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The birthday celebration began with a Saturday afternoon 16 km Baldonnel time trial. With ideal racing conditions, Blaine Richter set a new club record, beating a time that had not been beating since 1986. Richter finished the time trial with an impressive time of 20:56.
Jon Wood placed second in the afternoon race at 21:12 and Geoff McDonald finished the race in third with a time of 21:21.
Following Saturday afternoon’s race, 45 guests gathered for an evening of celebration, emceed by local athlete Floyd Polehoykie. Those in attendance enjoyed a night of bike club memories, along with tasty food and entertainment.
The next day, Sunday, June 11, the club held the team road race sprint as part of its celebration weekend. Kevin Shaw won the weekend’s final event in a close race, edging out Roger St. Jean and Davide Loro for the “Mac’s” team victory.
It was a special weekend for the Blizzard Bike Club, as it signified a successful 30 years of club racing, which began in the Peace Region back in 1982.
Three decades ago, the trio of Pat Ferris, Patricia Emery and Gary Leung decided to test the interest of potential riders to see if cycling could be of interest in Fort St. John.
Following early success the Club expanded from races to mountain biking in 1989, and was introduced to cyclo-cross by Robert Martens in 1998.
Since then, the club has evolved, participating in a variety of racing events including Ironman races, duathlons and triathlons.
Pat Ferris, a founding member of the Blizzard Bike Club, spoke about the significance of the weekend.
“The weekend went really well, we had a good crowd and we never expected a record to be broken by two racers. It’s surprising to think that a little town like this can support a bike club for 30 years; normally there has to be a much larger town to get this much support.”
Ferris also spoke about the Club’s future intentions.
“Looking ahead, we will continue to evolve as we are always looking for new ideas. We are driven by our members, so anytime a member wants to try something new, we will.”
To date, the 90 plus member club has had many top cyclists come from its ranks, including National Silver medal winner Richard Wood, while 48 other club members have won 48 Provincial Championship medals, 131 B.C. Games medals, and have had three riders place in the World Cyclo Cross rankings.
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