Cameron Murphy used to get his dad to drive him the five or so kilometres from his Port Coquitlam home so he could ride his mountain bike on the trails at Burke Mountain.
Now the 16-year-old Grade 11 student at Terry Fox secondary pedals his way up the steady incline to the trailhead next to the Port Coquitlam & District Hunting & Fishing Club. He’s in better shape, and he’s doing his own small part to combat climate change.
Murphy said he’d like other mountain bikers to follow his lead. So for his Social Justice 12 class at school he produced a video to show other cyclists the little things they can do to help save the planet while still having fun.
Murphy, who’s been riding for almost three years and is on the School District 43 mountain biking team, said the effort can be as little as picking up litter alongside the trail to volunteering with local organizations like the Tri-Cities Offroad Cycling Association (TORCA) to build trails responsibly in a way that protects habitat and prevents erosion.
It was a class discussion about climate change that tweaked Murphy’s desire to rally the cycling community.
“It opened my eyes that if we take care of the environment, it will take care of us and give back to us,” he said.
Murphy said he spent about 10 hours over the course of three days filming himself riding some of his favourite trails and then editing his project. Some of his ideas include:
• riding to the trail, or using public transportation “because there will be one less car on the road.”
• recycling materials like old inner tubes that can be turned into elastics or wrapped around stays to protect them from the bike’s chain or flying stones.
• using hand tools or electric chainsaws for trail building
Murphy said mountain biking is his passion, and he doesn’t want to lose his ability to enjoy it because of the threats posed by climate change to natural environs like the forested slopes of Burke Mountain.