Off-road mountain bike club searching for land

Prince Rupert has a new club in town, and it wants a piece of it to operate.

Prince Rupert has a new club in town, and it wants a piece of it to operate.

The Rupert Off-road Cycling Club (ROCC), helmed by Randy Cunningham, is looking for a local tract of land to build a series of mountain bike trails for the club, and the rest of the city to enjoy.

“We want to start up a legal trail system that we can basically take ownership, tenure-ship or stewardship of and take care of it,” explained Cunningham last week.

There a few hurdles to leap before they can accomplish their goal however. The application fees to find and acquire the land cost money and the club, while still in its infancy, is still organizing its resources to be able to pay the operating costs of running the application process. The ROCC apparently has a plot of land picked out already that they would like to see be transformed into an off-road trail.

“It’s behind the Rupert sign near the skate park … we want the tree area, we’re just waiting to write a formal request to the recreation board and the volunteer recreation committee, bring our proposal to them, and then they’ll take a walk with us [to inspect the area],” said Cunningham.

The City has already offered the club a piece of land, but it’s too flat for the club’s liking.

“There’s nothing there, it’s just a flat piece of concrete,” he said.

“We want trees, we’re mountain biking, we want to be in the bush.”

The ROCC has already held a few meetings at Cowpuccino’s and they’ll have a booth at the Salmonberry Farmers’ Market this Saturday explaining their club mandate and tuning bikes.

“We’ll get a table, set up our bike stand, do an introductory tuning and offer tuning at a highly discounted rate [with] the proceeds going to the club and then if we have a big enough group of kids, we’ll put them through some road safety [training], like a ride-along and teach them some hand signals,” said Cunningham.

The club also wants to build a skills park on a wooded recreational property in town that has access to emergency vehicles and start a bike polo league. The league would operate out of an outdoor hockey rink and charge a fee to participants who want to take part in the drop-in event.

“Nothing’s free to become non-profit,” said Cunningham.

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