Susan Russell and Dave Sandsmark beaming with pride, holding their victory certificate. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)

Susan Russell and Dave Sandsmark beaming with pride, holding their victory certificate. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)

Burns Lake’s Burnt Bikes voted B.C.’s favourite bike shop

Wins the 2020 Cycling BC Community Award for bike shop of the year

The local favourite shop for all things bikes, has now been voted as B.C.’s favourite bike shop.

Burnt Bikes, the local bike shop owned by Dave Sandsmark and Susan Russell, has just won the Bike Shop of the Year award through popular vote in the 2020 Cycling BC Community awards.

According to Russell, these province-wide awards generally go to larger communities and larger shops but winning despite being in a remote place, has been amazing. Sandsmark agreed, adding that this would’ve never been possible without the shop’s customers and it just meant so much to them that they voted for the shop as the best in BC.

Cycling BC’s awards are an annual celebration of the effort and commitment of individuals and groups that have demonstrated exceptional achievement, contribution, and dedication to the sport of cycling in the province.

“I believe these awards demonstrate that cyclists have strong feelings of connection for their local bike shop. These businesses are more than just retail outlets. They serve as important hubs where local knowledge is shared and relationships are formed. Obviously Burnt Bikes has had a big impact on the community as we saw folks from that area really rallying to show their support for this shop,” said Cory Ostertag, the operations manager for Cycling BC.

Burnt Bikes was among the 25 shops nominated by members of the cycling community in B.C. The voting was conducted online with members being able to nominate and vote for any shop all throughout the province.

Burnt Bikes has been around in Burns Lake for over a decade. It started with Sandsmark fixing his own bikes because of how far any closest bike shop was. He then moved on to fixing friends’ bikes, and later doing more repairs, part-time. This turned into Sandsmark starting the bike shop with a partner before buying him out completely.

Sandsmark doesn’t just stop at the bike shop though; he is also very involved in trail development for the entire biking community.

“We ourselves are so passionate about mountain biking and maintaining the trails and if we can do something that puts back into the community as well, we are always happy to do that. We have seen a lot of customers from surrounding areas too and so a lot of acknowledgement there as well. We do so well because we have such a strong and active community and we are just very humbled and appreciative of all the support,” said Russell.

While Burns Lake is a small community, it still sees a lot of biking-enthusiasts. From mountain biking to fat biking, interest in the local bike shop is always at a high. This gets a bigger boost thanks to the support of and the relationship with the local club Ride Burns, formerly known as the Burns Lake Mountain Biking Association, she added.

In fact, in the past year when things were extremely tough for most retail outlets, Burnt Bikes did really well, according to Sandsmark.

“The challenge was definitely that we didn’t get to run our shuttles last summer and there was less of guiding and training. We did do some modified workshops and those went great. Plus a lot of people who came in were new, or just valued how much recreation they could do in this area,” said Sandsmark, adding that he feels this year would be tougher just because of how much the demand for bikes or their parts has increased compared to the supply.

The two are however encouraged by the award and by the support they have received from the community.

“Burns Lake residents were really active in submitting nominations in the other awards categories as well. The local pride and community cohesion among Burns Lake cyclists showed itself throughout Cycling BC’s community awards process,” said Ostertag.

Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist

Like us on Facebook and follows us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has suspended indoor dining at restaurants and pubs until at least April 19 in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. sets new COVID-19 daily record with 1,293 cases Thursday

New order allows workplace closures when infections found

The new 3,500 hectare conservancy in Tahltan territory is located next to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (BC Parks Photo)
New conservancy protects sacred Tahltan land near Mount Edziza Provincial Park

Project is a collaboration between Skeena Resources, conservation groups and the TCG

Mabel Todd, 83, of the Nak’azdli First Nation, leads a group of family members and advocates of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls as they walk along the so-called Highway of Tears in Moricetown, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Province, feds fund full cell service along ‘Highway of Tears’ following years of advocacy

A ‘critical milestone in helping prevent future tragedies’ after at least 10 Indigenous women murdered, missing along the route

Erin O’Toole, Conservative Party of Canada leader, answered questions during a Terrace District Chamber of Commerce event on April 6, 2021. (Screenshot/Terrace District Chamber of Commerce Facebook)
Erin O’Toole discusses Terrace issues during virtual event

Federal Conservative leader answered questions during a Terrace & District Chamber of Commerce event

Tree; Burns Lake library. (Laura Blackwell photo/Lakes District News)
Dragon Tree christened

The Burns Lake Public Library contest for dragon and tree names has… Continue reading

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

Facebook screenshot of the sea lion on Holberg Road. (Greg Clarke Facebook video)
VIDEO: Sea lion randomly spotted on remote B.C. logging road

Greg Clarke was driving home on the Holberg Road April 12, when he saw a large sea lion.

Defence counsel for the accused entered two not guilty pleas by phone to Grand Forks Provincial Court Tuesday, Jan. 12. File photo
B.C. seafood company owner fined $25K for eating receipt, obstructing DFO inspection

Richmond company Tenshi Seafood is facing $75,000 in fines as decided March 4 by a provincial court judge

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 2, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. NDP ministers defend ‘air tax,’ latest COVID-19 business aid

Empty home tax doesn’t apply to businesses, but space above them

In Ontario, COVID-19 vaccine clinics have been set up at local mosques. (Submitted photo: Rufaida Mohammed)
Getting the vaccine does not break your fast, says Muslim COVID-19 task force

Muslim community ‘strongly’ encouraging people to get their shot, whether or not during Ramadan

Most Read