Mountain bike fundraiser seeks to raise money for maintenance of popular Kamloops area trails

·3 min read

Local mountain biker Ted Morton is launching a fundraiser in support of two of the Kamloops region’s most popular trail networks.

The money will be used in support of the Kamloops Performance Cycling Centre (KPCC) ongoing maintenance of the Harper Mountain and Pineview Mountain trail networks.

The money will effectively allow the KPCC to extend the contract of a trail maintenance person, Kim Guiget, for the summer, said Morton.

“By launching a fundraiser, I get to dedicate that money directly to the contract of that person who is hired to do trail maintenance,” said Morton, who is undertaking the fundraiser independent of the KPCC.

“The money goes straight to trail maintenance and straight back into the trails.”

Morton added the COVID-19 pandemic has seen the sport grow, as people look for a fun and healthy outdoor activity.

“With COVID, we’re seeing a massive spike in users, but we haven’t seen the massive spike in maintenance,” said Morton.

“We haven’t seen a massive spike in funding. We haven’t seen the massive spike in general rider awareness.”

Morton said making sure the trails are in great shape is critical to the continued growth of the sport.

Those who are new to mountain biking may get turned off it if the trails are in dire shape, he explained.

Morton, who is the owner of the Candian Enduro Series and works as a trails technologist, said work is needed to keep the trails in tip top shape.

The funds will pay for a trail maintenance person to take care of things that degrade the riding experience, such as muddy puddles, fallen trees, unsustainable trails, brake bumps and other trail imperfections.

Morton added the land status of the two trail systems the money will support has made it difficult to win grant funding for trail maintenance in the past, meaning the fundraiser is especially important and necessary.

The project will also benefit from matching funds from Tourism Kamloops, which will donate $1 for every $2 raised (up until $2,500).

Morton said the tourism agency is supportive of the mountain biking scene, recognizing the economic output that it generates in terms of travel dollars.

“As a tourism organization, obviously they’re promoting the trails,” said Morton. “I think it really show their level of responsibility, like ‘were going to promote this, but we’re also going to contribute.'”

Morton said the goal of the fundraiser is to raise a total of $10,000. That, he said, would allow the KPCC to extend the current trail maintenance position through the summer.

Morton is quick to point out trail days will also play an important role in the future, and that the full-time summer position will free up volunteers to take on more important projects.

“They’re going to take care of all those menial tasks, so that the capacity of the volunteers can go further,” he said.

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Joel Barde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Sun Peaks Independent News Inc.