Meet our 2019 Directors

Karaleen Gioia

Karaleen Gioia

Karaleen started mountain biking in 2002 and quickly found it to be not just a hobby but a passion. She has participated in many disciplines of mountain biking including free riding, downhill racing, all mtn riding, enduro racing and indoor 4X racing. She also enjoys trail building, downhill skiing and dirt-biking.  Karaleen is encouraged to see the groundswell of support for mountain biking in the community and looks forward to contributing to this momentum through her work with TORCA.

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.

Andrew de Verteuil

Andrew de Verteuil

After moving to Port Moody in 2011, Andrew quickly realised what awesome trails there are in the area (all within minutes of his house) and he was compelled to put his accounting designation to good use by signing on as a Director for TORCA. A Chartered Professional Accountant (Certified General Accountant) since 2009 and operating his own accounting practice since 2011, Andrew is willing and able to count the beans, tackle the books, prepare the financial statements and make the necessary regulatory filings or any of the other tasks that many other people want nothing to do with, but which are a necessary part of being a non-profit organization.

Surrounded by a wife, in-laws and out-laws that all ride bikes, Andrew is most at home in the woods and takes every opportunity possible to get in a ride with the family. He loves nothing better than to show his friends around the ever growing network of trails in the area and is excited to be a part of the development of fun and sustainable trails for all levels of riders.

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.

Brendan Gauthier

Growing up in Port Moody gave Brendan many opportunities to spend time outside. Learning to ride a bike in Bert Flinn Park around the age of 2 inspired an early interest in everything bike related. Brendan’s passion for riding bikes slowly turned into a passion for building trails. In 2014/2015 Brendan attended Capilano University to learn about mountain bike operations, focusing on the trail building aspect. After Brendan went on to work as a mountain bike guide, build trails at Retallack Lodge and now builds on Eagle Mountain. Brendan sees trail building as an art form. His focus is primarily on the free ride side of mountain biking, which brings a different type of eye into building trails for all levels. Brendan is excited about the constant growth of Eagle mountain and very eager to see the trail network grow.

Stacey Poole

stacey Poole

Stacey moved to Port Moody in 2013 from the sunny beaches of the Gold Coast, Australia. With her keen love for the outdoors and BMX skills learned as a youngster, she borrowed a friend’s mountain bike for a rip down Bobsled on Fromme, and was instantly hooked!

Stacey has a real affection for the mountain biking community and enjoys supporting it by volunteering with BC Bike Race, Trek Dirt Series Mountain Bike Camps and other local events.  Stacey is a ride ambassador for Kinetik Cycles, an amateur, yet enthusiastic racer and devoted adventure seeker.

Being fairly new to Canada, and to mountain biking, Stacey instantly felt included by other riders and totally inspired by the natural beauty of the trails, which is exactly why she’s passionate about promoting the sport.

Bryan Gregory

Bryan was introduced to mountain biking during a summer camp at the age of ten, and quickly developed an interest in the sport. One year later he convinced his parents to let him turn a small forested corner of his yard in Anmore into a backyard bike park, and his interest in bikes developed into a full blown obsession. 

Over the years biking has taken Bryan in a number of directions. After teaming up with some friends in high school Bryan became the star of a number of online videos featuring our local trails. In 2015 he tried Enduro racing for the first time, and eventually earned himself the opportunity to race in the Enduro World Series all over the globe.

Alongside riding Bryan has always been passionate about trail building and appreciative of the work it takes to make mountain biking happen. He knows there is still plenty of untapped potential in the Tri-Cities, and is excited to help TORCA continue to improve mountain biking in our community.

Eric Shelkie

Eric has been a Port Moody resident since 2006, having previously resided in Northern BC. His first mountain biking was done in the days of fully rigid steel frames in the early 1990’s. Since then, biking has come and gone from his life a few times, but he’s been back to riding regularly for the past few years. Keeping fit and enjoyment of the outdoors in the company of friends are some of his favourite aspects of the sport. 

He’s a regular participant at local trail days and enjoys helping to keep our riding areas in good shape. He attended an TORCA trail clinic with IMBA Canada which added to his knowledge of best practices in trail construction and maintenance.

Melanie Polnau

In the early 2000s, Melanie joined Pedals and Pints in North Vancouver.  She was uncertain she was cut out for mountain biking though since she couldn’t even hop a curb! Turned out, it was a match made in heaven. Enough adrenalin and cardio to burn off the stress of her career as a nurse, as well as the ability to access beautiful remote places in the mountains.  Melanie is especially fond of exploring new areas to ride across BC and the US. While she secretly favors downhill riding, she will suffer soul-sucking climbs when rewarded with impressive views, flowy descents, and the cardiovascular fitness benefit of course.

 Melanie discovered TORCA seeking to connect with other local riders. Indeed, she found that familiar vibe of welcoming, inspiring, and passionate folks she’s always experienced among mountain bikers. An active volunteer in many aspects of the MTB scene over the years, Melanie is keen to learn more, share her passion and continue to pay it forward.

When not on two wheels, she is likely found in the woods with her trusty trail dog, Chinook.

Ken Fung

Ken has been riding mountain bikes since they were 26″ wheels, bar ends were trendy and when suspension forks were 40mm of travel. A Tri-Cities resident since the 80s, where he was introduced to mountain biking by his junior high school teacher.

He has been an outdoor sports industry professional for the last decade and also involved in a board sports program as a mentor for at-risk youth, teaching life skills through non-traditional methods. Ken can be found riding and climbing all around what the PNW has to offer on tires, boots, planks and hands.

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.

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