Bike race gets better

Test of Humanity mountain bike competition brings out the best in cyclists

  • Sep. 23, 2014 12:00 p.m.
PENTICTON’S Tom Evans racing with the ED Express was the first male in the 90-plus team category in the Test of Humanity held in Summerland.

PENTICTON’S Tom Evans racing with the ED Express was the first male in the 90-plus team category in the Test of Humanity held in Summerland.

John Arendt

Black Press

A competitive cyclist from Kelowna was the winner in the fourth annual Test of Humanity mountain bike competition on Sunday.

Peter Watson, competing in the elite male 16 to 39 category, was three minutes short of doing his eighth lap in the four-hour competition.

A total of 270 cyclists, of all ages and skill levels, competed in the event.

Sheilagh Seaton, who organized the event with her husband Nic, said the level of competition was strong.

“There are some amazing riders,” she said. “The course was quite challenging.”

She said the hot, dry and dusty conditions added to the challenge for the participants. Last year’s event was on a cool day, after a rain had settled the dust.

Because of the weather and course conditions, Seaton said there were no course records, although some of the performances came close.

The race is a four-hour endurance event. Cyclists ride as many laps as possible on a 9.75-kilometre course. There were also shorter loops and shorter times for younger cyclists.

While the race draws some top-level competitive cyclists, Seaton said it is not a sanctioned event. She said it is designed to include beginning cyclists as well as expert riders.

“The idea is to keep it as a family event,” she said. “We have some first-time riders out there every year.”

Money raised from the event will go to Canadian Humanitarian for the construction of a school with a residence in Ethiopia.

Seaton estimates the race brought in $40,000 for this cause.