Access to trails is not a given, especially for mountain bikers. In many areas, there are disagreements and turf battles over trail access. GORC formed in the late nineties in response to our region lacking a voice for mountain bikers. Our pioneering members realized that the only way to get new trails built and replace poorly designed existing ones was to organize, develop plans, and follow through on them. GORC's core focus was to establish working relationships with the various land agencies with the goal of designing and maintaining 'multi-use' trail.
The St. Louis region features a healthy ratio of trail-to-user density. Trail conflicts often occur in densely populated areas with few riding outlets or where there is a history of misinformation or incorrect assumptions. GORC maintains and builds trails with an eye for sustainability. We try to provide the education and information necessary for trail users to respect and preserve the resources, including updated online trail conditions, and tips on riding responsibly.
Responsible riding keeps the gates open for mountain bikers at existing trails and fosters important relationships with land managers and other user groups for the development of new trails. By adhering to these principles of education, advocacy is often made easier when your reputation precedes you.
Our core mission states that GORC is dedicated to advocacy, design, construction, and maintenance of multi-use trails. Standing behind multi-use designation, is one of our most basic tenets, along with supporting IMBA on its national stage to further the sport, and educating the public about mountain biking and good trail design. When we present trail designs to land managers we do not exclude any user group. It is the land manager who makes the determination as to who will be allowed on the trail. In addition, we will not advocate for the removal of a particular user group.
Representatives of the Sport
One half of the 'minimal advocacy equation' is forging strong relationships with the various land agencies. The other half - and this includes you - is to be respectful on the trail, on social media sites and public forums. When you pass another trail user you are viewed as the entire mountain biking community right there in front of their eyes. You probably didn't know you worked in Public Relations. Well now you do!
GORC has established official relationships with St. Louis County Parks, St. Charles County Parks, St. Charles City, Missouri State Parks, Missouri Conservation Department, Southern Illinois University (Edwardsville), and the US Forest Service. With all of the above organizations, GORC's involvement includes trail design, construction, and maintenance, Technical Consulting, Leading Volunteer Workdays, and Providing Volunteers for Workdays.