Meet our 2023 Directors

Gabor Huszar

Gabor has been living in Coquitlam since 1998 when he moved here from the land of the Terminator. After a very lengthy absence from mountain bikes, we are talking back to the days of rigid frames, he re-discovered the pleasure of two wheels in 2010. At first undecided if spandex or loose fit would be his style, it only took one fateful trail day on Blue Line to discover his amazing backyard and get hooked on mountain biking.

After meeting the rest of the TORCA directors and seeing their passion for the sport and their community Gabor decided to join TORCA as a director in 2015. Even though he doesn’t have the fancy bike related credentials, his passion and dedication will hopefully make up for it. Gabor is driven by his desire to learn the art of trail building, to improve his riding skills and giving back to the community.

He’s also known to bake some mean Austrian treats and can often be found hanging out at one of the local craft breweries. And then there’s also that obsession with downhill skiing … but we won’t get into that.

Chris Cook

In 1986, the world was discovering Vancouver during Expo, Team Canada participated at the first World Cup Soccer, and Chris was learning how to go over the bars (OTB) on Mt Seymour, and soon after every other nearby mountain we all now know so well. At the time mountain bikes were road bikes with bigger tires and so were the parts… rims made for great tacos, just not the ones you eat!

Introduced to mountain biking by a motley group of friends who worked at Mountain Equipment (Co-op) at the time, Chris immediately fell head over heels for mountain bikes, the networks of skidder roads and an emerging ribbons of fresh loamy root-filled trails that took an entire day just to ride a couple of spots. The passion was instant for a small group of pretty fearless riders filled with a spirit of adventure, an emerging bike culture and bins of salvaged parts.

This early stoke led Chris to co-publishing Coast, the Adventure Sport Magazine and then eventually to working in the bike industry where Chris enjoyed the company of and learned so much from many amazingly generous people and trails around the world. On the record, we have the VERY best trails right here in our backyard! After all these years, the progression of mountain biking and places to ride has kept Chris rolling along… trails and bikes and riders and access just keeps getting better and Chris is looking forward to working with TORCA and our partners to help and support everyone have their moment of discovery. 

Chris and his family live in Port Moody, and they’re a 4 season bunch (his wife works at a local running shop) and often outside. Hope to see you on the trails! 

Ken Porter

Ken Porter

Ken grew up in Richmond, a land devoid of mountains and singletrack. As an environmental refugee, he found sanctuary in the Tri-Cities and quickly learned to ride his bike among the roots and mud.

He has been an advocate for youth mountain biking for over ten years. He coaches a mountain bike club for kids every season which regularly has 40 or more participants. He has been a director of SPOKE, an organization that puts on events and races for school-aged kids. Ken has also participated in the Eagle Mountain Park Planning Group and the Off-Road Cycling Task Force in Coquitlam.

Ken can be found riding the trails on Eagle Mountain. If you see him with his bike’s wheels above his head, don’t be alarmed – just give him a hand up if you could.

Geoff Hague

Geoff’s interest in mountain biking was piqued when – on a bit of a whim – he decided to casually explore the bike trails of Bert Flinn while his two young sons were participating in a bike camp during the summer of 2020.  His initial thoughts were along the lines of “People can actually ride this stuff!?”, followed by “I feel strangely and powerfully compelled to ride this stuff!”.  With the purchase of his first real mountain bike in early 2021, he’s quite new to the sport, but has fallen head-over-heels in love with it, with a passion unlike any he’s felt for the numerous other hobbies and past-times that he also still enjoys (running, music, reading, film and television, food and drink, among others).

Geoff is the proud father of two young(ish) boys, Owen and Benjamin, both of whom are starting to explore the sport as well.  One of Geoff’s favourite things to do on a weekend (other than riding) is to relax on the couch and watch a few MTB YouTube videos with the boys.  You’ll probably find him and Owen out on TORCA trail days as well.

Geoff has lived in Port Coquitlam for over 15 years.  He’s worked here nearly as long too.  Geoff is a Chartered Professional Accountant, and for most of those years living in PoCo he’s been the CFO of the Dominion Lending Centres group of companies (which itself is a proudly PoCo-based organization).  Burke Mountain is almost in Geoff’s backyard; he smiles a little every time he sees it while pulling out of his driveway, and enthusiastically tries to spread his love of this sport to friends, family, colleagues, and acquaintances (whether they care to listen or not!).  Joining the TORCA board as its Treasurer seemed a natural way for Geoff to give back to the wonderful MTB community that he now finds himself part of.

Watch for Geoff up on Burke riding his black Giant Trace X Advanced Pro.  (Is that a good bike? He’s not really sure; it’s the only one he’s ever owned!  But he sure seems to love it…).  You’ll probably find him doing laps on Overtime and other lower trails, and maybe starting to venture higher up the hill on a more frequent basis too.

Wes Sawchuk

Wes has been living in the Tri-Cities since 2009.  In 2013 he decided to try mountain biking after his 9 year old son showed interest in the sport.  Despite an initial setback, Wes was instantly hooked and has been riding regularly since.  Wes discovered the amazing trail network that was in his backyard, but more importantly, he discovered membership in a rich, diverse community of riders and builders in the Tri-Cities.

Wes has become a regular at trail days and is taking on building and maintenance projects for TORCA with his son.  Wes’ daughter is currently learning to ride as well which allows him to continue to connect with the challenge and excitement of those new to the sport.  Wes’ passion for the trails and the community prompted him to get involved as a Director to try to increase ridership and decrease barriers to entry for new riders.

Craig Alfredson

Craig grew up on the North Shore, but interestingly did not start mountain biking until he moved to Nanaimo in 2014.  In 2020 he moved to Port Moody and has been enjoying the trails in his new backyard ever since.

