“Life is like a ten speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use.”
– Charles M. Schultz
Saturday October 26
Today is a pretty big day. This morning, we are volunteering to do 1st Aid duties at the introduction of a new mountain bike park and this evening we will be attending a Halloween party at Renee and Brian's (i smell a two-parter)
Yesterday (Friday), Wendy went over to Renee's house to help decorate and to find a costume. Brian and Renee are big into Halloween and Renee has multiple costumes, kept in large bins. Wendy, with Renee's help, rummaged through the bins and came home with two costume choices and raving about how great the house is going to look tonight.
But before we party…we got some First Aiding to do.
Our participation at this bike event was arranged through Kellei, our 1st Aid Instructor. She won't be there today so we'll team up with her husband Scott (who will be the lead) and our buddies from the course, Dave and Laurie.
The event is the introduction of a brand new bike park in Sechelt. It was front page news in the local paper (The Coastal Reporter) and it's construction has apparently been a huge secret. It's the brainchild of three “local mountain bike celebrities”, Dylan Dunkerton, Curtis Robinson and Kyle Norbraten (yes Coastal Reporter…it's 'Norbraten').
Curtis, Dylan and Kyle
We did some checking on the Coastal Crew and we have to admit…we're pretty impressed by these young mountain bikers / entrepreneurs. They've gained their 'celebrity' status by virtue of hard work, creative thinking, breathtaking filmmaking, bike course building and particularly for the passion they have for their sport
The crew have a full length movie coming out called, 'Arrival'. There is a free online Premiere on November 7th and you can check out the trailer (and other films by the Coastal Crew) at http://www.thecoastalcrew.com
The new park is called 'Coast Gravity Park'
Once Wendy and I knew exactly what the activities would be, we spent the week preparing for injuries one might associate with mountain biking…cuts and scrapes, concussions, broken bones, possible spinals.
We're ready…and it would be an understatement to say that we are looking forward to an injury free day.
We leave the house around eleven, grab a coffee at Starbucks, some go-food at IGA and arrive at BC First Aid HQ in plenty of time for our 12.00pm departure. We jump into Scott's SUV while Dave and Laurie drive off in theirs.
Where are we going you ask?
We follow the old logging roads up, pass through several checkpoints, drive past the event parking area, and are at last directed to a parking spot about 100m from the event site itself. We unload our gear.
Scott had been informed that there would be no riders on the course today as most of the visitors are sponsors and local business people. However, from the number of bikes we see scooting around, that information may have been incorrect. Scott will double check with the organizers.
A fresh faced fellow approaches and greets Scott warmly. His name is John and although he is young in years, he is also a seasoned first aider and a welcome addition to our group.
Scott has checked with the organizers and yes…there will be riding today 'but', he has been told, 'we're not to worry, as these guys are professionals and won't get hurt'. We're all dubious…except for John, who is pretty stoked at the possibility of having to deal with a spinal today (us, not so much)
We head over to the main site and scope out the lay of the land
We are concerned with the injury potential of a particular area of the park. We are honour bound to not disclose all of the many amazing jumps that we see here today…the park doesn't officially open until 2014 and some of these jumps will be premiered in the 'Arrival' video…so we can't show you pictures of this series of jumps. We can however liken it to…someone riding off of a five storey building…landing on a ramp…rolling to and flying off another ramp…and then landing on a three storey building (it's freakin crazy). Martin (our buddy from 'Up The Creek' hostel) is heavily involved in bike training in this area and is one of today's guests. I ask him if he would ride off this jump and he says, “ride off it…I wouldn't walk on the freaking thing”
The park is still under construction and land moving equipment is much in evidence. In a creative recycling coup, the Coastal Crew have incorporated abandoned logging machinery and vehicles particular to the BC coast, into the course
Bob, today's master of ceremonies, welcomes everyone and tells us all that there will be a small ceremony with guests followed by food and then some riding. He also informs the gathering on the complexities of mountain bike safety…one whistle means a rider is on the course and two means we have a problem. Bob also reminds everyone that first aiders are on hand (i'm guessing that means us)
We are instructed to turn our attention to the group of guys sitting on that berm over there…they are going to begin riding off the hill, jumping, rolling down another hill to gain speed and then taking off from a wicked looking ramp (well Johnny…get your neck brace ready)
Wow, these kids are amazing
After several false starts, Bob gets everyone to re-gather near the stage to hear about the park from several guests, two of which, Ray Stockwell (the owner of the property) and Darren Hemstreet (a local contractor), were early supporters of the project. Then the Coastal Crew takes the stage to describe their vision.
It sounds like a genius idea. Develop land, that has been logged for over a century, in such a way as to create a bankable activity that is reliant upon the continued preservation of the current natural habitat.
The park will create new jobs for locals and provide mountain bikers with a safe and challenging alternative to tearing up natural areas. If there were a bike park like this in the GTA, perhaps mountain bikers would stop chewing up the Bruce Trail (d'ya think)
Count us in guys. We're delighted to be volunteering for your gala (now be careful)
And then, it's time to eat. There's pulled pork sandwiches, fantastic sausage on a bun, salads, wine and organic beer from the new Persephone Brewing Company in Gibsons (https://www.facebook.com/PersephoneBrewing)
Of course there's no alcohol for us (we're working here). We do get to eat though…Wendle has the pulled pork (sans bread) and I have a 'snag'…and if you've been paying attention to our blog, you'll remember that a snag is Aussie for sausage. John keeps both eyes peeled for anyone whose snag may have snagged in their throat (this kid is awesome)
Time Out (while we eat). We'll finish up our story (and tell you about the Halloween Party) in the next post. In the meantime…
'Let's be safe out there'
Moose and Wendle