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Letters: Snowdog sponsorship grooms the trails

Blizzard cyclists give thanks for generous donation from NorthRiver Midstream
From left: Gary Hilderman, Dan Webster, Lacey Beaumont and Andrew Kovacs.

NorthRiver Midstream reached out to the Blizzard Bicycle Club to see if they required any support in their development of mountain bike trails at Beatton Provincial Park. Starting in 2017, the Blizzard Bicycle Club in Partnership with BC Parks has been developing a series of Mountain Bike Trails within the park. These multi-use trails have expanded upon the snowshoe trails originally started by the Whiskeyjack Nordic Ski Club within the park and in four years have expanded to over 12kms of single and double track mountain bike trails that wind their way through the park. Thousands of volunteer hours have gone into these trails which are enjoyed by mountain bikers, trail runners, snowshoers, bird watchers, nature lovers and young families simply looking to go for a walk.

In the winter of 2020/21 with lower than normal snow levels a new use crept into the park, fat biking. Fat bikes are mountain bikes with 4-5" wide tires that have seen a major surge in popularity across Canada's mountain bike trails, opening up the trails for winter riding. With a population going stir crazy during the pandemic lockdowns, the ability to go out and ride their bikes in the winter was a welcome distraction. So the Blizzard's lived up to their name and now ride all year round.  Problem that the Blizzard Bicycle Club ran into was what do we do in a year with normal snow depths? Along came the Snowdog!

A Snowdog is a single tracked unit that can pull a sled or a trail groomer and has gained popularity across North America by fat bikers as a mountain bike winter trail groomer. So when NorthRiver's Andrew Kovacs, an avid local cyclist, reached out to the club, that idea was thrown out there as a potential way to expand the use of the mountain bike trails to all season access for the community. The Blizzard Bicycle Club submitted a proposal and with the help of NorthRiver's community relations advisor, Lacey Beaumont, were able to convince the company of the value that this piece of equipment would add to the community. Not just to mountain bikers but to the hundreds of snowshoers, hikers and nature enthusiasts that make use of the park every week.

The Snowdog was purchased wholly by NorthRiver's generous contribution and is currently housed at the Whiskeyjack ski club's storage shed at the park. BC Parks has approved the use of the equipment under the Partnership Agreement with the bike club and trail grooming has begun! On January 11, 2022, NorthRiver's Andrew Kovacs and Lacey Beaumont presented the $6,500 cheque for the equipment funding to Blizzard Bike Club president Dan Webster and Gary Hilderman at the mountain bike trail kick off at Beatton Park. So next time you are out at Beatton Park this winter enjoying these well groomed trails either on your bike or on foot, give a warm thank you to NorthRiver and the hardworking volunteers with the Blizzard Bicycle Club.

— Dan Webster, President, Blizzard Bicycle Club

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