Mountain biking brings economic benefits

Houston is invited to join a collaborative effort to promote mountain biking in Northern B.C., with hopes to generate significant revenue.

One mountain bike trail on Mount Harry Davis is complete. Volunteers are needed to help build the second trail this summer

Houston is invited to join a collaborative effort to promote mountain biking in Northern B.C.

“Mountain bike recreation and tourism is growing rapidly throughout B.C…. it generates significant economic benefits,” said Patrick Lucas, Founder and Director or the Aboriginal Youth Mountain Bike Program.

Lucas and Martin Littlejohn, Executive Director of Western Canada Mountain Bike Tourism Association, presented to Houston Council last Tuesday about the findings of a Northern B.C. study.

The two toured 12 communities from Valmont to Houston to Terrace to develop a strategy for growing the sport and promoting Northern B.C. as a tourism destination for mountain bikers.

Lucas said he found it fairly easy to grow mountain bikers’ interest in travelling to Northern B.C.

“When mountain bikers actually got a sense of what Northern B.C. has to offer, they started to get excited,” he said.

Lucas says the key to growing the sport starts in the community itself.

“It can’t just be about tourism. There is no successful destination that does not have a solid mountain bike recreation culture,” he said.

Growing the sport in the community will include getting more participation in the sport and building trails, and making sure the trails are well-maintained.

Lucas said Houston’s mountain biking trails are in the early stages of being built and are slightly behind other communities in this region.

One key step here is to start a Houston Mountain Bike Association.

Thomas Euverman, owner of Countrywide Sports says they are willing to get a group together, but need more people to get involved.

After the sport grows locally, the next step is to promote mountain bike tourism, which is best as a regional partnership, Lucas said.

He gave several examples of partnerships in the Caribou-Chilcotin area, Scotland and U.S.

“Each of those areas have experienced substantial growth in riders on trails, more visitors, more economic activity and more employment…Collaboration works,”  he said.

“Mountain bikers are travellers. They always want to seek out new trails and new riding opportunities.”

The most important part of a regional partnership is developing a strong brand to draw bikers to the area, he said.

He also advised that communities develop a regional group to collaborate on events, plan a race series or recommend circle runs and trip itineraries through the area.

Lucas and Littlejohn are travelling to share these ideas from the strategy they developed for northern B.C.

Lucus says this summer they want to start a regional working group among the 12 communities in this area and get communities talking to each other and figuring out how to move forward.

Later this summer and fall they want to work with communities to develop a brand for the area.

For Houston, the keys are to continue developing the local trails and get more people involved in the sport, he said.

Houston Hikers is managing the development of the mountain biking trails on Mount Harry Davis until a local mountain bike association forms.

Director Jonathan Van Barneveld says they have one trail built and are working to build a second this summer.

Anyone interested in volunteering or getting involved in a mountain bike association can talk to Thomas at countrywidesports@telus.net or Jonathan at houstonhikers@gmail.com.

 

Just Posted

Giesbrecht found guilty of second-degree murder

Murder is only rational conclusion from evidence, Judge says

Fire ban back in effect for Northwest Fire Centre region

Starting May 24, both Category 2 and Category 3 prohibitions will be in place

Convicted animal abuser Catherine Adams to return to B.C. court in July

Catherine Adams is under a 20-year ban on owning animals, from a 2015 sentence in Smithers

Good job boys

Oakley (L) and Storm sold lemonade in Houston to raise money to… Continue reading

The north, rural areas deserve own ICBC rates, says Houston council

Matter to be considered at provincial convention this fall

B.C.’s fight to regulate bitumen through pipelines to go to Canada’s top court

BC Appeal Court judges found B.C. cannot restrict bitumen flow along Trans Mountain pipeline

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

B.C. man, 30, arrested for driving his parent’s cars while impaired twice in one day

The Vancouver-area man was arrested after officers caught him driving impaired twice in one day

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

More than half of Canadians support ban on handguns, assault rifles: study

Divide between rural and urban respondents in latest Angus Reid Institute public opinion study

Spring rain needed as B.C. sees one of the lowest snowpack levels in 40 years

Snowpack levels in B.C. recorded on May 15 were similar to those in 2015 and 2016

Theresa May to quit as party leader June 7, sparking race for new PM

The new Conservative leader will become prime minister without the need for a general election

B.C. man who fell off cliff returns there to rescue eagle from vulture attack

Nanaimo’s James Farkas, who broke his hip in a fall, saves eagle on same beach months later

Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 to move within 1 game of NBA Finals

Leonard scores 35 as Toronto takes 3-2 series lead over Milwaukee

Most Read