Smiling participants will be the gauge of success for the Penticton and Area Cycling Association’s third annual Bike Festival.
“We’re looking for happy faces,” said PACA president Andrew Drouin, who will be too busy working the event to participate. “That’s the bottom line of why we put these events on. Get people pleased to be out there and ride.”
Drouin wants to get more people cycling in general and embrace it.
“It’s not just something that kids do, it’s something that you can do lifelong,” he said.
The festivities begin Thursday with a BMX Race at 5:30 p.m. The Penticton BMX Club is hosting a poker derby with registration at 5 p.m. Cost is $10. The derby is a mass start five-lap race with riders receiving a card each time they reach the top of the start hill. Riders will try to get the best hand at the end. On Friday, the Lake-to-Lake ride will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Rotary Center Pavilion and ending at Okanagan Lake Park.
On Saturday, participants will ride in the Munson Mountain Cyclocross race with sign up at 11 a.m. Registration is $15 plus a $10 licence. The festival will then conclude with a new event, the Test of Humanity race in Summerland. This event is geared to raise money for charity, as well as supporting Canadian Humanitarian projects in Ethiopia.
“PACA has been a great help in setting up the Test of Humanity race and we have enjoyed working with the group,” said organizer Nic Seaton. “As the inaugural Test of Humanity race gets closer, lots of people have been out training and riding the course. Each race participant has an opportunity to collect pledges prior to the event, and the amount of pledges received has far exceeded our expectations.”
Seaton said they are expecting over 150 participants and over 60 volunteers. Juniors and beginners start at 9 a.m., kids at 10 a.m. and elite/open at 11:30 a.m. For more info on that cause, check out www.testofhumanity.com.
“It looks like Nic and Sheilagh Seaton are super organized and have a massive community support behind them,” said Drouin.
On Friday evening, the band One 2 Many will perform at the Penticton Lakeside Resort.
Drouin said this will be their biggest event just from the feedback he has received.
“We have really embraced social media this year,” he said. “We’ve got Aaron Barry (communications director) doing our social media through Twitter and Facebook.”
Drouin also said the weather is “fantastic” right now for events.
“This is the perfect weather for outdoor recreation,” he said.
The weather forecast according to Environment Canada has sun with temperatures averaging about 25 degrees.More information on the event can be found at www.pentictonbikefestival.com.