Trails, membership key initiatives for WORCA in 2002 

Aside from having two bucks left in the bank, the Whistler Off Road Cycling Association (WORCA) has nothing but good things to say about this past year, and bright aspirations for next year.

WORCA held its annual general meeting on Sept. 27 at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, electing new board members and discussing where the club?s energies should be spent next season. The hot topics were trails, membership, volunteerism, races, fund-raising and building relationships within the community.

"WORCA has a lot of momentum right now, especially from the trails perspective, and I want to make sure that continues," says Tony Horn.

Horn, director of trails for the past two years, was elected president.

"I think the public relations side has done a pretty good job letting people know what we?re up to where trails are concerned. There are definitely things we have to do, but we?re on the right track."

WORCA was founded in 1989 as a trail advocacy group and in recent years its mandate has expanded significantly to include trail maintenance, among other things. This year their trail focus expanded even further into the realm trail building, with a west side real estate developer funding the completion of Foreplay, formerly known as Secret Trail.

Duane Jackson and Bill Kunzweiler are currently developing the lands, commonly known as the B.C. Rail Lands on the west side of Alta Lake Road. Because their development interfered with three well-used trails, Danimal, Beaver Pass and 99er, they contacted WORCA to see if they could offer anything to the mountain bike community to make up for the lost trails.

As a remedy, they are building an interpretive trail below Beaver Lake that will link up the sections of trail not affected by the development. Because this trail will lack both the intensity and technical features of the trails that were affected, they also donated $10,000 to WORCA and trail builder Chris Markle to complete Foreplay.

"Taking the job of helping Chris finish that trail and getting it done right through the municipality, which is willing to take some ownership of the trail, is a whole new game for us and it has some exciting possibilities in the future," Horn says.

"It lends a lot of validity to our organization that the developers would come to us, and Bob Brett worked a lot with us when he put together the Emerald Forest plan ? he didn?t agree with everything we were about, but he definitely recognized WORCA?s 600 members as a significant voice in the community. Compared to the other groups in town, like AWARE and the Naturalists, we?re huge."

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