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

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

Workers had a busy time today repairing a broken main water line. (District of Houston photo)
Water service being restored

Main line on 13th had broken

Flags at the District of Houston administrative building were lowered last week following the news that the remains of as many as 215 children were found buried on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. The flags were raised back up yesterday. (Houston Today photo)
Flags lowered in memory

Flags at the District of Houston administrative building were lowered last week… Continue reading

Bruce Tang- Unsplash photo
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

“Older adults in our communities continue to find themselves in vulnerable situations… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Most Read