It was a bracingly chilly day for the inaugural Mountain Creek Memorial Ride for Paul Hanson and Jason Rinker.
The ride, the first of an annual event, brought in 40 contestants to ride in three races and jump events for trophies in honor of Rinker and Hanson. Mountain Creek also honored them with a tribute on the 2021 bike park pass, which includes a photo of Rinker performing a trick on a mountain bike. Hanson took the photograph.
Rinker owned and operated a downhill mountain bike shop next to Mountain Creek for 15 years, growing up on the mountain skiing and snowboarding, showing off his aerial flips and tricks. He was also known for being an ace mechanic. He was killed in a motorcycle crash on Jan. 12.
Hanson was an avid photographer who worked for Mountain Creek, as well as every other company that owned the mountain for 30 years. Hanson knew the mountain intimately and knew the snowboarding rails and groomers, the electric lines and worked the snow guns all night so the mountain could welcome visitors for a day on the mountain. He took many of the photos of the events and athletes on the mountain.
Both Hanson and Rinker’s mothers, Sally Rinker and Sonya Hanson, addressed the attendees with gratitude for honoring their sons. The day ended with the announcements of the winners, trophies, and a toast to Hanson and Rinker in the Biergarten.
“Jason was a son, a brother, a father, and a loyal friend to many,” Sally Rinker said in a letter thanking attendees for their support. “I knew my son to be a capable, witty, intelligent person, and our lives were connected in so many ways other than mother-and-son. He understood the value of hard work and self-employment as he contributed much to Vernon’s recreational community with his successful business, the Ridetopia Bike Shop.”
“Jason was a son, a brother, a father, and a loyal friend to many.” Sally Rinker