Road Cycling in Pemberton

pemberton Road Cycling

Pemberton road cyclists want you to know that Pemberton is on the map. Since IRONMAN Canada came to town in 2013 and the Slow Food Cycle Sunday started back in 2005, people have begun to make the extra 20 minute trek from Whistler  to Pemberton, either as individual riders or as groups. Whistler is still a more popular destination for the road cyclist; you’ll definitely see more cyclists on the road there, and there are more stores that cater to the cyclist. Still, we’re on the map.

What makes Pemberton a special place for road cycling is that it is a hub of sorts: Whereas Whistler can be a great place to train, you are limited to going up and down the valley. In Pemberton, you can head out in any direction for a solid ride.

Some Recommended Rides

Road Cycling Sea to Sky Banner

Whistler to Pemberton

The ride from Whistler to Pemberton gives riders a net 300 meter / 328 yard descent, for example, and on either end of the ride is a Village with ample opportunities for food and drink. A popular stop on the Whistler end is McIvor’s in Alpine Meadows. In Pemberton, cafes such as the Mount Currie Coffee Company or The Pony offer a great stop for cyclists. On the way to and from Whistler, however, it is important to know that there is nowhere to stop for water or snacks. The 32 kilometre / 19.9 mile ride can get fairly hot in the summer months, so be prepared. If you’re serious, you can of course head all the way to Squamish and back.

Pemberton to Lillooet

Another ride from Pemberton heads through the Lil’wat Nation on Highway 99 north to Lillooet on the Duffy Road. This is a 100 kilometre / 62.1 mile ride, with fairly tough switchbacks. On this ride, however, you need to be prepared with food and enough water, as there are not as many options for rest stops. The positive side to this is that this ride is intensely quiet. Traffic is rare, as are fellow cyclists. You may be surprised by the occasional wild horse or cow, but what will perhaps surprise you the most is the quiet you will experience along the way.

Pemberton Meadows

Heading out to the Pemberton Meadows gives you a third ride from Pemberton. On this ride, you can continue out along pristine farmland for kilometre after kilometre, only needing to watch out for the occasional tractor or perhaps a fellow cyclist. This ride is quiet, long and straight; an easy ride without the hills of the other two options. However, there is not option for a rest stop along the way, so you do need to be prepared with enough food and water. You may find a road side fruit stand at the Van Loons, at the turn off road to the Hurley on your way to Meager Creek. They’ve even begun to keep a small refrigerator with water and snacks for cyclists. But it’s not smart to count on this: bring your own snacks and water, and top up with what you find at the Van Loons fruit stand.

Road Cycling: The New Golf

Since road cyclists want long rides to choose from, Pemberton makes a great place to start and stop from. On long summer days, you can leave in the early morning and be back to Pemberton before it gets too hot.

In many ways, road cycling is the perfect sport for the semi retired: some have even called it “the new golf” since cyclists need to carve out a similar amount of time from their day. Of course, the physical outlay is considerably more for the road cyclist. Also similar to golf is the outlay of cash: you can spend a few thousand dollars on your bike as you move up from an aluminum frame to a carbon fibre frame and components.

Whereas on a mountain bike, the bike itself is very technical, with components costing quite a bit of money as you move up to more and more expert bikes. With road cycling, the bikes themselves are quite simple: it’s the weight of the bike that’s key. Or lack of weight.

On long rides, especially on hills, you’ll want a carbon fibre frame to get you where you want to go. And just like in any sport, get the best you can afford. It will last, and you will be a lot happier. Carbon fibre is five times as strong as steel and can also absorb a lot more. This comes in handy when you’re riding on anything that is less than perfect asphalt, which you will encounter on country roads outside of Pemberton.

Benefits

In part because of the combined efforts made by the IRONMAN Canada race and Slow Food Cycle Sunday, road cycling in Pemberton is quickly maturing, and Pemberton’s benefits as a place to train for serious cycling or to spend the day with family and friends are being noticed:

  • Roads accommodate bicycles with 14 to 16 foot lane widths
  • Encourages safe cycling
  • Stores provide safe convenient bicycle parking
  • Accommodation welcomes cyclists and provides storage
  • Basic bike tools are readily available
  • Cafes and restaurants are cyclist-friendly

Wear a helmet

Header image by Dave Steers

Ice Fishing in Pemberton, BC

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2015 Pemberton Winterfest - Day 1
January 16
2015 Pemberton Winterfest is scheduled to return with various community and sporting events. NOTE: Dates subject to change. Weather conditions permitting.

2015 Pemberton Winterfest - Day 2
January 17
2015 Pemberton Winterfest is scheduled to return with various community and sporting events. NOTE: Dates subject to change. Weather conditions permitting.

2015 Pemberton Winterfest - Day 3
January 18
2015 Pemberton Winterfest is scheduled to return with various community and sporting events. NOTE: Dates subject to change. Weather conditions permitting.

2015 Nimby Fifty XC MTB Race
May 30
An epic mountain bike race covering many of the world-class single track trails, climbs, and descents that the Pemberton, BC trails are famous for. DATE & DETAILS TO BE CONFIRMED

Pemberton Music Festival Tickets Go On Sale
December 12
It's official - Pemberton Music Festival is set to return from Thursday, July 16 to Sunday, July 19, 2015. Additional early bird tickets for Pemberton Music Festival are set to go on sale this Friday, December 12, 2014 at 10AM!

Pemberton Christmas Bazaar
December 01
The St. David's United Church Christmas Bazaar is back this Saturday, December 6th. This Christmas themed craft fair is your one stop shop for hand made gifts and one of a kind trinkets.

2014 Whistler Blackcomb Opening Day
November 18
Whistler Blackcomb, North America's number one ski resort, opens November 22, 2014. Get ready to ski this weekend, folks and say a huge thank you to mother nature and the staff at Whistler Blackcomb!

Pemberton Video Highlights
November 17
Two cool videos highlighting Pemberton businesses were released recently. The first video features the boys over at Pemberton Fish Finder on a recent fishing trip to the Birken Head River. The second video has local chef and owner of the Mile One Eating House Randy Jones rockin it out on the Global BC morning show.

Halloween In Pemberton
October 29
Are you looking for a fun way to celebrate Halloween in Pemberton this year? There is tons to do this year, so come on out and celebrate Halloween 2014 with us in Pemberton!

Pumpkin Picking at North Arm Farm
October 27
It's that wonderful time of year again... Pumpkin picking time. North Arm Farm is Pemberton's one stop shop for fresh pumpkin's this year with a vast array of pumpkins and squashes ready and ripe for the picking.

Pemberton Enters Prime Time of Mountain Bike Season
September 29
The Pemberton mountain bike season is currently experiencing its second wind. Thanks to the cool and damp fall weather Pemberton's mountain bike trails firm up and pack down. Learn more!

Sopwith Camel on Display at the Legion
September 24
The Canadian Museum of Flight will have a full scale replica Sopwith Camel on display in Pemberton this Saturday and Sunday. During it's stay the plane will be on display in the Pemberton Legion parking lot.

h'OMgrown Festival
September 08
Pemberton's first ever yoga festival is set to hit town this September 12 - 14. The festival brings together experts in the fields of yoga, nutrition, whole foods, and meditation. Create your own customized schedule choosing workshops that pique your interest.

Horseback Riding In Pemberton
August 27
Horseback riding and Pemberton go hand and hand. Take a ride and enjoy the amazing scenery and back trails you could only access by horse. Several companies offer touring options and can cater rides to your specific needs.

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