The valley is bordered on both sides and the south end by rugged, scenic peaks. The valley floor provides over 40 km of flat cycling on quiet farm roads populated by small family-run organic and salmon-friendly farms. Yesterday was the 8th annual Slow Food Cycle Sunday and friends invited us to join them for the day. What a day it was! Sunny with a scant breeze and about 28 degrees Celcius. Perfect.
After a casual free check-in, which as far as I could tell was a just a simple way to collect email addresses and get rough participant numbers, we were off. Our group consisted of 6 adults and 6 kids (aged 15.5 down to 11 yrs). There were several munchkins on push bikes or training wheels who started off the day with great enthusiasm but they were the ones asleep in the bike trailers with push bikes bungeed on top by 2:00 p.m.! The counter lady at the 1/2 way mark told us on the way back that she'd counted almost 3300 participants.
The whole idea of they day is to celebrate cycling, sustainable farming practices and healthy food. Folks filled their handle bar baskets and paniers with organic produce, and their tummies with yummy snacks at each stop. Having set off from our Whistler hotel rather early in the morning, I was most excited to see this sign on the route!
Each of the participating 14 farms featured different small portion meals or snacks made from locally grown ingredients including baking, frittatas, tacos, smoothies, beef burgers, salads, potato vodka iced tea (B and SIL both enjoyed a refreshing glass of this elixir, but stated a second one would effectively render any cyclist eligible for a DUI charge), samosas, BBQ pizza, pulled port, bannock with preserves and gelato. A pocketful of small bills was super helpful as it was an all-cash day. I think as a family we spent about $80 and that included bringing home a bit of produce and a pound of espresso beans from the fair-trade roaster.
There were so many great things about this day including leisurely flat riding for family fun sans helmets (we made the executive decision to go helmet-less which is a rare treat for all of us since our province has a mandatory cycling helmet law), incredible scenery, delicious fresh food and friends. I hope we can return next year! Here's a mosaic of some more shots from the day (I took my point and shoot, a 5 year old Cannon Powershot SD750 that I have hardly touched since I got my DSLR - it was fun to go lightweight for a day!). Check out the last shot. That was taken 10 minutes into our drive home!
....and for all you knitting enthusiasts out there, a super cool bracelet spotted on a produce purchaser!