Lakes District News file photo The Burns Lake Mountain Biking Association currently has 236 members. Pat Dubé says this membership is the “envy of the province.”

Mountain biking puts Burns Lake on the map

Burns Lake “well known in the mountain biking community”

“First thing I learned is that we really are on the map.”

That’s how Pat Dubé, a member of the Burns Lake Mountain Biking Association (BLMBA), described his experience at a recent mountain biking tourism symposium in Revelstoke. His attendance was sponsored by the Village of Burns Lake.

RELATED: Burns Lake to build new bike trails

“Whenever I attend a seminar anywhere, the first thing I have to do is explain where Burns Lake is – people simply don’t know,” he said. “Not so at this symposium. Everyone knew us and knew very specifically about mountain biking.”

Dubé explained that Burns Lake’s mountain biking pursuit began after the village received a $10,000 grant for economic development in 2004. After a local resident suggested the idea of investing in mountain biking, Dubé and other local representatives attended a mountain biking symposium in Whistler. He described the 2004 symposium as a “revelation.”

“[What we heard during the 2004 symposium was that] In Seattle, it took them seven years to build a small bike park under an overpass. We were checking things off [a list] and saying, ‘Well, all the challenges and problems that Seattle had, we not only didn’t have, but we had the solutions already in our backyard.’”

READ MORE: Economic impact of Burns Lake trails

“Access to machinery – every second person in Burns Lake runs a backhoe,” he continued. “Access to land – they are sending us here to look at mountain biking as a potential. So we started thinking this could really work here.”

“From that, you look at where we are now… we have really met our mandate of creating a world-class mountain biking destination and building a mountain biking culture in Burns Lake.”

OPINION: Burns Lake should become a mountain biking town

This year, approximately 70 bikers from all over the world made a stop in Burns Lake as part of the B.C. Bike Ride North.

“We were the jewel in the crown of the B.C. Bike Ride,” said Dubé. “They loved their experience here.”

Dubé said BLMBA’s membership is now the “envy of the province,” with 236 members.

“We have a bike camp that we have to turn away people,” he added. “It sells out in less than two days.”

In addition, Dubé says interest in mountain biking has significantly increased across B.C. over the past 10 years, creating an opportunity for Burns Lake.

“We have this amazing place… where else do you mountain bike to the trails and come down to a lake with a dock? Nowhere is the answer to that.”

Heartbeat of the organization

Every Wednesday, a group or approximately 25 BLMBA volunteers participate in a work bee at the Boer Mountain Recreation Site.

“They come because we ride afterwards too, and that’s everybody – whether you’re a beginner or advanced rider,” said Dubé.

“Other communities have only one work bee a season; we have one a week, and that’s fantastic,” he continued. “People feel like they own these trails.”

“We’re gonna keep developing the culture,” he added. “It’s the heartbeat of our organization.”

How could the Village of Burns Lake help?

Dubé said the Village of Burns Lake could support BLMBA’s vision by helping out with maintenance.

“We work really hard to make different proposals, but maintenance is really hard – nobody funds maintenance,” he said.

“It’s been on the back of us, volunteers. As much as I love volunteering, maintenance is a constant issue. At some point it’s going to be unsustainable when we get too old or just burned out, and maintenance is a priority.”

Dubé said the village could also support BLMBA by providing logistical or financial support for larger projects such as a trail connecting Kager Lake to Burns Lake, as well as branding Burns Lake as a mountain biking destination.


 

@flavio_nienow
newsroom@ldnews.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BLMBA

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

Just Posted

This photo of approximately 10 years ago shows Laureen Fabian, on the left, and daughter Caterina Andrews. Fabian went missing last October and her daughter is looking for answers. (Contributed photo)
Laureen Fabian’s disappearance remains a mystery

It’s been a year since she went missing

Adam Schmidt is currently at the BC Children’s Hospital. (GoFundMe/Laurel Miller)
Community comes together for a 15 year old Burns Laker admitted at BC Children’s hospital

A fundraising campaign to support the family is being run now

Last year’s Halloween saw a sunny day and in-person costume contests. (Blair McBride photo)
What’s Burns Lakes’ spooktacular plan for this Halloween?

Trick or treating, online contests and more for this season

WKE students pose with carpentry tools in front of the ADST trailer that will allow the school to have a fully operational mobile wood shop. (Karen Ware photo/Lakes District News)
William Konkin Elementary school undertakes project to teach intentional kindness

Students to learn to build crates, grow produce and share it with community

Daylight savings time ends at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 1 2020. (File Photo)
Clocks ‘fall back’ one hour Saturday night

Remember to set your clock back one hour on Saturday night, as… Continue reading

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Never before seen painting by famed B.C. artist Emily Carr gifted to Victoria gallery

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

The duffel bags were found to contain 84 pounds of cocaine, valued at approximately $1.2 million and 198 pounds of methamphetamine, valued at approximately $960,000. Photo courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
2 men accused of fleeing border agents near U.S.-B.C. border with $2M in drugs

Cocaine and methamphetamine seized by U.S. law enforcement in remote Idaho area near Canadian border

Most Read