Free wheeling again

Hartridges dust off the bikes and head for Lumby Loop

Chris and Heather Hartridge on a sunny bike trip. Hopefully

Chris and Heather Hartridge on a sunny bike trip. Hopefully

Local cycling enthusiasts Chris and Heather Hartridge are embarking on another cycling tour.

They’ve named the three-week sojourn “The Lumby Loop.”

As always, their trip will be self-contained, meaning they’ll carry everything they need including the kitchen sink.

Camping under the stars (if they can see them) they’ll be joined by their touring companion Marg Watt.

The tour starts and ends in Lumby, B.C.  They meet Aug. 1 at the trailhead in the Lumby Lion’s Community Campground and the next day they head up and over the Monashees to Fauquier on the way to Nakusp.

There, they take a right turn and head down the beautiful Slocan valley to Castlegar.  Then it’s the pure joy of climbing up to the Blueberry Paulson summit and the thrill of the ride down to Christina Lake.

Following the Kettle River for a while, they’ll ride to Rock Creek and then it’s up and over Anarchist Summit to Osoyoos.

A short detour across the border to Oroville will provide an alternate route to Keremeos following the Similkameen River.

In Keremeos they’ll be ready for some R&R and a relaxing wine tour.  The harvest will be in full swing in Cawston, B.C.’s organic capital so they can stock up on the right kind of food for the next leg over to Princeton via the Hedley Princeton back road.

Highway 44 from Princeton to Summerland takes them up to a landmark on the old Kettle Valley Railway.

At Jellicoe Station, a treat is in store for them at a B&B.

Then it’s the descent down into the Okanagan Valley, where they’ll follow the Westside Road all the way to Armstrong for their last night of the tour.  When they reach Lumby the next day they will have seen almost 1,000 kilometres from their bicycle saddles.

They’re going to post updates on their blog http://xercisefiles.wordpress.com/ and on Heather’s Facebook page.

Check back here in a few weeks for a complete report of their experiences on the Lumby Loop.

Chris Hartridge is a biking enthusiast and regular Observer contributor.