From proposing to raising the next rippers
In 2012 Erik and Katy Wyatt came to ride Sun Peaks together for the first time. On the first run Katy crashed and, broke her arm and the two spent the day in the hospital.
That experience, however, didn’t turn them off the mountain. In April 2017, after paring down their collection and selling 17 bikes, they officially moved to the resort community.
“I always wanted to live in a small town,” Katy said. “I said ‘do you want to live in Sun Peaks?’”
“I needed to get out of the city,” Erik said. “(But) if someone told me one day I’d live on the second (golf) fairway of a resort I’d laugh.”
Before making the jump from Vancouver to the village, the couple had a long history of biking on their own and, after meeting in 2011, together. In fact, Katy said, she was interested in going on what would be their first date because she thought she could meet a new person to bike with.
She began working in a bike shop while attending university despite having never mountain biked before. After being encouraged to try it and taken on a ride she began to fall in love with the sport and has worked in the industry on and off since.
“I tried leaving several times for more grown up jobs but kept coming back, it’s just too much fun.”
She added getting involved in the activity after years of team sports gave her more self confidence.
“I learned something on my own without that greater whole. I can do it at my own pace, when I want, it’s a lot of freedom.”
Erik found his passion earlier. Needing a way to get to class without taking the bus he started biking to and from school, work and other activities in middle school.
Eventually all the miles on his bike led him to racing at an expert level. After a biking injury landed him in the back of an ambulance he was drawn to a career as a paramedic.
The flexibility of his job gave him the opportunity to travel to bike places most people only dream of, from the United Kingdom to destinations like Moab, Utah., Sedona, Ariz., and Bend, Ore.
In 2012 Erik began to pursue a new career as a registered massage therapist and in 2013 the two were engaged on a bike ride on Galbraith Mountain, Wash. Erik sped away and staged his bike upside down, making it look like he’d crashed. When Katy caught up, she said, she was worried about him until he stammered out a proposal.
The story reflects their relationship: fun, adventurous and woven together by a shared love of biking and the outdoors.
Though since moving here with their two children, four-year-old Reggie and two-year-old Emma, it’s been difficult to go out together, so they split parenting duties and each have no time to pursue their favourite pastimes.
For Katy that’s the adrenaline rush of fast flowy downhill trails like Sugar. Erik prefers heading out on steep and technical options.
He’s taking that love of cross-country trails seriously with a position with the Sun Peaks Recreational Trail Association (SPRTA) and plans to work on the mountain this summer building new trails for Sun Peaks Resort LLP (SPR) and SPRTA.
“It’s my home, I’m building trails for me that everyone else can ride,” he joked.
“To be involved…it felt like something I needed to do.”
His work as an RMT as the owner of Knee Deep Sports Massage, will also take him to the BC Bike Race in July where he’ll work with those competing in the seven day event.
Katy has previously worked as a coach with Black Beaver Athletic and this summer will continue her position as retail supervisor for SPR while leaving time to get on her bike.
This summer the parents are also looking forward to getting outside with the whole family.
“Reggie tried to bike to school in December,” Katy said. “And Emma started when she was around one, she wanted to do whatever her brother was doing.”
They are the next generation of killer bikers being raised right on the mountain.
“We plan to raise our kids here in the school and be involved as much as possible,” Erik said.
They added they’ve quickly fallen for the community and what it means to be a local.
“You get to be a part of your recreation rather than it being your destination,” Katy said. “It’s work and play and sharing all of your experiences with guests of the resort too.”
“To me it’s the ability to nod or wave at other locals knowing they know what we’re here for while also still being able to be somewhat anonymous,” said Erik. “The difference is you can acknowledge people and they get it.”