My favorite part of summer vacations, funny enough, is coming home. It never failed, no matter where we traveled, coming home would reinforce that there is no place better than Squamish. This summer during a trip to the Kootenays I was lucky enough to fit a few family bike rides in while passing through Rossland. Again, out of town rides are great since there’s an undeniable pride that surges thinking how good we have it at home. Thus I was shocked after my second ride to find tears being choked back. While we used to have enviable trails, it turns out that Squamish BC’s mountain bike trails are pathetic.
Ok, now a statement like that needs clarification. Especially since I’ve spent well over a decade in the dirt and in meetings defending our remarkable trail network. You’d be hard pressed to find someone who loves this community and the trails more than yours truly.
Our network is incredible but unfortunately the condition of our trails is appalling. You see, in Rossland, the Mayor and council decided trails were something of value so they put money into a trail crew as well as advertising for people to come visit.
Unfortunately, in Squamish we have a supposedly trail friendly Mayor coming into his fifth year of power, yet we haven’t seen a single stitch of maintenance, especially on mountain bike trails. Some will be upset with me stating the obvious fearing a petty reactionary halt to any progress being made behind the scenes. That in itself speaks volumes to the current political climate.
Five years! Half a decade has passed since Ian was elected and Squamish has nothing but bitch-slapped trails, broken volunteers, and vague assurances that “help is coming…” Well, any trail worker worth their salt knows, the best time to maintain trails is in the fall/winter so if the powers that be want to prove me wrong, there will be a crew out there working before November.
Now, to anyone paying attention this isn’t new, so why the blowup? The straw that broke my back was our Squamish gleefully accepting what appears to be nothing short of a bribe so we wouldn’t sue CN Rail. It’s not the laughable sum that upsets me, but what the money will be used towards: Advertising! Yes, Squamish needs quality advertising and that will cost a lot more than $100,000. But here’s a crazy idea, how about cleaning up your filthy room before you invite everyone over? I’d far rather have our ill gotten gains fixing our trails instead of encouraging others to abuse them.
Especially considering this summer saw record numbers on our trails and volunteers, or ‘suckers’ as they’re no doubt called in hallowed halls, can not keep up.
To correct this heinous legacy, we must have a trail crew on the ground
by November. Sadly, we appear to have a local government that is only
interested in making money off abused volunteers. Please prove me wrong.