Julie Henderson, Vice-President
Advocacy and volunteerism are pretty amazing things and we believe they play an important role in the success of any community. Our passion for mountain biking and the sport of cycling can be seen across the Fraser Valley – whether it’s through our extensive trail networks, ongoing social events or local races, the dedication and overall stoke of our builders, members and volunteers is often inspiring.
We are fortunate to have such a supportive mountain biking community, including support that comes from other community partners and local governments. For instance, at the end of 2019, both Ernie Kliever and the FVMBA were awarded the 2019 Outstanding Community Partner award by Tourism Chilliwack, which I accepted on behalf of everyone who has played, and continues to play, a part in our shared success. We are grateful for the honour.
Photo: Julie Henderson, Vice-President, and Ernie Kliever, Past-President, accepting the 2019 Outstanding Community Partner Awards from Tourism Chilliwack.
As we move into 2020, we’d also like to extend our gratitude towards Chilliwack’s Mayor and Council, and City staff for their continued support of parks, trails and outdoor recreation opportunities within the Fraser Valley. Why? You might ask. Well, we are excited to announce that in the New Year, the City of Chilliwack will be home to a new pump track of our very own!
Pump Track Parameters:
The pump track will be a hard-surface design with a total length of 300m, which will be the longest in BC and the first figure-eight track in North America. A conceptual design of the pump track was prepared by Velosolutions and is proposed to begin construction in the new year!
So, how did we get here?
Back in April, I was invited to present on the topic/possibility of a pump track to the Chilliwack Parks and Trails Advisory Committee, citing the success and popularity of pump tracks in other communities, such as Nanaimo. I noted the potential for local economic and social/health benefits for the community, as well as recommended Velosolutions as a possible contractor due to their extensive professional experience and potential to increase tourism revenue by attracting national competitions. As a result, a recommendation was carried unanimously to request that Council have City staff look into the feasibility of developing a pump track within Chilliwack.
On May 7th, the recommendation was brought forward to Council and City staff were directed to review possible locations for the pump track. In July, City staff identified a suitable location within the Landing block (see photo below), adjacent to the Chilliwack Curling Club, Community Centre and Exhibition Field. The location was selected due to its proximity to residential neighbourhoods, public parking and transit routes, and direct access to other public amenities, such as drinking fountains and washrooms.
Photo: Conceptual layout/location of the pump track (retrieved from the City of Chilliwack’s July 2nd staff report to Council).
Council then directed City staff to bring forward a concept plan for the pump track for discussion at the 2019 Objectives and Measures Planning Session that was held this fall, prior to finalizing the most recent budget. On December 3rd, Council approved the 2020 Financial Plan, which included $3.5 million worth of funding from a gas tax credit from the Province. Since these funds have restrictions on its use, Council allocated the funds to priorities in transportation ($2 million), pedestrian and bike mobility/safety ($1 million), and recreational infrastructure ($500,000) – including the construction of the pump track!
Photo: Rending by Velosolutions of the proposed Chilliwack pump track (retrieved from the City of Chilliwack’s December 3rd Financial Plan presentation to Council).
We’d also like to give a shout out to Daris LaPointe, Gareth Paget and the team at Velosolutions for assisting in the initial research stages. Dreams really do come true when communities come together!
Stay tuned for more information as it comes available to the public.
Vice President – FVMBA