“Free shuttles, every weekend, all of July.” These words, a dream to any mountain biker, are absolutely true in Williams Lake for July 2014.
The City of Williams Lake, in partnership with the Cariboo Regional District and the Cariboo Mountain Bike Consortium, is initiating a pilot project of free mountain bike shuttles, to commence on July 5th and continue each Saturday and Sunday, all month long.
The purposes of this project are three-fold;
1. Using the shuttles as a marketing tool to further cement Williams Lake as a preferred destination to mountain bike tourists, and draw them to “Ride the Cariboo”;
2. A feasibility study for a potential new shuttle business in the area;
3. A unique service for local riders to help promote mountain biking.
Free shuttles, a draw to any down-hill and gravity mountain biker, offer the opportunity to broaden the tourism experience and showcase the extent of the Williams Lake trail network. During weekends in July, the bike shuttles will pick up and drop off riders at designated trail network locations.
“We want to give people another reason to come to our region and try our mountain biking trails. We feel that this initiative will help those visitors we draw here to understand the scope of the trails and the riding available in Williams Lake,” notes Mayor Kerry Cook. “At the same time we can get a better sense of what mountain biking means economically to our community and possibly open some business opportunities that will help enhance our community and its economy.”
If you spend any time in one of the local bike shops during the summer months you will quickly hear requests for shuttling services.
“Ye haw! The Puddle is doing the right thing .The mountain bike world knows how awesome our trails are, now they can catch a ride back to the top. This a positive thing that can really make you love the Cariboo,” says Mark Savard, Red Shreds owner and Cariboo Mountain Bike Consortium board member.
Final details of the weekend schedules will be determined, but the shuttles will follow a strict schedule running each hour between 10:00am and 6:00pm each Saturday and Sunday in July. All riders utilizing the shuttles will be required to sign a waiver and fill out a questionnaire. Since this initiative is partially designed to attract mountain bike tourists, 25% of the seats will be reserved for out of town visitors, but these will be released to locals if not required on each shuttle run. Detailed information about the shuttles will be available at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex, Red Shreds, Barking Spider and the Tourism Discovery Centre in early June.