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  1. #1
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    Simcoe County Mountain Bike Club

    SCMBC

    https://www.facebook.com/SCmtnbikeclub

    This club was formed to protect recreational mountain bike trails in Simcoe County.

    Support Register RIDE!

  2. #2
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    Very cool!
    Thanks for posting this. I did hear through the grape vine that there was a group in the works.
    Great to have a face to the trails out there now!
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  3. #3
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    It is true. Great group of people with like minds. Huge local support with over 100 paid members and 6 corporate sponsors. We must be doing something right!

    Our agreement with the County includes building new trail on their land. One loop finished and more to come.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satan2 View Post
    SCMBC

    https://www.facebook.com/SCmtnbikeclub

    This club was formed to protect recreational mountain bike trails in Simcoe County.

    Support Register RIDE!
    Thank you for posting the link Satan...

    I finally met Tom in person today at Hardwood Hills. It was long time coming and unexpected, but I was too happy to finally replace keyboard and laptop screen with a live spoken word. We first shed a tear for good old Eastern Canada forum that ain't no more.

    Then naturally the discussion went towards trail building and maintenance. Tom suggested that I check Simcoe County tent at Hardwood Hills Epic 8 hours... I couldn't find them - but I found this post.

    Simcoe County has some real gem trail systems - and we finally have a group of people who are willing to protect existing and build new trails. As I can not find much extra time to help build or maintain - I can at least join the club and show support.

    Let's see if we can increase the membership numbers this way - these $40 are making me feel better as I have been mostly using trails, without real involvement in building them. C'mon folks - those of us who can not donate time, we can help a bit this way.

    Oggie
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  5. #5
    Nice day for a ride.....
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    Every time I try to access the Maps link I get sent to singletracks.com??????
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  6. #6
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    Thanks Oggie. Please search for our closed group on FB and ask to join. It is for members only and is our primary method of communicating with the membership.

    We have signed an agreement with Simcoe County to use their land. A condition of the land use agreement is that we provide them with 3rd party liability insurance. We are also working with other private land owners to allow us access to their property. We will have to provide the same type of insurance. That costs money which is the reason we are charging a small fee for membership. Half of the fees are going to insurance and admin. The other half is going into the trails. We have purchased power and hand tools to ensure the trails are buff.

    If we posted maps on our public website, some people may feel that it is not necessary to join. Membership must have privileges. Members have access to maps.

    I'm sorry if this offends some. It is not meant to do that. (Just speaking from past experience)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikin' Bric View Post
    Every time I try to access the Maps link I get sent to singletracks.com??????
    This might help you. It's public info from the county

    Maps - Simcoe County Trails
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  8. #8
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    Thanks Cycleicious

    Our maps are not there and Simcoe County Trails is not the County. They are a group of people that try to represent trails user groups throughout Simcoe County.

    I'm not sure what your intention was of posting that link but it gives me the impression that you do not see value in mountain bike groups getting organized to protect recreational riding. We do understand that some people will feel that way, however others do not.

    We have discussed here for many years the lands that are being taken away due to the lack of mountain bikers getting organized and looking after the land on which they ride. SCMBC has done it. Yes, we primarily use land owned by Simcoe County. SC welcomes cycling on their property. In fact it was listed as one of the activities in their 2007 Recreational Policy. However, SC thought that bike riding was done on double lane fire road in their forests. They were not aware that mountain bikers ride single track that they may or may not have obstacles that could be inherently dangerous to ride. So, SC wanted mountain bikers to get organized. They have since 2008. Since no one did that in 2008 they have threatened to take away mountain biking on their lands. They certainly did nothing to protect the trail systems that were put there illegally.

    Well, now that we are organized SC has stepped up and are willing to protect mtb trails. They have already threatened enforcement action on other forest users that cause damage to mtb trails. They have assisted us in opening trails after storm damage and call us when there are any trail issues. The biggest part is that they have allowed and will continue to allow us to build new trails because we got organized. All they really ask is that we protect them from 3 party liability issues (Leone) by having insurance for them. That costs money. As stated above, that is why we charge a minimal fee for membership. Are those fees collected at other mtb areas? The answer is YES! Every gated centre has fees. Most of those are extremely higher than what SCMBC is asking. Most of those centres have half the trails that SCMBC is looking after and we are still building. How many other areas near the GTA are building new legal trail?

