Thrill-seeking mountain bikers tried out the new call ride recently. What makes this project even more poignant is the fact it is a memorial to Pierce Hofer.

Thrill-seeking mountain bikers tried out the new call ride recently. What makes this project even more poignant is the fact it is a memorial to Pierce Hofer.

Bikers enjoying Burns Lake’s new wall ride

Bikers are using the structure as much as they can before winter sets in.

The fact that Burns Lake’s new wall ride is not completely finished did not discourage thrill-seeking mountain bikers from using the structure.

The wooden part of the Pierce Hofer Memorial Wall Ride was completed on Oct. 4, 2015. Since then, mountain biking aficionados have been using the structure as much as they can before winter sets in.

“We were riding through snow last week so the window to ride it is rapidly drawing to a close,” said Epkens-Shaffer, President of the Burns Lake Mountain Biking Association.

The structure sits directly across from the Kager Lake parking lot and is essentially the semi-circular end of a velodrome track, with a 180-degree turn and a wooden plank surface. The wall ride is approximately 80 feet in diameter, 10 feet high and 10 feet wide.

Epkens-Shaffer says that despite the impressiveness of its size, the wall ride is a “family-friendly feature” that can be ridden and enjoyed by riders of all skill levels.

“I have ridden it, which attests to its suitability for even the lowest of skill levels,” he joked.

“Experts and experienced riders can take a high, fast line while beginner riders will go low and slow; it is a cool feeling to be effortlessly gliding along at 10 feet off the ground.”

The run out trail and the final landscaping in the central area of the structure will be finished in the spring of 2016.

“When it is finished, with the landscaping complete, it is going to be a beautiful piece in a spectacular setting,” said Epkens-Shaffer.

“I think this piece just adds to the jewel that is the Kager Lake area; it’s visually spectacular and sits right across from the main parking lot in full view of the multitudes that use the area.”

The total cost of the project is approximately $100,000. The BLMBA received funding from the Bulkley Valley Credit Union, Burns Lake Rotary Club, Lakes District Secondary School (LDSS) project trails and the 2014 graduating class, and School District No. 91 (Nechako Lakes).

In addition, Hampton Affiliates and Tahtsa Timber donated thousands of dollars in materials and volunteers dedicated several hours to ensure this project would become a reality. Epkens-Shaffer added that what makes this project even more poignant is the fact it is a memorial to Pierce Hofer. Aged 17, Hofer was an avid mountain biker from Burns Lake who died in a car crash with his mother in December 2013.