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Riders buckle up for bacon at Porky Blue 2014 bike ride

Riders gathered at the Fernie Hotel Saturday morning to get ready for the 26-kilometer ride.  - S. Kucharski
Riders gathered at the Fernie Hotel Saturday morning to get ready for the 26-kilometer ride.
— image credit: S. Kucharski

Over 120 riders gathered at the Fernie Hotel and Pub on Saturday morning for the 5th Annual Porky Blue Bike Ride and Roast.

Approximately 30 riders left earlier that morning, foregoing the shuttle that took the rest of the participants up to the top of Martin Creek Road.

The 30 riders rode the entire loop, spanning 45 kilometers from start to finish.

The majority of participants opted to take the shuttle up, slicing the route to a 26-kilometer ride.

Patrick Gilmar, of the Fernie Trails and Ski Touring Club, was on hand to debrief the remaining riders who started their ride with a 500 vertical meter climb and a 1500 vertical meter descent.

“It’s not for the faint of heart, it’s definitely a Black Diamond ride,” Gilmar said.

Maren Koren, who has ridden the Porky Blue every year, agrees.

“It’s definitely not a beginner ride. You definitely have to mentally train beforehand too. When you get tired, you have to think, ‘I can do this’.”

Maren highlighted the events preference for camaraderie over rivalry as one its most attractive qualities.

“It’s the best ride around. Everybody from all over comes and it’s a fun ride. It’s not a competition, it’s just good fun,” said Koren, “The pig, the social aspect of it, it’s great.”

And first timer Kip Howard said he was amped to participate in the ride.

Conditions for this year’s event were drier than last year, which saw a week of rain soften the terrain for riders.

Following the event, riders gathered once more in front of the Fernie Hotel in the afternoon for a pig roast, beer garden and door prizes.

The night’s major prizes, two new mountain bikes, were given out to winners Mark Haywood and Kelly McKinney.

Other prizes included jerseys, riding helmets and a two-night stay at Thunder Meadows.

 

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