Poker ride a chance for cyclists to explore Powell River’s trails

Second annual event fun for all ages and skill levels

The second annual TAWS/Powell River Cycling Association (PRCA) Poker Ride will take place on Saturday, June 6, 2020, and organizer Troy Butler is looking forward to a fun day of mountain biking.

“We have so many wonderful trails around Powell River,” said Butler. “Our suggested route will start at Duck Lake and go through Millennium Park before ending at Willingdon Beach.”

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Poker ride participants stop at up to seven locations, where they receive a card. The participant with the best poker hand at the end of the ride gets first pick of prizes.

“When I did my first poker ride in Terrace, people were trading cards for better hands, so for this ride, participants will pick up a poker chip from each station, which they will trade for cards at the end,” said Butler. “We have five main stations, two optional stations, and if riders visit all three of our sponsors – TAWS, Thick, and Townsite Brewing – they get a bonus card.”

The suggested 20-kilometre route begins at Duck Lake; shuttles will be available. For those that wish to begin at Willingdon Beach, the ride will be 35 kilometres, and each of the bonus stations adds between three and five kilometres to the total distance. The route will be posted at 9 am, and riders can turn in their chips at Willingdon Beach between 5:30 and 7 pm. “This is a great family event, and because you have the whole day, it is doable for people of all skill and fitness levels,” said Butler. “It’s not a race, just a fun day on the trails with the opportunity for great prizes from our sponsors at the end.”

Proceeds from the ride will be donated to the Ron Diprose Memorial Scholarship Fund, to be awarded annually to a local student entering post-secondary education in forestry, outdoor recreation, environmental science, or eco-tourism.

“Ron was a legend in this community,” said Brendan Behan, organizer of the scholarship fund. “He donated thousands of hours working on the trails and organizing rides in this community. His passing was a huge loss to Powell River, and he deserves to be remembered. That’s why we’ve started this scholarship.”

Butler and Behan also encourage Powell River cyclists to join the PRCA, which introduced an online member registration system in February. “The PRCA advocates for cyclists with all levels of government and other organizations,” said Behan. “We also help coordinate trail maintenance and purchase supplies for the volunteers. Membership also comes with liability insurance for ride participants.”

Registration for the poker ride opens on April 1 at Taws Bike Garage website, and will cost $20 for adults, $10 for youth, or $50 for a family. Those who are not members of the PRCA will also pay a small fee for liability insurance. Cyclists can also register for annual membership with the PRCA on their website for $25 for individuals and $60 for families.

NOTE: While cycling with family or individually is considered safe, organizers are monitoring the Covid-19 pandemic and will make appropriate adjustments to the event as the date approaches, including postponing to September if necessary.

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