The Porky Blue Ride took over the trail for the sixth time on Aug.29. The ride saw 100 total bikers – 90 participants and 10 volunteers – trek 26 kilometres and end up at the Fernie Hotel.
The ride consists of 650 metres of ascent and 1400 meters of decent. Some more advanced riders opted out of the shuttle and rode to the top of the summit, making for roughly a 45 kilometer round trip.
For $30, participants got a shuttle ride to Coal Creek summit, trail mechanical assistance, an after race meal and a beer ticket to the beer gardens behind the Fernie Hotel.
“We built the trail our club – the Fernie Trails and Ski Touring Club. We cut out the trail, which took us three years and then we maintain the trail and then we hold a ride on it every year to keep it busy,” said Pat Gilmar, one of the organizers of the event. Although the ride is on challenging terrain, it is open to every one who wants to participate.
“It’s open to people that think they can do it. It’s not a race – it’s a ride. People are nicely chilled out,” Gilmar said.
Faster bikers complete the ride around the two-hour mark while slower riders usually take around five hours. The organizers provide a sweep biker to ensure that everyone is off of the trail safely.
The event is a relaxed occasion as bikers get to enjoy the beer gardens after the ride. Door prizes, such as a cat skiing trip and products donated by local businesses, were also awarded, making some participants days even better.