The Top 10 RidersWest stories of 2020

Aren’t you a bit curious what our most-read stories were last year?

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Two dirt bikers sit on their bikes and take in the scenery of ocean, mountains and trees.

The North Island 1000 is a 1,000 kilometre route that connects all the small towns of the north end of Vancouver Island, B.C. — Photo courtesy Graham Lindenbach

2020 was a challenging year—and not just because of the COVID-19 pandemic (although we cover that in our list too). Still, there were plenty of highs to go along with the lows. Even though we couldn’t travel, we were able to get out on our ATVs and dirt bikes.

From the Calgary Motorcycle Show to Vancouver Island’s revolutionary new trail to adventure riding in Pemberton’s wilderness, these were the most popular RidersWest stories of 2020.

From everyone here at RidersWest, thank you for choosing us as your go-to source for ATVing and motorbiking information. Here’s to a stellar 2021!

10. Meet B.C.’s newest club: Timberline Cruisers ATV Club in Tulameen

“We have a huge trail system in our little neck of the woods.” — Kelly Reichert

 

A row of ATVs line up on a trail.

Kelly Reichert’s family travels on the trail head for a hike into Palmers Pond. — Photo courtesy Kelly Reichert

There’s plenty of excitement within British Columbia’s interior this summer. The region around Tulameen is home to the province’s brand-new Timberline Cruisers ATV Club. The club looks after and maintains trails across a diverse landscape from gold and coal mining ghost towns to the Lodestone, Rabbit and Pike Mountain areas.


9. Is my recreation responsible during the COVID-19 pandemic?

There are some queries worth considering before hopping on your ATV

 

ATVs ascend a mountain road.

During this time of crisis, not all recreation is responsible. — Photo courtesy Glacier Mountain Resort

On the one hand, spending time outdoors can lead to a number of overall health and wellness benefits like lessening anxiety, boosting creativity, and getting vitamin D. But during this time of crisis, not all recreation is responsible


8. Railway-related fatalities involving ATVers continue despite warnings

“Yes, trains strike ATV and snowmobile operators.” — Dean Solowan, CN Police

 

A red ATV lies in a crumpled heap next to a railway track.

“Off-road vehicles and railway tracks are not a good combination. Most of the time it’s a debris field.” — Dean Solowan — Photo courtesy Dean Solowan

As a community service officer with CN Police in Alberta, constable Dean Solowan has seen it all when it comes to ATVs and snowmobiles driving dangerously near railway tracks. As you might expect, the outcome can be gruesome.


7. Gear you hope you never need

Here is some survival gear from this year’s S.H.O.T. Show (Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show) in Las Vegas

 

A booth set up at a show that displays fixed blade knives.

Morakniv offers a wide selection of fixed blade knives suitable for tough backcountry use. — Timothy Fowler photo

Every January, S.H.O.T. Show attracts 60,000 industry professionals from around the globe, descending on Las Vegas for a week’s submersion in product launches, new gear and fresh offerings from top manufacturers of outdoor, survival, camping, sporting and defence gear. Here is a roundup of top survival items of interest to sledders.


6. How are ATV clubs handling COVID-19 and social distancing?

“Being on an ATV in the outdoors makes for easy separation.” — Hartley Pokrant

 

Hartley Pokrant stands next to his side-by-side ATV on a travel trailer.

Hartley Pokrant is the president of Manitoba’s Belair ATV Club. — Photo courtesy Hartley Pokrant

ATV clubs are having to adjust how and what they do amidst COVID-19. The limitations of social distancing can put a lot of stress on the average ATV club. It’s easy to get perplexed betwixt the ever-changing pandemic situation. Fortunately, Hartley Pokrant, president of Manitoba’s Belair ATV Club, has some pointers to help other clubs power through this uncertainty.


5. Lookin’ for adventure? Head out on the highway (or off of it) with Moto Experience

We were born to be wild, so get out and enjoy Pemberton’s wilderness with Moto Experience

 

Motorcyclists stop and take in the view of Anderson Lake from up high on a mountain cliff.

Anderson Lake is one of the many spectacular sights available to see while on a guided motorcycle adventure tour with Moto Experience. — Photo courtesy Jody Tracey

Wouldn’t it be nice to go on a motorcycle adventure through the mountains with your best buds? Planning an outstanding escapade is complex and requires all of your friends to have functioning motorcycles. Fortunately, there’s a company that looks after all the details so you can focus on having the best time with the least hassle.


4. Meet the new 2021 Polaris RZR lineup

The new 2021 Polaris RZR lineup is here, featuring the 2021 RZR PRO XP, 2021 RZR XP Turbo and Turbo S, and All-New RZR Turbo S LE

 

The new 2021 Polaris RZR drifts across the dirt.

The new 2021 Polaris RZR lineup is here, featuring the 2021 RZR PRO XP, 2021 RZR XP Turbo and Turbo S, and All-New RZR Turbo S LE

Take the lead and never look back with an all‑new RZR. The 2021 lineup features rider‑inspired upgrades, enhanced technology and trim features, bold new graphics and all‑new accessories–all so you can stand out on the off‑road and chase bigger thrills with confidence.


3. Rad Rider Jennifer Boulet: Outgoing mom, active advocate and dirt bike enthusiast

“I started riding at 42 as a single momma of three girls. I know how much courage it’s taken me to get this far.” — Jennifer Boulet

 

A woman and her three girls wearing motocross gear.

Jennifer Boulet rode Bear Creek with her three girls this summer. It was their first time riding a true single track. — Photo courtesy Dave Klassen

Picking up a new skill is usually pretty daunting. During youth, kids are more akin to jumping headfirst into something new and shrugging off the bumps and bruises that come with the experience. It’s all the more impressive then when a single mom with three girls decides to hop on the seat of a motorcycle and go for a rip for the first time in her life. That’s Jennifer Boulet.


2. 10 things we loved from the Calgary Motorcycle Show (in photos)

Check out these 10 photos of Canada’s only traveling motorcycle show when it rolled through Calgary

 

Blue, black and white 2021 Yamaha Tenere on a rocky platform.

2021 Yamaha Tenere. The new, middle-weight, mid-size adventure bike was the star of the show for Yamaha,” Budiselich said. — Sarah Bell photo

Canada’s only traveling motorcycle show rolled through Calgary’s BMO Centre from Jan 10 to Jan 12, 2020. The Calgary Motorcycle Show gave visitors a chance to see new 2020 models from major manufacturers under one roof as well as aftermarket parts, gear and accessories. Showgoers talked to experts, joined riding clubs, and met up with people who share similar passions.
RidersWest mechanic Phil Budiselich attended the Calgary Motorcycle Show and took photos of 10 things he loved from the event. Budiselich noticed a theme at the show this year: Nostalgia.


1. Vancouver Island’s revolutionary new trail: The North Island 1000

If you’ve never explored Northern Vancouver Island, here’s your chance

On North Vancouver Island, there are thousands of kilometres of gravel roads that are ready to be linked for hikers, cyclists, motorcyclists and quad riders to enjoy. The North Island 1000 is a 1,000 kilometre route that connects all the small towns of the north end of Vancouver Island.


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