Slow Food Cycle Sunday was founded in 2005. It was started by Anna Helmer and Lisa Richardson, two Pemberton residents concerned that irreplaceable farmland is under constant development pressures. The bike ride is a way to inform people of the importance of farmland, to give townspeople an opportunity to spend the day in the country and to give farmers and consumers a chance to connect.
This event was inspired by the principles of Slow Food, an organization that Anna Helmer is actively involved with. Slow Food is a global, grassroots association with thousands of members around the world that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment. 2015 marked the first year the Slow Food Cycle was officially produced by Tourism Pemberton.
The World Watch Institute reports that the average food item eaten in North America has traveled 2,500 to 4,000 km from farm to table. Here, the distance between good food and your table is as short as a 40 kilometre bike ride.
“It’s Pemberton’s own Moveable Feast,” says Lisa Richardson, one of the founding organizers. An truly, this is what has happened. By creating the space for something like this, people involved have taken ownership of the event and expanded it to create something even bigger. It’s also about food sovereignty but “the ride is slow and social, it’s like a street party, gorgeous scenery, all kinds of bikes, lots of families, all kinds of fashion from bikini tops to spandex, all kinds of bikes from cruisers to tandems to downhill rigs,” says Lisa.