The only way to Giv’r to the Riv’r on Saturday was with a mountain bike, a helmet full of confidence, and a shred of insanity.
Some combination of those three ingredients were the recipe to the first ever mountain bike event held at Big Bam Ski Hill in Taylor. For Gabe Wiebe, one of the founding members of the Fort St. John Mountain Bike Club, the event couldn’t have gone any better.
“We’re overjoyed with how the event went,” he said with a beaming smile. “Weather held out and we had an awesome turnout. Can’t believe this turnout because it is a long weekend and we were expecting less. We had 15 racers from Grande Prairie, Dawson Creek and Fort St. John.”
The event, which had already been rescheduled this summer because of inclement weather, attracted 15 riders, an extremely positive turnout for what the club hopes can become a staple in the region.
“Quiet honestly, just positive vibes, we were just thinking blue skies. I was checking the weather everyday this past week, every hour,” Wiebe quipped about the forecast for the day.
“We were disappointed that we had to cancel because of the rain back in June but it went even better than we expected. We hope to hold it annually; we think the summer will be better anyway.”
It’s been a labour of love at Big Bam for the mountain bike enthusiasts in Fort St. John, who started forming the multitude of jumps and twists in the course in February of this year.
“The course is intense, we’ve been getting a lot of feedback that it’s a hard course. You don’t see it too much in sanctioned bike parks like Whistler or Silverstar, people are pretty happy to be alive at the bottom,” Wiebe joked.
“We’ve just spent a lot of time here, we’ve been out here camping and working eight to 10 hour days cutting brush and digging dirt for these jumps.”
Brett Stevenson took home top honours at the inaugural event, cruising down the steep approximately 1 kilometre course in a time of 2 minutes and 21 seconds in both of his laps.
That time was five seconds faster than the nearest competitor Zach Dzuba who finished in 2:26.24 and Brandon Klamut who had a time of 2:26.8. Jesse Mcarthur was the under 18 winner in a time of 2:36.