Written by Jack Spalding-Jamieson, Youth Councillor 2015-16
During the sunnier seasons, I cycle around my block quite regularly. I am not trying to get anywhere, and certainly I am not an athlete, I just like cycling. The road around my block is somewhat long, but it is quite flat.
Recently, I took a bike ride about three times the length of my regular ones around where I live. I do not normally ride for that long. It is not significantly more than what I normally do, so one might think it should not be any significant increase in difficulty. However, this alternate route contained a lot of very steep hills, both up and down.
Hills can come with many problems. Going uphill takes a lot of strength, requires a lower gear, and slows progress significantly. For my younger self, steep hills were a nightmare. Even now, I often just walk my bike up shorter hills. The seemingly obvious answer is to just cycle in the valley, where there are long stretches of flat road.
However, the abundance of cars on most, if not all, of the flatter roads, makes this difficult. An abundance of automobiles forces cyclists to maintain a smart slower speed in order to keep enough control to safely stay to the side. Additionally, it requires cyclists to keep good track of the vehicles around them. This is not likely to fit anyone’s definition of “fun”, much less my own.
On the roads of the adjacent mountains, the number of automobiles is minimal, if any are present at all. The rail trail looks as if it will be better than both of these options. It will be very flat, and will not have any automobiles at all. It will not be the only flat trail in the Okanagan, since the Mission Creek allows bicycles, but it will be the first long one coming through Lake Country.