The first ever Canadian snow bike motocross competition takes place in Revelstoke this weekend.
The Revy Riders along with MCQMX, which runs the BC motocross series, are hosting two snow bike races in Revelstoke — one this Saturday, Feb. 4, and the second three weeks later, on Feb. 25.
“Traditionally when our riders get fast and get serious about racing, in order to stay on the bike in the winter time they would go down south for a couple of months,” said Stuart McQueen, the head of MCQMX. “That’s all changed with snow bikes.”
Snow bikes are modified dirt bikes with a ski on the front and a track on the back to make them capable of getting through the snow in winter. They’re relatively new in the motor sport world but have started to gainin popularity in recent years.
“They are definitely becoming a lot more popular,” said Kathy Burke of the Revelstoke Snowmobile Club. “It’s one of those where a lot of guys are getting into it because it’s one machine for all seasons.”
McQueen decided to host the snow bike races as way of keeping Canadian dirt bikers at home in the winter. The sport has attracted many top motocross riders, as well as top snowmobilers. So far, the only snow bike races have been in the United States. By hosting races in Revelstoke, McQueen hopes Canadians will come out.
“We’ve got guys like Brock Hoyer and Reagan Sieg that will go down to the U.S. races, but only because they win,” McQueen said. “Those guys that aren’t winning aren’t going to spend a fortune to go to the U.S. to go to snow bike races.”
Revelstoke was chosen as the site of the races because, as McQueen put it, it’s the “capital for snow-related activities in the country.” He was here in the fall to help lengthen the Revy Rider’s motocross track and decided to host the snow bike event then.
With a huge snowmobiling scene already in place and a growing dirt bike community, Revelstoke has a strong reputation as a motor sport centre. The race has strong support, with numerous local businesses on board as sponsors. The Revelstoke Snowmobile Club is grooming the track for the event.
“We know the spectators are there for the event, it’s just a matter of raising awareness,” said McQueen.
The races are scheduled to run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. There are four classes of competition: pro, intermediate, sportsman and mods (“designated to the guys that make’m FAST!”). Amateurs are welcome.
McQueen hopes 100 people will sign up, and he expects many top professionals will come out for the race. The elite will be a mix of racers coming over from dirt bikes and people known more for their snow biking.
“It’s bringing the two worlds together,” said McQueen. “The guys that have been involved for four to five years and the guys that are coming over from moto.”
The race will be followed by a night show at the Revy Riders track. It will include a freestyle display by Brett Turcotte, speed races, live music, beer gardens and more. The party starts at 6 p.m. and tickets are $10 for an individual or $30 for a family.
On Sunday, a few pros will head up the mountains for some filming. The shoots won’t be guided, but the public is welcome to come out and watch.
“We’ll go to some locations where there’s some features, set up the film crews and watch these guys play,” said McQueen.
Find out more at mcqmx.ca/canadiansnowbikemxnationals.