As new technology and equipment develop and progress within adaptive sports the boundaries of where one can use the equipment does as well. New trails, regions, and, features become possible. Some trails are obvious that they will be able to be ridden while others take a little bit of a leap into the unknown.
As mountain bikers, this is why we ride. The feeling of uncertainty is what pushes the sport both, in adaptive and non adaptive form. Organizations such as High Fives and Kootenay Adaptive Sport Association (KASA) believe in the value of exploration for all.
whether its skiing or biking the mountains offer a form of healing that you cant find anywhere else. The community and people you meet as well as the fresh air does incredible things for ones mental and physical health// Photo Credit Nial Pinder
Kootenay Adaptive sport focuses on getting disabled Athletes out into the mountains or wilderness to experience the outdoors for all it is worth. They have adaptive bikes available for rent that come with lessons and help to make the experience as good as it can be. They operate in British Columbia so the views and trails that they are able to give their clients access to are incredible, to say the least.
While getting everyone out on the trails is hugely important to them they also are very involved in pushing the sport of Adaptive Mountain biking. This year they embarked on the Gravity Series, The series aims to bring out some capable adaptive bike riders to some the best bike resorts in British Columbia to see how far the bikes could be pushed and what changes needed to be made to trails, lifts, and amenities to make them fully accessible.
The series started in Sun Peaks Resort in Kamloops made a stop in Big White Resort and finished off the at Silverstar resort in Vernon British Columbia. All of the resorts were incredible to work with and made the series a huge success. This blog highlights KASA’s time on the second stop.
The Second stop on the KASA Gravity series was to Big White Resort. Big White has been open in the winter for many years but just recently began operating year-round. Unsure of what the trails were going to look like the crew took a few cruisy warm-up laps down the trail Prybar into Nessy. These were some nice flowy green circles to get the day started right and get totally comfortable before going and checking out the more advance trails out on the mountain.
High Fives Athlete Tanelle Bolt was there and she took a couple laps on a Kootenay Adaptive rental Sport On Bike before heading down to the village to assess some accessibility.
The staff and lift operators at Big White were incredibly helpful and willing to help make sure everyone got to ride High Fives Athletes #150 Tanelle Bolt getting off the lift.
Cole Bernier absolutely shredding. Everyone on the mountain was blown away to see the skill and talent he had on display.
Once the Three Bowhead Riders Cole Bernier, Scott Patterson, and, Landon McGauley felt comfortable and ready to push it a bit. They went and explored more of the mountain. The Bowhead Mountain bikes are extremley capable bikes and it was hard to find any trail on the mountain that they didnt eat up with ease. Bernier and McGauley are experienced Bowhead riders and were able to take Patterson under their wings and show him the ropes of the bike. Not only how to ride the bike but about line selection and choice. He took very little coaching and picked it up very quickly. Riding the hardest trails with little challenge.
The rest of the time on the mountain was spent just like any other mountain biker out there, slapping high fives trying new jumps lines, and trails. just 3 friends having an amazing time, they all happened to be disabled but that wasn’t what made them friends. Being able to ride and ride the way they wanted made the disability disappear.
A Huge Thanks to Kootenay Adaptive Sport Association for organizing and hosting this event as well as to Big White Resort for having us and for being open to make changes to make the mountain readily accessible for all.
Adaptive Mounntain biking is a relatively new sport but having companies like Bowhead making such amazing machines and Foundation like High Fives and Kootenay Adaptive Sport association facilitating events that allow riders to come together to ride and introduce new Athletes to the sport allows for growth to happen. All of this isn’t possible without Resorts like Big White which are willing and happy to give these riders the playground to discover or return to the amazing sport of mountain biking.