Welcome to the first episode of our new podcast series! In this series, we'll be talking to some interesting folk here on the North Shore and surrounding area that are involved in the cycling industry or the sport generally. Those people may be pro riders, business owners or just riders that are out there doing cool things. We hope you find them as interesting as we do!
The first of our guests is Cooper Quinn, president of the NSMBA. Obviously Cooper is hugely influential in the area in terms of trail advocacy and maintenance and is a huge part of the reason that we have the trails we do and that they're as well maintained as they are. We get to know a little about Cooper's background and history, chat about the current state of the trails and what people can do to support the NSMBA amid the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Cooper is the current president of the NSMBA and is responsible for much of the positive change we’ve seen over the past few years
There are several issues that the NSMBA is facing right now including crowded trailheads, maintenance and funding. The current guidelines advise that people should ride either alone or with people from the same household, and that people should ride to the trailhead where possible to avoid crowded trailheads. Thankfully most people that live on the North Shore are not a long pedal away from trails, and so those people should practice riding rather than driving to the trails. You can see read more about the NSMBA's guidelines on riding through the COVID-19 pandemic here.
Right now is a tough time for the NSMBA to carry out trail work, since they have some dedicated trail builders, but they rely on large volunteer groups at trail days to provide the bulk of the man-power to get maintenance done. Since this is off the cards right now, the trails are taking a bit of a toll and little new building will be done - though credit where credit is due, the trail builders are still doing an amazing job. Everyone can help by clearing debris from trails, picking litter or removing invasive species such as English Holly, though it's worth stressing that you should NOT be breaking ground or doing any actual trail building. You can find a list of invasive species in BC here.
The final problem is funding - the NSMBA relies heavily on fundraising events such as their season opener scheduled for March which has been postponed, the Fiver race series and other events. Right now, the biggest thing everyone can do to keep the NSMBA going - keep the team in work advocating for us and the trail builders maintaining trails is to buy your NSMBA membership. Follow this link to buy your 2020 NSMBA membership and support your local trails today. You can listen to the podcast of our full conversation below, on Spotify, Itunes, or see the video version on our Youtube channel. Enjoy!