Mountain biking needs higher profile

To the Editor,

Here on the Island, especially in Nanaimo, there is a substantial number of people who spend countless hours outside on their mountain bikes.

To someone who is part of the closed community, it’s very noticeable and everyone seems to know each other. However, there is so much available for everyone and so many hundreds of trails are little known.

If people were more aware of the trails and opportunities right outside of their homes, I think the city could work together to have a great mountain biking community.

Similar to North Shore, all of the trails are built and maintained by local bike clubs and shops. They have monthly trail maintenance and contact numbers on their websites for emergencies (trees falling on trails, etc.).

I am a member of Nanaimo Mountain Bike Club, which is a large group of people of all ages. One member is a champion cross-country racer, another spends all his free time improving trails and making incredible maps he keeps updated on his website.

In one sense, it’s nice to have such a small number of people on the trails because of irresponsible people who would trash hours of hard work and it’s nice to know every second person you pass on a long ride.

But there is so much available for use out there that is just sitting empty most of the time.

If people were more aware of the excitement, community and exercise that comes with mountain biking, the sport as a whole could become more widespread and enable everyone to be healthier, have fun, make friends and support local business (bike shops are almost exclusively locally owned).

As of now, there are very few opportunities for those passionate about cycling.

There are no scholarships, even though it takes just as much if not more dedication than any other sport. There are no races covered by the press and very few people have the slightest idea how to get started with this amazing sport.

More than anything else, I’d like the community to get more involved and educated as a whole about our hidden gem.

The sport is slowly growing more and more popular in the province, starting in the North Shore. The riding style used on trails with built-up, man-made terrain, etc., all started there.

B.C. is truly home of the sport as we know it today, even though most know little about it. Nearly everyone I know who has tried it out has loved the experience and asked for more.

I would truly like some support in getting more involved and making the sport known to everyone. There is so much potential everywhere in the city for the sport.

Jaime Dickie


Nanaimo News Bulletin