    We are also putting trail on private property. A condition of the land use for those properties it that membership is required or people will be trespassing. The more people that use the trail illegally, the higher the likelihood of us losing it.

    We are trying our best to protect the sport that we love. None of us are getting paid from the minimal club membership fees. All of us have full time jobs, families and other life commitments.

    We do want to build our membership as it will show the County and other user groups that we are a strong voice and a user group that is not going away. We understand that some people will never see the value in what we are doing, but we do ask that people respect our trail system and help us keep it alive and well for generations to come. Publicly posting maps of our system is not the way to keep it protected.

    Ian

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the correction

    Here is a better link?

    Trails Strategy | Planning | County of Simcoe

    And Simcoe County Trail Strategy draft here:

    http://www.simcoe.ca/ws_cos/groups/p...cos_009212.pdf

    It's good that you are advocating for trails. I understand charging fees and controlling maps to access private land. But I don't see the value of putting these obstacles for public trail use on public land in the community.

    There are actually a lot of new trails being developed in the GTA, one example posted in the EC forum is the Nashville Tract as well as other projects. All of these projects are non-fee based and will have publically posted maps for the community.

    Secrecy and fees leave a bad taste for many especially when the community is greater and more diverse than just 100 people.

    Perhaps to help clarify things could you share what type of trails are you advocating for and building?
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclelicious View Post
    This might help you. It's public info from the county

    Maps - Simcoe County Trails
    Simcoe county trails is a renamed Huronia trails and Greenways, the folks who did a lot of work on rail trails, I was told their first moto was "rails to trails" there singletrack map offerings are somewhat limited.

    I kinda look at it this way, membership is 40 bucks, you get maps and trails that are getting marked out in a navigable manner, about 40-45 km of singletrack now id guess, and growing, its a pretty good deal.

    since April 1st its pretty amazing what this club has done,

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclelicious View Post
    Thanks for the correction

    Here is a better link?

    Trails Strategy | Planning | County of Simcoe



    And Simcoe County Trail Strategy draft here:

    http://www.simcoe.ca/ws_cos/groups/p...cos_009212.pdf

    It's good that you are advocating for trails. I understand charging fees and controlling maps to access private land. But I don't see the value of putting these obstacles for public trail use on public land in the community.

    There are actually a lot of new trails being developed in the GTA, one example posted in the EC forum is the Nashville Tract as well as other projects. All of these projects are non-fee based and will have publically posted maps for the community.

    Secrecy and fees leave a bad taste for many especially when the community is greater and more diverse than just 100 people.

    Perhaps to help clarify things could you share what type of trails are you advocating for and building?
    it is not about secrecy and fees Judy

    both secrecy and fees are simply explained - the land owner MANDATED a third party insurance or NO TRAILS. NO MTB. They did not give any options. Comply or get outta here.

    in order to have a third party insurance - fees have to be charged. i find $40 acceptable, even though i will be heading up north to ride these trails maybe 4-5 times per year. i don't look at $40 in this way, but a bit differently.

    local builders are passionate about the sport and about the trails they build. they were not given the carte blanche like the group that is developing the Nashville Tract, for example (although i admittedly don't know all the details). in order to preserve all the work that has been done in SC and build more legally - i will pay $40 in a heartbeat as it means more people riding and SC is a particularly sweet area for riding.

    secrecy is also not my concern - and i was pretty vocal AGAINST it during our last heated discussion on Copeland Forest a while back, if you remember.

    secrecy here is not to exclude riders from riding the trails, but to exclude trespassing which can cost us the whole system, as explained by Ian.

    if the system was built on public land and the crown was fine with it, i'd have an issue with secrecy. now that i know the information - i understand the concern about illegal trail usage in SC that can cost EVERYONE

    if Nashville Tract project required same help - i would have gotten the membership in a heartbeat as well. i don't care "what kind of trails" are included in the Nashville Tract or SC. As long as they are MTB trails.

    by the way - are you guys getting fat bikes or do you already have them?
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclelicious View Post
    Thanks for the correction

    Here is a better link?

