ABA Spring Camp 2009

The roads in Alberta are still a slushy mess. But this time of year, Alberta cyclists can find some great spring riding in the Okanagan area of BC. From March 27 to April 5, 2009, the Alberta Bicycle Association is taking an enthusiastic group of ABA member cyclists to Penticton for a week of riding adventures, taking in some climbs unlike any found in Alberta.

Because this Bicycling Blogger travels to Penticton every summer for a two week vacation, I've got some riding experience in the area to add to the camp. This year I'll actually be helping out in a coaching role, making sure the riders are finding the early season challenges they're looking for.

Cam McKnight at the ABA has been the main man behind the scenes getting the whole trip organized. Together we've created an itinerary of rides that the whole group should find scenic and exciting.

Here's what we've planned (hyperlinks will take you to full map details at MapMyRide.com, but note some of the downtown riding may change depending on Penticton's traffic patterns this time of year):

Day 1 - Medium intensity ride to Summerland and Faulder (75km)
Day 2 - Killer climbing rides up to Apex Mountain Resort & Carmi Road (120km)
Day 3 - Easy ride to laid-back Naramata (34km)
Day 4 - Medium ride - X-Files Xtravaganza past the Astrophysical Observatory & Apex in reverse (78km)
Day 5 - Medium ride to be determined by group consensus
Day 6 - Easy ride to Okanagan Falls (45km)
Day 7 - Medium ride to Chute Lake, just beyond Naramata (76km)
Day 8 - The big challenge for those who still have legs: Almost the Penticton Ironman loop (161 km)

It promises to be a week of riding to get the spring legs going. Penticton's daytime temperatures should reach higher than 10°C, which is almost tropical compared to the spring weather Alberta's been suffering this year!

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