For those in Salmon Arm and Shuswap who cycle all year long, including on snow, it’s a dream come true.
On Feb. 18 the City of Salmon Arm showed off a new machine used to groom trails in the community, as the Shuswap Cycling Club is fundraising to buy another one.
Mayor Alan Harrison expressed excitement that winter users will now be able to enjoy groomed trails starting from the trailhead on 10 Ave SE.
Brian Browning, owner of Center Point Automotive, purchased the grooming machine for the cycling club at the end of January. He said the machine, called a snowdog, was built in Russia but they have been adopted across North America to groom trails for fat tire mountain bikes in the winter.
The machine is a small tracked vehicle which tows a grooming platform behind it which compacts the snow. Browning said it has proved very capable for grooming the South Canoe Trails and its width is suited to the narrow mountain bike trails.
Browning said the Shuswap Cycling Club has been discussing the possibility of grooming trails at South Canoe for years. He said the groomed trails left behind the machine have proved wonderful for hikers, snowshoers and runners along with creating a good surface for the fat bikes it was originally intended for.
The cycling club is fundraising to buy a second grooming machine and cover maintenance costs using a GoFundMe page and by asking people to join the club or update their membership.