Splitting his time between Vernon, the Monashees and Williams Lake, dual motorsport star Brock Hoyer finds himself a gold medal atop throttle-twisters’ coolest new tool: the snow bike.
Whether dirt-borne or snowbound, British Columbia’s newest motorsports star, Brock Hoyer, is a champ. A heavy-duty mechanic and dad of one, this 29-year-old from Williams Lake, British Columbia, raced on the Canadian national motocross circuit for over a decade. But, his career took an exciting turn in 2011, when he hopped aboard a contraption straight from Star Wars’ ice planet of Hoth as a means to cross train during long winters.
“I absolutely loved it,” says Hoyer, recalling the first time he rode a snow bike. So much so, he phoned Timbersled, the Ponderay, Idaho-based manufacturers of the first-ever, snow bike-motorcycle conversion kit, and popped one on his credit card. “I couldn’t even afford it. I’d just bought a house,” Hoyer laughs, on his cell from somewhere in the Monashee Range, west of Revelstoke. The towering and snow-loaded mountain zone is a favourite training ground for Hoyer and his first snow-bike buddy, Vernon, British Columbia’s Reagan Seig. The pair were among the first few Canadians to bring their bikes into the backcountry. Today, Hoyer is widely regarded as the world’s first, professional snow biker, and an early icon in the sport’s steady ascent in big mountain sport popularity.
Hoyer’s prowess for snow-bike racing and freestyle caught on faster than a holeshot. This past January he won gold at the inaugural XGames Snow Bike Cross held in Aspen, Colorado, by outlasting a field of 17 pros over 30 laps in -20°C temperatures and at an elevation of 10,000 feet. Californian Colton Haaker, the 2016 SuperEnduro World MX Champion, finished second. As a testament to snow biking’s increasing appeal to the dirt-bike set, the race included some of the MX world’s biggest names, in addition to Haaker. Hoyer says the showdown, his first-ever XGames event, was the most nerve-wracking race he’s entered. “It was the most prep and anticipation I’ve ever had,” he said, raising his championship bling, “and, we brought ‘er home to Canada.”
Snow biking’s fuse is undeniably ablaze. In 2015, global, power-sport giant Polaris bought Timbersled, and sales have since doubled. Early this year, Shuswap-based Yeti MX, developer of an ultralight snow bike kit, released a model endorsed by Robbie Maddison, the world’s reigning, freestyle MX champ and motorcycle long-jump, world-record holder. Hoyer, who figures he now spends four-out-of-five riding days aboard his snow bike, rather than his dirt bike, says he feels outright blessed. “It’s a cool new sport. It’s brought me here,” he says. “Now, it’s one of my jobs. I found my calling.”