LETTER FROM THE OUTGOING TORCA PRESIDENT

Happy New Year from TORCA!

We are super pumped to be ringing in the New Year and wanted to touch base with you all to share all that we have been up to in 2016 and what to expect from us in 2017. We had a super productive year of trail work and doing our best to bring the mtb community together. The Board of directors spent countless hours in board meetings scheduling trail days that yielded over 800 trail hours of maintenance work on your trails. We exceeded our commitments to the USFS on our adopt a trail agreements on both CDO and Aspen Draw trails and we also completed over 200 hours of work on our trail Stewardship with the Arizona Trail Association on Segment 10A(Prison Camp and Bellota section od AZT). Volunteers and boardies also put our US Forest Service Sawyer certifications go to good use and we removed over 50 downed trees on Mt. Lemmon’s upper trails.

TORCA has been opening up communications with other user groups and working collaboratively with the Friends of Redington, another Non-Profit who works with user groups in the Redington area to better manage that historic recreation area. We spent countless hours in working groups to put together their Recreational Management Plan that would open up more trail opportunities in the area as well as legitimize trails like Scorpion and La Milagrosa. In similar fashion, we also continue to work with the city to develop a bike park potentially at Fantasy Island trails.

Amongst other things, we pride ourselves on our integrity. In case you were wondering “where do my membership dues go?”, we thought we’d share some info around what assets we have purchased with funds that we’ve raised. In 2016 we invested in more trail capital and purchased 4 more gas weed whackers, two gas powered brush cutters, two debarking Axes, and numerous other instruments of trail “tuneage”. We appreciate your membership dues as they help us do what we do and by that, we mean putting smiles on peoples’ faces!

Speaking of smiling faces, we saw a lot of them at the 2016 TORCA Pachanga! If you missed it this year, you won’t want to do that again! TORCA Boardies and volunteers, nailed it again this year and put together another “banger” event. We eclipsed 200 participants this year and next year promises to be even bigger and better. A few highlights include the 4th Annual Poker Ride seeing the best attendance to date and TONS of prizes from our awesome sponsors! The 2nd Annual Funduro presented by GIANT Bikes was a blast on a world class course that had been tuned by trail volunteers weeks before the event. Local shredder Timmy Evans and part time local Krista Rust put down the fastest times and won the open class. The “Average Joe’s” class was well attended and brought a super fun and “strategic” group of riders. Freeride Friday presented by Rocky Mountain Cycles and Guerilla Gravity was magical. We had a day of demos on a rippin fun DH(ish) trail with some trail gobbling bikes! Arguably the most fun part of the event outside of the handful of others was the FIVE TEN Fireside Corn Hole Contest. This event saw over 80 campers and attendees alike battling it out for Corn Hole distance supremacy with Britt Linde and Chris Argue rounding out the winners. They both went home with a pair of 5.10 Freeride shoes of their choosing! We want to thank our sponsors for their participation. Thanks to Arizona Cyclist, Probike, Broadway Bikes, Troy Lee Designs, Old Pueblo Gymnastics, Deconcini Realty and last but certainly not least, Risky Business Restaurants for all the awesome food! They are mtber owned and we could not have had as successful of an event without their help!

With us now in 2017 mode, we just held elections and are super excited of some new blood being injected into the executive ranks. Long time President and co-founder Art Alcantara had presided as President since inception of TORCA and was proud to hand over the reins to Tara Alcantara. Tara has a mountain of experience in leadership and advocacy as both a long standing board member and former Secretary and in the corporate world/owner of Home Grown Mtb Tours LLC. We are lucky to have her vision, work ethic and good vibes spirit at the helm! In more changes, Jeremy Sunshine AKA J-Shine is TORCA’s newly elected Secretary and will fill the large shoes left by the incoming President. Jeremy has been an active member and board members for the last four years and has been “clutch” in meeting with city officials, trail work leader on countless trail days, and model advocate. He is the kind of guy that always raises his hand when we need something and exemplifies the “doer” spirit. Vern and Kimmeh Aikins will remain as Vice President and Treasurer respectively. Vernie, TORCA’s co-founder, will continue to lead as Trails Director and bring his humor and enthusiasm to the group. Kimmeh Aikins will continue to fight the good fight and manage our books with her biggest fight being the constant onslaught of recommendations from the former President to buy a TORCA drone. Believe me, this is no small feat as I have tried a million times!!

I have never been prouder of anything than to be associated with such a hard working group. All the folks at TORCA including members at large and the rest of the MTB community, continue to be the examples of MTB advocacy and stepping up to make things happen. While I hand over the responsibilities of the President, I will still be an active participant in TORCA’s efforts. My focuses will be primarily business development, grant writing and I will continue to pull that crosscut saw as long as there are trees down. Please check out our Facebook page at facebook.com/tucsontorca and Instagram at @torcamtb for trail days, rides and special events and make sure you take the #oneday challenge to do at least one day of trail work in 2017! Thank you in advance for your continued support of TORCA and our efforts.

Let’s get dirty!

Art Alcantara
Outgoing President

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