Piperfest returns to the mountain

The C.O.B. Piperfest is returning to Smithers for its seventh year and organizers are promising an exciting race with challenging terrain.

The C.O.B. Piperfest is returning to Smithers for its seventh year and organizers are promising an exciting race with challenging terrain.

The annual race will be held on Saturday, Aug. 9 at the Piper Cross Trail on Hudson Bay Mountain.

“It’s a pretty full-on race,” said Dave Percy, co-owner of C.O.B. Bike Shop who is organizing the event. “It’s a black diamond trail, so it’s not that easy of a trail. It’s definitely for an intermediate to advanced rider.”

Racers can choose from two races: the Piper Cross race which is shorter with the fastest racers finishing in just over three minutes last year; or the Piper Enduro race which is longer with race times anywhere between eight and a half to nine minutes.

The entire trail is just over three kilometres with both races ending at the Piper Down recreation parking lot.

According to Percy, the event continues to draw a consistent number of people year after year.

“We usually get 25 to 30 participants — mainly from Smithers, we do have a couple of guys come down from Kitimat, Terrace, and a small crew comes down from Prince George. It kind of attracts the usual crowd,” he said.

“Our big goal is that everyone comes away without a problem or injury, we always have a few wipeouts but we haven’t had anything major which is awesome,” he said.

“So far it’s been good.”

Percy wouldn’t say how many people have signed up yet, but noted that is normal for the area.

“It’s Smithers, people sign up last minute. Whoever puts on events around here, that’s the understanding, most people know that people sign up last minute,” he said. “We just want people to come out and have fun. It supports the scene.”

The registration fee is $30 for one race or $40 for both for Smithers Mountain Bike Association members or $35 for one race or $50 for both for non-members. Registration begins at 8 a.m. on Saturday in the Piper Down parking lot.