Posted by Editor on 12/20/06
Race Organizers Form Grass Roots Mountain Bike Association of British Columbia
Squamish mountain bike race organizers have taken the next step to support grass roots mountain bike activities in British Columbia by forming the Grass Roots Mountain Bike Association of British Columbia (GRMBA). The not-for-profit association is designed to fill a void in recreational grass roots mountain bike event sanctioning.
The void was created when the official provincial sanctioning body, Cycling BC, began to move toward supporting higher level competitive events, and away from their past support of recreational mountain biking. Newly created sanctioning policies led to the need for GRMBA, which is spearheaded by Test of Metal and GearJammer race directors Cliff Miller and Curtis Roberts.
The purpose of the newly formed Association is to provide insurance to grass roots mountain bike clubs and race events that concentrate on providing race experiences to recreational racers. One goal of the Association is to encourage recreational clubs to hold events where members of other clubs are welcome to attend.
With the advent of GRMBA, the potential opens for affiliated clubs throughout British Columbia to organize regional race series, where affiliated members from all over the province can join in for no additional insurance cost. An example might be that an affiliated club member from the Kootenays could join in to SORCA events in Squamish, something that will be cumbersome and expensive under new Cycling BC Policy.
GRMBA is not intended to replace the trail advocacy work that clubs have done, but to encourage participation in mountain biking for the sheer enjoyment of the sport. The Association will produce only one event per year of its own - the Grass Roots Championship, to be held in Squamish in September, 2007.
The Championship will be a weekend celebration of social mountain biking. Some of the ideas being discussed are a race taking place on Saturday afternoon, a barbeque Saturday evening, a pancake breakfast Sunday morning, and guided group rides of favorite Squamish trails (if any are left) on Sunday. The event will be open to all members of GRMBA affiliated clubs at a minimal cost. Proponents hope that this event will spur a re-emergence of grass roots mountain bike events throughout BC.
The intial response from established mountain bike clubs has been overwhelmingly positive. A number of organizations and events are in discussion with GRMBA executive members to become affiliated for the 2007 riding season. Both major Squamish mountain bike races, the Test of Metal and the GearJammer, have committed to GRMBA for the 2007 season.
For further information, please contact Cliff Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org, Curtis Roberts at email@example.com, or Brad Walkey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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