Craig also enjoys getting his hands dirty building and maintaining trails.  He looks forward to working with TORCA to help legitimize and grow the trail networks in the Tri-Cities.

Reno Koeleman

Reno has been a resident of the Tri-cities since 1999 and a TORCA member since 2007. At the age of 6 he received his first bicycle as a Christmas gift and since then 2 wheeled recreation has always been a large part of his life. He had the good fortune of connecting with a crew of passionate riders on the shore in the late eighties and was bitten by the trail building bug.

He had a crazy idea to build a climbing trail on Eagle in 2005. After a few years of solo building he realized he would need help and is very appreciative of the many many volunteers who have helped since then. His stoke for mountain biking and trail building in the Tri-Cities is fuelled by all the other community members who are just as passionate about our sport as he is.

Chelsea Hobbis

Chelsea grew up surrounded by bikes. Her grandpa Cap started fixing and selling bikes out of his barn in Burquitlam back in 1932.

After a few decades, she continued with the family business operating out of the Tri-cities. From road biking in South America to bike packing across The Netherlands, Chelsea found her confidence in the mountains. Learning to mountain bike in Wales was much less intimidating than the lower mainland mountains she now calls home. After living in Amsterdam and Wales for the past five years, she’s excited to return to the local mountains and get back involved in the community.

Chelsea was responsible for events and community engagement at Cap’s Westwood Cycle (now Trek Bikes), along with marketing and operations. She’s looking forward to bringing her experience to TORCA. This is her first year on the board of directors for TORCA, but she is no stranger to the Tri-Cities.

Joe Lo

Joe has been mountain biking since 2010 after being introduced to the sport by his neighbour.  Since his first taste of mountain biking on a DH mullet 26/24 bike he bought off of Craiglist, he’s never stopped biking (or buying new bikes).

As a father of 3 mountain biking kids and husband to a reluctant mountain biking wife, it is almost guaranteed that on any given day you will see a minimum of two Lo family members on our Tri-Cities trails (riding or building)!

As a TORCA member for many years, Joe looks to more actively support all the great work TORCA is already doing – now as a director – to make mountain biking more inclusive, accessible, and open to all in the Tri-Cities!

Joe and his family has been living in Port Moody since 2008. 

Michael Hallett

If you only have time to read one sentence, I can summarize everything below in under 15 seconds. I’m a 13.5-year veteran mortgage broker, addicted mountain biker for over 26 years, passionate big mountain skier for even much longer, rookie dirt biker, outdoor enthusiast for over 45 years and lover of craft beer.

As a BC boy born and bred, I can proudly say I’ve lived my entire life in BC. Growing up on the north end of Vancouver Island in a small logging town (Holberg), it helped cement my love for the outdoors. From there we moved to the Coquitlam area when I was 10 years old where my dad opened a local business with my uncle.

After graduating from Centennial High School, I moved to Victoria for 1 year where I enrolled in an Outdoor Eco-tourism Program. From there my then girlfriend and I, now my wife Kirstin, moved to Whistler to pursue a lifestyle of playing and working outside. It was there that my entrepreneurial spirit had started to take shape. Over the next couple of years, I self-started two small businesses in the tourism industry including a guided mountain bike adventure company from 2003 to 2008.

Our son Aidan was born in 2007 and a year later we decided to move back to Coquitlam to pursue different careers. When we are not working or Aidan’s not in school you can usually find us being active somehow; hiking, mountain biking, skiing, camping, boating, playing hockey, golfing, traveling or on the road headed out on our next adventure. We love being busy and we would not have it any other way!

Cassidy Palmer-Ruben

Cassidy discovered the fun and terror of two wheels at a young age when his father took him to the local cemetery, removed the training wheels, and sent him off with a running push. His first bike to send him airborne was a black Haro BMX launched from a dirt pile in a residential construction site. The rush was real, and he was hooked. Growing up, he and two close friends spent many summers days riding around the local university finding new ways to turn the campus stairs, ramps, and ledges into their playground. In his early teens he participated for a couple seasons in local XC races on a borrowed Specialized that was most certainly a couple sizes too large for him.

In 2006 Cassidy moved to Anmore at the foot of Eagle Mountain. In the years that followed, biking all but completely fell off his radar. Time went by and the forest above the powerlines was a mystery until a few years ago when he re-discovered his passion for fun on two wheels. At the time, his sister worked at Kinetik Cycles and suggested he come check out what a ‘modern’ mountain bike was like. After a quick spin in the parking lot, he was once again hooked. She proceeded to lead him up Eagle Mountain to the top of a trail that she insisted, with a big grin, he was going to love. Looking at the entrance feature on Manhandler felt oddly like the first time the training wheels came off. Fun and terrifying.

Since then, he has fully embraced the sport and much of his free time is spent exploring all that BC has to offer for mountain biking. Despite all the unique trails to be ridden in BC, he firmly believes the best riding around is right in his backyard on Eagle, which suits him just fine since less driving means more riding. When not riding his bike, Cassidy is also a avid skier and enjoys searching out all the steep and deep that the Coastal and Rocky Mountains have to offer.

In 2021 he was reminded of the uniquely tight knit MTB community in the Tri-Cities when his dog went missing during a hike on Eagle Mountain. Through the power of social media and word of mouth, the community came together to assist in the search. A few days later his dog was found safe by a local mountain biker and builder. Looking for ways to contribute to the community and to become a steward to the mountain where he spends so much of his time, he began to assist Reno with maintenance on Physiotherapy. While he has only spent a fraction of time with a shovel in his hands as compared to the local builders, Cassidy is inspired by the creativity and thought that goes into building and maintaining trails.

As a director with TORCA, Cassidy intends to contribute his knowledge as an Environment and Sustainability geographer to help preserve and grow his local trails.

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