The North Okanagan Cycling Society’s second annual Bike Fest runs Thursday to Sunday in Greater Vernon. (Robb Thompson photos)

The North Okanagan Cycling Society’s second annual Bike Fest runs Thursday to Sunday in Greater Vernon. (Robb Thompson photos)

Bike Fest kicks off Thursday

North Okanagan Cycling Society hosting a number of events through Sunday

Mountain bike enthusiasts from throughout the region will be in Vernon this week for the 2nd Annual Vernon Bike Fest. The festival, run by the North Okanagan Cycling Society (NOCS), happens Thursday to Sunday at various locations around town including Vernon Towne Cinema, Ratio Coffee & Pastry, Kalamalka Lake and Ellison Provincial Parks.

“We (NOCS) created Vernon Bike Fest as both a community event that brings local mountain bikers together to celebrate our shared love of trails and biking,” said NOCS president Dan Poulin. “We also see this as a tourism event that we hope will bring in out-of-towners to provide additional economic opportunities for local businesses.”

Two of the events in Downtown Vernon kick off the Bike Fest on Thursday with the Trails in Motion Film Festival at the Vernon Towne Cinema, followed by the 80s Bike Party at Ratio which features a gallery of local user-submitted photos accompanied by pizza and beer.

On Saturday, the largest mountain bike demo to ever take place in Vernon is happening at the main parking lot in Kal Park which will allow prospective buyers to ride bikes from nine different brands: Rocky Mountain, Kona, Specialized, Giant, Liv, Santa Cruz, Norco, Trek and Pivot.

“A demo day of this scale is a big deal in the mountain bike world,” said NOCS media liaison Dudley Coulter. “We (NOCS) encourage riders of all abilities and those looking to get into the sport to come out and have fun on all the latest bikes.”

Rolling into the final day of the Bike Fest on Sunday is a massive group ride at Ellison Provincial Park followed by lunch and awards for the Electronic Enduro race.

The Electronic Enduro is an ongoing event that kicked off on the weekend, and allows everyone to participate on their own time at absolutely any time between now and Saturday. They can then choose to attend the wrap-up party Sunday.

Awards/prizes are generously donated by Sean Bicknell at Pleasant Valley Dental, Pulse Spa, Snap-on Tools, Easthill Phyisotherapy and Acupuncture, and Arise Chiropractic, Massage, and Yoga.

The Electronic Enduro is designed to loosely mimic an Enduro race, and NOCS plans on giving out awards for people who get the fastest completion times for climbing segments, descending segments, and overall. However, the focus in putting this together is participation, and NOCS want to see as many people completing it as possible.

The society has made two courses: one of which is an easier green/blue level technical difficulty in Ellison Provincial Park, and the other is a longer and more technical blue/black difficulty course in Kal Park. Anyone who completes one or both of the Electronic Enduro courses will be entered for random prizes at the wrap-up party (one entry for each course you complete).

In a nutshell, the Electronic Enduro consists of turning on your phone to track you with the Strava app before your ride, then riding the course (all or part of it, however much you want to complete on any given day), then going to the website tour.ac to push a button that pulls your Strava rides into the website.

To learn more about the Vernon Bike Fest visit okcycling.com/bikefest



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Bike Fest kicks off Thursday