Since it opened in 2007 , Revelstoke Mountain Resort has held a reputation for its monster vertical (at 5,620 feet of lift-accessed terrain, it’s the longest descent in North America), alpine bowls, rainforest glades, record snowfall and near-ridiculous scenery. But where most resorts also boast thriving summer operations to complement winter skiing, RMR had largely stayed relatively quiet on the summer front, with most warm-season activities centralized on the bottom of the mountain.
Until this year, when it became British Columbia’s newest bike park, giving RMR’s epic terrain a new lens through which to shine.
This summer, local mountain bike riders are missing one of their favourite weekly events – the popular Wednesday Night Bike Race series – which has taken place at Hardwood Ski and Bike in Oro-Medonte for the past 25 years.
“This is the first time we’ve had to cancel,” said Arienne Strong, program manager at Hardwood, which is located north of Barrie on Old Barrie Road. “Cancellation of this event is especially tough because the series is like having a family reunion every week – kids, families, competitive team members – everyone comes together for the races. It’s exciting and fun and something we all look forward to so much.”
The decision to cancel this year’s series, which involves an average of 180 riders at each of the events held over the 18-week season, was made in May as a result of COVID-19 restrictions and an announcement by Cycling Canada and the Ontario Cycling Association to cancel all events up until August 2020.
At first glance, you see a profile of a professional mountain bike racer. Highly focused, physically and mentally tough, has a to-the-point bluntness about it all.
UCI World Cup competitor Kate Weatherly is 100 percent that racer. She has been since her first race.
“I did my first race and came dead last,” Weatherly remembered. “That was my racing career for the first couple of years. Racing to come in not last. I had a real drive to do better and better, and I realized I have to do everything I can to beat them.”