Road Trippin’ the Thompson Okanagan, Part 3

Aug 10, 2009
by Tyler Maine  
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 Crowe

Read 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:
Views: 3,518    Faves: 12    Comments: 4

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.


  • 3 0
 I want to add that I think he's doing a great service to the sport, and I believe, after meeting him, that his intentions are solid. I just disagree with some of what I've seen happen in Canmore.
  • 4 3
 yah he made a park in port coquitlam i now work there... REBUILDING IT! cause somebody *cough* Hoots *cough* used gravel and cement type stuff for buiding dirt jumps. Hoots peice of advice try using real dirt when you build a park so we can actually shape the jumps you make for us
  • 3 1
 haha thats funny man we have the same problem in fernie. the jumps are CEMENT
  • 2 2
 I can't reply for Hoots, canauzy, but I know from my own experience that unless you have a massive budget, trucking in premium soil for djs isn't going to happen. You work with the native soil and you do the best you can. If the native soil is crap, then crap is what you work with. I'm guessing the taxpayers in PoCo - if that's who financed the park - weren't willing to hand over a few gold bars to Hoots to go hire heavy equipment and operators and bring in the dark, rich stuff. But maybe I'm wrong, are you finding good soil on site?
  • 4 0
 That's bullshit. If you're going to build something, then do it properly. If it can't be done then walk away. It would appear that Hoots is just whoring himself to whatever district/municipality wants to bring in an 'expert' to build a park because it's trendy and might keep the kids from doing drugs. If the guy is hamstrung by a budget or local safety regulations then he should show some integrity (ya, what's that?) and step away. You should take a look at the last 'Hoots' pump track in Canmore, or the bullet proof dirt jumps and crap skills park at aforementioned venue. Props to the guy for trying, but if you're in a location that will produce crap, then back off and stop robing the taxpayers by building something that nobody goes to.
God willing his new freeride trails in Canmore are worth the effort, in which case I'll gladly eat my words.
  • 2 1
 well see the funny thing was the orginal dirt on site was perfect.... till they put a foot of new cement type rock shit dirt on it (excuse the language) then tried to despreatly put some type of jumps together, did i mention that mostly young kids ride at the park, and when they fall on the rocks its not half as forgiving or safe as normal dirt... weeve been diging around and have found some original dirt and are trying desprately to fix the stuff we were left with ( hoots said heed come back and finish it, he also promised a build day to work threw the rocks...) we havnt heard a word from him since...

funny thing is the city dump left over dirt not more than 50m away from the jumps... hmmm heres an idea hoots use that left over dirt for jumps. PS we are aloud to use it and it actually very good dirt as we have come to find. Bottom line hoots has the right idea we thank him for it, just wish when he built parks heed actually think about the shit hes using and how long term its going to turn to cement and never be shapeable.
  • 3 0
 Good or bad its better than no freeride trails, Im not allowed to build trails, if they are going to let him do it , im all for it!!
  • 3 3
 Hey Hoots, if you plan on making a bike park, for the love of god have some people do the maintenance. Burnaby Mountain Bike Park desperately, at least leave some tools for me to do something, and a pile of that gravel or whatever you would call that crappy stuff used for all the jumps so I can add to where its been taken away. Great park, its just deteriorating slowly.
  • 2 2
 I know I'm probably going to get flamed for's just my opinion.

I've ridden at least 5 "Hoots built" parks so far and not a single one of them was good. Even shortly after they were built! So it wasn't a matter of blaming it on deterioration.

As for the Intermontaine Challenge. I hope Chuck Brennan gets his ass sued for the poor excuse of a race he put on.
  • 2 2
 Funny how you are an expert at rating other people's work in every forum on this site.

Have you ever done any trail or jump building, race organizing? My guess is no.

What do you consider a good trail? or a good jump park?
  • 2 0
 I see your feelings are still hurt regarding the post I made about Pano a few weeks ago.
  • 2 1
 Rumor has it that 2 or 3 'freeride' trails are going in at the Nordic Centre in Canmore. Keep your fingers crossed!
  • 2 1
 Best place for biking Razz other then whistler
  • 3 2
 props to jay hoots, he works really hard for this sport
  • 2 1
 Hoots brother they need yah down in sarnia!
  • 2 1
  • 1 1
 Whats going on in CANMORE???

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