Local cyclist Max McCulloch catches air off a jump in the newly redesigned Organ Donor trail at Mount Work mountain biking park. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Local cyclist Max McCulloch catches air off a jump in the newly redesigned Organ Donor trail at Mount Work mountain biking park. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Mountain bikers lining up for Hartland’s newest trail

Revamped black diamond run ‘what the community needed’

As a black diamond run, the newly redesigned section of Organ Donor trail at Hartland-Mount Work mountain biking park is not for everyone.

But the lineups of bikers at the top of Organ Donor show just how popular the trail is, and how badly needed it is at Mount Work, says Alon Soraya, vice-president of the South Island Mountain Biking Society. (And yes, the mountain bike trails have extreme names, ranging from off-colour humour, such as Birth Control, Lumpy Pants and Who’s Your Daddy, to the subtle, such as Small Craft Warning and Bubble Wrap.)

“Now that it’s open, everyone is enjoying it and sharing that stoke around the community, they are so happy to have this kind of trail in our community,” Soraya said.

What’s significant about Organ Donor, which has long existed but has had a significant reroute, with a new design, is that this style of flowy trail with built-up jump-style features has not been allowed in Mount Work park until now. In the past, there were legal issues that limited the building of ‘features’ such as jumps and drops, not just in Greater Victoria but across B.C. However, in the past decade trail building elsewhere has undergone a boom and has put places such as Cumberland on the map with Whistler as one of the fastest-growing mountain biking destinations.

READ ALSO: Cyclists frustrated after CRD removes Mount Work bike trails

READ MORE: Have you signed on to be an organ donor?

Now the stewards who oversee trail building at Mount Work are working to catch up. In the spring, the South Island Mountain Biking Society signed a licence agreement with the CRD, the result of several years of negotiations between CRD staff and a number of the society’s board directors.

“It supports us to do work like this and continue improving the park,” Soraya said.

There is a long history of trail building including recent work, however, it’s mostly unsanctioned, and the CRD will often step in to close trails.

Once South Island Mountain Biking Society had permission this summer, longtime volunteer and local mountain biker Jesse Jubinville couldn’t wait to build.

The work started in September with more than 1,000 volunteer hours in total and officially opened on Jan. 17.

“Hartland for years hasn’t had a progressive-style trail and has been left behind in comparison to other [parks] which have flowy, fun trails with drops and jumps. When I set out to build something, I wanted something for the community that all levels of riders can have fun on,” Jubinville said.

So while the trail is fast, it is a bit wider than the usual single track, and it covers the craggy roots and rocks that make Hartland “technical” and difficult, but fun. It also has opportunities to slow down where other black diamond trails don’t. There are also “rollable” options next to the bigger jumps, gaps and drops, so moms and dads can go easy while the kids go big.

READ ALSO: CRD to consider plan for mountain biking trails at Mount Work-Hartland

Count Oak Bay’s Max McCulloch among the most skilled riders who frequent Mount Work, and who put in the most hours building the trail with Jubinville. In fact, many days there would be three to five people building and upwards of 15 people spread out along the trail on Saturday.

One of the challenges of building was the outpouring of volunteer support and managing everyone in a COVID-19 safe way, Soraya said.

“The important change we’re seeing recently is that riders are becoming more engaged in the community. They’re signing up for memberships, volunteering, communicating with us, and getting involved in advocacy efforts. “

This spring the CRD is expected to produce a draft management plan for Mount Work that the society hopes will include an expansion of the bike trail boundaries. That could open the door to build more trails, or even sanction some trails that are lesser-known and go back to the guerilla trail building days of the 1990s, but were marked outside the boundary when CRD implemented a management plan.

reporter@oakbaynews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria’s Swartz Bay terminal. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries offers cheaper, prepaid fare options

Ferry service preparing for busy terminals when travel restrictions are lifted

Victoria police are investigating after several vehicles were smashed and a basement was flooded along lower Cook Street March 2. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria police investigating smashed vehicles, flooded basement on Cook Street

Police seeking witnesses, footage of several ‘mischief’ incidents

Hundreds of child care spaces will be available in Greater Victoria in the coming two years. (Unsplash)
More than 300 child care spaces opening in Greater Victoria in next two years

Province announces spaces in Victoria, Sooke, Saanich and North Saanich

Victoria Police Department vehicles outside the headquarters building. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria police investigating sudden death in Beacon Hill Park

Police, paramedics responded to a report of an unresponsive person early Wednesday

This dead fir tree is one of many in Mount Douglas Park. Nine dead trees will be removed from the Douglas Creek site starting March 8 to make way for the construction of a new pedestrian bridge. (Photo courtesy Jason Clarke)
Nine dead, hazardous trees to be removed from Saanich park ahead of bridge construction

Felling begins March 8, minor trail interruptions expected in Mount Douglas Park

t
Province invests $2M in three Vancouver Island food hubs

Hub network provides shared-use processing facilities to small agri-businesses

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a family doctor office, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Christophe Ena
Trudeau ‘optimistic’ that timeline for rollout of COVID vaccines can be accelerated

Canada set to receive more than 6M COVID-19 vaccine dose than initially expected, by end of March

Beginning late Tuesday, anti-pipeline protesters blocked the intersection of Hastings Street and Clark Drive in Vancouver. (Instagram/Braidedwarriors)
Demonstrators block key access to Vancouver port over jail for pipeline protester

They group is protesting a 90-day jail sentence handed to a fellow anti-pipeline protester

Two Vancouver police officers were struck by a car when the driver learned he was being arrested for allegedly using a fraudulent credit card to pay for food. (Vancouver Police Department)
Driver being arrested for alleged food order fraud rams Vancouver police with car

Two officers are in stable condition, suffering with soft tissue injuries following the incident

A discarded blue surgical mask is shown hanging in a bush in Montreal, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
B.C. RMT suspended for not wearing a mask after confirmed by undercover clients

College of Massage Therapists has 5 open files, said suspension necessary to protect public

A boat caught fire in Ladysmith Harbour on Saturday morning. (Photo submitted)
Missing woman’s remains recovered after Vancouver Island boat fire

Remains of a 60-year-old woman recovered after Feb. 27 boat fire took her life

Most Read