By Andru McCracken

A Prince George woman was seriously injured at the Valemount Bike Park’s 3rd Annual BikeFest, but the Rocky Mountain Goat has received word from a friend of the family that the woman is recovering in hospital in Edmonton.

“She is stable, and is doing well,” said Joel McLay, who is a family friend. “Any spinal cord injury needs time to determine the extent of the injury and what the prognosis is going to be moving forward. They are taking it one day at a time for now.”

“She appears to be doing better each day,” he said.

McLay said the woman crashed and fractured her neck.

Riley Hill, a Grade 9 student from Rimbey, AB, and former Valemount resident, came across the woman on Moby Dick moments after it happened. He said a woman was flat on the ground and apparently unable to breathe. He said other riders were already assessing her and administering First Aid. They asked Hill and his friends to go for help.

Hill said the rider appeared to have fallen off a feature called the sky berm. It’s on an expert level trail called Moby Dick. The sky berm is a section of trail that rises up off the ground, curves and drops about four feet at the end.
Hill believes the woman went over her handlebars.

VARDA Manager Curtis Pawliuk said the bike park played host to almost 200 riders from all over the world during Bike Fest June 15th.

“It was a day to celebrate all the work that Valemount has put into our world class trail system,” he said.

“Unfortunately, mountain biking comes with inherent risks and there was a serious accident.”

Pawliuk said a VARDA staff member, a medic, Valemount Fire Rescue and BC Ambulance Service were on the scene within minutes.

“Accidents on our local trails affect everyone. We would like to offer our largest thank you to all that helped.”

Pawliuk said mountain biking has many benefits to personal health and wellness.

“Our local trail system has had such a positive influence on our community, but as with many
recreational activities, accidents can happen.”

Hill said the bike park does a good job with safety especially during the mountain bike festival.

“It’s pretty safe,” he said.

Moby Dick is rated 5 out of 5 stars on TrailForks, a global mountain bike website and is the second most popular trail in Valemount’s trail network on the site.