This year GCC will be raising it’s membership fees.  This is being done in an effort to meet the increasing costs of maintaining and developing the trail networks; here are some reasons why trail costs are increasing.
The primary costs that are increasing are in two areas.  First, our network is expanding.  In the past 2 years GCC has added to the networks Hymenoptera, Hemiptera, Odanata, Buzz, Easy Out, Schacher, Berminator, Rodeo Drive, Premature Excavation, 7Up, and Bush Party.  That’s an additional 28km of trails – hard to believe but you can go to the website and total up the km for each of these trails.   Our trails now total over 139km.  It costs more money to maintain 139km of trail than it did 111km of trail.

Maintenance on these trails, as well as all our other trails, includes repairing boardwalks, bridges, removing fallen trees, repairing water issues, signage, and brushing.  Add to these costs chainsaw and brushsaw gas, oil and maintenance.  Did you know that GCC spent $230 in 2017 on maintenance of the actual chainsaw alone.  This doesn’t even include the maintenance of the brushsaw nor gas/oil for either of these.  So although we all love new trails, that also means more trails to maintain, which means more money.

The other big increase in our costs is the actual building of new trails.  In the past many trails were built by local riders at no charge to the club (eg almost all of Mtn Shadows).  Other trails were built by Rick Seward and crew, and the soloist Pierre Lambert; often at a basement bargain rate of about $8 per metre of trail.  As GCC has been expanding the trail networks and paying for trail builds, we are now paying the industry rate to industry contractors which is closer to $15 to $20 per metre depending on the terrain.  That’s a big part of where are costs are increasing.  (Editor’s Note: many of our builds have been funded by grants, however, Schacher involved money that came from donations, grants, and membership fees.)
Other increases in GCC expenses (better stated as “new” expenses) last year have included the clean up of the logging done on private land in the Mtn Shadows (ie Reflection Lake Trail and Quenten’s).  Also, a new expense was the clean up of the windstorm in July 2017.  You will recall that the GoFundMe page didn’t get set up until Sept 18th.  GCC incurred the costs of the clean up in Moonrakers and CBT through August.

While the above only accounts for some of the increased costs, GCC is expecting more costs for 2018.  There will be the clean up/rebuild of the windstorm in Mtn Shadows and Mt 7.  While the GoFundMe page will cover some of this, it is going to likely fall short.  There may also be clean up and trail rebuilds to do as a result of the logging in the Woodlot in Mtn Shadows.  Further to this, a new trail like Schacher is going to likely need some love as we learn where the drainage issues are, etc.
To all of this I would add that just like the yearly rise in your heating bill, the price of gas, and the price you pay for a beer; the general costs of every expense GCC sees also rises each year.  However, the membership fee has remained the same for (I believe) the past 5-7 years.
Each year for the AGM, I print out a GCC “Work Completed” list of everything GCC did the previous year.  This also goes out in a member newsletter.  You can see a very abbreviated list of the big items here:

Lastly, GCC does not wish to incur stress on those individuals or families who find themselves in financial hardship.  If the cost of a membership will truly affect your living needs, then please forgo buying a membership.  Riding your bike should bring you bliss, not stress.