I’m a trail builder and would like to work with UROC on building a trail
We encourage trail builders to work with us while making the network a sustainable, functional, fun and an overall elevated experience for the riders and the multitude of different trail users in the forest. You can be part of the trail building process from the trail application right through to the final opening of the trail. We will help you gain the experience to be part of a trail build or help facilitate the project through every step of the way. Contact UROC on: email@example.com
We don’t like to see dedicated and committed efforts go to waste by the relentless challenges and countless hours of hard work put in to be lost to unexpected hurdles or overwhelming challenges often encountered during the process of building a trail. UROC is determined to help the experience of building a trail be a good one and capture the satisfaction of building something incredible, long standing and most of all fun. Contact UROC on: firstname.lastname@example.org
I want to build a trail, but I’ve never done it before.
If you haven’t built a trail before, but you want to get to that experience, then UROC always has projects you can get involved in. By volunteering your efforts and spending time with us on varied projects, you will find out what is involved in taking on a build and the scale of commitment it will entail. UROC helps facilitate trail planning, laying out, GPS’ing your line, applying for approval from the landowners. We’ll also get you going with tools, materials, additional workforce and what to do when you’re stuck, scratching your head and feeling overwhelmed with all the challenges ahead of you.
Can I go in and start working on any trails anytime?
You should always check in with UROC before you consider working on any trail. We ask you not to move dirt or build new features or blaze in a new ride around…just because you thought you were helping. The main reason for this is the land we recreate on is all privately owned and we have to ask for permission before anybody moves any amount of dirt or starts changing trails without checking first…and remember there are thousands of community members who ride, run or walk the trails and you don’t want to have to answer to unrest when you do something you shouldn’t have. The best thing you can do is contact UROC to enquire on: email@example.com
What is significant trail works, what can I do?
Any building or construction of new trail.
For existing trail, re-routes, tree root or embedded rock removal, building features or structures, major drainage work, or any other trail alteration.
If you are using a chainsaw or axe, you are probably doing “significant trail work”.
If you are moving a lot of dirt, you are probably doing “significant trail work”.
Clearing deadfall on a non-existing trail is “significant trail work”
Clearing deadfall or other debris/obstacles, brushing or addressing minor drainage issues on existing trails is not “significant trail work”.
Why do we need to ask first to build a trail?
The trail network exists on privately owned land.
Unauthorized trail work on that private land could jeopardize the access agreement UROC has attained with the landowners.
In addition to trail building and maintenance, this access agreement allows us to have vehicle access for trail work, have a paid trail crew, apply for government funding, and host events.
Our collective stewardship of the trails is crucial to maintaining the reputation of the mountain bike community and strengthening our advocacy efforts.
Failure to follow the builder guidelines potentially jeopardizes access to the trail network for everyone.
In cases of unauthorized trail building, the builder could be held liable. UROC insurance may not apply. It is possible the builder/s would be asked to pay for the restoration of the line.
UROC takes unauthorized trail work seriously. UROC is obliged to decommission any unauthorized trail building and report circumstances to the landowners. The landowners may consider issuing fines or take legal action against the offenders.
The trail network is becoming denser and there is a need to be strategic about new trail construction.
Times are changing. More and new builders of varying levels of experience are moving to town and want to build trail (i.e. we need you all to work with us, but, it’s as much or more about the less experienced builders and those not in the know).
Are there good places and bad places to consider a trail build?
Throughout the years of trail building in Cumberland the network has started to see some areas that identify with different riding characteristics, this is largely due to the type of terrain surrounding Cumberland. We know where the wet patches are, where the trail building is not a good call, or where the landowners are next harvesting timber and what other builders are up to or what opportunities are alreay being worked on. We also know what character of trails would enhance or add to the trail network. We can save you a lot of time and effort. Contact us on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Builder guidelines and maintenance
The United Riders of Cumberland works with the planning and construction guidelines and trail application process published in 2020.
Any new builds or significant trail work guidelines as published in 2020.
The United Riders of Cumberland works from and maintains trails to the Whistler trail standards.
Meet Mike. Mike can be seen riding the trails regularly, rain or shine. Although newer to the sport, he has quickly excelled due to time in the saddle - though he'd say it's mostly because of his awesome ride, a Specialized Stumpjumper. We asked Mike a few questions about what draws him to the trail network, what his favourite trails are, and what advice he'd have for new riders.
