This ATVing pioneer cleared the way for Revelstoke’s “bucket list” trail

“I really enjoy taking others out and showing them areas they haven’t been to before.” — Ron Laroy

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Ron Laroy relaxes inside his dirty Can-Am Commander 1000.

Laroy’s affinity for ATVs stems from his years working at a powersports dealership. Having access to a variety of toys piqued Laroy’s interest and within a short amount of time, he was hooked. — Photo courtesy Ron Laroy

For pioneers like Ron Laroy, co-founder of ATVBC and the Revelstoke ATV Club, ATVing is a shared experience. It’s not enough to simply explore a spectacular locale and keep quiet about it. Laroy prefers to shout it from the mountains.

“I really enjoy taking others out and showing them areas they haven’t been to before,” Laroy said. “I enjoy being with my family, camping with them and riding our summer toys. I love exploring new areas and being outside as much as possible. I’m thankful I can still be involved.”

Even at 76 years old, Laroy still feels the need to contribute and help out his fellow riders.

“Having an ATV Club that reflects your interests is important,” he said. “It brings you in contact with others that share that interest. We have found that by forming the Revelstoke ATV Club, it has brought people together who might never have become friends or even gotten to know each other. That in itself is very gratifying.”

A group of people make repairs on the Sproat Mountain Fire Tower.

Sproat Mountain Fire Tower Trail. “The club encourages motorized and non-motorized use of the trail because of its challenge, the scenic value and the chance to visit a historic site.” — Ron Laroy — Photo courtesy Ron Laroy

Laroy gives tours around Revelstoke to riders of all ages, including his grandkids, but has a keen desire to showcase the area to those with physical limitations.

“As we all get older, accessing the backcountry becomes harder,” said Laroy. “If you have a physical disability, this sport allows you to get out into the wilderness. We are so fortunate to have such a variety of logging and mining roads in this province.

“My wife has physical health problems so I take my wife along on trips into the backcountry. She is a great rock hound. It’s great to be able to get to old mining areas near the tops of mountains and explore and pick up rocks. To have this mobility to go to and see places many others can’t is what I love about the sport.”

Revelstoke’s bucket list ride: Sproat Mountain Fire Tower Trail

One of Laroy’s favourite places to go for a ride is the Sproat Mountain Fire Tower Trail. About fifteen years ago, the Revelstoke ATV Club entered into a management agreement with RecSites & Trails BC (BC Forest Service) to restore the access road to the tower and to do restoration work on the tower. After a complete summer of brushing the old road, the club gained access to the top of the mountain and began the restoration of the tower. This has been an ongoing project for the club ever since.

“This ride offers a challenge for sure, especially in the early summer when the first trip up has many surprises and tests your riding ability,” said Laroy. “We never know what condition the trail is going to be in after a winter runoff has taken away part of the trail and debris from the avalanches. But the scenery once you arrive at the top is fantastic—looking down the Arrow Lakes, up the Beaton Arm and north towards Revelstoke.”

Huge green and grey mountainsides rise up in the distance. In the foreground, ATVs are parked on a trail.

“I enjoy being with my family, camping with them and riding our summer toys. I love exploring new areas and being outside as much as possible. I’m thankful I can still be involved.” — Ron Laroy — Photo courtesy Ron Laroy

One of Laroy’s favourite ATVing memories is finally finishing the brushing on the Sproat Trail after an entire summer and being the first person to reach the tower on an ATV.

“This ride has certainly become a ‘bucket list’ ride for a lot of people,” Laroy said. “The club encourages motorized and non-motorized use of the trail because of its challenge, the scenic value and the chance to visit a historic site. The road is not vehicle-friendly (pickup trucks) but sees a lot of use from hikers, mountain bike people as well as ATV and side-by-side use.

“Everyone has the right to enjoy the outdoors. If your choice of doing that involves motorization, then so be it. It is still your right. So enjoy your ATV or side-by-side or whatever you use to get away from everyday life.”

Three ATVs are parked on a gravel landing.

“You meet the nicest people on ATVs.” — Ron Laroy — Photo courtesy Ron Laroy

ON OUR RAD RADAR:

Rider: Ron Laroy
Where: Revelstoke, B.C.
Occupation: Retired. Used to work at a powersports dealership.
Bragging rights: Co-founder of ATVBC and the Revelstoke ATV Club
Weapon of choice: Can-Am Commander 1000
Local ride recommendation: Sproat Mountain Fire Tower Trail. “The club encourages motorized and non-motorized use of the trail because of its challenge, the scenic value and the chance to visit a historic site.” — Ron Laroy


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