Bike Shop Instigates Historic Lake Country Race
June 27, 2022
The local bike shop has always had an important role in the community! Way back in 1930, the historic Vernon to Kelowna Bike Race was started by a local bike shop hoping to promote their store.
Biking was just starting to increase in popularity as new roads and pathways paved the way for two-wheeled transportation. The race took place along the newly developed Highway 97 and was a grueling 56 kilometres for the determined participants.
Hugh Bernau recalled, “Highway 97 was unpaved and parts of this road from Kelowna to Vernon did not hold up for any length of time to traffic. Along Duck Lake was the worst, it soon became “washboard” and had a rather large number of holes! …I remember that I finished the course, but was a very weary young man at the finish. Remember that we had no speed gears in those days!”
The story of this historic bike race inspires Pedego Oyama through the perseverance of these early bike riders and the deep roots of cycling in the Okanagan Valley. Each year, hundreds of locals and tourists ride the region’s rail trail.