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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For all of us who ride and volunteer at the The Hydrocut, this is a great time to voice your ideas and experiences.

An alternative proposal for the Stewardship of the Hydrocut Mountain Bike Trails will be put forward to the Region of Waterloo. The draft of the proposal can be viewed here: http://hydrocut.ca/wp-content/uploads/HydrocutStewardshipProposal.pdf

We are looking for public input through comments bellow this post: Alternative Proposal for The Stewardship of The Hydrouct Mountain Bike Trails | The Hydrocut The intention is to generate support for this proposal, but constructive opposing opinions are welcome.
 

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Ms. Monster
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This left me with a lot of questions:
- Who will pay for the (excellent) work this company will do?
- If it is a for-profit company, it will lose access to Trillium and other grants. How will it deal with this downside?
- What the heck has been going on at the WCC?

And finally, what is wrong with mountain bikers that they won't just join a damn club?
 

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This left me with a lot of questions:
- Who will pay for the (excellent) work this company will do?
- If it is a for-profit company, it will lose access to Trillium and other grants. How will it deal with this downside?
- What the heck has been going on at the WCC?

And finally, what is wrong with mountain bikers that they won't just join a damn club?
I don't think that there is anything wrong with mountain bikers who don't want to join a club. I was never a member of a club until I donated to a couple of clubs that I feel are doing a great job in trail development. Apart from that, a club does not really appeal to me. I am not interested in competitive cycling and my schedule is erratic and I tend to keep late hours so group rides that are mostly in the morning are out of the question. There is a huge difference between a club that is formed primarily to build and keep trails and develops from there, to one that has stewardship due to proximity. It would seem from the article that the WCC does not have the expertise for MTB trail building. What a racing club primarily on the road (from the article) would consider good for a trail system may not be what everyone would like. Having said that, I rode the Hydrocut for the first time this year and loved the place. This is another place that I would support through a club or organization dedicated specifically to it. A lot of the folks I ran into at the Hydrocut, seemed like recreational riders to me. Just a bunch of guys having fun. If the focus of the WCC is to develop racers, it would not surprise me that these folks would not want to join. However, a lot of people might be interested in supporting the Hydrocut if it were done outside a racing club. I don't know all the specific of WCC, but a bike club might not be the best fit just because they are geographically close to the trail system.
 

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My understandings from someone in the know, I don't live in the region of waterloo but have been to the hydrocut many times.

This left me with a lot of questions:
- Who will pay for the (excellent) work this company will do?

Same as current, there are donation boxes at LBS's, signage at the hydrocut, donation options on the hydrocut website, various fundraisers though out the year, grants. WCC has supported as well, remains to be seen if they would continue.

- If it is a for-profit company, it will lose access to Trillium and other grants. How will it deal with this downside?

It won't be a for-profit company

- What the heck has been going on at the WCC?

My understanding is that Igor doesn't like the process that is required to make changes to the trails. As with any 'official club' there are procedures that need to be followed and he feels that those get in the way of his trail work. It's not so much WCC per se, but that he doesn't have singular control over the trail work - the real goal of the new proposal.

And finally, what is wrong with mountain bikers that they won't just join a damn club?

As stated in the proposal, the hydrocut gets up to 300 people per day. Not all of those people are interested in joining a club, but a lot of these people don't even know about clubs, the work that goes into the trails, etc. They are weekend warriors at best, just heard about the trails from a buddy and that mountain biking is cool. Which is great. But according to the stats, WCC has a majority of mtber's... Or at least people that do both road and mtb, among their hundreds of members.
WCC put in over 2 years of bureaucratic BS work to secure the current trails agreement, this isn't something that is going to happen overnight, or without big public drive. Igor asking to be the singular leader isn't going to be something regional management will like - they like their committee's, hence the current trails committee.

I doubt many saw it but apparently on the WCC site 2 days ago, there was a post from a member, Igor, and the club president. It has since been deleted, but from Igor's posts there is obviously some tension between the WCC board and Igor, and he quite clearly wants to have full control over the trail system without having to consult or gain approval from any committee's in an effort to streamline trail improvements.
 

