Mike Coulter (left), then president of the Campbell River ATV club, celebrates the 2016 grand opening of the region’s newest campground and trail network specifically designed for off-road vehicles at Pye Mountain near Roberts Lake alongside Duncan MacTavish and Kaela Mitchell of Recreation Sites and Trails BC and North Island MLA Claire Trevena. Mirror File Photo

Campbell River welcomes off-roaders from all over B.C.

Upcoming weekend conference is part education, part trade show and all things ATV

Quadders are coming.

This weekend, Campbell River will play host to over 100 delegates and off-road enthusiasts, along with many representatives of government and other agencies at the ATVBC Spring F2F Meeting 2018 at the Anchor Inn & Suites

And according to conference organizer and former Campbell River ATV Club president Mike Coulter, the public is invited to come see what all the fuss is about, as well.

“It’s going to be a great time,” Coulter says, “not just for people who are already into it, but for anyone who just loves the outdoors and wants to see how ORVers – or ATVers, whatever you want to call us – are involved in what’s happening in our backcountry.

“Anyone who wants to know about what the ATV guys are doing out there should come,” Coulter continues, “because when a lot of people close their eyes and picture an ATV guy, they see someone tearing around in the woods ripping through fish-bearing streams or destroying the environment in some other way, and that’s just simply not the case.”

In general, he says, they’re too old for that kind of nonsense.

“Something like 70 per cent of us are well over 50,” Coulter says. “Most of us are over 60. We’re out there trying to enjoy the outdoors and the back roads and see places you could never see without a motorized vehicle like these.”

This weekend’s conference is part education, part trade show and part meet-and-greet, Coulter says. With an opening reception on Friday night (May 4) and information sessions all day Saturday, there’s something for everyone.

The “F2F” part of the conference name reflects the “face to face” nature of the event, Coulter says.

“We’ve got a lineup of various politicians, dignitaries and senior officials doing presentations on everything from access to Crown land to the ORV Act and we’ve got 10 or so booths for the little trade show that’s going on, with a couple of the major manufacturers,” Coulter says. “I think it’s coming together really well.”

Speakers range from Campbell River Mayor Andy Adams and North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney to Doug Kelly of the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, Coulter himself and Melissa Mills, destination development and industry engagement coordinator with Tourism Vancouver Island.

But something like this doesn’t just all fall into place because you’ve got interest in hosting it and a hotel willing to have you.

“It was a ton of organizing, and we had to find the budget to cover the rooms for everybody and it really took a lot of buy-in from all five of the clubs on the Island – that was huge,” Coulter says. “It’s been a lot of work, but it’ll all be worth it.”

To cap off the weekend’s festivities, there is also a ride scheduled to leave from the Shell station at Quinsam Crossing (Willis Road and Highway 19) on Sunday morning at 9 a.m. Overnight camping for trailers and toy haulers is available on site and rides will be tailored for beginner, intermediate and advanced riders, so everyone can choose the ride that is right for them and get out to enjoy some of our region’s beauty.

To find out more about the conference, visit atvbc.ca