Squamish now officially Mountain Bike Capital of Canada

What so many local mountain bike riders have known for years has now become official.

Squamish is now officially the Mountain Biking Capital of Canada thanks to Test of Metal race founder and director Cliff Miller's successful attempt at securing the trademark rights last week.

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Although a logo is in the works, Miller said he doesn't have immediate plans for the trademark's use but just had "a gut feeling" that it should be secured.

"It just hit me last year as I was driving the Trans Canada Highway that we should probably trademark it for some reason," he said. "It was available and it seemed like the right thing to do, but I don't really know what we're going to do with it."

Miller said he had a desire to see Squamish's position in the mountain biking world recognized and to promote mountain biking within and outside the community.

"It really seemed like a no-brainer to take this designation," Miller said.

"We've earned it, and now we can use the title to promote the community worldwide. That recognition gets some formal clout with this announcement."

The Test of Metal Inc. holds four major races in Squamish each year, the Ore Crusher, Just Another Bike Race (JABR), the Gearjammer, and the Test of Metal - the most successful cross-country mountain bike in Canada that has sold out for the last 14 years.

The combined number of race participants exceeds 1,700.

Squamish also hosts one stage of the BC Bike Race and is the starting point for the Cheakamus Challenge.

"The mountain biking community here has been active for years, and participation keeps growing. Mountain biking really is a defining feature of this town," Miller said.

In addition to the large one-day races, SORCA (Squamish Off Road Cycling Association), which boasts more than 500 members, holds 45 weekly Toonie races, cross country and downhill and social rides.

Miller said the fee for the trademark was about $1,000, and another part of the reason he wanted to land the title now was to ensure another mountain biking hotbed doesn't pursue the idea first.

A quick Google search of "mountain bike capital of Canada" directs Internet users to a hellobc.com link that states Rossland, B.C. holds that title.

But Miller believes the trademarked phrase is more fitting to Squamish.

"There is so much happening in the mountain bike world here in Squamish," he said. "With all the races we have gong on, the people coming here to ride and just the buzz in the community about mountain biking, it seemed like the right thing to do."

Miller said that one of the responsibilities of owning a trademark is its active enforcement and defending, so a letter has been sent to Rossland to make them aware of the new situation.

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