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Team NFI
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I don't think that there is anything wrong with mountain bikers who don't want to join a club. I was never a member of a club until I donated to a couple of clubs that I feel are doing a great job in trail development. Apart from that, a club does not really appeal to me. I am not interested in competitive cycling and my schedule is erratic and I tend to keep late hours so group rides that are mostly in the morning are out of the question. There is a huge difference between a club that is formed primarily to build and keep trails and develops from there, to one that has stewardship due to proximity. It would seem from the article that the WCC does not have the expertise for MTB trail building. What a racing club primarily on the road (from the article) would consider good for a trail system may not be what everyone would like. Having said that, I rode the Hydrocut for the first time this year and loved the place. This is another place that I would support through a club or organization dedicated specifically to it. A lot of the folks I ran into at the Hydrocut, seemed like recreational riders to me. Just a bunch of guys having fun. If the focus of the WCC is to develop racers, it would not surprise me that these folks would not want to join. However, a lot of people might be interested in supporting the Hydrocut if it were done outside a racing club. I don't know all the specific of WCC, but a bike club might not be the best fit just because they are geographically close to the trail system.
Bingo.

Reality is mountain biking has never had the club mentality of road. But that has more to do with the nature of road being a discipline where you work in groups to achieve the desired results. Where as mountain biking even racing has pretty much been a solo activity.

While in a ideal world the WCC could take care of the needs of mountain bikers. But reality is sometimes to see better results one has to break off. Nothing wrong with that...some clubs are focused on trail building and such while others like Lapdogs are focused on racing.

And it should be noted that Igor took a year of from taking care of the Hydrocut and according to reports elsewhere the WCC where incapable of getting the work done. Riders noted the lack of maintneance and such on the system in his absence.

So...if separating from the WCC and be more focused on non racing stuff for the trails makes things better. Well...better to be good at a small number of things as a group then be mediocre and many things.
 

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Ms. Monster
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Thanks for the reply afalts. Reading between the lines, that is how it seemed.

We (used to) ride the Hydrocut about three times a year - not enough for serious input. We've also attended trail days there. I've seen first-hand the fantastic work that Igor does. He's clearly passionate about the trails, and has been instrumental in developing them to their current state. It's really unfortunate that the current club structure is frustrating him. And it would be a huge loss to the trail system if that led him to stop working on the trails.

Having said that, the whole point of a club (with an elected board) being in charge of trails is that the development reflects the desires of the membership, not just of one individual. It's not really my business, but it does seem like there would be a lot less input or oversight in the new structure.

Things have changed since a few individuals did illicit trail building and through their sweat equity were completely in charge of design. But design by committee (in any field) can be unproductive at best. I see the push-pull.
 

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My understandings from someone in the know



WCC put in over 2 years of bureaucratic BS work to secure the current trails agreement, this isn't something that is going to happen overnight, or without big public drive. Igor asking to be the singular leader isn't going to be something regional management will like - they like their committee's, hence the current trails committee.

I doubt many saw it but on the WCC site 2 days ago, there was a post from a member, Igor, and the club president. It has since been deleted, but from Igor's posts there is obviously some tension between the WCC board and Igor, and he quite clearly wants to have full control over the trail system without having to consult or gain approval from any committee's in an effort to streamline trail improvements.
I wonder how the region would now view having a singular leader, especially one that from what I understand walked away for a season not long ago based on differences of opinion. What would happen if the region opposes the plans proposed by this new non profit company? Same thing?

I just wonder if it is born out of an actual process breakdown in the committee, or Igor just not being able to have it his way...
 

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You must know Igor.
Haha, It's probably safe to say that everyone that spends extensive time at the hydrocut knows Igor in some capacity. It's insane the amount of time he spends on the trails and is a huge asset to the community.

Though as an outsider to the planning process, I am not familiar with the inner workings of the committee. That makes it tough to form an opinion one way or another.
 

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No. Just No.
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It won't be a for-profit company
Interesting - if going by the formal definitions and requirements for structure a not-for-profit needs to have a board of directors, which would then seem to get back on to the same merry go round unless the directors are guaranteed to be like minded or else are effectively "fillers" by title only. Or perhaps the intent is not to operate under the structure of a not-for-profit, but instead as a standard corporation with a stated intent to make no profit. That's a much weaker position though (negotiating with the landowners) compared to incorporating formally as a not-for-profit with a board.
 

