Mike Davies– Sports Editor
For those of you heading up to the hills to ride this winter, there’s a new resource for you to use to help you get there. And it’ll help the environment—not to mention traffic and parking problems.
Snowpool.org was launched in New Zealand in 2006 by computer programmer Patrick Davey who was chatting at a bar with a friend about the lack of resources to get people to the ski hills in the area.
He decided to do something about it.
As the website itself states, “the aim of this website is to help people organize car pooling to ski resorts.
Nothing more, nothing less!” Maria Rubinchik, a 3rd year Tourism Management student at TRU, pointed out the website to Omega staff.
“I lived in New Zealand in 2009 and they’re huge on community projects like this there,” she said.
“I thought I should help get the word out about it once it came to Canada.”
“Since my eventual goal is to work in sustainable tourism, I thought this was a great project to get involved with,” said Ribinchik.
“It helps get some cars off the road, saves people money for gas, and you can make friends while you’re at it.”
Davey himself spoke with the Omega about the expansion into North America.
“My hope for Snowpool in Canada is that we can see the same use and growth that we’ve seen in New Zealand,” he said.
“It’s really a win on pretty much every count: it saves people cash, it puts less carbon into the atmosphere, and you get to meet new and groovy people in the process.”
The site has adopted and encouraged a following on Facebook and Twitter as well, and Davey hopes that people will take advantage of the social networking sites to spread the word to help the project blossom.
“I’m hoping to bring out Android and iPhone apps in the next few months and really just to continue making the site as easy as possible to use,” said Davey.
“If enough people in an area—say 50 to 100—all start using it at the same time, then it’ll take off brilliantly.”
The goal is to eventually be having the resorts themselves using the site and its social networking potential to help riders get to where they want to be.
It should be mentioned that Davey has created the site and all its networking branches as a non-profit project designed simply for the benefit of the winter-sport-loving community. No tricks.
So if you’re heading up to the mountain this season and you’ve got an open seat, why not see if you can find someone to fill it? It literally benefits everyone involved, and the world could use more of that.