Jay Hoots update, Intermontane Challenge(s) with Tinker Juarez and Harper Mountain
The hardest part about a houseboat trip on the Shuswap Lake is leaving it. But the show must roll along, so our intrepid crew packed up the bikes and departed for Kamloops to check out the inaugural Intermontane Challenge
, a 5-stage XC race around the Interior BC city. During our fun-filled evening with the Shuswap Trail Alliance
folks, we learned Jay Hoots had just arrived at the White Lake Bike Park near Sorrento to oversee a full rework of the community bike park – so a side trip was in order!Words by Ryan Kuhn
Video by Steve Crowe
Images by Ryan Kuhn and Steve CroweRead Part 1 here Part 2 here
It should be stated at the start of the day I had some camera “difficulties,” so the shenanigans were primarily shot with video. Seeing as how the majority of the day involved interviews, it worked out ok…Jay Hoots update
The White Lake Bike Park – now named the John Evdokimoff Bike Park in memoriam of the dedicated original builder who tragically drowned – is located between Salmon Arm and Sorrento in the small and tranquil community of White Lake. It ties into some reputedly excellent XC and DH and is an area poised to expand mountain biking opportunities. The park was created in the past year, but due to some flow and logistical challenges, it needed a rework. The Columbia Shuswap Regional District brought in Jay Hoots
to get’er dialed.
If you’ve been involved in the development of a community bike park and/or trails in BC and beyond, there’s a good chance you know Jay Hoots. The Norco Factory Team rider has become one – if not the – go-to people to design and build community bike parks and progressive trails. He has 43 bike parks completed or in development, and there’s no end in sight. Check out the interview in the vid below to see what he’s been up to…
Jay is an inspiration and certainly one of the more influential mountain bike proponents at a grassroots level. His enthusiasm to help grow the sport from the ground up and provide opportunity for youth in communities across the map is contagious. As the sport evolves, it’s the efforts of people like Jay that provide the foundation for a successful – and accessible – future.
Jay’s schedule is dizzying. He was in White Lake for a few days to help with the park, then off to Whitehorse to help develop a park there, then to Canmore, Alberta, for a few weeks to finish off some new freeride trails. And that’s just a glimpse of his tireless schedule. It was great to catch up with the Hoots – keep up the good work man!Intermontane Challenge(s)
Next up was a visit to the Intermontane Challenge in Kamloops. With the mercury to hit the upper 30s Celsius, we were not in a hurry for the proposed “ride along” and opted to visit the finish line at Thompson Rivers University. We arrived just in time to see Tinker Juarez push the current race leader Jeremiah Bishop across the finish line. Apparently Jeremiah took a dive into a tree on the final single track descent and looked in rough shape. He sat down and didn’t move…at all. Eventually an ambulance showed up and later reports stated he crushed two vertebrae. Scary stuff – best of luck on your recovery, Jeremiah.
It was apparent there was quite a bit of confusion and frustration among the riders. They were coming from all directions and not the designated course. Turns out a disgruntled local was upset with part of a trail being used so he tore down all the ribbon marking the course. While Chuck Brennan – the race organizer – scrambled to fix the course, it ended up being too much and the day’s efforts were excluded from the overall results. A difficult choice given the herculean efforts of those involved, including teams from all over the globe.
We interviewed Tinker Juarez
shortly after the finish. He’s is a legend among the XC racing scene around the world. His accomplishments are widely known – the 4-times US National Champion and 2-time Olympian. Tinker was very kind to provide an interview and was diplomatic about the day’s events and the contest overall. See the vid for the interview. Part 3 video:
At the end of the fifth day, former Kamloops local and now Bend, Oregon, resident Chris Sheppard took the men’s win handily, followed by Brian Cooke and Evan Plews. For the women, Sue Butler took the victory, followed by Amanda Carey and Sarah Kauffman. A remarkable feat indeed.
The Intermontane Challenge is certainly a great idea and despite the challenges and frustrations – much of which is well documented on bike forums on the internet – let’s hope organizers can work out the kinks and put on a bigger and better show next year. Congrats to all the ridiculously fit riders that braved scalding heat all week and put on a show of truly epic proportions. To ride in near-40 degree heat for up to 130 kilometers per day over five days is remarkable…It’s beyond me, that’s for sure!Harper Mountain
Stoked to have interviewed the most dreaded figures in mountain biking, we were on our way to Sun Peaks for the next day’s adventure. But no bike road trip can go with a day without a ride, so on our way we shuttled my old stomping ground – Harper Mountain. Located near Paul Lake outside Kamloops, the riding at Harper has been featured in many videos and is always a blast. The Kamloops Bike Riders Association
has done a good job with maintenance and organizing trail building days to keep things safe.
With progressive features and fast, wide open trails, Harper never disappoints. All in all it was another great day on the Thompson Okanagan road trip, and we were revved up to rip the Sun Peaks bike park the next day. Up next, the final installment of our 4-day tour…
-Ryan Kuhn is a regular Pinkbike contributor and is proud to represent Devinci Bikes
, Revolution Cycles and Service
, Nema International
, SMX Optics
and Point 1
. He lives in Rossland, BC, Canada.