Sunday, October 14, 2018

"No Dig - No Ride"

This Sunday was a “Trail Day” for the mountain-biking community. Riders were invited/encouraged to join in to volunteer a few hours for maintaining the trails. There is a saying in this community – “No Dig – No Ride”! Chris Friesen invited me to join them for a little digging on the Sumas Mountain trails. I don’t ride, but on Sunday I did some digging – and I enjoyed it.

The weather was beautiful; we met at the parking lot, just inside the gate, at 9 am. We were about 15, including two young lads from Chilliwack. A canteen of piping hot, Starbucks coffee sat on the back of the Life Cycles truck for everyone to help themselves. After some preliminary instructions, we broke into small groups, each attacking a different trail, equipped with shovels, rakes, chain saws, weed wackers, and pails. Chris and I headed for “Squid”, a 6-kilometre trail, one of the favourite Sumas Mountain trails.

We filled in dips in the trail that turn to puddles or mud-traps when the weather turns to rain. Pails of rocks carried in and topped with dirt. In other places a narrowing trail was widened. On other trails, fallen trees were cut and brush cleared away from trail’s edge. The morning passed quickly and we headed back to the parking lot. The BBQ was hauled out of a truck and soon smokies were sizzling on the grill, and the crew was enjoying a cold brew.

While we are having our lunch break, cars continue to come and go with riders who enjoy Sumas Mountain. Among them, a young couple from Victoria, for whom Squamish and Whistler are familiar rides, but having heard about Sumas Mountain, they decided to stop in for a three-hour ride enroute to Vernon. That’s not unusual, I’m told by Chris. Riders from Washington State send enquiries, and during the winter, when other mountains are under snow, Sumas Mountain attracts riders from around the Lower Mainland.

Next week, the trail runners will be taking over, as a major event is planned for the mountain – a 16 km and a 25 km run, most of it uphill. Sumas Mountain is an amazing recreational resource right here in our own back yard. For many residents, it is their gym.

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