by Paul Henderson and Tyler Olsen, Black Press
A memorial longboarding event held for the first time last year in Abbotsford has now been moved to Chilliwack.
Chilliwack city council approved a road closure in the Ryder Lake area for the event, taking place Saturday, Aug. 27.
The Yardwaste Downhill Memorial Race and Safety Education Event is put on by Abbotsford Community Services and the Yardwaste longboarding team.
Chilliwack’s director of transportation Rod Sanderson told council there that the City of Abbotsford denied the group access to a public road to hold the memorial race.
But City of Abbotsford spokesperson Katherine Treloar said that while there were safety issues with the first route proposed by organizers, on Straiton Road on Sumas Mountain, the city had intended to find another location for the event, with the Discovery Trail site that hosted it last year available.
“We didn’t say no to the event at all,” she said.
Organizers, she said, must have made their own decision to head east.
The “free ride” event is a friendly competition with a safety educational aspect.
It began in Abbotsford as a memorial to longboarders Dustin Mackenzie, Marcus Larabie and Dakota Leslie, who were killed while participating in the sport.
“[We said in the past] we would be interested in looking at a way to give longboarders a safe space on the roads,” Chilliwack Coun. Jason Lum said speaking “in full favour” of the plan. “I think this type of event is exactly what that is.”