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Mtn. biking boosters convince city to come along for the ride
City council will help two local women in their quest to open a mountain bike skills centre in Campbell River.
Wendy Ravai and Beth Pechter are working in collaboration with the River City Cycling Club to open a skills facility and start a youth cycling program at the same time.
Coun. Ron Kerr said the two women spoke to the city’s Community Services, Recreation and Culture Commission in December in an effort to get the city on board.
“We were all impressed by their presentation, their energy, and dedication to developing a mountain bike skills facility in Campbell River,” Kerr said.
Ross Milnthorp, the city’s general manager of parks, recreation, and culture, said the two women have shown a lot of initiative and proposal is not asking a lot of city staff.
“The people pursuing this in the community are very energetic and are looking for minor staff assistance to pursue this,” Milnthorp said. “Zoning information, mapping. I don’t see this as a big workload for staff.”
Kerr said establishing a mountain bike facility would be a boon for Campbell River.
“We felt that this facility would not only just benefit the existing bike community in Campbell River but potentially the local economy through its tourist potential and its ability to attract and retain qualified professionals and workers with their families to this region,” Kerr said.
While the facility itself will be a draw, Ravai and Pechter are also working on delivering a bike skills program which would be taught at the centre.
The pair have already initiated a youth cycling program through Sprockids which has been taught around the world for the past 20 years.
It’s an eight-week long after school program that teaches kids essential mountain biking skills under the guidance of certified instructors.
The program teaches kids safety, self-esteem, bike handling skills, trail etiquette, and trail and bike maintenance.
Ravai and Pechter said they are hoping to offer the first program this spring in Campbell River, with or without a facility.
“Until we can get a facility we are hoping to build portable features to teach kids the program curriculum,” Ravai and Pechter wrote in a letter to the city. “Our goal is to develop the program in conjunction with working towards a skills facility. We are excited to present this initiative to you as we are both passionate about riding and the opportunity to share it with our children and the community.”
The pair hope to involve the community, specifically youth, in the design, building and maintenance of the skills centre.
The Sprockids program would be offered to kids between the ages of five and 14.