This year’s 7 Summits Bike and Hike Challenge goes Sept. 15.

This year’s 7 Summits Bike and Hike Challenge goes Sept. 15.

Bike and Hike Challenge a scenic adventure

The sixth annual 7 Summits Bike and Hike Challenge begins Sept. 15.

The sixth annual 7 Summits Bike and Hike Challenge begins Sept. 15.

It starts by cycling up the main street of Barkerville, and that same afternoon — seven mountains, seven stages, and 7,000 feet of elevation gain later — participants arrive in Wells having completed one of the most interesting, scenic and expansive day hikes/bike rides of their lives.

Its goal is to get people into the mountains, challenge their abilities, celebrate and raise awareness about our fragile alpine environment and raise money to support the Friends of Barkerville, which has been instrumental in preserving and protecting many of the trails in the area. Due to its design, goals and ethics, the event is also endorsed by the Cariboo Mountain Bike Consortium.

Event organizer Dave Jorgenson said the 7 Summits Challenge is a great antidote to ultra-marathons, as it is specifically designed to be achievable, not formidable.

“The crux of the attraction is the challenge,” Jorgenson said. “It is meant to be completed, not necessarily won.

“Most of the 75 to 100 participants end up travelling in social groups of equal-paced individuals, who love travelling in the mountains. Some are hikers, some are die-hard bikers and, this year, there are some trail runners going ‘bike-free.’”

He added the Cariboo mountains, particularly the weather, can make for an incredibly challenging event.

“They have given us the most colourful fall hikes under a warm sun and slowed our pace to a crawl with dense fog and snow storms,” he said.

This year’s Bike and Hike Challenge will be held on Sept. 15. Start time is 7:30 a.m. sharp with registration being accepted until this Thursday, Sept. 13. Registration is $45 and includes unique swag, mid-race lunch and snacks. The event is scheduled to wrap up at the Bear’s Paw Cafe.

The 7 Summits Bike and Hike Challenge, originally spawned from the cafe owner’s desire to engage more people in enjoying the mountains, has grown into a provincial phenomenon, Jorgenson said.

For more information on the event, for photographs or registrations visit 7summitsbikeandhike.org.

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