The three-day long The Big Pig, the mountain biking festival organized by Ride Burns, is going virtual this year due to Covid restrictions and it will last an entire month.
Last year, the festival was held from July 20 to July 21 with events like the Huff and Puff 40km, Dante’s Enduro, Wilbur’s Wheelay and Boer Mountain Sounder. The event also had registration fees involved ranging from $20 to $65, depending on the age group and events. This year’s event will just have a registration fee of $20 for non-members and $15 for members of Ride Burns.
“The idea this year is, we obviously cannot host our usual Big Pig because of the variety of measures in place for Covid so, we had a meeting at Ride Burns, which is our community group, and we talked about maybe implementing a virtual Big Pig,” said Pat Dube, an executive member for Ride Burns, formerly known as Burns Lake Mountain Biking Association.
This year’s Big Pig Festival is definitely going to look completely different with a virtual, month-long event. For starters, the Ride Burns team is setting up online registration for the event is open to both bikers and hikers. In person registration is also available but only at the Burnt Bikes shop in Burns Lake.
“Theoretically anyone from any community can participate since the registration is online, but you have to be physically be present on our Burns Lake trails,” said Dube.
The team has also set up a list of 19 dares, from taking a selfie on Star lake, to camping overnight at Kager lake, and riding the entire BBC, to attending and improving a trail as a part of a workbee. Each completed dare would get participants a ballet in the box, which will be drawn for prizes.
“We have set up 19 challenges and we have some bonuses for things like best times, most interesting photos, but essentially you get a ballot per completed challenge. You do all 19, you get 19, you do 10, you get 10 ballots. Some are extremely involved like, to do the outside BBC, i.e. the Burnt Bike Challenge route, which is our outside perimeter is a 45 kms, 2000 metre climb kind of ride. So that’s not something that everybody can do, or should do, but others are things like take your photo with your favorite donation sign or take a picture of your favorite trail, join a workbee,” said Dube.
Completed forms of all dares ticked-off, can be dropped off in person at Burnt Bikes, or if you would prefer to send them digitally, email completed form to Heidi Grant at firstname.lastname@example.org. For sending in photo confirmation of selfie’s and other photos from the dares, participants have to upload their photos to Instagram with #virtualbigpig and for those who don’t use the social media tool, would be required to email their photographs to Chris Backhouse at email@example.com.
“In the end, we will put all the names in a hat and pull out names and there will be several different prizes. There will also be one main prize, I think an Evoc pack, which is a great pack for mountain biking and is expensive. So that will be the grand prize and there will be a variety of smaller prizes,” he said.
The Big Pig festival, which draws large crowds every year, proves to be an essential fundraiser for the organization. This year however, due to Covid, although there are many people already participating, the numbers are low.
“We hope that people participate and support us,” said Dube, adding that the trails have been in excellent condition with a lot of work from the volunteers.
“Get out there riding because it looks like September is gorgeous after a rough summer weather-wise.”