Food & Drink » Glenda Bartosh on Food

Food and Drink

Highlights of a food cycle through the valley of your dreams



It’s only a wee start of thing in its second year and already they’re expecting the equivalent of about half the population of Pemberton to wheel – slowly, very slowly – into the valley Sunday for the Slow Food Cycle.

What started as a nub of an idea during a chance meeting between Lisa Richardson and Anna Helmer is grabbing a lot of imaginations. Never mind all the precociousness and potential politics of agrifoodietourismlocavorizationess that can lurk around an event like this. It stalwartly remains a one-of-a-kind, born-and-bred Pemberton thing that’s one heck of a lot of fun on just about every sensory level, including your sense of history and common sense.

If you didn’t make it the inaugural year, the weatherman says this weekend is looking fine so drag out your two-wheeler and latch up with the bus heading up to the valley on Sunday – thank you, Whistler-Blackcomb Envirofund and Glacier Coach Lines. How happy is that? You don’t even have to drive your gas guzzler, so you can snooze and cruise all the way back when your belly is full and your mind is empty and your cheeks are tingling from the sun and wind.

So if you’re wondering what you might be getting yourselves into, here’s the lowdown.

First of all, don’t worry about the number of humans on wheels who may show up – Lisa reminds us all that it’s a nice big valley with lots of little side trails and zippety-do-da detours, to contend with as you like. Besides, not only does everyone cycle to their own rhythm, they don’t descend in a herd.

However, those in the know suggest you meander over to Pemberton Community Centre to register and pick up a map at some reasonable hour, say before 10. In the morning, just to be clear. But given it’s a laid-back country kind of day, whenever you roll out will be fine. That said, consider yourself warned that laggards might miss out on Linda Ronayne’s amazing cinnamon buns.

But let’s start at the top, or the end, as it were, some 25 clicks up Pemberton Meadows Road from the starting point. This by way of encouraging you to get a good night’s sleep and not drink too much wine at the previous day’s Feast of Fields, for last year many a good soul gave it up about halfway up the valley and missed a lot of the food and fun.

Already I’m presuming you are armed with some combination of the following: a bottle of water; a pocketful of change for donations or even a few bills if you want to buy a serious lunch or two; some chopsticks for sampling; maybe paper towel or wet wipes if you have kids; a camera for the amazing views; hat; sunscreen; your appetite and curiosity.