The fourth annual Williams Lake Peel Out mountain bike festival promises to be a weekend mountain biking enthusiasts won’t want to miss out on.
The festival, which runs from May 18-20 and is hosted by the Williams Lake Cycling Club and the Cariboo Mountain Bike Consortium, begins Saturday with the Fox Mountain Downhill.
For riders who’ve participated in the Fox Mountain Downhill in previous years, the course start will begin at the same place at the top of Mitch’s Brew. The course itself, however, will be changed slightly from last year’s event.
“Talking to a few people on the weekend I think we’ve decided to totally change the course, so stay tuned,” said Justin Calof, executive director of the Cariboo Mountain Bike Consortium. “We’ve got some ideas on where it’s going to go but we figure keeping it fresh and with keeping a bit of change alive it’ll be good.”
Racers are asked to be at the starting area 30 minutes prior to the race start time of 11:30 a.m.
Once the Fox Mountain DH is done the WLCC and the CMBC will host its annual Peel Out barbecue and Fox Mountain Downhill awards ceremony.
On Sunday morning, after a pancake breakfast at Bell-E-Acres, the Westsyde Super Downhill kicks off at noon.
The objective of the Westsyde Super Downhill is to pedal as fast as you can down Bell-E DH, starting from the Bell-E-Acres Golf Course.
Sunday night the consortium will host Shred Kelly, a ‘stoke folk’ band from the East Kootenays at the Limelight.
Monday, the WLCC, the CMBC and the Province of B.C. will host the grand opening of the new Snakes and Ladders trail. In celebration, shuttles will be running all afternoon.
Calof said the reception they’ve received on the new Snakes and Ladders trail has been encouraging.
“People definitely got a flavour of it last year in the fall,” he said. “It was quietly opened but we closed it again because it was too dry.”
He said the trail, which features 22,000 board feet of lumber, is one of just three government-supported trails in the province. The other two are located in Squamish and in Smithers.
“I know for a fact we’ve never built anything like it in the region,” he said. “This year’s kind of like the battle of the government-funded trails and I think we’re feeling pretty good about our prospects.
“So far people from out of town are blown away by it. They’re really excited … the features are really progressive. It’s kind of tricky so you have to ride it a few times to get it and people seem happy with the line.”
Registration to both the Fox Mountain DH and the Westsyde Super Downhill is open and available online at www.ridethecariboo.ca. The first 70 racers to register will get a free Peel Out T-shirt.
“We’re expecting a good turnout,” Calof said. “We’ve got about 30 people registered so far a month out so that’s a pretty good indication.”
Calof added updates on the new course for the Fox Mountain DH will be posted at www.ridethecariboo.ca soon.
For more information on the Peel Out mountain bike festival visit Red Shred’s Bike and Board Shed or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.