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A LESSON ON LAND-USE: LEARNING BY DOING

Spring riding in the Okanagan Valley is a tricky thing. The popular trails are being torn apart by anxious riders because they are still soaking wet from the winter melt, the more remote trails are high enough to still be covered with snow, and there are limited options to escape the valley heading north or south. During one of my nightly creep sessions on RideWithGPS.com I put together a big loop that left from Kelowna, immediately took unknown and potentially private double track to avoid any pavement, and continued to go full blown whacky after following some faint trails up onto a ridge on the east side of Kalamalka Lake. A hop, skip, and a jump later and the route ended back in Kelowna, it was a big 115km-ish route that appeared to be entirely rideable, so I rode it.

Long story short, there turned out to be loads of potentially illegal riding involved, a few fences, and some super challenging terrain (that part was good). In hindsight I should have searched out something with a bit more beta to ensure no trespassing was involved, which would have probably made for a slightly less stressful day. I ran in to some of the land owners along the way and they were very approachable and not too concerned with cyclists, as long as it didn’t interfere with their duties or their cow’s duties. It’s important to be completely honest with these folk, as they could have easily turned me right around and ended my day.

Do as I say, not as I do.

Anyways… here are some photos!

For those interested…

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