The North Okanagan Cycling Society has a big year planned for 2018. (Robb Thompson photo)

Big year ahead for cycling society

North Okanagan Cycling Society gears up for 2018

Mountain biking in Greater Vernon is gaining serious momentum and the North Okanagan Cycling Society (NOCS) has plans to make 2018 the best year yet.

Last week at the society’s AGM, president Daniel Poulin opened the meeting up with some strong statistics from 2017 including a membership of more than 700, approximately $100,000 in successful grant applications and 2,500 volunteer hours.

“Last year, 2017, was a big project year for us, with some projects coming to fruition like the expanded Trail Ninjas Program, as well as some projects building toward completion in 2018,” said Poulin. “It is exciting to see the programs, amenities, and trails grow at such a rapid rate, and we are looking forward to seeing what we can get done next year.”

In 2018, NOCS is welcoming a plethora of new projects, one of which is the completion of the Bike Skills Park located at Becker Park. The new park featuring pump tracks, features and trails for all abilities will act as a staging area for youth skills program, Sprockids, which is run by Olympia Cycle and Ski, as well as Trail Ninjas, a riding and trail building program for teens.

“We (NOCS) are thrilled to see the bike skills park go from concept to reality,” said Nick Macdonald, NOCS director. “It has been a pleasure to work with the City of Vernon to achieve our goal of providing this valuable amenity to our community.”

Other 2018 projects for the society include the installation of new signage throughout Kalamalka Lake and Ellison Provincial Parks thanks to a $16,000 grant from Tourism Vernon, a regional high school mountain biking circuit, new trails at Kalamalka Lake, Ellison and Silver Star Provincial Parks and plenty of trail maintenance.

On May 3-6, NOCS will also be hosting the second annual Vernon Bike Fest.

“This is a fun way to start the season and embrace our local mountain biking culture,” said Dudley Coulter, community relations director with NOCS. “There will be a film festival, demo day, group ride, an 80s themed bike party and more.”

For more information on NOCS and how to get involved as a member, volunteer, or sponsor, visit their website at http://www.okcycling.com/.

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