Monday, 17 November 2014

Kamloops - great city for riding bikes and drinking coffee

I have no intention of racing bikes at my age unless there is a bear chasing me or I join an over 35 club that has races to see who can get to the beer first.  However, that doesn't mean that I don't want to become a better cyclist all around and that includes climbing hills.  The city I live in is really very flat.  There are a few good hills that we use for climbing, but it usually becomes climbing intervals. The hills are small enough that the best climbers in the city are done in under 1 minute.  Intervals are great for climbing, but nothing compares to the actual hour long climbs up steep slopes where there is no real recovery.  Perhaps physiologically there may be some argument that there is little difference, but actually riding up a mountain or huge canyon climbs, certainly test your mental state differently.  When I ride interval hills, I know the top is coming and it spurs me on just to finish the interval, but when I can't see around the corner and the endless uphill, it tests the concentration much more.

I think of this today because I returned from a recent trip to Kamloops.  It's a city located in the heart of British Columbia.  Mild winters and hot summers.  Lakes, rivers, gorgeous views, small town feel with almost everything you could want in a city (except for the pulp mill which stinks a bit).  In fact, there are so many hills that I thought this would be great for my legs, but not so good for my carbon wheels and brake pads.  I would either buy a set of aluminum clinchers or get a disc version of a bike for all of the long hard breaking.

It is an outdoors city that has a massive expanse of hills surrounding and protruding from within it. There is no shortage of hills to climb on quiet roads that would give you 2000-3000 feet of vertical to climb all over the place with gradients from nearly flat to 12% (or more).  Not to mention, there is plenty of straight flatter roads for time trialing in the valley and mountain biking everywhere for every level.  It really could be a bike haven for athletes training for cycling of any discipline or multi-sports.

If you want a great city for cycling, head to Kamloops, and there are plenty of good coffee shops throughout the city.  I didn't make it to many of the bike shops in town, but I've read really good reviews on a few of them including Spoke 'N Motion.  And don't forget about the bike ranch ... how many cities have that?

And, if you like to put the boards on in the winter and ski, pretty easy to get to world class powder at Sun Peaks just 45 minutes away!

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