Noah Porter and Max Brown. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Noah Porter and Max Brown. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Sprockids mountain biking program at BGC Williams Lake provides positive, outdoor outlet for youth

Sprockids aims to give youth the opportunity to saddle up on mountain bikes and hit the trails

It’s been an uphill climb, but BGC Williams Lake manger of club operations Krista Harvey said the organization’s mountain biking program, called Sprockids, is reaching new heights.

“It’s been so busy,” Harvey said. “It’s so great, and I’m so glad the program is able to run during COVID — being able to split up into groups and being outside.”

Sprockids aims to give youth the opportunity to saddle up on mountain bikes and hit the trails, however, had seen its numbers dwindle over recent years — partly due to the pandemic — to the point where Harvey said there were more leaders than riders.

“Now we are back to having about 30 kids registered for Wednesdays and upwards of 20 coming on Mondays,” she said.

Sprockids suits the community perfectly, she said, due to the vast amount of trails and riding opportunities in the area. The program was started over a decade ago as a way to get youth outside and exploring their local trails. It now runs from May through to October.

If riders don’t have their own equipment, BGC Williams Lake can loan it out.

“We have bikes we lend out but, unfortunately, our selection is dwindling as the bikes are starting to get older,” Harvey said. “We also have helmets.”

Sprockids leaders Amelia Burrill and Yanos Stephenson meet participants at the BCG Williams Lake office in downtown Williams Lake on Mondays and Wednesdays at 3:30 p.m., select a riding destination, then proceed to shuttle riders with the organization’s bike trailer to the chosen trail network.

“We all meet here, they do bike safety checks and a little bit of maintenance if needed, then head out,” Harvey said.

Volunteer leaders Noah Porter, Max Brown, Isabelle McMath, Rhs Vath and Caleb Engle also help out, along with parent volunteers.

After riding whatever trails are on the agenda that day, participants sometimes wind down with a visit to the Boitanio Bike Park before returning back to the BGC Williams Lake office.

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On Wednesday, May 27 upwards of 20 youth took to the trails on Fox Mountain to ride Aflo, which Harvey said works out great because participants can safely ride back to the BGC Williams Lake office after they finish.

“We try to keep it pretty low barrier to entry to make sure everyone gets a chance to ride,” she said.

Also of note, Harvey is excited to announce a new bike trailer has been ordered and is expected to be delivered later this month.

“We are so excited,” she said. “This trailer has been three years in the making. It’s from Huckwagons (mountain bike shuttle trailer manufacturer) and is specifically made for our club. It’s supposed to be bright green to match our club.”

Currently, the club uses a utility trailer that fits about 14 bikes, along with a van with a bike rack.


 


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Emma Porter and Caleb Engle. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Emma Porter and Caleb Engle. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Cooper Engle, Caleb Engle and Hayden Shewchuk fly down Aflo on Fox Mountain during a weekly Sprockids session in Williams Lake. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Cooper Engle, Caleb Engle and Hayden Shewchuk fly down Aflo on Fox Mountain during a weekly Sprockids session in Williams Lake. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Owen McMartin and Tobias Baumann. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Owen McMartin and Tobias Baumann. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)