Marco Bieri poses by his bicycle in Sicamous following a five-day ride, done largely over trails and backroads, from Vancouver between July 24 and 29, 2020. (Contributed)

Marco Bieri poses by his bicycle in Sicamous following a five-day ride, done largely over trails and backroads, from Vancouver between July 24 and 29, 2020. (Contributed)

What’s the good news, 2020? Vancouver to Sicamous: a backroads journey by bicycle

The Eagle Valley News looks back at some of the year’s positive stories

As 2020 draws to a close, the Eagle Valley News is looking back at some of the stories that reflect the positive work, activities and accomplishments that occurred throughout this challenging year.

Instead of a drive, Marco Bieri chose to make his recent trip from Vancouver to Sicamous a journey.

That journey began with the idea to do something he’d been considering for a long while: a bike ride from his current Lower Mainland residence to his parents’ home in Sicamous.

But instead of using the Coquihalla and Highway 1, he would endeavour to stick to logging roads and trails, and see parts of the province in the periphery of his usual drive.

The journey began on July 24, a 160-kilometre ride from Vancouver to Hope – the longest ride Bieri had ever done.

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Being an avid problem solver, Bieri found plenty to keep him busy with the best paths recommended by technology not always being in synch with reality. And the occasional trail or road washout meant for some frustrating backtracking.

But these moments were blurred by the peace and beauty found along back- and less-travelled roads like Coquihalla Lakes Road between Hope and Merritt.

“I ran into quite a few quadders and even horseback riders,” said Bieri. “It’s like a whole different road even though it’s along a road you’ve travelled many times.”

Even in the Shuswap, Bieri found paths he’d heard of but never taken.

“The Salmon River Road, that was awesome,” said Bieri who, during the final stretch, also discovered the Larch Hills Traverse.

Bieri arrived at his parents’ home on July 29. Knowing what he knows now of the route, he figures he could cut down from five days to three.

And though he says he would do it again, he chose to catch a ride with a friend for the return trip to Vancouver. Still inspired, however, he’s planning a ride with a friend from Vancouver to Earls Cove on the Sunshine Coast.

For anyone considering bike-packing, Bieri said apps like Trailforks, or even Google (satellite) are good for plotting a course. However, to learn if you’re ready for a long trip, he advised an overnight excursion closer to home.

“Even around Sicamous, I tell everybody to do just an overnight trip close to home so if it sucks, you can always leave or call somebody to pick you up,” laughed Bieri.

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