This Sunday, Aug. 28, the Williams Lake Off Road Motorcycle Association hosts the annual Overlander Cross Country race at its local track just off Mountain House Road in Wildwood.
The event is the second stop, following a race in Quesnel Saturday, on the Pacific Northwest Motorcycle Association tour after a two-month break in the series.
Cross-country racing consists mostly of single-track trials through the bush pitting riders against natural obstacles such as logs, mud, rocks, hills and stumps.
“We’re hoping for more than 120 riders, which I don’t think will be a stretch,” said Sasha Kokesch, vice president of the WLORMA.
The race, normally scheduled for early October around the Thanksgiving weekend, was moved this year to a more favourable date.
“We were trying to look for a time that didn’t have the chance of –15 C weather,” Kokesch said. “It seemed like Thanksgiving was getting a little harder to predict what we were going to get for weather.”
Also, holding the race earlier means the possibility of more riders showing up who are looking to improve their standings in the PNWMA series. Quesnel’s race was also moved to coincide with the WLORMA race.
“We’re trying to bring as many people up to our Cariboo area as we can at one time,” Kokesch said.
The course will be divided up into different sections for riders of varying skill levels, including a peewee race for junior riders.
“This year’s ‘A’ loop is a fair bit longer than it has been in the past,” Kokesch said. “It’s going to be run separate from the ‘B’ loop about 50 per cent of the way. The peewees will head out on their own separate course that’s about two kilometres, and that will be geared to kids who are 12 and under.”
Riders in the peewee race will also each be awarded a prize, all of which have been donated by local businesses. The peewee race is non-competitive.
Kokesch added a big thank you is in order to WLORMA president Roger Patenaude, who spent a lot of time doing course work at the WLORMA track.
“He actually took his haying crew out when they were rained out and cleared trail for a full day with his paid crew of guys,” Kokesch said.
The race sign up and registration begins at 8 a.m. with a $40 entry fee. Licenses for the PNWMA are also available for the double-header weekend including both Quesnel and Williams Lake races; however, single-day memberships are available.
Following registrations racers will have a rider meeting at 10:30 a.m., followed by an 11 a.m. race start. A WLORMA-run concession will be on site.
To get to the track travel north of Williams Lake, turn right on West Coast Road, then right onto Mountain House Road and proceed two kilometres to the market pit area.
“Id like to see all the local guys out, especially the kids,” Kokesch said.
“They’re the future of this sport, and none of them will go home empty handed.”