In early 2014, Craig Gillett , one of the SIMBS Trail Directors, canvassed the trail crew, past and present SIMBS Directors, and members at large. A survey came together to determine if SIMBS members and Hartland Bike Park users supported trail plans for the park.
The survey ran for 296 days. There were a total of 224 responses as of this writing. The results presented as pie charts and percentages can be seen at this link: https://www.surveymonkey.net/results/SM-QCNYXLHV/
The following is a descriptive summary of the results along with an update of where SIMBS trail work is now.
Q1: Should SIMBS make intermediate and beginner loops a priority? Despite the majority of respondents identifying themselves as ‘experienced’, the need for more beginner and intermediate trails received overwhelming support.
Over the year, SIMBS has been working on the South end of the park establishing an intermediate line. Coming from the parking lot along Shock Treatment, the trail was smoothed out. Muddy areas were raised; reroutes were laid in where needed (Muddy spot fill, Shock reroute). Roots that had become proud were covered and rocky areas with route finding challenges now have evident intermediate lines (Proud roots, Madonna rock garden). A new bridge was erected (bridge photo). A new trail named ‘One Less Car’ was approved. This connects Two Trees to Heads Up, bypassing the ‘Old Car’ on Second Avenue.
There is still work to be done on Crossover and Ruffles. An extension of the loop includes Say Ahh, Fun Trail, Sofa King, Bottom Feeder. Work already undertaken by our regular and weekday, Trail Crew members can be seen here: South Ridge/ Fun Trail Bridge exit, Sofa Kings working on a hip. Sofa King will have a velocity related rating like Torpedo Run; advanced if jumping, intermediate if rolling. Emergency Two, Plunge Extension and Regional Trail do not need modification to complete an intermediate circuit back to the parking area. We hope to have this completed and signed as an intermediate circuit in 2015.
Included in the most recent Trail proposal to the CRD is an intermediate loop at the North end of the park. Copyright prevents online posting so we will present a map at the AGM. Work on a new trail this section will also take place in 2015 pending approval.
The beginner trail commonly referred to as Eazy Rider has begun. In December, three Trail Crew members went out to break ground (Pulling stumps, Eazy Rider tread). Citing Hydro regulations restricting machine operation under the power lines, CRD Parks has shelved this project for the time being. With strong member support, The Trail Directors have decided to move ahead to construct this trail, which was proposed in the previous Trail Plan, and approved by CRD Parks.
Q2: SIMBS should work towards IMBA Ride Centre status. An IMBA designated Ride Centre comes in three colors; bronze, silver and gold. A ride centre designation recognizes large scale facilities that, to varying degrees, have something for everyone (IMBA website). There is a list of criteria to be met and an application process. The majority of respondents disagreed or did not care. Unless there is renewed interest in this topic, the Trail Crew will wait to proceed further.
Q3: SIMBS should lobby for access to other CRD and Provincial Parks in Victoria. Over 75% of respondents ‘Strongly agreed’, with this idea. Less than 6% disagreed or didn’t care. This indicates overwhelming support.
Many readers are already aware that SIMBS president, Daniel Cammiade has long been a proponent of linking local areas together to provide a long single track loop. This year, thanks to his talks with BC Parks and Bear Mountain, sanctioned mountain bike riding will be possible in these areas. More information will be forthcoming at the 2015 SIMBS AGM, Jan 29th, 6:30pm at the Vancouver Island Brewery. SIMBS has proposed (to the CRD), a trail that would join Trillium to Willis Point road. This would provide a single track connector from Hartland Bike Park to Partridge Hills and Gowland Todd provincial parks. It is a start towards providing single track riding in multiple Victoria parks and lands.
Q4, of the survey asked for comments. We received 85 comments and these will be available and summarized in our next posting.
Your Trail Directors, Craig and Greg.