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Interesting - if going by the formal definitions and requirements for structure a not-for-profit needs to have a board of directors, which would then seem to get back on to the same merry go round unless the directors are guaranteed to be like minded or else are effectively "fillers" by title only. Or perhaps the intent is not to operate under the structure of a not-for-profit, but instead as a standard corporation with a stated intent to make no profit. That's a much weaker position though (negotiating with the landowners) compared to incorporating formally as a not-for-profit with a board.
Who knows what has been going on behind the scenes to set this up. But based on what I have seen elsewhere this direction seems to have local support. Note this is being done for a local area and maybe this will make things better. To early to speculate whether this will work out. And sometimes to make things better one has to try a new direction instead of following the status quo.

Truth is while it is easy to take shots at people like Igor who put hundreds of hours into what they love. And question their motives and actions. It is also very easy to take for granted the efforts of people who put the time in. And unfortunately as I have learned it can lead to burn out.

Best of luck to Igor with this new direction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Some interesting questions have been brought up in the past few days and my understanding of the whole proposal is to give the decision making process to people who actually do the work at the trail instead of a road centric committee. Some people questioned why there was a MTB committee while there was no Road committee.

WCC membership consists of roughly 50% MTB so don't be misled that the MTB'ers don't want to join a club.

Why not give Igor control, he's the one that dispatches people after a big storm to clean up the trails, he's the leader on trail days, he's the one out there moving the big rocks, trees and dirt to make the trails flow better. There will still be a committee but it will be comprised of "Trail Workers" not just warm bodies.

I'm not here to toot Igor's horn, but as a volunteer and member of the WCC, I was around when Igor took a year off because all of hard work at the Hydrocut was being circumvented by the Region allowing horse owners to ride and tear up the trail system.

I'll take one person with passion over 10 people with PHds anyday.

I urge everyone to click on the link and comment on the Hydro Cut Blog.

Alternative Proposal for The Stewardship of The Hydrouct Mountain Bike Trails | The Hydrocut
 

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Circlip and Nerdgirl,

I stand corrected, as explained in the comments in the link above - Transitions Bike Parks Inc. is claiming to be a for profit private company.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Circlip and Nerdgirl,

I stand corrected, as explained in the comments in the link above - Transitions Bike Parks Inc. is claiming to be a for profit private company.

I'm thinking this is a typo, since here is the full sentence.

"Transitions Bike Parks Inc. is a for profit private company. The company does not have any plans to try to monetize the Hydrocut."
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ok my understanding is that the hydrocut will not be monetized, however any future projects outside the hydrocut will be monetized. Therefore the Hydrocut project will be a showcase for other developments or projects.
 

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I stand corrected, as explained in the comments in the link above - Transitions Bike Parks Inc. is claiming to be a for profit private company.
Ok my understanding is that the hydrocut will not be monetized, however any future projects outside the hydrocut will be monetized. Therefore the Hydrocut project will be a showcase for other developments or projects.
It's entirely possible for a corporation organized as a standard for profit entity to operate for practical purposes as a zero-profit by design, on a project basis or across all projects. It's just very different from the optics standpoint than a formal not-for-profit, especially when salaries or wages are paid to employees/owners of the company with no oversight from a neutral board. Things can get pretty grey pretty quickly. Anyhow, hopefully something works out for the best long term interests of both Igor and users of the Hydrocut. Nothing wrong with trying a couple of different models on different trail systems. Considerations and people involved with each make it possible for different solutions to work in different spots, rather than trying to apply a one-size-fits-all-square-peg-in-round-hole treatment everywhere.
 

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I know Igor fairly well, for at least 7 or 8 years now. I was also a member of the WCC a few years back.

Fundamentally, Igor is THE DRIVING FORCE at the hydrocut, and always has been since early 2000. He's certainly opinionated and perhaps a little brusque, but this character is no worse than any of the big egos who are on the board of the WCC.

The thing that matters is HIS obsession with the trails. He truly loves them as much as he loves riding. His issue with the WCC is really about control, and the fact that the board doesn't want to cede it to him.

They are on the wrong foot here. He does 99% of the work on the trails. You can pretty much run into him working any time you go riding. Total absolute commitment.

He deserves to be THE GUY, plain and simple.

Go to his page, add a comment and help him out.

Drew
 
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