In a show of skill, athleticism and camaraderie, nearly 35 riders participated last weekend in the Fall T-10 Memorial Bike Jam at the Slope Line Bike Park.
The bike jam, organized by Dalton Anderson, is held in memory of his friend Tyler Tenning of Williams Lake, known as T-10, who died in a car crash on April 29, 2017. Tenning loved riding bikes, Anderson said, and the event is meant to celebrate his and other riders’ collective love of the sport.
“We just have everyone out on a weekend and have a good time for him,” Anderson, 24, said.
Located off the beaten path above Centennial Park, Slope Line Bike Park is something of a hidden gem for the community that’s become well known in the B.C. biking community. Consisting of interconnected jumps, ramps and platforms, the park is an impressive testimony to the ingenuity of local youth.
Each year, Slope Line is cleared of bush and dug out by hand by local volunteers, led by Anderson, who helped found the park six years ago. To prepare for last weekend’s bike jam and repair the park, Anderson said he and five or six others spent three weeks digging up and shifting five to six dump trucks worth of dirt.
“I’ve gone through lots of shovels over the years,” Anderson said with a laugh, adding he feels lucky to have a bike park like this in his community. “It’s a pretty spectacular place to come check out for yourself. Photos and people talking about it doesn’t do it justice.”
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Due to COVID-19 Anderson made this year’s bike jam invite-only to control the number of people using the track. Usually 50 people attend the jam, but this year only about 35 participated. Riders came from thorughout the province to take part.
David Hill and Ethan Weegar, two 100 Mile House boys with a passion for riding, were among those who helped get the park ready.
Weegar, 17, said they put quite a lot of work into the park this year, including some new parts for the event. Seeing people enjoy the result of his work was “awesome,” he said. He likes to hit the park as often as he can, noting he enjoys the progression of learning new jumps and tricks and the feeling of being in the air.
“It’s a feeling most things can’t give you, it’s well worth trying. It’s a thrill, gets your blood rushing,” said Weegar, who works as a delivery driver for Tasco Supplies Ltd.
Hill, 14, agreed, saying he had initially thought he was too small for the jumps but got some pointers from Anderson while digging out the park. He was even able to land a couple of tricks on the jumps.
“It’s really freeing when you’re biking,” he said. “You don’t really think about anything but landing and it just takes your mind off of everything else you’re doing.”
Anderson, who has been biking since he was 10, is passionate about the sport. He plans to present a proposal to the District of 100 Mile House to make Slope Line a fully legitimate bike park that can be used by all ages and skill levels and all types of riding. He envisions adding more trails, jumps and pump tracks to the existing setup while keeping its raw look and feel.
“More tourism, right, because think about how many people come here and (then) go to the gas stations, the restaurants the hotels and everything,” he said. “I think it’d be really cool to have a yearly event where you have multiple events going on like a pump track race, the T-10 Bike Jam and a little kids event – it could be a massive thing.”
Soren Farenholtz, 18, came from Kamloops to ride in this year’s event. He got into mountain biking from watching videos about it on Youtube and, after getting a dirt jumper, he was hooked. He found out about Slope Line as a child through Anderson and now comes every year.
“(Biking) is a free space to do what you want and I feel like you can set your mind free, just focus on what you want and let everything else kind of fade away. It’s a welcome community.” Farenholtz said. “I’m stoked to see a good amount of people come out because Dalton and his crew put a good amount of work into these jumps and it’s cool to see it pay off. #T10forever.”
Those looking to ride at the Slope Line Bike Park or for information on work being done on specific parts of the park can contact Anderson via the park’s Instagram at the_slopelinejumps.
“We’d love to have people come check this place out and see what it’s all about,” Anderson said.