City of Campbell River to help find spot for mountain bike centre

Two energetic women trying to open a mountain bike skills facility hope to have land secured by the summer

Two energetic women trying to open a mountain bike skills facility hope to have land secured by the summer and a world-wide program up and running by spring.

Wendy Ravai and Beth Pechter are working in collaboration with the River City Cycling Club to open a facility to host cycling programs and provide youth with training grounds.

Ravai spoke to council Tuesday night for help with finding the perfect location.

“We would prefer a piece of land that’s naturally treed, with good openings, with drainage and slopes,” said Ravai who added they are looking for a spot close to Campbell River’s existing trail network, such as the Snowden demonstration forest near highway 28. “We’re asking to find that land by June 2014.”

Ravai said she and Pechter have been in discussions with Ross Milnthorp, the city’s manager of parks, recreation and culture, regarding potential sites.

Milnthorp told council a number of pieces of property are being considered.

“We’ve identified some locations. Some locations are on provincial land, some are on city land,” Milnthorp said. “We need to whittle those down.”

While finding the right site is still a work in progress, Ravai said her group is now in the middle of finishing up securing the Sprockids program for the spring.

The eight-week after school program teaches kids essential mountain biking skills under the guidance of certified instructors and has been taught around the world for 20 years.

Ravai told council that securing a mountain bike skills facility will be a huge boost for Campbell River.

“It’s a great way to encourage kids to be healthy and active and in the outdoors and it attracts new riders and promotes the skills of existing bikers,” said Ravai.

There are currently between 35 and 40 mountain bike skills facilities across B.C. and that number continues to grow.

Ravai said the vision for Campbell River is to build a facility with a pump track – a course set up with bumps, jumps, and berms designed so bikers can ride the course continuously without pedalling by using weight shifts and gravity – dirt jumps, and technical features such as wooden planks. Council was supportive of Ravai’s proposal, with councillors Claire Moglove and Ron Kerr both saying “let’s make it happen.”