The reawakening of bike season

Spring and summer biking is just around the corner. File photo.

Are the rising temperatures giving you an itch to get back on the bike trails? With snow still on the ground, it will be a later start to riding season in Kamloops than in previous years, but it’s still only a few weeks away.

Cheryl Beattie is the owner of The Bicycle Café and an active proponent of the biking community in Kamloops which is closely involved with the Sun Peaks Bike Park. She is also a founding member of the volunteer community board that manages and maintains Kamloops Bike Ranch and other local biking areas. Beattie said biking trails that are normally open this time of year are still inaccessible due to snow and ice.

Snowfalls this winter meant prime fat biking, as snow and ice pose little challenge to the winter-friendly bicycles. But for riders with a penchant for thinner tires and dustier trails, they will have to wait a little longer depending on the weather, according to Beattie.

“We’ve had trail riding as early as late January before,” she said. “This would be one of the latest seasons I’ve seen.”

Riders must ensure trails are dry before riding them to keep them in good shape.

“If people go out there (when it is muddy) they’re just going to ruin the trails and ruin their bikes,” she said.

Batchelor is normally the first area to be “rideable” once spring arrives.
Kamloops Bike Ranch will be open in April with in plenty of time to host the first local competition and kids camp of the season near the end of the month.

Other recommended “pre-Peaks” riding include trails in Savona, Whitecroft, Pineview and Harper Mountain, which should all be accessible by April, according to James Jeffries, Bike Park supervisor for Sun Peaks Resort LLP.There are plenty of options for warming up the pedals ahead of the Sun Peaks season, in the best area for it.

“(Kamloops) is a world class riding destination at our back door,” Jeffries said.

Beattie agreed; it’s why she originally moved to Kamloops.. Her favourite area to ride, though? “Sun Peaks,” she answered, without hesitation.

“I can’t wait until it opens.”

Sun Peaks Bike Park will remain in hibernation until the Sunburst chairlift starts turning again on June 22. Lift tickets and passes for the summer season go on sale May 1.

Until then, Beattie and Jeffries remain tight-lipped on any planned new developments to the Kamloops and Sun Peaks trail networks.

However, with a similar arrangement in place for a full-time excavator to help build and rework the Bike Park like last year, riders can expect more exciting changes, especially with the Bike Park’s twentieth anniversary just around the corner.

“I think it’s going to be another amazing year in Kamloops and at Sun Peaks,” Beattie said.

“The trend I am seeing is so much positivity and enthusiasm (from the biking community). People are making things happen.”

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