    Trails Strategy | Planning | County of Simcoe

    And Simcoe County Trail Strategy draft here:

    http://www.simcoe.ca/ws_cos/groups/p...cos_009212.pdf

    It's good that you are advocating for trails. I understand charging fees and controlling maps to access private land. But I don't see the value of putting these obstacles for public trail use on public land in the community.

    There are actually a lot of new trails being developed in the GTA, one example posted in the EC forum is the Nashville Tract as well as other projects. All of these projects are non-fee based and will have publically posted maps for the community.

    Secrecy and fees leave a bad taste for many especially when the community is greater and more diverse than just 100 people.

    Perhaps to help clarify things could you share what type of trails are you advocating for and building?
    its not about secrecy, its about a member siting down at a desk and drawing a map creating a PDF and that being accessible by the membership. The club needs cash to function and to Insure the trails, getting a map as a benefit is a nice touch.

    this sounds cheeky but I'm just being honest, there's nothing stopping anyone else from doing the same, be it another club in the area (there are many), the county, the township, or Simcoe County Trails.

    I'm the last guy who wants trails to be kept secret, offering a map made by members for members isn't secretive,

    Road clubs post maps and routes for their members as a benefit to being a member, this isn't any different.

    Clubs are what they sound like "a club" they're run by their members for their members, snowmobile clubs, gun clubs, tennis clubs, golf clubs etc.

  13. #13
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    Touchy subject, eh? I guess we have Mr Leone to thank for that. I can appreciate that money to pay for third party liability insurance has to come from somewhere and that at present it comes from club members. I would really like it if as a club you could find a way to offer limited access to the trails, perhaps in the form of a day pass available at local bike stores? It would give those of us from outside the area an opportunity to contribute in a small way. I realize that it may not be possible logistically right now as you are a young club but please keep it in mind as an option.
    I have a lot of friends in your area and don't get up there nearly enough especially considering the amazing riding that is there.
    Cheers, Dave

  14. #14
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    Sounds like you Simcoe County folks have taken a page from the OFTR / SCORRA. I understand your point about the trails on private land but what about the county forests? Your website names Strachan, Johnson, Arbour, Crawford, Tustin, Amos, Schumacher in particular. Are these trails for "members only"?
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikin' Bric View Post
    Sounds like you Simcoe County folks have taken a page from the OFTR / SCORRA. I understand your point about the trails on private land but what about the county forests? Your website names Strachan, Johnson, Arbour, Crawford, Tustin, Amos, Schumacher in particular. Are these trails for "members only"?
    open to anyone to ride, explore and enjoy (minus motorized vehicles)

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by swabag View Post
    open to anyone to ride, explore and enjoy (minus motorized vehicles)
    But you wont give access to maps of these areas?
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  17. #17
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    Yes the trails are open to anyone to ride. Yes we have taken a page from SCORRA. I have very close ties to them as the past president. SCORRA did not post maps to non-members either, yet over 800 people saw the value in membership and trail stewardship through SCORRA. I will agree that there was a requirement for dirt bikes to be members of a club in order to use SC forests. That is the challenge for us. How do we keep an agreement with the county without membership and the ability to pay for insurance ? We can't do it for free. The trails will close. I guess that's the other option.

    We hope that the people who use the trails as non-members will see the value in membership and want to sign up. The trails are maintained by volunteers. That is unlike some other mountain bike areas that provide maps of their trails.

  18. #18
    Nice day for a ride.....
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    Re: Simcoe County Mountain Bike Club

    Quote Originally Posted by Satan2 View Post
    Yes the trails are open to anyone to ride. Yes we have taken a page from SCORRA. I have very close ties to them as the past president. SCORRA did not post maps to non-members either, yet over 800 people saw the value in membership and trail stewardship through SCORRA. I will agree that there was a requirement for dirt bikes to be members of a club in order to use SC forests. That is the challenge for us. How do we keep an agreement with the county without membership and the ability to pay for insurance ? We can't do it for free. The trails will close. I guess that's the other option.

