The North Okanagan is being acclaimed for cranking out some of the best biking trails.
Pinkbike, a mountain biking website, recently featured Vernon’s trails for its “spectacular riding for all levels.”
Pairing up with the North Okanagan Cycling Society, local photographer Robb Thompson covered pinkbike’s experience in the area and put together a photo epic, capturing the thrill of local rides for website.
“North Okanagan is an untapped gem of rapidly expanding trail networks that you will want to experience,” reads Thompson’s review.
NOCS is stoked by the purely positive review, wicked photos and exposure.
“That pinkbike article was great,” said Matt Ball, NOCS vice president. “They are becoming the preferred method of getting bike information for riders so having an article about our trails is great as it will surely drive some people to our trails.”
Among the regions covered were the Coldstream valley, “home to some of the best single track in the North Okanagan, found in Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park,” said Thompson, adding: “When planning your ride it’s always important to factor in time to enjoy the views.”
Another key trail network is Ellison Provincial Park.
“With numerous trails at an easy and intermediate level, it’s a perfect place to get your flow on before a dip in the lake.”
They also hit up Sovereign Lake and Silver Star Mountain Resort.
“Vernon has a long history of mountain biking, but has been often overlooked by travelers passing through on their way to larger destinations,” reads the review. “Recent trail expansion and the growing popularity of the Silver Star Bike Park have given riders a reason to stay and experience the local trails.”
Silver Star was also made #2 in the top summer ski hill picks (across Canada) in WestJet magazine.
“Mountain biking is really taking off in the area,” said Ball, noting Cam Sorenson from the Silver Star Bike Park and his crew who have been doing a great job building cross country and downhill trails, including an epic trail currently being worked on.
“We should see a big draw to the area from mountain biking in the next couple of years.”
The pinkbike article also notes the growth of NOCS over the past few years – it has more than quadrupled its membership.
“With over 100 trails, including Silver Star, there are styles and difficulties of trail for everyone from beginner to expert,” the review reads of the four main zones (Kalamalka, Ellison, Sovereign and Silver Star) which are all 20 minutes from downtown Vernon.
NOCS is a local mountain biking group that maintains and builds trails, and it advocates for the biking community, organizes group rides, and runs programs (sprockids, Trail Ninjas) for the mountain biking community in Vernon.
“We have grown over the last three years from a relatively small club of 80 people to a club approaching 600 members this year,” said Ball.
“Vernon is becoming a mountain biking destination. We are just surpassing 200 kilometres of trails in the area between all the parks and Silver Star Resort.”
Group rides are becoming quite popular with 40 to 80 people coming out Thursdays for $2 rides (member cost).
NOCS hosted two major bike events this year, with both B.C. Enduro Series and Singletrack6 hosting two events each on the local trails.
“We also have some local riders that are starting to make a name for themselves in mountain biking circles,” said Ball.
For more information visit okcycling.com and to check out the pinkbike photo epic visit www.pinkbike.com/news/vernon-bc-silver-star-resort-dh-photo-epic-2015.html and www.pinkbike.com/news/vernon-bc-spectacular-xc-riding-photo-epic-2015.html