A major upgrade to Terrace’s off-road cycling facilities is nearly complete, thanks in part to $156,000 in extra funding.
Tyler Wilkes, President of the Terrace Off Road Cycling Association (TORCA), presented an update on the project’s status to Terrace council on Aug. 10. He said that the project, known as the HuB, is a “family and youth oriented mountain bike skills area located in the heart of Terrace.”
“This is an important part of the trail network for TORCA because it is located right behind the Sportsplex, it’s meant to increase accessibility, reduce that barrier of having to go out and drive to the trailheads,” Wilkes told council.
In total, the HuB project consists of 2.5 kilometres of new and rehabilitated trails and a skills area. The final major component of the project that still needs to be built is a pump track.
“Its a track of banked corners and bumps that essentially is made to be ridden without pedalling, the idea is you pump your bike through and so it’s a great, safe place to practice handling your bike,” said Wilkes.
Wilkes said that 75 per cent of trail work is complete, including one uphill trail and two downhill trails.
“It all started off in April in the middle of COVID we were all sitting around going ‘What is going to happen to the world, what are we doing? We have all this money we want to do our project’ and we were worried there was no way we were going to get it done,” said Wilkes.
Then, he received a phone call from Axis Mountain Technical, a mountain construction company offering to start work on the trails.
He estimated that 15,000 sets of tires have gone down one of the new trails since it opened in June, based on data from a mountain biking app called Trailforks, which allows users to log their rides.
TORCA enlisted a professional design company to set up the asphalt pump track. It will be constructed over the course of the next four weeks, directly beside skate park and behind the Terrace Sportsplex.
Wilkes said that the project will be very close to completion by winter, and minor trail work could continue in 2021 should it be needed.
TORCA’s original budget for the project was $134,000, which swelled to a fully-funded $290,000 due to additional grant funding and donations.
Several community donations played a role in funding the project alongside an $84,000 anonymous grant and $100,000 from the provincial government’s Rural Dividend Fund.
“We really give out a huge thank you in particular to the local businesses and grant organizations in Terrace, they’re smaller amounts of money maybe but that’s the money we can get more readily and use as leverage for the big Rural Dividend Fund programs,” Wilkes said.