, Jeremy Grasby. All Nominations need a mover and a second to be accepted, and all nominators and nominees need to be members in good standing. Nominations can also be received from the floor during the AGM.

Board Elections and Nomination Form


Trail Yield Practices

The United Riders of Cumberland (UROC) are installing sign badges on certain trails throughout the Cumberland trail network that will indicate required or recommended travel direction.. These signs will apply to all trail users and will be added to the sign posts at the bottom of the trails listed below. The installation of directional signage is a response to user feedback, the volume of traffic and variety of users on the Cumberland trail network. The goal is to help maintain safety and enjoyment for all trail users without unduly limiting route options. The list of trails with directional signage may change as trail usage continues to develop, new trails are added, or issues are identified.

The trails were identified after considering the following factors:

  • Is climbing up the trail physically possible? Is it realistically feasible for the majority of users?
  • Does the trail’s intended use encourage high speeds, include TTFs or have a layout (ie. Tight corners, blind sections such as rolldowns/drops) that would significantly lower a downhill user’s ability to maneuver or stop to avoid a collision with an uphill user?
  • Does the trail’s established use pattern include both uphill and downhill travel?
  • Does the trail have a history of conflict between uphill and downhill users?

General Yield Practices (on all trails with no directional signage)

Cyclists must be in control of their bikes at all times and be able to yield to other users.

Runners and walkers must be aware of mountain bike traffic on all trails and be able and willing to yield to cyclists. Who actually yields is not exclusive to one user group or

direction of travel and all users should work to make each pass a courteous one.

Trail users with headphones/earbuds should ensure that they can hear approaching traffic on single-track by adjusting the volume or removing earpiece(s).

On trails signed:

In this case uphill travellers should be prepared to yield to cyclists riding downhill while downhill riders must also be prepared to give uphill travellers adequate time to clear the trail.

Uphill travelers should also consider alternate routes – particularly during busier times of year or day.

On trails signed:

On trails designated as “Downhill Travel Only”, uphill travel is NOT permitted.

Trails that will have directional signage installed:

Recommended for Downhill Travel Only:

  • Lower 50:1
  • Bear Buns
  • Bucket of Blood
  • DCDH
  • Furtherburger
  • Off Broadway
  • Queso Grande
  • Race Rocks
  • Slick Rock
  • Switchback
  • That Dam Trail
  • Thirsty Beaver (Upper & Lower)
  • Top Hat
  • Trent Canyon

Downhill Travel Only:

  • Blockhead
  • Broadway
  • Cupcake
  • Gravity
  • Kamikaze
  • Lost Wood
  • Numbskulls
  • Rhizome
  • Truffle Shuffle
  • Woodcutter