Leave to enjoy what we have here | Sports

0

This has already been said by the sheriff, but he will repeat it. You enjoy the Okanagan Valley even more when you go on an e-bike vacation and then return on hundreds of miles of bike trails, many off-road.

Sheriff and constant companion Carmen just spent six days camping in the Shuswap while hiking many of its local trails (not our first time in the Shuswap).

While camping at Shuswap Lake Provincial Park, we explored the scenic Wade Road/River Trail which follows the Adams River north of the Squilax-Angelmont Road Bridge in the northern part of Tsutswecw Provincial Park.

A few years ago we filmed the same Adams River rapids in rafts.

Then our group hiked the salmon spawning trails south of the bridge through the park formerly known as Roderick Haig-Brown Provincial Park.

Moving to Herald Provincial Park, we again hiked to the thundering Margaret Falls nearby. And then we e-biked from Herald east to the end of the rolling Sunnybrae-Canoe Point road, which has huge, long descents but gentle climbs. All narrow sidewalks, no bike lanes, but few vehicles.

From Shuswap Lake PP we also kayaked to Copper Island and hiked its two mile loop trail to the top of Shuswap Lake’s only island. Panoramic view of the lake and Blind Bay.

At tourist information centers, pick up a copy of the Shuswap-North Okanagan Cycle Guide. More than 1,500 kilometers of backcountry roads, few cycle paths. And ask for the Shuswap Paddle Guide.

By comparison, Kelowna has over 300 kilometers of bike paths and over 60 kilometers of separate lanes, the most extensive cycling network in Canada for a city of its size.

Numbers for Penticton and Vernon were not available at the press deadline, but bikemap.net says Penticton has 183 bike paths and Vernon has 115, compared to Kelowna’s 478.

—————

On Wednesday, Sheila Fraser, co-owner of Pedego Oyama, made an impassioned plea on e-bikes to the North Okanagan Regional District’s Greater Vernon Advisory Committee. The committee supported in principle the amendment to the Parks Regulations to allow Class 2

e-bikes on the Okanagan Rail Trail.

“We won! At least the first round. Final vote (by RDNO administrators) June 15,” she said afterwards.

Last summer, RDNO banned Class 2-3 as motor vehicles since both have throttles. Classes 1-2 have a speed limit of 32 km/h while class 3 is 45 km/h.

—————

A May 27 ceremony officially opened a new 2.3-mile addition to the Mission Creek Greenway that connects the KLO Creek Bridge to Scenic Canyon Regional Park and offers exceptional views of Pinnacle Rock and Layercake Mountain.

“Our grand opening was a bit of a mess,” said Rhea Wiseman, secretary of the Friends of Mission Creek Society.

“During the speeches it was pouring rain so we all tried to huddle under a few RDCO tents. It cleared a little later so a dozen people joined in the morning hike. In the afternoon, 15 people carpooled from UBCO where the provincial naturalist clubs were holding their AGM. Due to time constraints…they were only able to do a short hike and couldn’t see the whole trail. Maybe with the teaser they got, they’ll want to come back and see more. The new trail is awesome. Wildflowers are pretty impressive right now.

—————

There was an interesting response from readers to last weekend’s opinion that fast road cyclists coming up behind you without warning – not maligned e-bikers – are a problem everywhere.

From an 84-year-old Vernon hiker: E-bikes “at travel speeds that make an accident unavoidable” should be banned from all trails people walk on “for obvious safety reasons.”

Around Vernon, “for every cycle I see of any description, I see 100 people on foot. Personally, I would make sure that everyone who rides class 2 and 3 e-bikes take a course and have insurance because they are, after all, riding a motor vehicle.

From Pim: “During my 1.5 hour walk today on the Okanagan Rail Trail, there was only one person who said, ‘On your left.’ Most riders with more than one person seem to try to get closer to the walker as they want to keep riding side by side and maintain a conversation even though there may be oncoming traffic.

From Vicki: “I lived at the Mission around 1985-2004. When I drove Gordon Drive past Dorothea Walker Elementary School, I was doing the required 30mph while school was in session. I was always amazed when the bikes passed me! They must have been driving at more than 32 km/h. And even when the kids crossed the crosswalk, they weaved their way between them… Also, when there were police in the area looking for speeders, they never ticketed a bike that I know of. I hope the powers that be wake up and realize that a regular rider can go much faster than any class e-bike if they want to.

—————

Friends of the South Slopes has completed a 16-kilometre upgrade to the Wild Horse Canyon Trail in Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park thanks to 960 hours of work by 36 volunteers over 10 days. Five kilometers of access to the Golden Mile Trail was completed last fall.

One of the major donors was PACE (Positive Attitude Changes Everything) of Kelowna, who made a substantial donation.

“We just completed another charity run and event that raised over $18,000, which will be split between FOSS (intended for Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park) and CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association) Kelowna,” said said PACE founder and endurance coach Rene Unser.

“Not only does this improve trail access and enjoyment for locals and visitors, but it supports groups like COSAR (search and rescue) and makes the park a safer place to recreate for all user groups. Not to mention, PACE Trail Runs is proud to host an annual 52k run that runs through the park every June (today).

Spending time in the park is “extremely special”, she said.

JP Squire, aka the Sheriff of Hiking, Biking, Kayaking and Horseback Riding, is a retired journalist.

Email: [email protected]

Share.

Comments are closed.