While some opted for a quiet and relaxed Father’s Day at home, the participants of the Nicola Valley Dirt Riders Association’s ‘Bar Bender’ wanted a more thrilling and high octane approach.

On Sunday, June 19, the Dirt Riders hosted their annual cross-country dirt bike race up at Aberdeen Road.

There were 232 participants, the most in the club’s history, joining in on the 14 different classes of race, ranging from beginners to masters.

Scott Dearden, president of the Nicola Valley Dirt Riders Association explained that there were two courses available at the event.

“A course is all the fast and experienced riders and it is a little bit harder and longer,” he said. “The B course is quite a bit shorter and easier than A but challenging as well.”

The club has been going 10 years strong and looking forward to more years of successful rides throughout B.C., especially the Nicola Valley.

“Ten years ago, I got together with some people and started this non-profit society to make money for maintaining the path, basically we became stewards of the land,” said Dearden.

“We build the course, we give out the prizes, we try to get local sponsors which we have a lot this year.”

The club follows the Pacific Northwest Motorcycle Association (PNWMA) as its commissioning body. The body is responsible for registering riders, keeping track of statistics and hosting 15 races across B.C. and some parts of the U.S.

On the stewardship side, the Dirt Riders also work with local government, ranchers, First Nations, in order to keep and maintain the trails they use for their rides.

“We came together with a whole bunch of people to preserve the trails,” Dearden explained. “This way we have more eyes on the area to keep it clean from garbage and what not.”

2022 Bar Bender by Izaiah Reyes

Dearden explained that there is history within the trails in the Nicola Valley.

“People have been racing motorcycles here probably since the late 70’s so there’s a whole system of old trails in the area but we never had a club until ours.”

According to Dearden, the club’s event relies greatly on sponsors at it is very costly to organize.

“Just to buy t-shirts and things like that adds up,” he explained.

Volunteers are equally important as sponsors. Dearden was happy for the people working behind the scenes to see the payoff at the Bar Bender.

“We have a whole bunch of new volunteers helping out and we would like to get more into family rides, training clinics, and community events to bring people together and make the club a little more stronger to make sure we have a future in this riding area.”

Moving forward the Dirt Riders Association is looking to setup a public meeting to involve locals. Dearden believes that community involvement is key for the club’s future success.

“The more people are involved, the easier it is for everyone.”

To get the latest information on the Nicola Valley Dirt Riders Association please visit their official Facebook Page. To get the schedule on the next race event please visit the following link; https://pnwma.com/calendar/list/.