Long board is a sport not just recreation rider says

The conversation between Kimberley RCMP, City and longboarders will continue

Part II of II

Kimberley longboarder Noah Wesche met with Coun. Darryl Oakley and RCMP member Scott Milliken last week to discuss issues with longboarding in Kimberley.

Council has received complaints about longboarders on City streets and it has been identified as a priority in policing initiatives.

In Part I, the Bulletin reported that the discussion was around safety and a negative perception of longboarders. But Wesche says longboarding is also a sport, which he and many other riders take very seriously.

While many Kimberley longboarders use their boards primarily as transportation, it is also a sport. One only need look at the highly successful Sullivan Challenge, held every JulyFest weekend, to see that it is a sport that attracts a great deal of interest.

“It’s a really great group of people who travel to the races,” Wesche said. “Passive, easy going people. You never see a fight at the races.”

It is the sporting aspect of it that sees riders training on Kimberley’s steeper hills — and also the challenge of a more difficult ride.

Wesche says the Rails to Trails is great for commuting. If he goes to Marysville, he uses the trail rather than the highway. But there are also times when training requires more, as does the love of the sport.

“The Rails to Trails is great for commuting but I love cranking through pot holes and gravel,” Wesche said. “It keeps it real. Gerry Sorensen Way is a minefield. I love it. If I want to do the sport I’ll be on the road.”

Since most longboard races are held on city streets, then city streets are where you need to train to be ready for an event.

Much of the riding is done at night for a couple of reasons, Wesche says ­— better speed, and safety.

“We ride at night. The wind is going downhill so you can go faster. And at night, you can see the headlights of a car coming and you’ve gone by them before they realize you are there, so it’s much more predictable.”

And since every community in B.C. has steep hills, you are not going to get longboarders paying for the use of a track, even if a City provided one, Wesche said.

Oakley suggested that as longboarding was a legitimate sport, boarders may have to organize a bit more in order to deal with other bodies such as Council.

Wesche was against that idea.

“We don’t need another body. Cyclists and roller bladers don’t need to be organized. You won’t get everybody who rides longboards to go to meetings. I’d go to a meeting. I wear a helmet. But not everyone will. We need to act as role models but we don’t need a society.”

There is in fact a loose association of longboarders in the Kootenays, but that’s as far as Wesche would like to see it go.

Oakley pointed out that when Council wants to talk to longboarders they have to know who to talk to.

“When complaints get to a certain level, Council has to respond,” he said.

Wesche said he was more than willing to be a spokesperson and he also said he’d try to bring a few more riders to the next meeting (scheduled for September) but that it would be easier to get people to come if it were not held at the RCMP station.

“There has to be mutual trust,” he said. “I’m one of the few who would even come into the detachment.”

It was the decided the next meeting would be held at the Aquatic Centre meeting room.

Milliken said he would suggest someone in the Kimberley Detachment take the lead on the safety rodeo aspect and would ask that member to attend the next meeting.

Oakley said he’d try to bring another City Councillor along.

The discussion will continue on Thursday, September 19.

 

Just Posted

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

Ryan McKenzie of the Kimberley Trails Society made an in-depth presentation to City Council describing the initial steps of the Electrify the Mountains eBike trails project. This is a look at the project one map.
Kimberley City Council hears details on Electrify the Mountain project

At the meeting of City Council on Tuesday, June 8 Ryan McKenzie… Continue reading

The Kimberley Public Library invites kids of all ages to join the 2021 BC Summer Reading Club. Kimberley Public Library file
Kimberley kids invited to join summer reading club at Public Library

The Kimberley Public Library invites kids of all ages to join the… Continue reading

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday, June 10, mentioned Grand Forks among two other COVID “hot spots” in B.C. Photo: Screenshot - YouTube COVID-19 BC Update, June 10, 2021
PHO Henry says West Kootenay city is a COVID ‘hot spot’ in B.C.

There are 11 cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks local health area, according the BC CDC

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Most Read