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Tri-Cities mountain bikers ready to lift off with movie fundraiser

TORCA has been working to ensure trail access on Tri-City mountains for more than two decades.
The OneUp team responsible for spearheading the construction of the new Airplane Mode trail in Squamish. (L-R) Owen Foster, Corey Ellah, and Fraser Brown hang out with Oshka the pup.

Lights, camera, dig.

The Tri-Cities Off Road Cycling Association (TORCA) is going to the movies to raise money for its trail building and maintenance efforts and hopefully to inspire its members.

The volunteer charity organization that advocates for trail use and access in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore and Belcarra, is screening Airplane Mode at a special movie night and social event on Thursday, May 11, at Site B (3012 Murray St., Port Moody) from 6 to 10 p.m.

TORCA’s Chelsea Hobbis said the movie tells the story of Airplane Mode, a new trail in Squamish constructed by volunteers from OneUp Components, a local company that engineers and sells parts for mountain bikes.

The project started in 2018 and took more than 100 people about 2,500 hours to complete. The trail, part of the Diamond Head network, opened in June 2022.

Hobbis said the film could be a catalyst for local trail builders.

“It’s a great way to show the potential of how sanctioned trails can be built and maintained to create a destination for mountain biking,” she said. “It’s something we can really rally around.”

Since TORCA was founded in 1998 as the Tri-Cities Off Road Cycling Coalition, members have worked with various levels of government, land owners, user groups and several community partners to organize and formalize trail building efforts on local mountains like Eagle and Burke that had previously been done on the down-low.

The group also helps educate users and builders about proper etiquette to ensure trails don’t damage their surrounding environs and conflicts are minimized.

Hobbis said being proactive about trail use in the mountains around the Tri-Cities means they can be enjoyed safely by everyone.

“Getting trails sanctioned in the Tri-Cities is something TORCA is working diligently on,” she said. “It’s not only mountain bikers that are seeing the benefits of these efforts; hikers, trail runners and dog walkers are enjoying the work done by the amazing volunteers in our community.”

It’s all about unlocking the full recreational potential of our surroundings, added Hobbis, making the Tri-Cities a destination for trail users from far and wide.

Tickets for the movie night cost $25 and includes a smokie, a beer or other beverage and an entry to the draw prize. There’s also a silent auction. Go to TORCA’s Events page for more information and to register.

with a file from Steven Chua, Squamish Chief