When Western Living magazine asked me to put together 5 iconic rides in the Okanagan Valley, the biggest problem was sticking to 5. I've restricted myself to 5 rides that span the Valley from North to South, ranging right from the Shuswap to close to the US border. These 5 rides showcase the Okanagan in spectacular fashion, taking you through some of the best scenery to be found. And the riding is awesome! Of course, this is the Okanagan so there's lots of climbing involved, but most routes are easily edited to match the degree of challenge you're comfortable with.
General Safety Notes: Quieter Okanagan roads generally lack something in the way of regular maintenance. You can expect potholes and some rough pavement in many areas. If you’re riding in a group, make sure the lead rider is vigilant and points out hazards on the road. Also, some routes have cattle guards. I don’t recommend bunny hopping over them – constant speed and a firmly held front wheel is my personal strategy. If it’s raining, use extra caution. Other than that – happy cycling!
A great route circling Kelowna with two optional climbs thrown in! Plenty of orchards, wineries, rural roads and a little city cycling for good measure.
For a short route (just over 60 km) this ride packs a lot of punch. It starts out with 500 m plus of climbing and then takes you through the gorgeous surroundings of Summerland, including a loop through the Bottleneck Drive wineries.
We head south, taking many of the same roads as Axel Merckx's annual Granfondo. Ride along lakes, through some jaw droppingly beautiful vineyards and then cross the Valley to head into the Okanagan high lands.