With the weather permitting more and more outdoor activities, mountain bikes cruising local trails and bike parks are a common sight in the Nicola Valley. Preparing for another season on the trails, the Merritt Mountain Biking Association (MMBA) has a number of new initiatives on the go.

The MMBA maintains and has helped in the establishment of dozens of kilometers of biking trail in the Nicola Valley, providing prime outdoor recreation opportunities for locals and visitors alike. One of the club’s more popular trails, Iron Mountain’s Too Much Information, will have its flow trail extended with over two kilometers of machine-groomed trail with varying difficulty features.

The club also maintains the bike skills park at Central Park, which they keep tidy and ready to ride with the help of volunteers and local youth. Monthly work bees give youth the opportunity to work one hour for one entry in a draw for a brand new Marin San Quentin, courtesy of Breathebikes. Youth can participate in cleaning and maintenance work throughout the summer for multiple entries before the year end wrap up in September. 

“Most of it is sweeping, and some shoveling, of the surface gravel to keep the park smoother and safer” said Travis Fehr, a director with the MMBA, adding with a laugh, “we all know that crashing on gravel isn’t fun.”

Along with the opportunity for work, the MMBA also looked to highlight a new partnership between Breathebikes, Scw’exmx Child and Family Services Society, and Merritt Secondary School that provides bikes to youth for a number of educational opportunities and events. Along with the involvement the MMBA has with the high school’s physical education program, the club’s president hosts beginner rides every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in varying locations. 

Through Tourism Nicola Valley, a marketing organizations that now holds the city’s Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) designation, the MMBA also recently secure grant funding to replace and install signage at its Sugarloaf Mountain, Iron Mountain, and Coutlee Plateau trail systems.

For more information on the MMBA, including event times and locations, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/bikemerritt.