Mountain Biking with Guillaume Boutet Lesperance
September has always been one of my favourite months for mountain biking in Fernie. Cooler temperatures, the start of the autumn colours and a few less folks on the trails – just perfect. But when Labour Day weekend comes, it usually also means that the lift accessed mountain biking at Fernie Alpine Resort is over for the season. This year however, downhillers will be stoked because the resort is staying open for, not one, but TWO Bonus Summer Weekends on September 9/10 and September 16/17. For these bonus weekends, the Timber Chair will be open for lift-accessed mountain biking and hiking from 10:30am to 4:30pm each day. So keep those DH bikes tuned and ready to roll.
Another of our long-time staff members who shares the excitement about the September Bonus Weekends is Guillaume (Gui) Boutet Lesperance. Gui competes every year in the Dirt Diggler so is happy that these bonus weekends will give him extra opportunities to prepare for this year’s race!
During the summer season, Gui works and plays hard – running Kelsey’s Restaurant and enjoying laps at the hill or riding the trails in town whenever he gets the chance. Gui gives back to the local mountain bike community in big ways – volunteering with the Fernie Mountain Bike Club, as an organizer of the popular 2Knee Races (this year he organized the Three Kings race), and with other fundraising efforts like FMBC’s Flow Trail Movie Night. Gui has also been a fixture on our Scott Thursday Night Race Series ever since I can remember – often found at the top of the race course, taking dinner orders from competitors before the race starts!
When & why did you move to Fernie?
I came to Fernie in 2007 after completing the SROAM (Ski Resort Operations and Management) Program at Selkirk College in Nelson, BC. My final work placement was at Fernie Alpine Resort as the Supervisor at the Slopeside Coffee Shop. I had such a great winter, I decided to stay and make this my home.
What did you do before coming to Fernie?
I worked at various jobs in hospitality and tourism at Mont-Sainte-Anne in Quebec City. I was also a ski and snowboard instructor there.
Where do you currently work in Fernie?
I am the Manager at Kelsey’s Restaurant and I also work with other catering events for Fernie Alpine Resort. I’ve been working here for ten years now.
When and how did you get started into downhill mountain biking?
When I was younger and living in Quebec, I used to race cross-country biking. During my first summer in Fernie, I bought a bike from the resort’s old rental fleet and got hooked on downhilling.
What are your favourite bike trails at Fernie Alpine Resort?
On the Timber side I like to ride Bike Thief – it’s raw and natural, with good dirt and good steepness. On the Elk Side – that’s a tougher question. When I feel really good, I like Kodiak Karnage. For a more relaxed pace – Trac3 to Holobike.
How about in town?
Without any question, it’s Three Kings!
What’s your favourite way to spend a day off?
I would start with coffee and a pedal in town, then head up to the resort for a few laps. I would finish off with a shuttle in the evening, followed by dinner in town with my family.
What’s your overall impression of mountain biking in Fernie?
We are so spoiled because we have such a wide variety of trails, and they are all just outside our doorstep. Easy family trails along the river, wide flowy trails, and steep, technical singletrack – we really do have it all.