The Quesnel Cross Country Motorcycle Association has received a grant of $8,929 from the B.C. Off-Road Vehicle Trail Fund to replace two bridges on its Hangman Springs trail network.
This will greatly increase the safety of those who use the trails, in addition to making the paths more environmentally friendly.
“It benefits everybody in the club, as well as the horses [who use the trails] because they’re not going to be treacherous like the log bridges,” says club president Margie Robertson.
“They’ll be more stable, and we won’t have to fix them every year.”
Club secretary-treasurer Tim Barker says the existing bridges have been useful for the decade or so they have been up, but they are at the end of their lifespan.
“On the trail system, there are two gullies we cross, and they’re not really official streams but they still flow water and they eventually do end up in Baker Creek,” he says.
“More than 10 years ago, the provincial wildfire crews went out there and built the first two bridges. Those bridges lasted quite a while, but they’re rotting out.
“And it’s not just us [who use these trails] — there are ATVs, there are horse people who use it, there is the cross country running club — and it’s getting too dangerous.”
The club applied for funding two years ago, but there were some errors and omissions in the application.
This time around, Barker, who says he pushes paper for a living, took responsibility for the application and contacted Desi Cheverie, who is the local representative for BC Recreation Sites and Trails, to ensure he had all his “T”s crossed and “I”s dotted.
It worked, so now they just have to build the bridges.
They plan on doing a top-notch job so they don’t have to repeat the effort any time soon.
Club member Sandy Cunningham, who owns Brodex Industries, has taken on the task of fabricating the bridges.
They will be made of steel to ensure longevity.
Once finished, Barker says they will haul everything out to Hangman Springs on trailers and then take it in piece by piece by ATV to the remote spots where the gullies lie.
“We’re hoping to have at least one bridge in this fall,” says Barker. “It all depends on how many people show up to help. We’re completely volunteer-based, so no one makes any money. Usually, it’s quite the opposite and stuff comes out of our own pocket, but we’re passionate about the sport of off-road motorcycling.”
It that same passion that has led the club to hosting the Outback Bushwack, a race on the Pacific Northwest Motorcycle Association race series, most years.
They haven’t hosted it this year, as the bridges need to be dealt with and they are rerouting some of the trails in order to make the whole course safer and more environmentally sound, but on the years they do host the race, there is a significant boost to the local economy.
More than 120 riders and their families will travel from all over the west to take part in the race, often buying gas, food and sometimes lodging in town too.
To help upgrade the trails or put the bridge together, interested parties can contact Margie at Outback B.C. at 250-992-3580.