Bill McLean, left, and Mason McGarrigle carve out the path for Finer China, a new authorized mountain bike trail in the Doumont recreation area being created by Nanaimo Mountain Bike Club, which hopes to open the trail to the public in summer 2018. CHRIS BUSH/Nanaimo News Bulletin

Mountain bikers to go with the flow on Finer China

Nanaimo Mountain Bike Club constructing second authorized trail in Doumont area.

Nanaimo Mountain Bike Club is putting out even Finer China for its guests.

The club is currently carving out a new downhill trail in the Doumont recreation area.

Called Finer China, the trail is the club’s second provincially approved trail for the area and will extend the existing 900-metre Fine China trail, opened in 2013, by about one kilometre, although the trails won’t actually connect.

“Fine China will end and then you’ll have to ride just a little ways and then you’ll enter Finer China, so it’s like a continuation,” said Dana Wacker, Nanaimo Mountain Bike Club communications director.

As with Fine China, Finer China is designed so riders of all skill levels can enjoy it and ride it safely and is intended to promote mountain biking in Nanaimo region and help promote tourism.

“Primarily flow, so there won’t be anything too technical, which is great for pretty much everyone of all levels because it’s not too dangerous,” Wacker said. “It’s really fun. If you like Fine China you’re gonna love Finer China.”

The trail route, which is on Crown land, has been approved by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development and woodlot manager Rick Heikkila.

The total budget for construction is just over $83,000 of which more than $31,000 has already been awarded by the Nanaimo Hospitality Association. FMI Installations of Nanaimo has stepped in to commit machines and other in-kind donations to the trail construction, which has been contracted to Mason McGarrigle and Bill McLean.

The builders hope to open Finer China in the summer of 2018.

“The challenges, thus far, have been largely in securing a machine and there are seasonal challenges, obviously, as well,” Wacker said. “We can’t work on it in the summer because it’s too dry … we’ve had a few challenges there between getting a machine and having the right season to do it in, but now it’s full steam ahead until it’s finished.”

The Doumont area has an extensive trail network dating back more than 30 years. Sanctioned trails – those approved by provincial and local governments, land owners and woodlot operators – have been constructed by the Nanaimo Mountain Bike Club in the past few years in the Doumont area and at Westwood Lake Park. New trails are built to modern national standards designed to make trails enviromentally sustainable, provide proper drainage, protect waterways and prevent soil erosion.

“Fine China was one of the very first authorized trails that we have in Nanaimo and now Finer China is an extension of that,” Wacker said.

For more information, visit Nanaimo Mountain Bike Club’s website at http:/nanaimomountainbikeclub.com.

photos@nanaimobulletin.com

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