I’ve personally been doing the Bike Tour to raise funds for Multiple Sclerosis research for the better part of a decade now, and Cima Coppi has been sending a small team for the past two years. We’d like to do the same this year but with a much more substantial team and are looking at the newest of the MS Bike Tour offerings: The Glacier Challenge
When: Aug. 18th and 19th, 2012
Where: New Denver, West Kootneys, British Columbia
Route Length: Day 1 – 102km, Day 2 – 114km
MS Society: Route Website and Registration
MS Society Contact: Leona Dimock
“The launch of the ride will take place in the picturesque town of New Denver which sits quietly on the shore of Slocan Lake, central to the location of the 1890’s silver mining boom, and just a short jaunt to the ghost town of Sandon.
The ride will start with participants travelling south, along the east shore of Slocan Lake. Highway 6 will take them up and down as the route winds its way through gullies and along ridges, affording a fabulous view of the Selkirk Mountains.
At the south end of the lake the route continues through the Slocan Valley, passing through several small towns, each with its own unique character. This area, with a history of being a haven for war resisters, has developed into an eclectic mix of cultures and features many local artisans.
At the junction with Highway 3A, riders will turn north toward Nelson, travelling along the Kootenay River passing three of the seven hydro electric generating stations and dams situated between Nelson and Castlegar.
Arriving in Nelson, the route travels through the city, past the illustrious Provincial Courthouse; former City Hall now housing Touchstones Museum; and the historic Hume Hotel, reported to be home to a ghost who roams the halls.
The day’s ride will finish at beautiful Lakeside Park, located beside the West Arm of Kootenay Lake.
The park is conveniently located next to the orange bridge that will take riders out of the city and onto Highway 3A toward Kaslo for the start of day two.
The road is a two lane highway with a riding shoulder. It travels along the north shore of the West Arm of Kootenay Lake, with mild ups and downs and the morning sun to the right. The breathtaking views and calm water make this ride relaxing and rejuvenating.Riders will stop in Balfour, home to the ferry landing for the Osprey 2000, which delivers the longest free ferry ride in Canada. They will then turn north toward Kaslo for a windy narrow ride along the cliffs, and over coffee creek to go through Ainsworth, home to the area’s hot springs. Over thousands of years the flowing hot water has created caves and tunnels in the area, and can be experienced at the Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort, or for the more adventurous, toured at Cody Caves, a 10 kilometre drive up off the highway.
During the stop in Kaslo, participants can tour the historic SS Moyie, a dry-docked paddle wheeler that provided passenger service on Kootenay Lake until the mid 1900’s, and now houses memorabilia from its travels.
Leaving Kaslo, riders will travel over the pass to New Denver through what is known as “The Valley of the Ghosts”. The area was once rich in mining and old sites are still visible from the road. Although upwards of 5000 people resided in the area at the peak of its era, it is virtually deserted now.
The downhill grade that lasts for kilometres is the reward for the uphill grinds. This is not a ride to attempt without training.
Arriving back in New Denver, riders will have the opportunity to celebrate with teammates and enjoy a dip in refreshing Slocan Lake before the final award presentations and closing entertainment.”
If you’re interested in joining for the event send us an email or a note on facebook. It seems like a long time away but there is a fundraising minimum of $250 to participate. Stay tuned for more information.