"I came to mountain biking later in life following a knee injury sustained from running. I took up road biking for a short time before being invited to mtb, and quickly took to the thrill, exercise and challenge of the sport. I've come to make a number of good friends who share a similar passion for the sport all the while improving my skill and fitness. Having the trail network in the Comox Valley means it is readily accessible. The wide variety of trails (which seem to be always expanding) means there is always a new trail to ride or a new line to take. That we have such beauty and opportunity in our backyard is truly a blessing. Each time I ride, I remind myself that much of the trailwork has been built through the volunteer efforts of numerous individuals. I am in awe that such dedication exists in our valley. The trail network allows access to our back-country in an exciting way which is low impact while also providing a huge economic impact to many local businesses. Plus it ups our 'cool' quotient."
"I find myself attracted to fast, flowy trails and I'm constantly trying to improve my trail times as they appear on Trailforks. Maybe one day, just for a moment, I could be King of the Mountain!"
"The mtb community in the valley is large and welcoming. Come on out for a ride and (when they return), participate in one of the 'demo' days which are routinely held. A word of caution though....this sport is addictive! And the participants speak a strange language. Words like 'gnar', 'chunder' and 'jenky' will creep their way into your vocabulary. But maybe the best part is you will be welcome at the Cumberland Brewery to enjoy a beverage after your ride, regardless if you're bleeding, sweaty and dusty and embellish your ride with good friends."
Meet Susie. You've probably seen Susie on the trails, as she always has a huge smile on her face and is usually accompanied by at least one of her equally joyful Rhodesian Ridgebacks. We asked Susie a few questions: What is it about mountain biking that makes her and her pups so happy, and what are her favourite trails?
"I got into biking because of where we live and found it was not just great exercise for both my dogs and I but I also got to see some of the best scenery. People move to Cumberland for the trails...it is a unique community that has brought many different people from different walks of life together, as we all have one thing in common - loving the outdoors. I've met some of my best friends mountain biking and I'm still meeting great people every time we get out into the forest."
"Four years ago when first learning to mountain bike nothing terrified me more, but I felt so accomplished when I was done with each ride. Years later I love the feeling of getting better, doing different trails and seeing myself progress, and that gives me confidence to try other sports. "
"And about the dogs, well, I've had some of my worst falls just checking behind me while riding to make sure both of them are still with me...or while riding the four minutes to get down to the trails while the dogs are still on leash. I know they love it though, because as soon as I get my biking shorts on they start following me around the house, and they always have their ears back and huge smiles on their face when out on the trails."
"My favourite trails are Top Hat, Rapture, Blue Collar and of course Vanilla - to name just a few. I like cross country where you have a climb but you also have the fast flowy trails."
Meet Francoise. You know how sometimes you meet someone who is so amazing and inspiring you just want to hang out with them and soak them up? Francoise is one of those people. And don't let her diminutive stature fool you - she is a strong and skilled rider who takes to the trails almost every day, rain or shine. And she's been riding for decades! She rode when the only wheel diameter choice was 26 inches, when your shocks were your bent knees and elbows and the only way you could lower your seat was with an allen key. We wanted to know a bit more about Francoise and what makes her such a force. When did she start riding, why she rides, how the trails have changed over the years and what advice she'd have for new riders? "I've been mountain biking since around 1983 and I have never been without a mountain bike since. Back then there were trails all over the Comox Valley and I used my bike to commute to work in Courtenay from Comox, cutting through the Lanyon Forest which is where Crown Isle is now. I loved the freedom of exploring and rarely having to ride the road. I didn't own a car, which was good since I preferred to ride.""When I started working in Cumberland in 1995, I soon discovered there were trails to be explored. There weren't as many riders in those days, let alone women. The trails now are more refined, and the logging has changed the trails as well.""Mountain biking is the best form of self-care for me and I was very fortunate to be nursing in Cumberland with fantastic trails at the doorstep of my workplace. I also used to need a break from kids and family obligations to ride. When I see moms hitting the trails, I can appreciate the effort it takes to organize childminding to swing a ride. There's a reason this sport has become so popular and has made Cumberland a destination”.
"My advice to anyone who wants to get into riding is to make sure the bike fits properly and invest as much as you are able, so you enjoy it more. Also, don't go to the difficult trails in the beginning, so you don't get discouraged."
How do you enjoy the great outdoors? Is it on bikes? on foot? trail running? hiking? or out for that daily stretch with your ‘old faithful’ four-legged friend? Getting outside and recreating, while staying distanced, has been a consistent message during these times and that friendly smile, happy wave or hearing ‘good morning’ echo through the forest has given us so much joy. We’re are so blessed that we have open access to the forest and the trails; it’s a privilege we can all recreate on private lands and enjoy the outdoors. Trails are good for our physical health, great for our mental health, and brings so much well-being for our community.
Over the next few weeks we’ll be posting some of the UROC members who wanted to give out some positive vibes to everyone for this crazy year and share a little piece of their story.