March 14, 2024
Love Kelowna Mountain Biking Trails? Why You Should Get Your MTBCO Membership

Love Kelowna Mountain Biking Trails? Why You Should Get Your MTBCO Membership

Mountain Bikers of the Central Okanagan (MTBCO) is putting in the hard work, sweat, and muscle to build and maintain our beloved Kelowna mountain biking trails. If you love seeing our trails maintained or are stoked about the new climb trail on Gillard, you have, among others, MTBCO to thank. So why purchase a membership? We sat down with Marieke de Jonge, Director of Marketing & Communications, to find out. 

Marieke, who loves flow trails above all, recently joined the board but was previously an MTBCO member. She gets out on her favourite trail network, Knox Mountain Park, as much as possible since it’s basically in her backyard. 

Why should someone become an MTBCO member? What are the benefits?

The most important reason to become a member is that all the money from our memberships goes directly back into the community to make, maintain, improve, and expand our trail networks. To do this, we collaborate with many parties involved, including various levels of government, local businesses, and other volunteer-driven societies. The bigger our group of members, the louder our voice when addressing our local governments and land managers when applying for projects and grants. 

Become a Member

How do memberships support mountain bike trail care and maintenance?

MTBCO’s Vice President Cam Lainchbury and Director of Trails Ryan McKenna are the driving force behind Trail Days. We organize them throughout the season, and people come together to help execute a plan they have created for which trails need to be worked on. The more mountain bikers are MTBCO members, the more money is available to buy equipment and materials, and the more we can accomplish with the help of our volunteers. This season, we hope to morph our trail crew into dedicated trail committees, hopefully one per trail network.

It sounds like a great way to connect and build community.

That’s another benefit of being a member. Beyond the trail days, you’re able to come out to our organized events, such as our monthly group rides, family-oriented events, our enduro race, Cranksgiving, women's MTB Day, and more.

Is sustainability a big focus in mountain bike trail building for MTBCO?

Sustainability is very important when it comes to public recreation in our network of recreation sites in the Central Okanagan. Our trails are built sustainably with minimal environmental impact so that you can enjoy mountain biking now and far into the future. For example, we avoid trails on unstable slopes or soil that's prone to erosion. We're putting thought into the trail work. It's not just raking a trail; it’s thinking about what that trail should look like to have a perfect balance with protecting the environment.

What are some projects that you’re excited about right now?

Last year, one of the biggest accomplishments or milestones was finishing the Gillard climb trail, which was huge. We rolled out our Adopt-a-Trail program two weeks ago, where local companies, groups, or individuals could sponsor a trail. In exchange, they get their logo or signage on the trailhead, and the money goes directly into the Gillard trail network to further improve it.

What are some other ways to give back?

When visiting the Central Okanagan for mountain biking, people can make a one-time donation or purchase a day pass. This is an excellent way for visitors to show their love for our trails. Locals can always make a one-time donation on our website whenever they feel like it.

To help protect the Kelowna mountain biking trails you love, become an MTBCO member, donate, or get involved. Learn more.

Quit dreaming, start doing. Our sports stores in Kelowna have everything you need to find your new sport. See what’s in store, then get out and enjoy the Fresh Air!

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