The Village of Cumberland is a premier mountain biking destination with an extensive selection of trails. Thanks to local businesses, organizations and individuals the community’s passion for the sport is being shared with Cumberland youth.
For the past 6 years, the Cumberland Community Schools Society (CCSS) has partnered with the United Riders of Cumberland (UROC) and Dodge City Cycles (DCC) to offer a very successful after school Mountain Bike Program for students aged 9-11. The program takes place every spring and fall for 8 weeks, with up to 35 students participating. In Fall 2014, CCSS and UROC expanded its programming to include a Youth Mountain Bike Program for students aged 12 – 15 as well as a Trail Building and Maintenance Program for youth aged 14 – 15. Through these programs, participants explore local trails, build confidence and learn new skills.
The CCSS Mountain Bike Program offers “loaner” bikes and helmets to elementary aged students who are new to the sport or cannot afford their own. This year, the Cumberland Coal Cross Race organizers and Dodge City Cycles partnered together to make this program more accessible to Cumberland youth.
The Cumberland Coal Cross Race is a local Cumberland cyclocross race and is hosted every September to 250 racers from throughout Vancouver Island. Historically, race organizers Lisa Ludwig and Curtis Saunders have used race proceeds to support non-profit organizations in Cumberland. “One of the reasons we initially chose to host the cross race 6 years ago was to showcase what a great cycling community Cumberland has,” says Ludwig. “When thinking about how to make best use of our race proceeds, it seemed logical to invest it back into our community and our youth.”
Two years ago, the couple used the race profits to purchase BMX bikes for the CCSS BMX After School Program with the assistance of Trail Bikes in Courtenay. This year, they chose the CCSS Mountain Bike Program as the recipient and purchased three new Rocky Mountain “loaner” mountain bikes. Dodge City Cycles pitched in by finding some great discounts and volunteering their time to build the bikes. The mountain bikes are now available for use during after-school programs. “We know how much cycling fosters well being, productivity and social development and hope that providing a bike resource to the CCSS programs ensures this happens for more and more kids,” states Ludwig.
CCSS is a registered charity that promotes life-long learning, health and wellbeing by providing programs and services to Cumberland residents. Working in partnership with the school, volunteers and community organizations, CCSS offers a healthy lunch program at Cumberland Community School, free after-school programs for students in grades K-9, community programs for all ages and a drop in Youth Centre for Cumberland teens. You can find out more at www.