A local dirt biker recently enjoyed an extreme winter wonderland experience.
Sicamous B.C. hosted its second annual Sledgehammers Ripped Snowfest from Feb. 9-11 where Ucluetian Ian Jacobs took his first crack at snow-bike racing.
He said the Snowfest was “a great experience,” though icy track conditions made for tough terrain and a couple falls pushed him into seventh place in the event.
“It was super icy,” he said. “Right on the second turn, I went down on the ice and lost my position and I went down twice on the second heat. The ice is pretty unforgiving, that’s for sure.”
He said he would definitely participate in the event again next year.
“It attracts the best in the world. It’s pretty cool to ride and be a part of this,” he said. “It’s a tight community.”
Jacobs has been racing dirt bikes for the past six years and is a frequent participant in the Vancouver Island Hare Scramble Series.
“There’s about 8-10 races a year and it’s an enduro style event where you race anywhere from an hour- and-a-half to three hours,” he explained.
He said he started getting hooked on snow-biking about two years ago.
“I’ve always played in the mountains and it was kind of a natural thing to transition into and try out,” he said.
He said it takes roughly three hours to convert a dirt bike into a snow bike and he’s been thrilled to see the number of local bikers on the rise.
“You can get your kit on and then when the winter ends, the kit comes off and the dirt bike tires go back on,” he said.
“It’s definitely a growing sport…For me, it’s just so fun to explore the mountains, be with some great people and it’s such a good community.”
He said the local snow bike season runs from December to March and, while declining to divulge any specific locations, he said he can reach phenomenal snow-bike conditions roughly 45 minutes from Ucluelet.
“Last year was epic,” he said. “We had a great snow year here.”