When inspecting the condition of a vehicle, it’s best to look under the hood. When investigating the state of the powersports industry, it’s best to speak with someone on the inside, such as Gloria Cunningham, an ambassador for Cycle Works West, a Powersports dealer in Acheson, Alberta.
As a member of Cycle Works West’s rider team, Cunningham sets an example by encouraging newbies to embrace the sport, assisting with group rides, and sharing her thoughts about where the powersports industry is going.
“I notice a lot more women in powersports the last few years as well, which is awesome to see!” — Gloria Cunningham — Photo courtesy Gloria Cunningham
Has demand risen or fallen for powersports products?
I’d say demand has risen. It’s still a small industry, but powersports have gained popularity in the extreme sports world.
I notice a lot more women in powersports the last few years as well, which is awesome to see!
What are some powersports industry trends that have caught your attention?
I see a lot more people getting into off-road/backcountry riding vs. racing. It’s appealing to still be able to push yourself as a rider even without committing to racing.
How do you think these changes within the powersports industry will progress into the future?
I’m honestly not sure what the future of powersports holds. Some say it’s a dying industry. I refuse to believe that. With the introduction of electric bikes and sleds, things could look very different in the future.
Which new powersports products or accessories are you most excited about? Why?
I’m most excited about the massive changes to snowmobiles. Even though I started sledding only 10 years ago, sleds have changed massively! People used to modify sleds so heavily. Now many mods are coming stock. Stock machines are unreal!
What are some riding hacks that you’d like to share?
Always carry zip ties. My friend, Amber, shared this hack with me and it saved me: if you get a flat tire on your dirt bike on the trail, and don’t have a tube, put a bunch of zip ties around the rim and tire in several spots. I rode out eight kilometres like this in rocky terrain. This also works for sled tracks. My husband tore his sled track in the backcountry. He zip tied the crap out of it and rode out 30 kilometres back to the truck.
“I see a lot more people getting into off-road/backcountry riding vs. racing.” — Gloria Cunningham — Photo courtesy Gloria Cunningham
POWERSPORT INDUSTRY INSIDER:
Rider: Gloria Cunningham
Where: Red Deer, Alberta
Occupation: Mobile crane operator and Cycle Works West ambassador
Bragging rights: Snowmobiles with her infant daughter, Sophia
Weapon of choice: 2019 Husqvarna TE300i
Local ride recommendation: Central Alberta’s west country area: “We are lucky to have some amazing riders who have cut sweet and challenging single track. We don’t really have designated riding parks (such as OHV parks) in our area, but there is a lot of crown land we can ride.”