Trailforks.com just may be a cyclists dream.
The website by the creators of Pinkbike.com has information on just about every trail in the South Okangan.
“We don’t want secret trails on the website,” said community manager Brent Hillier, who has had instances when people have contacted him asking for certain trails to be removed.
Hillier stressed the site is to promote sanctioned trails and communities that have sanctioned mountain biking. The website states Trailforks is a management system for riders, builders and associations.
“It aims to provide the very best tools to inventory, maintain, promote and showcase trail networks. Tools such as statistics empower each group to have accessible data to show local city councils, governments, tourism boards and parks, conveying the popularity and potential economic impact of cycling on their area in order to receive further support to grow trail networks.”
However, it is not just a trail mapping website, it’s a user contributed database that puts the control into the hands of the people who worked hard to preserve and maintain the trails riders love.
Hillier said response to the website has been fairly positive.
“We’re trying to help trail associations right now. The big thing with that is trail associations don’t necessarily know if it’s going to be worth- while to get involved because they didn’t have the public on board,” he said. “Since our public launch (in October), the majority of content that gets added to the site is public. The public is there and they are engaged.”
Hillier said at first some associations were too busy to put in effort. That hasn’t been the case with the Penticton and Area Cycling Association. He said the working relationship with them has been fantastic.
“They are probably one of the more engaged associations,” he said. “They are at a great point in their association where they are really starting to expand. Laura (Harp, PACA’s president) from PACA has been helpful.”
Harp said Trailforks is good for Penticton and added the website covers a lot of the work the club would be doing. She also said the information is instantaneous and with more people adding information, the more current it is.
“It will take care of a lot of trail conditions,” she said. “People can see which trails are open, what weather is like, a single stop shop.”
The website is also free to use, though Hillier said they may have products which trail associations want to promote.
“It’s a product for associations, so they can promote and potentially make some money, fund their trail network,” he said.
People are able to donate on the website to any club connected to Trailforks. Harp said several have already made donations towards PACA. Harp also said that an application for smart phones is being developed to tie in with local associations.
This weekend there is a public forum hosted by the City of Penticton regarding Three Blind Mice Parkland Dec. 15 at 6 p.m. It starts with a presentation with city council on the re-zoning of 300 acres of Three Blind Mice trail network from low density residential into parkland. From 7 to 9 p.m., an advocacy fundraiser with a burger and beer at the Barking Parrot for $10. The funds are for Three Blind Mice. There will also be a raffle. Tickets available at Freedom, Bike Barn, the Lakeside Resort or any PACA executive. For more info on the public forum and why to support this proposal, check www.bikepenticton.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.