5 DAYS OF GRAVEL BIKE RACING IN BC's OKANAGAN
The multi-day stage format will allows us to dig in and explore this amazing region, and all it has to offer. The fall colours will be arriving as the grapes meet their makers in the pristine Okanagan. Join us to welcome the local wine harvest as we zig zag through the countryside hunting for challenges. Open your eyes, ears, throbbing legs and pounding heart rate to the gravel experience of a lifetime.
Expect to be challenged. We’re not aiming to be the normal soul crushing mega distances. We’ve set our sites on a brash and bold mix of everything a gravel bike is capable of, hopefully you and your trusty steed are ready to Explore and your Spirit of Adventure is up to the challenge.
While the pro’s may be out for 3 hours (on longer days 100Km +) – the majority of racers will be 4 hours (on longer days, 100km+). Day 1 and 4 are shorter, Day 2, 3 and 5 are longer, designed that way so there is room to rest, push hard, catch your breath and if you have done all that right, push hard to the finish line on day 5
Day One – Welcome to the Okanagan
Start & finish in Naramata
Approximately: 54 km, 2-5hrs
Stage one will be a fast and furious loop around the Naramata Bench touching into the local roads, paths, trails, hillsides and local wineries. The route is designed to challenge your skills and strength while just whetting the appetite for those days to come. Keep your head up if you can and enjoy the amazing views and mixed terrain on offer in this culturally rich region as you imagine a taste of the old world. A sparkling wine to open the celebration, perhaps?
Day Two – INTO THE MOUNTAINS
Start & finish in Naramata
Approximately: 92 km, 3-6 hrs
Stage two will send riders into the higher mountains as they explore both back-country bliss and the nirvana of perfectly sculptured trails. There’s nothing like heading out on an epic ride knowing you will return to paradise at the end of the day. The legs will feel this day as you lose all sense of direction and put your nose deeper into the gravel grinder, but don’t forget about those views. Your compass finally orients you homeward as this full course meal is almost finished serving up the apertif’s. Pair this day with a nice Beaujolais and prep up some tasty nosh to share with your friends.
Day Three – Up and Over
A Point to Point from Naramata to Kelowna
Approximately: 72 km, 3-6 hrs
Leaving paradise into the unknown, you may feel like you have the measure of this giant but pace yourself as this is only the half-way point of the week. These mountains sweep like sleeping leviathans far into the distances. Don’t be fooled by what you can’t see and be sure to watch the rise over run as this course will take you far into the wilds of Canada and back again. Meat and potatoes might surely want to be paired with a nice strong Cabernet or even a Zinfandel, but lets see how our legs feel as we plummet down to Kelowna and our finish for day three.
Day Four – OUT AND ABOUT
Start & finish in Kelowna
Approximately: 60 km, 2-5hrs
Now that your legs are tired but your spirit is fired up it’s time to test your mettle and your resolve. Nothing hurts so good as back to back adventures – well here is where we must find our spirit and personal grit to overcome this epic gravel grind. Obstacles were put in our way to be torn down and overcome. Enjoy the distance, the scenery and local fall colours as you sink deeper into your Okanagan experience. Perhaps today is paired with a flight of local tasty beers, hand crafted to delight your taste buds.
Day Five – GRAVEL PAIRS WELL WITH PINOT
A Point to Point, Kelowna back to Naramata
Approximately: 113km, 3-6hrs
With so many options on hand we can choose a few different ways back to paradise in Naramata, or have we been in paradise the whole week? Timelines are blurry as we mount our trusty steeds for this the last day but our focus and resolve remain strong. What goes up must go down, so it’s back up and over the relentless mountains of the Okanagan. There may be some familiar curves and bends as you sail full speed into the final km’s of this first ever Gravel Explorer – congratulations you are officially a pioneer and a champion!!