Winner Heiko Kraus had a close finish over second place Ivan Hanchaat. Tom Best photo

First Peak to Pint

Cheers to those thirsty mountain bikers who raced down Hudson Bay Mtn to Bulkley Valley Brewery.

By some polls, Smithers is among the top 20 most active communities in the country. A closer look might make the pollsters reconsider that result and place it much higher in the list.

For example, it seems that if no special event is available to test their athletic passions and abilities, locals will somehow find a way to test them. Peak to Pint, for instance.

The local trail bike community has been busy expanding and improving the available trails and keep finding ways to make using them more interesting. Why not make your favorite summer activity even more motivating. What about a race from the top of the hill all the way to the bottom? That’s been done.

How about adding many people’s favorite summer beverage at the end?

Peak to Pint was a race sponsored by Bulkley Valley Brewery. Bikers started at the helipad at the top of the Tee-Bar on the ski hill and ended at the Brewery. To make it a bit more interesting, the race was not finished until the rider had consumed a pint of beer at the end of the race. (Underage contestants had to consume a root beer!)

Organizer and racer Wyatt Vargas said that they had come up with the idea from a similar event which happens in the winter on skis but a group wanted to do it on bikes in the summer.

“For the winter w event we had around five people but for this event we had around a dozen,” he said.

While the first few racers came down the hill quickly and uneventfully, some people including Vargas, who got held up by a train. Prior to the race, it was emphasized that if a train was encountered, racers should think safety first and not try to race it.

Another issue that was not encountered during the winter race was that of flat tires. During the race there were two, both from the same rider.

The distance of the race had been measured to be exactly nine km.

Winning the race was Heiko Kraus in 23:54, just ahead of second place Ivan Hanchaat who was close behind at 24:04.

They were lucky enough to have avoided the train delay which included third place Vargas who finished at 28:06.

While recent weather conditions have been uncomfortable for some, the race became quite bearable due to a bit of overcast and some breeze that alleviated the heat.

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Third place finisher Wyatt Vargas was held up by a train. Tom Best photo

The participants in the first Peak to Pint cycle race in Smithers enjoyed a unique event. Tom Best photo

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