BCB MayJune 2022_LR

With a mission to inform, empower, celebrate and advocate for British Columbia's current and aspiring business leaders, BCBusiness go behind the headlines and bring readers face to face with the key issues and people driving business in B.C.

Issue link: http://digital.canadawide.com/i/1468031

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Page 53 of 83

D E S T IN AT I O N B C/K A R I M ED I G; D E S T IN AT I O N B C/@VA N C O U V ER F O O D IE THOMPSON/ OKANAGAN That beer is going to taste so good. As a motivational mantra, the phrase does lack elegance. But hey, whatever works. It's been several hours since the four of us set out by bike from Chute Lake Lodge, a rustic retreat tucked into the mountains above the wine country of the Naramata Bench. Our mission, which we accepted all too cavalierly: ride down to Penticton and back along the Kettle Valley Rail (KVR) Trail. We're reasonably fit people in our early 50s or so, and no strangers to cycling. How hard can it be? After all, today's 60-kilometre round trip covers just a slice of the KVR Trail, which follows the bed of an abandoned railway. The entire 500-kilometre network, part of the Trans Canada Trail, stretches from Hope to Castlegar. Aerobically speaking, we might not have chosen the best time to test ourselves. Our two-night visit in September falls at the tail end of that infamous pall of woodsmoke, blown north from U.S. wildfires, that blanketed B.C. skies for more than a week. But after months of pandemic lockdowns, we aren't feeling that particular about particulate matter. And to be fair, we're cheating a little at Chute Lake Lodge. Arnie, a lanky, bearded Belgian, sets us up with our rented rides—big-boned Trek e-bikes whose knobby tires look wide enough to serve a meal on. As something of a cycling masochist, I've looked down my nose at going electric, but this is a perfect chance to wimp out. Or so I think. Young, friendly and laid-back, Arnie and his fellow staffers bring new life to an old hotel with a gritty origin story. What's now Chute Lake Lodge opened its doors a Cycle the Kettle Valley Rail Trail from Chute Lake Lodge down to Penticton? No sweat. It's pedalling back up to our Okanagan mountain hideaway that leaves us wishing we could still hop a train. by Nick Rockel Ready, Aim, Chute! century ago as a bunkhouse for loggers. The property, which soon became a water stop for KVR steam engines, grew into a popular vacation spot before falling into disuse. Local tour operator Hoodoo Adventures reopened it in 2018, Wheel Cool Cycling past vineyards on the Kettle Valley Rail Trail between Penticton and Naramata (above); a decidedly more chill e-bike tour on the KVR Trail (right). 54 BCBUSINESS MAY/JUNE 2022

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