Slow Food Cycle Sunday Tips
Photo by Dave Steers
Advice on How Best to Enjoy #SFCS
- Pre-register. You can avoid delays on event day by registering via EventBrite before the event. The first 100 people to register online will receive a free gift! Day of registration will be available on Sunday, August 19 from 9am-2pm.
- Get on a bike. The road is flat, the distractions numerous and enthralling, you have all day, and it rarely rains in August up here. In fact, for the 2007 event, it was raining almost everywhere else in southwestern BC except the Pemberton Meadows. This is a perfect place for a bike ride. Several participants over the past three years have amazed themselves at their ability to complete the ride. You can rent a bike in Pemberton although it's best to contact bike rental vendors before the event to ensure bikes are available.
- Arriving for Slow Food Cycle Sunday. If you are driving into town (and we hope you are carpooling), look for signs and take parking directions from the volunteers you encounter throughout town. The event runs from 9 AM to 3 PM. Registration runs from 9 AM to 2 PM. Once you are parked and on your bike (don’t lock your keys in the car), make your way to the registration area located at the Pemberton Meadows Fields off of Pemberton Meadows Road. Sign the waiver, collect your map, and off you go! There is no mass start, no tour guides. You start when you want, using your map to find your way. Open farms will have signs at the entrance. Please go only where invited.
- Keep right! This is an open road from 9am-10am and from 2pm-3pm. Farmers work on Sundays and tractors, cars and trucks are regular users. Stay out of their way. Also, watch for horses. Slow Food Cycle Sunday participants are responsible for their own safety.
- Bring some food and water. You are really getting away from it all by riding up the Pemberton Meadows Road. There is limited/no cell reception past kilometre 12 / mile 7 ½. Along the way, you will find many places that have food and drink, but be prepared for the fact that they could run out during the day. There may be long stretches of road with no open farms. These stretches are opportunities to engage all your other senses…
- Enjoy the adventure! Hard to get lost on this road, as there really is only the one road, so relax and enjoy what the day brings. Don’t expect to be given a schedule of events, or lunch reservations, or signage every block. Instead, look around, smell the greenery, spot eagles, feel the burn in your legs, breathe, enjoy the shade…Keep your wits about you, of course (every participant is required to sign the waiver at registration), and have a great day.
- Bring a pump and a patch kit. If you don’t know how to use them, bring them anyways and wait beside your bike at the side of the road until someone helps you. Then you can learn how to use the pump and the patch kit. You could wheel your way to the next farm, but be prepared for the fact that depending on the farmer, most are good at fixing tractors, but not so skilled with the bikes. They may be tempted to turn your sweet ride into a 2-wheeled hoeing device.
- Got panniers? Use ‘em. Or strap on a milk crate, or a handlebar basket, or a trailer. A backpack can make your back very hot, especially when it is weighed down with all your Pemberton produce, baking and crafts.
- Dogs on farm etiquette primer. Pembertonians love dogs but please leave yours at home. For one thing, it is (up to) a 50 kilometre / 31 mile bike ride on a hot, open road. For another, your dog may be the most darling thing at home, but could turn into a livestock-chasing chicken killer at the drop of the leash, and for this reason they are not welcome on farms. Do not bring your dog to this event, please.
- Plan your ride. On a nice day, with no head wind, it can take at least an hour to ride from the north end of the valley (the route turn-around) to the Village of Pemberton. There is plenty to see all along the road, so don’t force yourself to go all the way to the end if you are doubtful about your ability to get back again. Especially with kids, and especially if it is hot. If you really want to get to the end arrange a self-shuttling system or start half way up the road. Green Road is about 12 kilometres / 7.5 miles from the start. Just don’t forget to register before you head up and remember the road is closed to vehicle traffic from 10am-2pm. Again, you are responsible for your own safety, so prepare yourself.
- Wear a helmet! British Columbia has had a mandatory helmet law since 1996 - the first in Canada to do so. Safety is important when out riding a bike, and, according to helmets.org, it's not if you're going to be involved in a crash...it's when. So wear a helmet, be safe, and have fun out there!
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» Learn about the Pemberton Farmers' Market happening during SFCS