A Family that Plays Together…

Story by Misti Hurst// Photos by Misti Hurst and James Lissimore
June 1 2014

From beginner to experienced, Popkum seems to have all challenges covered

In our quest to find a place where my husband and I could enjoy motocross time, our four-year-old to ride and our two-year-old could play, we stumbled across Popkum Motor Park.

Popkum Motor ParkSituated in the beautiful Fraser Valley, Popkum is on the outskirts of Chilliwack, B.C., an hour and fifteen minutes southeast of Vancouver. Started in 2009 with one motocross track, an extensive overhaul at the beginning of 2012 significantly expanded the facility.

The park now features two new motocross tracks, maintained daily, accommodating big and small motorcycles. There’s also a custom-built Honda Canada “Junior Red Riders” compound designed to provide a dedicated, safe and challenging area for new enthusiasts to learn how to ride a motorcycle.

This area is perfect for our son, Ashton, to gain confidence with throttle control, steering and braking. It’s flat, wide open, fenced in, and has soft dirt and sand that he’s not scared to crash on. Once he gets a little more confident (or rather, once we are a little more confident in his overall riding abilities) we will let him advance to the berms, whoops, step-ups and small jumps on the beginner motocross track.

The layout is great for families with young children. While Ashton is ripping around the track, our daughter Kai watches in excitement and plays with cars, trucks, Barbies, shovels and buckets. John and I alternate between time on the big track and periods of watching the kids.

A Family that Plays TogetherThe well-maintained big track has a fun layout, some really fast sections, plenty of elevation changes and challenging jumps. It’s safe and easy enough for a less experienced rider to feel comfortable here, yet challenging enough to maintain the interest of a seasoned rider. Corner workers monitor the turns with flags in case of crashes or mishaps, a benefit that’s both important to me, and comforting. This isn’t the case on other tracks I’ve been on.

A family riding loop surrounds the entire park. Designed to encourage new riders to enter the sport in a safe and controlled manner, it offers great vantage points for family members and friends to watch the action and take pictures.

Recently completed is a seven-acre EnduroX/Trials park that features hills of varying sizes, boulders, logs, tires, natural-terrain obstacles, cars, and even a bus to ride over.

Long-term plans for Popkum include guided ATV tours and a widespread network of trails that will grow over several years. More riding areas are in the works for the perimeter terrain, along with amenities including bike and gear storage lockers, a playground and a remote-control track.

A major goal is to host MX races, Enduro X and Trials races, to bring national-calibre events to Popkum annually, and to attract riders from throughout the Pacific Northwest.

PopkumIn April 2012, Popkum Motor Park signed a permanent agreement with Honda Canada to facilitate Honda Junior Red Rider and Red Rider Evolution training, a first for Western Canada.

Red Riders’ focus is on training beginners, while Junior Red Riders is aimed at developing off-road motorcycle skills and knowledge in new or inexperienced riders between the ages of six and twelve.

Programs are approximately three hours long and teach the fundamental skills needed to have fun and become a successful rider. Students learn how to shift, balance, manoeuvre and stop a motorcycle in a safe, controlled manner. Private lessons are offered for more experienced riders looking to elevate their skills.

For individuals wanting to try riding an off-road motorcycle for the first time, or for those who are returning to riding, Popkum offers rental of a full range of Honda off-road motorcycles, from the user-friendly CRF50 through to the race-ready CRF250R. The rental department also provides a full line of protective gear from helmets to boots, including neck braces.

Open five days a week, Thursday through Monday, 10 a.m. to dusk, Popkum is an open track, so you can ride as much and as often as you want.

Popkum started as a dream to build a world-class, off-road recreational park. Because existing riding areas had limited availability, off-road riding areas were being closed down, and riding in the wilderness was increasingly challenging, a safe, dedicated facility was clearly needed.

It’s owned and operated by a small group of enthusiasts with the common vision of developing and building a recreational destination that can be enjoyed by the masses for everything off-road.

While serviced and unserviced campsites are already available on site, there are plans to increase the number of campsites in the next few years.

Overall, Popkum Motor Park (popkummotorpark.com) is a great destination for families and friends looking for the whole off-road riding experience. With a little bit of everything offered to riders and enthusiasts of all experience levels, it’s a great place for everyone to get outside and play together.

It’s fairly evident that we will have to purchase a toy hauler camper so that we can more frequently enjoy all the park has to offer. We’ll also need it to haul another bike, so our two-year-old will have something to ride.


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