Planet Bee is just one of the many highlights of a cycling trip through the Bella Vista area of Vernon.

A confession from a fair-weather cyclist

Moira McColl is 'The Urban Wanderer,' exploring the North Okanagan by bicycle, making stops along the way

September and October are two of the best months for cycling in the North Okanagan.  With many sunny days, temperatures ranging from 15 to 25 degrees C, and back roads free of summer traffic, it’s a great time to explore on two wheels. The weather tends to be so reliable that I rarely consider an alternative plan. So when we ride our bikes up Bella Vista Road to Planet Bee Honey Farm and Meadery, even though the sky is dull and gray, there is no plan B.

Observing the live hives we learn about the six to eight-week life cycle of the female worker bees, the drones who exist only for the purpose of fertilizing the queen bee, and the queen herself, who eats royal jelly produced by the workers, lays about 2,000 eggs a day and lives to the ripe old age of three to five years. We taste the variety of honeys but decline the mead (honey wine) tasting as we are heading back out onto the road.

An hour has passed and it is now raining. Determined to finish our tour, we ride the couple of blocks to my house and abandon the bikes for the car. Yes we love to cycle but the truth is, it’s the stops along the way that are the best part of the journey!

With windshield wipers sweeping the rain off our view, we trace out what would have been our bike route: down Bella Vista Road, continuing east on 30th Avenue, a right turn onto 26th Avenue and then a left turn on 25th Avenue, which continues east to a T intersection, then south on Francis Road. A right and then left turn on to Pottery Road, which we follow to 476 Pottery Rd. Here, in a tidy clap board house, is South of Pine Street Fashions, our next destination.

We open the squeaky screen door and are greeted by owner Shella who asks if we would like a latte while we browse. Being neither sweaty nor wet, there seems no barrier to trying on some of the new fall fashions. We leave, tossing our purchases into the car; no need to cram them into panier bags! This justifies our car tour, even though the rain has stopped.

We drive north on East Vernon Road, through the pastures of BX and acknowledge the steepness of the road up over Black Rock and how fast we would have coasted down 39th Avenue on our bikes. Our final destination is The Greater Vernon Museum and Archives, a place we have all intended to visit but have never quite made it.

Inside we walk along a wooden sidewalk, past the stories of fur traders, early cattle ranches and orchards and the B.C. gold rush that pushed Vernon from a sleepy town to a transportation hub, the epicentre for stage coaches, paddlewheelers and the railroad. We see the art of Allan Brooks, the namesake of the nature centre perched up on the commonage, and the work of famous potter Axel Ebring, and admire the vintage clock from the old post office. An hour is not enough time and we promise ourselves that we will return. We leave the museum under a sunny sky knowing that we could have biked the route, but we are not disappointed: it was a great morning!

Moira McColl is a freelance writer and cycling enthusiast in Vernon. This is the fourth in her Urban Wanderer series on cycling in the area, with the hope that it will encourage locals and visitors alike to explore the North Okanagan on two wheels.

 

Just Posted

Vernon student off to UBCM with council

Cadence Taron, a Grade 12 student at Fulton Secondary, applied to attend annual convention

City of Vernon to develop Civic Arena site into park

Planning process approved by council; construction to start in 2020 or 2021

Vernon RCMP superintendent helps with arrest

Supt. Shawna Baher arrests man for theft; turns out to be suspect in assault and robbery

Vernon Vipers open BCHL training camp

Defending Interior Conference champs open pre-season slate Friday at home vs Grande Prairie (AJHL)

No costs as directed upsets Vernon councillor

Scott Anderson and council still waiting for as-directed costs on hiring private security firm

VIDEO: Could we BE any more excited? ‘Friends’ fans go crazy for merch

Movie theatres will show select episodes to mark the NBC series’ 25th anniversary

Penticton man sentenced in non-fatal 2017 shooting

Elkena Michael Knauff sentenced to seven and a half months in jail

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Kamloops RCMP locate and arrest man who fled from police

The 22-year-old male was wanted in relation to a domestic violence investigation

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

COLUMN: Much to enjoy at Ryga Arts Festival

As I learn about George Ryga and his contributions, it is clear why this festival carries his name

Kelowna man arrested after allegedly setting blaze near Fire Department

The man was allegedly seen lighting bushes on fire near the Kelowna Fire Department

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Most Read