Posted by Editoress on 04/1/11
Mountain biking and barbecue – it just doesn't get any better than that. And it's a partnership that Squamish Test of Metal Chief/Chef Cliff Miller is creating as a legacy for the Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada.
Test of Metal Inc. and the Queensdale Group are pleased to confirm they have negotiated and signed a memorandum of understanding with both the District of Squamish and the Province of B.C. to obtain 500 hectares of land north of Squamish along the Cheekye River and adjacent to Alice Lake Provincial Park.
The plan is to establish a national mountain bike training facility. The development is to include a 15,000 square-foot covered mountain bike track similar to facilities in Cleveland, Seattle and Madison, Wisconsin. Along with the construction of a mountain bike skills park, BMX track, 67 kilometres of trails and a barbecue centre, 269 housing units are proposed to be built on the site.
"With Squamish being the Mountain Bike Capital of Canada this seemed like a perfect fit for Test of Metal Inc. to get involved with,” said Test of Metal Inc. president Cliff Miller. “Residents will come home from work, jump right onto their bikes, go for a rip and then have some barbecue. And with this length of trail we will be able to establish a new Test of Metal race course on-site and be able to ensure that the Test has a permanent home forever.” The proposal also includes a 3,000 seat arena complete with showers and barbecue concession stand for the BMX facility.
Miller, in addition to heading the most successful mountain bike race in Canada, has a passion for barbecue and is an accomplished barbecue chef. The barbecue centre will include a history of barbecue and a 125-seat “cookshack” reminiscent of the old-style American south traditional barbecue shacks where barbecue originated. It is planned to serve the traditional brisket, pulled
pork and sausage, but will include a B.C. twist with smoked salmon, salmon jerky and other yet to be determined items. Representatives for Queensdale will be present at the Nesters 2nd Annual Backyard barbecue Cookoff on April 23 to answer questions about the project.
Miller noted that sponsorship has already been confirmed in principle with Kingsford barbecue briquettes, the world's largest briquette manufacturer. Said Kingsford president Gordon Shumway: “We see this centre and entire Sea to Sky corridor, due to its proximity to Whistler, as a way to further promote our brand and help fuel the amazing growth barbecue has seen over the past few years.”
Further, talks are ongoing with several of mountain bike manufacturers to see what type of arrangements can be made to create a mountain bike history museum, a first of its kind in Canada.
When local bike shop owner Al Ross was contacted about the proposal, he was in complete support of the plan. “How could this not be a good idea? A self-contained race course of the magnitude of the Test of Metal permanently located here, along with with year-round maintenance and training. Plus the added benefit of being able to have barbecue and a beer after a ride would put Squamish further ahead than any community in the mountain bike world.”
Squamish bicycle frame builder and creator of SORCA’s (Squamish Off Road Cycling Association) BAB (big ass barbecue) Mike Truelove was enthusiastic about the possibilities something like this could create for his boutique operation. “This project represents the coming together of two passions of mine - handbuilt bike frames and funky large cooking apparatuses. I really hope this project can come to fruition.”
Tourism Squamish manager Lesley Weeks said that this is “a fantastic idea and will will confirm to the world that Squamish really is the Mountain Bike Capital of Canada. Perhaps we should trademark barbecue Capital of Canada as well.”
B.C. Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Minister Matt Ball noted that “these guys really did their homework. We are shocked at how everyone missed this loophole that was created for Expo '86 and appears to be applicable in this situation.”
District of Squamish councillor Bryan Raiser was also thrilled to see the two well established joys of mountain biking and barbecue going hand and hand in perpetuity. “What a great idea. I mean who does not love to go for a bike ride and then get to the end and have a large plate of barbecue,” said Raiser.
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