The South Cariboo Track and Trail Dirtbike Association is seeking grant funding to upgrade its motocross tracks.
The organization has applied to the Northern Development Initiative Trust for grant funding to provide drainage and resurface the 100 Mile motocross track. Association president Brandon Plewes said the work would include distributing a few truckloads of capping material to give it a “nice dirtbike texture.”
The upgrades are desperately needed, he said, noting the track was swamped for much of last year and memberships declined as it was a constant struggle to keep the track in a rideable condition, especially following heavy rains. The Cariboo Regional District supported the application.
“2020 was a funny year, lots of wet weather had our track shutdown almost more than it was open,” he said. “There was nowhere for the water to go.”
Located three and a half kilometres up Ainsworth Road on the south end, the motocross track is built on the bones of the old one that existed when Plewes was a child. While it’s a good track, it’s in dire need of upgrades.
Plewes said club members, the community and businesses have donated $28,000 to the track in money and time. Without their support, he said the track could never have been rebuilt. He credited new club members of the club’s board were key in putting together the application for the grant.
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“We hope to get the grant because it would really add to people enjoying their time here in town,” Plewes said.
The work on the track is expected to begin in May and be done for the usual summer season in June.
Plewes said he’d like to push the tourism aspect of dirt-biking this year as there are clubs from the Lower Mainland who come up here to use the track. These people stay at hotels and shop at local businesses, which he said provides a boost for everyone.
The association will also put up signage on the trails this year and develop an app to inform riders about what trails they can or cannot use. This should help people keep their vehicles to designated trails while riding their bikes, side-by-sides and ATVs.
“Everyone has a cell phone on them so if they can see that they’re on a trail, they can have a day ride and do 100 kilometres if they want to and not worry about getting turned around or lost out there.”
Plewes, who used to ride the track when he was young, was instrumental in reinstating the track because he wanted to give back to the community and provide families with a place to dirtbike safely. This occurred around the 2017 wildfire and there was a lot of concern from the public that bikers riding on Crown land might spark more wildfires.
“It’s been really good. We’ve had lots of support from community members and lots of support from people outside the community. We’ve always said we’re a destination town for people to vacation in,” Plewes said.
Since breaking both his legs dirt biking, Plewes is no longer be riding himself but said he looks forward to coaching others and providing them with the chance to have fun.