Monday, August 20, 2012

Sunshine, Cycling, Scenery and FOOD

Yesterday we participated in an amazing family activity not very far from home.  Two hours north of Vancouver lies the picturesque and fertile Pemberton Valley. Most people who live here have never seen it, because they stop 32 km short of the destination in Whistler for their summer and winter adventures.

Pemberton Slow Food Cycle 2012

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.

Pemberton Slow Food Cycle 2012

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.

Pemberton Slow Food Cycle 2012

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!

Pemberton Slow Food Cycle 2012

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.

My fav stop featured this super fun human powered Pedal Smoothie stand (below) where B put his cyclist's quads to good use. The kids and I opted for incredible gelato (I enjoyed raspberry/pomegranate) and chef-prepared sampler plates of new potatoes done 3-ways.

Pemberton Slow Food Cycle 2012

Pemberton Slow Food Cycle 2012

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!

Pemberton Slow Food Cycle 2012

....and for all you knitting enthusiasts out there, a super cool bracelet spotted on a produce purchaser!

Pemberton Slow Food Cycle 2012

22 comments:

harmony and rosie said...

That looks an amazing day out, rather like an outdoor Whole Foods so just up my street! The pedal juicer looks great fun.

felicity said...

Oh that looks like fun! We have a CSA with a Pemberton Farm - Ice Cap Organics. We love them AND their produce.

Wendy said...

Cool! We just went past Pemberton on Aug. 13 and didn't see a singlr sign about the event. Otherwise, I would have gone back for it yesterday. I've bookmarked the site. Maybe next year.

Katy Cameron said...

Oh wow, sounds like a fab premise for a day out! Love that last pic too lol

Jan said...

What a great day. I love your photo, too.

Cathy said...

Lovely, lovely! How perfect that we live in such a fabulous place. Have to say that bracelet is wonderful!

Pétra said...

That looks like so much fun!!

Leanne said...

You have taken such beautiful pictures, it looks like a perfect hot day.

arajane said...

ooh, that looks like so much fun! cycling, food, scenery... what a perfect day!

paulette said...

Your photography is incredible...these pics could be a spread in a travel brochure! Man, we live in a gorgeous province! What a picture perfect day!!
P

mahoo said...

Sounds & looks like a great day.It's so nice to see those sunflowers.We've had such a drought & such heat this summer our local sunflower field (that awes me every year) is full of stunted sunflowers who are turning away from the sun!Thanks for sharing.

nicolette at dutchcomfort said...

From the pictures and your story I understand you had a wonderful day! You live in a beautiful part of Canada!

Patchwork and Play said...

Sounds like my idea of a perfect day- great food and cycling! And to top it off- a knitting needle bracelet! fantastic!

diane said...

sounds like my kind of place. Wish I lived closer

Kirsty@Bonjour said...

What an amazing day out. Seriously, my husband would pee his pants if one of these events were held near us, he adores this stuff. Eating and bike riding... just add beer and I'd never see him again (I'd be happy with the potato vodka).
You know, we were at dinner the other weekend in Aix and the couple next to us were Canadians that live near Whistler. Sunshine something I think? Bad memory, not helped by the wine. Tis a small world, though!

Heather D. said...

Looks amazing. Love the cycle powered smoothie stand! The closest I ever got to Pemberton was camping at Nairn Falls Provincial Park for a few nights before we had kids, after I convinced my husband that I would NOT camp in the wilderness at Joffre Lake in the near vicinity of bear droppings!

bulabean said...

Fun! I spent many a summer in Pemberton. My dad still goes back every fall and buys Pemberton potoates and carrots by the burlap sack full! The carrots are awesome :)

Live a Colorful Life said...

This looks like an amazing day--so many wonderful things, family, food, scenery.

P.S. LOVE that last picture!

Dana said...

Hello, I was just wondering if you still have your Pfaff QE4 and how you get on with it these days? thanks Dana :) danaandlee@hotmail.co.uk

Dianne said...

Looks like a great day Krista and I love all of the photos you took. Great post!
We were at COPS that day in Lions Bay. Actually got Kaden's quilt top finished!

ayumills said...

Oh what a great weekend you had!! Family, Cycling(better without helmet I bet!), yummy food (gelato!!!), nature, perfect weather, and great pictures to take... everything about this weekend seems to me was so ideal!!
And now I know I have to get a Canon camera next time!

Sarah said...

Looks like a great day. I'm Australian but my brother lives in Whistler, has for the past 18 months, and our parents visited him last month. Don't know if they visited Pemberton Valley! They had a great time in Canada and revelled in telling us how they got sunburnt on Whistler Mountain, whilst here it was cold and grey and wet! Love your blog sarahleighATinternodeDOTonDOTnet