Outrigger Canoe

Despite a brisk wind on Skaha Lake, members of the Penticton Racing Canoe Club were out paddling last Sunday. It took a team effort to haul their outrigger canoe back up the wide beach to the storage compound in Skaha Lake Park adjacent to the marina. PRCC has recreational, competitive, long-distance and sprint programs for people of all ages, including programs for juniors, seniors and beginners. Introductory programs are run in the spring of each year for new paddlers.

A Halloween bike ride illustrated the Sheriff’s trick or treat.

With an early morning temperature of -4 C on Sunday in Kelowna, the trick was wearing proper attire for the Skaha Lake Loop bike ride organized by the Central Okanagan Outdoors Club.

Leader Dieter reminded the Sheriff that cross-country skiing is OK at –4 C so we should dress the same: layers (removed once we warmed up), windbreaker, two pairs of wool socks, thicker gloves and the Sheriff even used chemical handwarmers to counter a brisk breeze on the South Okanagan lake.

The popular route was a treat right up to Marilyn breaking her bike chain. Fortunately, the Sheriff brought his chain tool but had seen only one demonstration on how to use it.

The trick is to slowly push the pin out of the roller but not all the way out of the plates. OK, that’s what happened. The next 20 minutes saw the Sheriff and three women trying to push the pin back into the plate. We weren’t successful because both ends of the pin were flared (bigger). Joan cycled back to the car in Penticton and picked up Marilyn, her bike and chain pieces.

So the Sheriff watched a YouTube video when he got home. The trick is to push the pin almost all the way out, then gently twist the chain sideways to slightly spread the plates, remove the roller and push the pin back into the next section of chain.

Keep in mind the chain now won’t be as strong and a return to a local cycle shop is warranted, possibly for a new chain.

With warmer temperatures this week, it may be an opportunity to dodge occasional raindrops and get in just one more ride (or two). So we explored Kirschner Mountain in Kelowna right up to its topmost panoramic view on Tuesday.

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The Kelowna Nordic Ski and Snowshoe Club will hold its annual general meeting at the German Canadian Harmonie Club, 1696 Cary Rd. in Kelowna, at 7 p.m. on Nov. 19. A vaccine passport and photo ID are required to enter. Alternatively, there will be a table set up outside for those who would rather not be inside in a crowd or don’t have a vaccine passport.

Voting for the board of directors will take place at this meeting; you can place your vote in the ballot box outside if not entering the meeting inside.

Last Saturday, 39 members split, transported and stacked wood for the Main, Meadow and Backcountry cabins.

On Sunday (Nov. 7), only six members are needed to split and stack the remaining wood at Log Cabin. Those interested should email volunteer co-ordinator Lisa Howard at ljhoward@telus.net or phone Wendy at 778-214-1084. Meet at Main Cabin at 9:30 a.m. Bring lunch and gloves, plus an axe if you have one.

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Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre planned to open on Friday, but due to warm air temperatures and steady rain has rescheduled its opening day for next Friday (Nov. 12).

GM Troy Hudson is asking everyone to avoid skiing on all trails until conditions improve since it will cause irreparable damage to the existing snowpack.

Any previously purchased day tickets for the coming week will be deferred to another date or fully refunded. Contact the office at 250-558-3036 or info@sovereignlake.com to make the appropriate arrangements. Note: the lodge will be closed on Saturday and Sunday.

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Big White Ski Resort plans to open on Nov. 25 with the return of ice skating and tubing after a pandemic hiatus, plus Mexican and sushi restaurants are preparing to open. Big White usually replaces at least one groomer every year but skipped a year due to the pandemic. However, a new groomer will soon be “zippin‚Äô up and down your favourite blues and greens.”

Bike Big White was the official location sponsor for the second season of Pinkbike Academy (bikepink.com/pinkbikedacademy), a mountain biking reality show now available online. Last summer, 10 aspiring professional mountain bikers faced off in a series of challenges in the hopes of winning a pro contract with Orbea Bikes and a $30,000 prize.

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Time to catch up on the possible trail connection between the north end of Peachland and Goats Peak Park in West Kelowna.

The Trail of the Okanagans Society, municipality of Peachland, Gellatly Bay Trails and Parks Society and Ministry of Transportation recently discussed the proposed route beside Highway 97 with ministry approval to proceed to complete shovel-ready construction documents in time for 2022 grant applications.

This is the most technically difficult section to build and critical for a north-south trail without an alternate route.

In the South Okanagan, the Trail of the Okanagans Society met with Recreation Sites and Trails BC, Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen, MLA Roly Russell and Osoyoos Coun. Myers Bennett on the conversion of a 6.5-kilometre section of the KVR rail bed on the west side of Vaseux Lake into a multi-use trail.

This section would deliver a key part of a 270-kilometre multi-use trail envisioned by the Trail of the Okanagans to connect all communities between Sicamous and Osoyoos.

A 2019 environmental review commissioned by RSTBC indicated it could happen as long as habitat on both sides of the trail are protected with mitigation efforts.

Participants will work together toward preparing a park plan detailing construction, mitigation measures and consultation required with follow-up meetings this fall.

J.P. Squire, aka the Hiking, Biking, Kayaking and Horseback Riding Sheriff

is a retired journalist. Email: jp.squire@telus.net