PRESS RELEASE: The North Shore Mountain Bike Association
The North Shore Mountain Bike Association’s vision - Trails for All, Trails Forever - is powerful. We lean upon it in our day-to-day decision making and it guides us in times of uncertainty. When we reflect on “Trails for All”, the phrase goes far beyond considering the offering of trails in the network. It also encompasses all ages, abilities, ethnicities, sexual orientations and identities, along with recognizing that the land we recreate and work on is the unceded territory of the Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueam and Squamish Nations, who have been working and living on this land since time immemorial. All should feel welcome in the trail community.
While the core of what we do is to build, maintain and advocate for trails, as an organization that serves and represents many we have the responsibility to continually lead in a direction towards an inclusive and welcoming network for everyone. Mountain biking culture has evolved greatly since its inception with more and more voices bringing new perspectives and experiences to the sport. However, there are still voices that remain underrepresented in our community, so we are educating ourselves on the inequalities that exist and taking active steps to create the change we want to see. Those of us who use the trails, live in Metro Vancouver and ride a mountain bike are very privileged to do so. By acknowledging this privilege and understanding how we as an association can support the inclusion of diversity we will learn and grow together so that everyone feels they have a space on the trails.
The bicycle has always been a vehicle for change and what we do and say while recreating, even if it seems insignificant in the grand scheme of things, has an impact and will change the world. We encourage you to start by having these conversations at home, with people you trust and can lean on. Read through and digest the list of online resources we have provided, engage with us in this conversation online, and get curious about how you can start to shift the culture of mountain biking and contribute positively to the inclusivity of our community.
During this next phase, we may not always say the right thing as we practice our pronouns and learn how to communicate and act in an inclusive way. We will facilitate opportunities and discussion in our community on becoming a more diverse and inclusive one. We will not be able to do this alone and encourage local riding groups, bike shops and businesses to get involved in this conversation knowing we are here to support. We recognize that the goal will be an ever moving post, but a goal worth striving towards. We invite you to give us feedback and support us on this journey. We invite you to share your experiences, ideas, suggestions and stories as we open up this dialogue to support Trails for All, Trails Forever!
All are welcome - let’s ride!
Christine Reid & the NSMBA Board of Directors
The North Shore Mountain Bike Association is a non-profit charitable organization who sees value in building a diverse and inclusive community. Positive change both on and off the trails starts with a conversation in the greater community. The NSMBA’s statement can also be found on our website, along with a list of resources: http://nsmba.ca/trailsforall/