    We hope that the people who use the trails as non-members will see the value in membership and want to sign up. The trails are maintained by volunteers. That is unlike some other mountain bike areas that provide maps of their trails.
    I use to ride the SCORRA trails and was and OFTR member for a number of years. I always found the Simcoe County forests to have a beautiful landscape and often thought about bringing my MTB up there. I see the value of membership and would likely join even though I live over 2 hours away. Problem is that I would not make the drive to try out some of the trails without having some sort of information on them, whether it be maps, gps tracks, directions to trailheads and general descriptions of the trails. If I don't make it up to try out the trails I never join and become a member..... you see where I'm going with this?

    There are many places built and maintained my local clubs in Ontario who also have the same problems/expenses yet still make information on their trail system available in hopes that the people who ride there will also realize the work and costs involved in maintaining a trail system and will join up. Take a look at WCC, TPMBC, GORBA, etc.

    Just my $0.02 take what you will (or won't) from it but I think you would have more prospective members if they were actually riding the trails.
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  19. #19
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    I understand your dilemma. I'm not really sure what the answer is.

    I ride Buckwallow once or twice a year but the first time I go, I purchase a season family pass. Last year my one and only ride cost me $120, but I did get a map. I do this because I see the value in the trail system that is meticulously maintained and I love the beautiful landscape of the trails. It also supports a small business associated to the sport that I truly care about. They have the money to pay people to maintain the trails, cover the taxes and insurance and still make enough money to keep the business open for us mountain bikers.

    SCMBC is not a business. We are a not-for-profit organization. No one gets paid to maintain the trails. No one gets paid to administer the club business, sort out the memberships. get insurance, do the banking, go to County meetings etc, etc. Everyone is doing it on a volunteer basis. I know that several of us have asked why we do this. It does make it difficult when we try to promote the club and get the life sucked out of us by trying to defend why someone needs to pay $40. Its not just here. I ran into a guy who has ridden the trails in SC for 10 years and says "why do I have to pay now"?

    We do this because we love the trails and have used this land for free for the last 10-15 years. I would like the same opportunity for my kids to have when they are my age.

    If you do not see the value of $40 being invested in SC single track, don't join the club. But no, we are not going to publicly post maps our the system we built and maintain so people can avoid joining the club.

  20. #20
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    for years folks in here screamed that the riders in this area should make an effort to open up, get organized and welcome visitors. They did! Very nice job to the Board and crew at SCMBC

    You might expect this accomplishment would be met with joy and support from the MTB community (Thanks Oggie for being very supportive!!)

    The process of going legit and getting organized to welcome others comes with a cost, primarily in the form of group insurance. Now the regulars are also expected to shoulder the financial burden of insuring a bunch of trail for the privilege of building and maintaining AND mapping it all and welcoming others with the hope that they like it and just maybe support the cause with a weeks worth of latte money.

    heh heh, I get carried away but personally this discussion brings out my ogre like tendencies (they are not far from the surface anyways ).... save your $40 and stay away!

    Thanks Satan2 and others. I am thankful for your efforts and was glad to contribute to the effort.
    "an inch an hour...two feet per day..."

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satan2 View Post
    It does make it difficult when we try to promote the club and get the life sucked out of us by trying to defend why someone needs to pay $40. Its not just here. I ran into a guy who has ridden the trails in SC for 10 years and says "why do I have to pay now"?

    We do this because we love the trails and have used this land for free for the last 10-15 years. I would like the same opportunity for my kids to have when they are my age.

    If you do not see the value of $40 being invested in SC single track, don't join the club. But no, we are not going to publicly post maps our the system we built and maintain so people can avoid joining the club.
    We get the same thing at Hamilton Cycling Club - people just don't see the value of joining the club, despite all the work we do creating new trails. Honestly - even some of our trail builders haven't joined the club, which I find a little irritating. But I'm not going to nag people into joining - just not worth it.

