The North Okanagan Cycling Society is preparing for its first Bike Fest in Vernon, Thursday to Sunday. (robb thompson photo)

Cycling society to host first Bike Fest

Event set for May 11-14 in Vernon

The city and all of its madness is at your back, and you’ve arrived in a valley full of sun, lakes, mountains, vineyards and hundreds of kilometers of mountain bike trails – welcome to Vernon.

The first Vernon Bike Fest, presented by the North Okanagan Cycling Society (NOCS), is coming to town Thursday to Sunday and will include a stop on the B.C. Enduro Race Series, a film festival, demo day, show and shine and a family ride.

“This festival is a step towards putting Vernon on the map as the ultimate mountain biking destination,” said Daniel Poulin, NOCS president. “Our area is a rapidly growing mecca for mountain bikers, and this event is a great opportunity to showcase that. There are events for all ages and abilities.”

The Vernon Bike Fest will kick off on Thursday night with a screening of the popular Trails in Motion film tour, a community-driven event that brings a collection of the finest mountain biking films to audiences around the world. Tickets are limited and are available online at okcycling.com for $15 or at the door for $20.

Rolling into the weekend, the Friday night includes a Show and Shine at Ratio Coffee &Pastry where cyclists are encouraged to show off their vintage, unique or just plain old awesome bicycles. The night will feature music from Chipko Jones (reggae), and have some seriously delicious food and drink from Ratio.

On Saturday morning, NOCS will lead a Family Ride along Vernon’s newest multi-purpose trail – The Okanagan Rail Trail.

“This ride is an opportunity to bring together families and friends who love to ride bikes together,” said Matt Ball of NOCS.

“Riders will be treated with stunning lake and mountain views along this casual route.”

On Sunday, locals and visitors alike will have the chance to test their skills on the challenging courses at the MEC B.C. Enduro Race Series at Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park, featuring professional riders from around Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest.

Concluding the bike fest is every bike nerd’s dream, a variety of bikes to try from Trek, Pivot, Norco, Rocky Mountain, Kona, Ibis, Specialized and more.

Whether you’re a brand new mountain biker or a seasoned pro, Vernon is where you’ll want to be on May 11-14. To learn more about the first Vernon Bike Fest, visit okcycling.com.