Big Pig Mountain Biking Festival.

Big Pig Mountain Biking Festival.

Big Pig Mountain Biking Festival fun for all

Burns Lake Mountain Biking Association hosted its eighth annual Big Pig Mountain Biking Festival.

Burns Lake Mountain Biking Association (BLMBA) hosted its eighth annual Big Pig Mountain Biking Festival August 14 to 16.  Sunshine was the theme of the weekend, with slightly cooler temperatures Sunday morning for the cross-country riders.

The event saw participants from Prince George, Smithers, Telkwa,Terrace, Francois Lake, Fraser Lake, Fort St. James, Hazelton, Kimberley, Cache Creek, Kamloops, Richmond, Alberta, Germany – and of course, Burns Lake.

The age categories were: Cutlet (12 and under), Junior Tender (13 to 15 years), Senior Tender (16 to 18 years), Lean (19 to 34 years), Gristle (35 to 49 years), Freezer Burn (50 to 59 years), and for those over 60 – Knocking on Heaven’s Door.  In keeping with the pig theme, riders are either “boar” or “sow”!

Kid’s Events

This year’s Big Pig kicked off with the kid’s events on Friday night.  32 youth came out to test their skills. The youth had the option of entering in downhill, cross-country and pump track events.  In the under 7 age group, local Adam Franz took first in the downhill and pump track for the boars, and Lola Wilson also of Burns Lake took first place in the downhill and pump track for the sows.  Kate Taylor of Thorsby, Alberta won all three events for the 7 to 9 year old sows.  Kate also won the scenic flight donated by Lakes District Air. Isaac Moolman of Smithers won both the downhill and pump track events for the 7 to 9 year old sows.  Milo MacDougall of Smithers won the cross-country event for the 7 year olds, with Isaac Moolman winning the cross-country race for the 8 to 9 year olds.  Kory Taylor of Thorsby, Alberta joined his sister in taking a clean sweep of all 3 events for the 10 to 12 year old boar group, with Zoey Thom-Lucy of Burns Lake sweeping the sow group.  All youth were awarded with the ever-popular “cookie medal”.

Downhill race (Charlotte’s Web = 3.8 km)

The weather cooperated and the course was dry this year! In the boar category, the Junior Tender winner was Heiko Krause of Smithers (9:51), followed by locals Cormack Turner (10:11) and Avery Wilson (11:18).  The lone local Senior Tender boar and sow entrants were Eli Gurtins (11:02) and Sophie Shaffer (12:33).

The Lean boar winner was Josh Robertson Matthew of Smithers (9:47), with Kurt Wolf of Prince George taking second (10:11). Tara Irwin took first place for the Lean sows – and fastest sow time – with a speedy 10:39.  Helen Purslow of Terrace took second with a time of 11:06.  In the Gristle category, Peter Krause of Smithers clocked a time of 9:16 – fastest time of the day and a new record for the course.  Locals Dave Sandsmark and Pat Dube took second and third with times of 9:27 and 9:37.  The Gristle sow category saw Tashi Newman of Smithers finish first with a time of 11:53, followed by Susan Russell of Burns Lake (12:37) and Elissa Marcus of Terrace (12:38).  The sow Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door fastest time was local Guy Epkens-Shaffer (13:51).

4-Cross Race

The 4-cross race consists of 4 riders riding abreast, vying for the “best line” on a winding course consisting of table tops, step ups and berm turns.  This year this event was once again an entertaining spectator sport, with several mild crashes on the course and the occasional veering off the course! The overall fastest sow was Helen Purslow of Terrace, and the fastest boar was Kurt Wolf of Prince George.

The boar cutlet age class winner was Isaac Moolman of Smithers, with Pascal of Germany second and Trevor Stove of Fraser Lake third.  The cutlet category had only local riders, with Avril Thom-Lucy of Burns Lake taking first for the second year in a row, followed by Zoey Thom-Lucy and Jordyn Stanyer of Burns Lake in second and third place.  In the junior tender age group, local Cormick Turner was first, Heiko Krause of Smithers second and Skyler Tizya-Baker third. In the men’s combined age group, Kurt Wolf of Prince George sailed out in front, followed by Mark from Germany and local Chris Paulson.  Tara Irwin and Helen Purslow – both of Terrace – took first and second in the women’s combined age group, with Tashi Newman of Smithers taking third.

Jump Jam

The Jump Jam consists of riding a series of dirt jumps, where riders are judged on amplitude, style and difficulty.  The majority of riders this year were young, and it was fun to see them developing their skills!  Levi Lewis of Burns Lake took first place for the 6 year olds.  Isaac Moolman of Smithers took first place for the 9-12 years, with locals Zoey Thom-Lucy and Jordyn Stanyer taking second and third place.   Heiko Krause of Smithers was the top rider for the 13-15 year olds, with locals Cormack Turner and Skyler Tizya-Baker in second and third place. Jeanette Derksen of Burns Lake was the lone Lean jumper.  Zoey Thom-Lucy of Burns Lake took the overall top prize for the sows, and Heiko Krause of Smithers for the boars.

Dante’s Inferno

Dante’s Inferno has been increasing in length 10 km each year, with this year’s course ramping up to a whopping 90 kilometers (nine 10 km laps)!  Five riders completed the Inferno, with Dean McKinley of Prince George taking first with a time of 5:44 – the overall fastest time for the Dante’s Inferno.  Jim Gudjonson of Kamloops was second (5:49), followed by Glen Buchanan of Cache Creek (5:59).  Four riders completed the Dante’s Enduro, where the riders completed one 30 km loop of the Burnt Bike Challenge, followed by 10 km loops to top up to 90 kms. Peter Krause of Smithers was the top rider in the Enduro with a time of 5:35, followed by Chris Yip (5:41) and Doug Dewar (6:13) – both of Prince George.

Burnt Bike Challenge

The Burnt Bike Challenge (BBC) – 30 km of awesome singletrack trail – saw 15 riders complete the loop this year.  The BBC required riders to scale to the top of Boer Mountain, down the Charlotte’s Web Trail to the Burns Lake Bike Park and through the bike park for a total distance of 30 km.  For the sows, Smithers took a clean sweep, with David Charette first with a time of 1:58, followed by Oren MacDougall (2:18) and Robert Charette (2:18).  The sow top rider was Tara Irwin of Terrace (2:27), followed by Helen Purslow (1:41), also of Terrace, and Cheryl Moors (2:59) of Prince George

Wilbur’s Wheelay

Wilbur’s Wheelay can either be a team or solo event, and features varying combinations of friends, family members and co-workers! Teams complete as many laps of a 5 kilometer course as possible within 3 hours.  This year saw a record number of 14 teams participate, with youth under 6 riding along with their parents to round this event out to a true “family affair”!  Burns Lake is home to all the winning teams this year.  Team “Tan Lines”, consisting of Steve Davis, Jay Finstad and Steve Stanyer took first, completing 10 laps in the shortest time.  Team “Special K”, consisting of Ken Giesbrecht and Kelly Lucy also completed 10 laps (in a wee bit more time!), followed by “Java Jolt” – Chris Paulson and Karen Broadworth – who completed 9 laps in the three hour time limit.