Bike swap raises $12,000 for youth programs 

One Toonie down, 22 to go

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Despite more than doubling the size of their space this year, crowds still packed the annual WORCA Bike Swap in Creekside Saturday as they sought out deals on used bikes.

The numbers are still being finalized, but the swap appears to be on par with last year's total sales, although the number of sales was likely higher this year with lower prices.

WORCA generated approximately $107,000 in total sales, about two-thirds of that on credit cards, and will keep roughly $12,000 to put towards youth programs like Dirt Camps, Youth Toonies and the high school team, as well as towards trails.

It was another massive effort on WORCA's behalf with roughly 20 volunteers setting up fences, selling tags, manning sales tables, providing security, and assisting people purchasing bikes and other gear. The youngest volunteer was 11 years old.

Thanks went out to Whistler Blackcomb for supplying the space, Dusty's for letting WORCA take up a few tables. Sabre Rentals for providing fencing and tables, Summit Sports for providing bike racks, bike mechanics James Barrett from The Fix and Summit Sports for complimentary bike checks and repairs, Cycle Component Network for helping out, and all the other volunteers.

If you sold a bike or gear at the swap and weren't able to pick up your cheque/cash on Sunday, WORCA will be making payouts at the Thursday night Toonie Ride. If you can't make it e-mail info@worca.com to make other arrangements.

WORCA also held its first Toonie Ride (formerly Loonie Race) of the season in Lost Lake Park on April 30, co-sponsored by the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre which started the race with a traditional song and provided traditional bannock bread to the riders at the finish. The surprisingly tough first race included most of the singletrack trails in the park, including the Zappa trails, the new trails over Molly Hogan and White Gold Traverse.

It's unofficial but numbers were easily over 150 for the first ride, which included a few snowy sections.

Matt Bodkin was the top male in that race in 33:09, followed by Josh Stott and Bob Allison. Lesley Clements was the top female in 42:44, followed by Rena Worden and Linda Cowan.

Despite the fact that companies are struggling in the recession, more than 35 sponsors have stepped up to host a record 23 Toonie Rides this year, not including the Halloween Loonie in October. Race Director Tony Horn asked riders to support the race sponsors this year like never before, and to adjust their expectations for post-race celebrations.

The message sank in, and nobody complained about the cash bar at the après.

The next Toonie Ride is tonight, Thursday, May 5 sponsored by Alpine Café, Evolution, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and Whistler Outdoor Adventures. There are two courses - a backwards grunt over the Green Lake Loop, or a mellow ride on valley trails out the finish area that's open to everyone, including parents with bike trailers. Sign-on is at the entrance to Lost Lake Park at 5:30 p.m., with the race getting underway at 6:30 p.m.

Upcoming events:

Basic Bike Maintenance Clinic - May 12

James Barrett at The Fix in Function Junction is hosting a basic bike maintenance clinic at his shop at 6:30 p.m. The cost is $10, and it's open to WORCA members only. There are a limited number of spots, so e-mail info@worca.com to get on the list.

Trail Sweep - May 16 and May 23

Every season WORCA hosts a trail sweep day where crews walk popular trails and prune back trees and bushes, clean deadfall, and let WORCA know about fallen trees and other damage requiring more work. More information will be posted online at www.worca.com. You can also post trail reports or send in information about trail damage on the website, which will be referred to WORCA's trail contractor.

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