The Green River Motocross Park has been given a bit of a makeover in the past couple years and the local club operating the facility is excited to show the place off to some of Western Canada's top riders next month.
The Pemberton-area track will host a B.C. Motocross Association South Series doubleheader on May 19 and 20, featuring improvements that officials with the Green River Motocross Club (GRMX) say increase the quality, variety and safety of the course.
"I think we've succeeded in building features that appeal to every rider," said GRMX secretary Carla Fellows. "We've filled in gap jumps so that young riders don't feel intimidated, and yet we've built challenging features so that experienced riders are challenged, but all within making it more rider friendly and just generally safer."
Lots of volunteer hours have gone into lengthening the track by as much as 15 seconds per lap time, while more features are expected to be added over the next couple of weeks as club officials gauge feedback from riders on a newer, sandy section of the track.
"It's just in the beginning stages and by the time of our May long weekend race that section will be finalized and completed, but there's probably another full week of work to be done," said Fellows. "We opened it just last weekend for some feedback and there will be more features added to it."
The GRMX also recently moved the perimeter fence along the parking area closer to the adjacent forest service road to accommodate for track expansion.
Fellows said that the ongoing improvements at the track have come in large part due to volunteer efforts that seem to be putting a new breath of life into the club. While Fellows's husband and club president, Cam, and son, Zeb, have been instrumental in leading construction efforts, she pointed to the work done by others like Jody Dean and Kevin Labatte.
"They've put lots of effort into building new features. That's something Zeb loves to think about," said Carla Fellows. "He trains in California where he sees lots of different tracks, and we've come home with lots of great ideas. Jody Dean has always been really involved and likes to build new features at the track as well. Between the collaboration of all of them, they've taken on new two sections at Green River in the last two years just trying to increase the length of the track."
On top of having a wider volunteer base to draw from, the club has also had phenomenal support from the business community that has allowed for track improvements to take place. Nick and Kimberly Gannon of Snow Mountain Projects donated a screening attachment for an excavator that has enabled the club to remove much of the rocky material that previously plagued the course, while Paul and Barb Boulanger of Whistler Excavations have provided necessary equipment as well.
Fellows also noted that local motosport shops in the corridor have also been very supportive, as has the Village of Pemberton, which annexed the land where the track sits in last year's boundary extension.
"We have more people working together in a sense of community to make it more of a club feeling where local people take ownership of a sport and activity and that hasn't happened in a while," she said. ""It's really nice to see people coming back and helping out and having a strong sense of community with our sport."
Meanwhile, those in the motocross community beyond the corridor seem excited about the track as well. Fellows said lots of riders expressed that they were looking forward to the Victoria Day long weekend races during Sunday's (April 22) South Series race in Kamloops. It's expected that several pro riders will show up for this year's race.
"We had people coming from as far away as Terrace, Fort St. John, Calgary, Washington and people from (Vancouver) Island saying 'We're definitely coming to Pemberton this year,'" she said. "I think it will be probably one of the better turnouts that we've seen."