Lifestyle

Cycle and sip through the South Okanagan vineyards

Olympian Kelsey Serwa has joined the Ride With A Winemaker cycling tour of the South Okanagan.

The ladies ski-cross silver medallist at the Sochi Olympics has joined the event, held May 23 to 24, as both a rider and co-host. Serwa was born and raised in the Okanagan and an avid cyclist in the region.

Riders will join Black Hills winemaker Graham Pierce and a group of 30 other wine and cycling lovers for a very special weekend in the South Okanagan. They will ride through the beautiful Okanagan vineyard country by day and taste wine and food by night.

The diehard cyclists will have a tour that replicates some of the more challenging aspects of the Axel Merckxx GranFondo ride down Black Sage Road, up the west side of the valley, climbing the gruelling Fairview cellars area and into Willowbrook. This makes the event a great tune-up ride for those considering joining the GranFondo in July.

For those wanting a more leisurely trip there are two other less intense ride options available. The shorter 65 kilometre ride will turn towards See Ya Later Ranch and ride back to Okanagan Falls before heading south to Black Hills.

If riders want to be in the saddle a bit longer they can turn onto White Lake Road towards the observatory. When they reach Highway 97 they can decide if they want to head to Penticton for a 100 km day or head south for a 75 km day. A support vehicle will follow riders to assist with repairs or a lift back to the winery. Riders must bring their own tools and tubes to deal with repairs.

On May 23 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. riders will be welcomed with a barbecue dinner at the winery on the crush pad followed by an exclusive special barrel tasting with Pierce in the Black Hills cellar. The ride goes on May 24 from 9:15 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The event package does not include hotel accommodations, however, special rates are available for participants at Walnut Beach Resort. Riders must arrange for their own bicycles.

Price for the two-day event is $249 per person. To register contact Pierce at graham@blackhillswinery.com.

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