A popular trail system in the Capital Region was bustling on Sunday. No, not with joggers or hikers; with mountain bikers. More and more people in Greater Victoria are starting to pick up the sport of mountain biking.

Now, the Capital Regional District Board has voted in favour of creating a Mountain Biking Advisory Committee.

“It’s not a niche activity anymore, so you get people of all ages and all abilities participating in mountain biking, and the challenge is that right now our regional parks aren’t providing enough capacity,” said Alon Soraya, vice president of the South Island Mountain Bike Society.

The CRD Board said it received more than 200 emails stating the need for trails in the area, as well as the positive impact of the sport.

“Increased opportunities for mountain biking in our parks means increased opportunities for recreation, which we know has mental benefits as well as physical health benefits, as well as increased opportunities for people to connect with nature,” said CRD Director Ned Taylor.

Soraya said SIMBS is looking forward to collaborating with the CRD on developing the vibrant mountain biking community, adding that more trails are needed.

“There hasn’t been a lot of new trail development in the region, so this need has been building for a long time,” said Soraya.

Sooke Mayor Maja Tait announced the motion for a mountain bike policy for CRD Regional Parks and tells CTV News Vancouver Island she is looking forward to the new committee’s recommendations in the coming months.

“Our region has incredible potential with year-round riding possibilities,” said Tait. “It’s time to realize this and develop trails for locals and visitors alike.”

A board of 10 members will be assembled by the end of June to make up the committee. Recommendations and guidelines will then be presented to the CRD Board by November 2020.