The Williams Lake Cycling Club was thinking outside the box this month when it built and installed a new, rideable wooden sign to officially brand the Boitanio Bike Park.
Work and upgrades on the existing pump track have been ongoing throughout the summer, and a new, novice riding area has been created, with the fresh sign putting the finishing touches on a busy summer for the WLCC, said both the WLCC president, Shawn Lewis and WLCC area director for the Boitanio Bike Park, Andrew Hutchinson.
To create the sign, Hutchinson enlisted the help of Spirit Carver Dean Gilpin. And after Hutchinson shared his vision for how it could look, Gilpin was able to create a sign with ‘Boitanio Bike Park’ branded onto the front of the wood, also equipped with ramps and top that are connected to the pump track trail as a rideable feature.
“Overall, we’re trying to make the park somewhere families can come,” Hutchinson said. “The big thing for us is, hopefully, this is the start of a long thing going to make the park better, and better for kids in Williams Lake.”
Spirit Carver Dean, meanwhile, said he was thrilled to be a part of the community-minded project. He noted he’s carved many things over the years, but creating a rideable bike sign was a first for him.
Oi Moliner Clark, 11, was on hand for the officially unveiling of the sign and said he frequents the bike park often.
“I really enjoying coming here,” Oi said. “There’s lots of variety of biking style. If you feel like riding something with small or big jumps there’s both, and the new sign is pretty cool.”
Lewis said the construction of the new version of the bike park started in 2010 and was completed in 2011 when the WLCC and the City first signed its maintenance contract.
Lewis acknowledged the support from the Cariboo Regional District and CRD directors Angie Delainey (Area E), Steve Forseth (Area D) and Maureen LeBourdais (Area F) in helping to fund the sign and from the City of Williams Lake in working with the WLCC in its ongoing efforts to improve the Boitanio Bike Park.
He also thanked Ty Martel with Envrinity Solutions Ltd. for doing the machine work, Pat Blackwood of Cariboo Interior Crane Services for donating time and equipment to move the sign’s two, large timber pieces and Ron Benisch of RB Backhoe for helping move dirt in the park.
“With the support of the Williams Lake Community Forest we were able to locate and acquire the wood, and the City and CRD are great supporters of ours,” he said.
“We’ve got plenty of tough stuff to ride in town, and we’re focusing now on developing some more easy stuff for the kids.”
He noted the new kids trail in Boitanio Park is tailored for children three to five years old who are just learning to ride.
“We’re hoping to get some traffic on there and start pounding that in, and want to create some awareness for parents and kids it’s there and ready to ride.”