Slow Food Cycle Sunday

How is it the end of August already!? Four months ago I graduated from Quest, but it feels like yesterday. I spent my (short) summer fighting wildfires in BC, and three weeks ago left behind my summer home of the last seven years to start my new job at Quest as the BC Admission Counsellor. Although the last three weeks have flown by, they’ve been packed with training, catching up with other alumni still hanging around in Squamish, playing in the beautiful outdoors, and enjoying local community events. This last activity brings me to the highlight of my three weeks thus far – the Slow Food Cycle Sunday.

A snapshot of the epic landscape we were biking through
A snapshot of the epic landscape down Pemberton Meadows road

This particular adventure was embarked up by Brittany, Tucker, Kim, and myself. Brittany is one of the US Admission Counsellors, and Tucker and Kim work next door in Student Affairs. On August 18th, we got up bright and early to squeeze our four bikes into the back of a minivan and make our way north to Pemberton for the Slow Food Cycle Sunday. Just over an hour later we unpacked our bikes, grabbed a map at the registration booth, and hit the open road!

Left to right: Brittany, Me, Kim - hanging out at Bandit Farms (17km down the road!)
Left to right: Brittany, Me, Kim – hanging out at Bandit Farms (17km down the road!)

I won’t go into too much detail about the history of the Slow Food Cycle Sunday, as this short blurb from the website:

Slow Food Cycle Sunday was founded in 2005.  It was started by Anna Helmer and Lisa Richardson, two Pemberton residents concerned that irreplaceable farmland is under consistent development pressures.  The bike ride is a way to inform people of the importance of farmland, to give townspeople an opportunity to spend the day in the country and to give farmers and consumers a chance to connect.

There were a total of 14 vendors to visit along the 46km ride out and back on Pemberton Meadows Rd.  We didn’t have a chance to visit them all but filled our bellies with locally ground organic coffee, tacos, shaved beef burgers, cookies, and ginsicles (yes, I wish I made this up, but I didn’t: gin infused ruhbarb/strawberry/ginger/cherry popsicles). I plan to stock my freezer with the latter when I get the time. We left the valley with tired legs, big smiles, and the most colourful array of produce in our bike baskets I’ve ever seen.

A rainbow of carrots!
A rainbow of carrots!

So what exactly made this day my favourite of the month? I love biking and I LOVE food. All aspects of food – gardening/farming, cooking, eating, composting – can’t get enough of it! I love it so much so that I studied food policy for my last two years at Quest. I was particularly interested in municipal food policy, exploring decisions made by government, private firms, or other organizations within civil society that directly or indirectly impacts the food system.

There were over a thousand cyclists participating!
There were over a thousand cyclists participating!

Needless to say, this event was an idealistic day spent on my bike chatting with farmers and experiencing the vitality of our local food system. The view was breathtaking, the sense of community refreshing, and the food was mouthwatering. Can’t wait for next years Slow Food Cycle Sunday, hope you’ll join me!

[Photo credit: Tucker Sherman]

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