We've been riding for 4 hours. We're tired, sore and having the time of our lives. It's the 3rd Annual "Beyond the Valleycliffe of the Dolls" and it just gets better every year. Around every corner is a breathtaking vista followed by some of the most challenging terrain in the world. The rain this year ensured only the hardest of the core would participate, and participate they did, with perma grins and burning calves. Of course, like all good Squamish events, it couldn't have been done without the volunteers and sponsors.
Was any money made? Well as I've discovered, this event isn't so much non-profit as it is non-profitable. But then again I've never been one to be motivated by money. For me the it's all about the good times and the countless claims of "best ride of my life." Even so, the day is bittersweet. I've spent three years organizing and participating in this event in an area who's day's are numbered.
This point was hammered home recently at a public meeting to discuss the Smoke Bluffs park. The general consensus is that the park is nice but it's not nearly enough. The Valleycliffe / Crumpit Woods trail network is unlike anything else in the world and we should be doing everything in our power to aggressively obtain all these lands. Some are private, some are crown. The private lands will have to be negotiated but right now may be our last chance to grab the crown lands. After all it's election time both Provincially and Federally. Provincially, Gordon Campbell has to switch faces and start giving out some presents. My question? Who is out there right now pestering these people? We should have someone saying, "hey Gordo, give us this land and you can look like a saint!" Buy a halo to cover the horns as it were. And who's telling Paul Martin that we have plenty of election brownie points to offer?
Anyway, the point can't be hammered home enough. World class, the Stanley Park of Squamish, call it what you will, just call it quick. Before you can say "gondola to the top of the Chief" these lands could be gone.
Heck, I care about this area so much that I'm even willing to suck up a user pay system. Condo's or pay park is an easy choice. Sure, I'd rather it just be left alone forever but that's a fairytale and this is Squamish. Slick Rock in Moab seems to make it work with daily and very cheap locals passes available. As a tourist draw it's a win win as Ken Finkleman rightly pointed out, "people feel more comfortable in places they paid to get into."
It really just comes down to putting your money where your mouth is. And if I'm not mistaken our mouths have been blabbing something about being the outdoor recreation capital of Canada. It's time to pay up.