2022 Shuswap Hub and Spoke Trip Summary
June 28-July 2, 2022
by Lorna Ramsden
Organizing five days of cycling with eleven different route options for 22 cyclists on bikes ranging from gravel to road to e-bikes was no easy feat, but our gracious and organized hosts, Bill and Charlotte Eberlein did it, along with local and knowledgeable co-leaders George and Jeanetta Zorn and Lorne Hunter.
A big thank you to all of you. You made our week unforgettable. Highlights of the trip included the scenery, fabulous routes, happy hours, connections with old friends and making new ones, and the fact that the trip wasn’t canceled (no smoke, no fires, no heat dome, and no COVID border restrictions). Some of us were on our fourth attempt to go on this ride. The Shuswap Hub and Spoke is a wonderful opportunity to get out and explore some of BC’s finest scenery.
Twenty-two cyclists arrived at the beautiful Sorrento Center on the Shuswap Lake. Everyone got settled into various types of accommodation ranging from cabins and trailers to tents and vans. Then, we waited out the thunder and lightning storm that rolled in that afternoon in hopes that we could cycle the 3:15 pm Sorrento Loop ride. Unfortunately, the storm continued but didn’t dampen the festivities at our first happy hour at 5:00 pm when the sun made its appearance.
We met at 9:30 am for our first official ride and divided into three groups ready to tackle our various distances of 43.8K, 57.2 K and 73.4K. Starting from the Sorrento Centre we cycled to White Lake via historic “Notch Hill”, which once was a bustling Canadian Pacific Railroad center with one of the steepest grades on the BC line at 1.9%. Needless to say, we climbed a few hills that day. Along the way we passed the “Coal Rail Car Water Sprayer”, an attempt by the railway to keep the coal dust down to safeguard the environment. White Lake is a “marl lake”, (highly alkaline and rich in carbonate minerals) with a healthy population of Western Painted Turtles. We had occasional light rain showers, but it was warm and spirits were high. The ride was gorgeous, winding back and forth and up and down through farmland with sweeping views of the lush and green Shuswap area.
Our happy hour that evening included an excellent presentation from a knowledgeable local birding expert, Geoff Styles, along with his co-presenters, Grayson and Julianne Styles, and even the non-birders in our group found it interesting! We had great fun trying to identify both birds and bird songs during the rest of our rides.
Our second ride began with a drive to Blackburn Park in Salmon Arm. The sun greeted us and stayed for the day with warm, but not too hot, temperatures. Again we divided into three groups to cycle 41.4 K, 63.8K and 76.2K. The ride took us through the fertile Salmon Valley along country roads and farmland with beautiful Mount Ida’s basalt cliffs as our backdrop. The Salmon Valley is a flood plain. Historically, after the glaciers melted, this region lay under water. Glacial Lake bottoms are typically flat. That being said, the ride included many ups and downs, and for some of us, the notorious long and steep “Yankee Flats Road”. The ride ended with a steep and well deserved descent into Salmon Arm and back to Blackburn Park. We ended our day with a group dinner for large appetites hosted by the Sorrento Centre.
Our third ride began just outside of Salmon Arm in the Deep Creek area. We divided into two groups, 46.5K and 71.1K. Again we cycled through stunning scenery and farmland and just to keep us on our toes, beautiful, quiet country roads with a sprinkling of broken pavement, pot holes, trenches, and some road construction. We passed some gorgeous sights including the Carmelite Monastery and the Fieldstone Granary. The day had some ups and downs in elevation but nothing compared to the biggest hill of all (12%) up to Farmstrong Cidery where a few of us indulged in their delicious food and beverages. We just happened to pass by Lorne H’s home along the route so he kindly invited us over to end the ride with a cold beverage.
Our happy hour that evening was bittersweet as it was our last social together and a few people would have to leave early the next morning. Pictures, hugs, and emails were exchanged in the hopes of seeing each other again.
Our last ride was an “out and back” starting at the Sorrento Centre and heading to Blind Bay along Shuswap Lake. Riders went as far as their travel plans allowed to Blind Bay (24K), Eagle Bay (49.1K) or Wild Rose Bay (69.8K). A highlight included pictures of us hamming it up alongside an “Old People Crossing” sign. This ride included beautiful views of the lake and surrounding mountains.
Ride Participants: Mike Bonner, Geoff Burton, Sharon Cotterill-Cook, Donna Devine, Peter Donkers, Bonita Douglas, Bill Eberlein, Charlotte Eberlein, Sharon Folkes, Lise Fraser, Lorne Hunter, Lynne Jordan, Donna Kerkoven, Sherry Long, Jude Loukras, Dan Ramsden, Lorna Ramsden, Lani Schultz, Paul Westmattelman, Cornelia Yule, George Zorn, Jeanetta Zorn.