    Now that you're an official club, I'd advocate applying for a Trillium grant (MEC has some good grants too) for trail building supplies, signage etc. We got one, and SHCC did too ($15K max).

    Not sure I totally agree with you about the map strategy, but that's certainly your call. Perhaps you could take the approach of selling hard copy maps locally as a fundraiser? It's a tough thing - people ride all over the province, but only want to join one club (if that). HCC has Associate memberships ($5) to help deal with that.

    Good luck with your club!

  22. #22
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    Simcoe County Mountain Bike Club

    My girlfriend and I signed up last night to both the SCMBC and the TPMBC.

    A year ago we bought bikes and we have been exploring different regions in southern Ontario. Being new to the sport we were not familiar with the idea of joining a club. Now that we have had a chance to experience how much fun it is to ride a purpose built single track MTB trail, we are happy to participate by financially supporting the clubs within a 2 hour drive from home.

    We are grateful to the trail builders who have given us (many) places to enjoy.

    Thank you!

  23. #23
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    Re: Simcoe County Mountain Bike Club

    Don't think that I do not support riders getting organized and getting land use agreements etc because I do. I think its great that there is a club now in the Simcoe County area to represent mountain bikers, especially with the abundance of county forests up there.

    I'm just saying that people want to see what they are getting for their financial support. If you don't want to share information thats fine but it can put off potential members from joining because they do not understand what they are getting for it. I only used myself as an example. If I was in the area enough to ride there more than once a year I would join in a heartbeat. No need for people to get defensive over someones opinion, because its just that. I'm also sorry if I came across as a stick in the mud , so to speak.

    I am a member of a club that has all the same expenses as yours and everything is done by volunteers, yet all the information about the trails (including maps) is available to Joe Public. The club has a very good rate of growth because people from different areas are joining up after seeing what we have to offer. Sure, there are the types who will never join or help out and will ride the trails all the time. It is inevitable and you just have to deal with it and accept the fact that not everyone who bikes wants to join a club.

    The other problem you face is whats to keep someone from joining your club then plastering the maps all over the net anyways? Its very hard to control this type of data, especially within the internet.

    Either way I'm glad that a new club has been formed and hope that you can prosper in the beautiful area that is Simcoe County. If you are ever in the Norfolk area I'd love to give you the tour and show you what we have to offer.
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  24. #24
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    Satan2.... Props for organizing the club and building/maintaining the trails.

    Seems to me that you have a bit of a marketing challenge. You want to encourage new membership, but don't want to show the goods so to speak (to prevent tresspassing). If I ride these trails (without a membership) who would I be tresspassing on, the landowners or your club?

    Do you have the exclusive right to use this land or simply the right to build the trails (as long as you can provide insurance)? I'm not trying to be critical, but simply better understand in order to offer more focussed input.

    Your principal argument for providing maps only to club members is that you need to raise money to cover the insurance as required by the land owners. If your club has the exclusive rights to build and use the trails then the club has every right to do what it wants to limit riders. However, this may also limit your membership and fundraising capabilities. On the other hand you might end up with a more exclusive club of "well heeled" members. This too is totally cool if that's where you want to go.

    On the other hand if you want a larger more community focussed membership, you would draw more interest if people could see what they are getting. You could also promote your club and the trails with events. This could also attract more volunteers.

    If the key issue is the cost of insurance, what type of figure are you talking about. Perhaps there is another way to come up with the funds (i.e., auction, print maps with advertising, etc.). Others MTBR members may be more able and willing to assist you with this. Just something to consider.

    I don't live in the area, but do try to ride different venues throughout the year.

    Best of luck.

    i1dry?
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  25. #25
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    You're complaining about $40...
    How much is a day pass @ HardWood or BuckWallow?
    What do you pay per day to go skiing @ HorseShoe or Mt.St.Louis?
    What's the entry fee for a race?

    This is a completey reasonable membership fee...
    If ya have enuff $$ to throw down for a Cannondale or Titus don"t tell me $40 is too much.

    Grant

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