Community Calendar

 

Merritt's Community Calendar is stocked full of festivals, fairs and community events. Check back often for activities in all four seasons.

www.TourismMerritt.com #ExploreMerritt 

Family Fun Night

July 12

6:00 pm-9:00 pm

Regular Admission

At the Nicola Valley Aquatic Centre

Family Fun night is the 2nd Friday of the month from 6-9pm, so the Nicola Valley Aquatic Centre stays open later.  They offer concession items, Pizza $1.50 slice, and drinks for $1.  Sometimes there is a fun leader playing games with the kids. 

Contact: 250-378-6662

Event Date 07-12-2019 6:00 pm
Event End Date 07-12-2019 9:00 pm
* Location Nicola Valley Aquatic Centre
Merritt Otters Swim Meet

Dive into a weekend of fierce competition and fun with the Merritt Otters Swim Team!

Merritt Otters Swim Meet

Jun. 29-30 @ 8:00 am

At the Nicola Valley Aquatic Center

Website: www.merrittotters.weebly.com 

Contact Info: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Event Date 06-29-2019 8:00 am
Event End Date 06-30-2019
* Location Nicola Valley Aquatic Centre
BC Epic 1000 Grand Depart Event

The BC Epic 1000 is the real deal--over 1000km of off-road riding from Merritt to Fernie.

Contact Info: www.bcepic1000.com

 

Merritt local, Darch Oborne, participated in the BC Epic 1000, and tells us about the bikepacking adventure. In his words…

The BC Epic 1000 is an offroad, unofficial, completely self-supported bikepacking ride/race in the spirit of the underground “Tour divide” style and under the same rules. No registration (other than on the website), no support, no insurance, no prizes – it is simply a plotted route with a suggested time for an unofficial group ride. Show up and ride at your own risk.

The BC Epic is a 1000km (1040 to be exact), 11,000m elevation traverse across South Central BC starting in Merrit and ending in Fernie (or vice versa if you choose) mostly along the Trans Canada Trail. The route is about 80% off road on mostly old decommissioned rail grades

The BC Epic 1000 bikepacking ride, since 2015

2018 was the third year of the bikepacking race, created by Dr. Lennard Pretorius of Kamloops. Jame Oborne and Lennard are also the first two riders to complete the Merritt 150 Epic on June 16, in eleven hours and forty-seven minutes. Lennard rode the first and second ‘1000’s’ and had a course record for a while. Virtually single-handedly, Lennard conceived and organized the Epic, seeing it grow from sixteen riders in 2016 to sixty-seven entrants in 2018. Quite an achievement! I predict there will be 100 racers in 2019.

I’d guess that of the sixty-seven riders entered, ten were extreme athletes, with three or four being extremely extreme, ie: 600 miles of off-road riding in less than three days, with less than six hours of sleep! Most of us “racers” chose to get at least some sleep (four to six hours in my case). nightly. Usually right at the side of the trail, after an evening meal at 9 PM, consisting of a couple of energy bars!

Many racers had lights and rode into the dark. My strategy was to ride as fast as I could without injury and to ride long, ie: from the crack of dawn at 4 AM to dark at 9 PM, to at least try to keep up with the middle of the pack.

The grades are less than three percent, but just relentless

The route is mostly old railway bed, including the KVR to Midway and Columbia Western to Castlegar. The grades are less than three percent, but just relentless, such as the climb out of Princeton to Summerland and Christina Lake to Castlegar–they just go on and on and on! But, through beautiful upland fields of flowers, several trestles, tunnels, raging rivers, beautiful forests, lovely meadows are all part of the Epic.

Many bikepacking racers stopped and took pictures of the beautiful features, often allowing me to catch up to them. Then there’s the torture of the Grey Creek Pass. Sixteen kilometers of ‘up’ on gravel, rutted road, at grades to sixteen percent–hike a bike for fifteen kilometers! No fun at all, after already being on the trail for four days.

It is self-supported, meaning you carry what you think you’ll need for each section ahead, including food and water. You can stop at towns or houses for provisions–root beers and double teenburgers–YUM! (I had some coupons from the mail).

BC Epic 1000

I carried my small stove for a quick coffee

You carry what you think you’ll need to give you a good sleep, dry riding etc. I carried my small stove for a quick coffee/hot choc in the AM (I only used it twice), and I used a Kelty Thermarest pad, summer bag, and Tyvek covering, all wrapped up in my 1/2 body bag from Kiwanis Surplus store. The bikes of choice are Surly big boys, with 2.5″ to 2.8″ width tires.

I used my Transition Smuggler 29″ with gravel tires (2.5″ on the front and 2.3″ on the rear) until I broke the Hammerschmidt bottom bracket bolt about 3 miles N of Beaverdell at 6 AM on Day 3. Luckily, my son James was in Vernon and after a two-hour wait, he arrived with his Trek hardtail 29″.

Within another two hours, I was on the road, with most of my gear mounted on it. It proved to be a lively, but “hard-on-the-ass” steed and I was able to finish the race with it. Thanks, James–my option was to hitch to Kelowna and buy or rent a bike (sure, on Canada Day)!

There are no support stations, no route markings

I rode as fast as I thought I could, without injuring/killing myself, which was mostly fourteen to sixteen in the saddle daily, with four to six hours of “sleep” at the side of the trail. I figured that if I rode slow and steady, and long, I could maybe keep up with some of the pack. After day one, I only saw two riders for the next five days. We were all so spread out over the 600 miles. Most riders carried a SPOT GPS tracking device, so I checked my relative position a few times, but that’s disheartening when I was (only) halfway, in Grand Forks and Evan Deutsche had finished in Fernie!

There are no support stations, no route markings (other than Trans Cda Trail signs) and you rely on your GPS (my old Garmin did not function well at all—should have tested it more thoroughly). I carried a SPOT tracker with an SOS button for extreme emergency, but it enabled my family to track my slow progress towards the finish in Fernie. The SPOT ate batteries and I had to re-supply twice–not able to find AAA Lithium in Midway or Greenwood. Carry more spares!

And speaking of spares, you have to carry anything you think you’ll need to repair yourself and your bike, and for any weather, etc. As for a Hammerschmidt bottom bracket bolt (we’d just changed the bottom bracket days before the race–go figure)! I carried three tubes and used only one, but a few racers slashed their tires and went through several tubes.

I kept looking for Lance Armstrong’s care packages

Of the 29 scratches (non-finishers) in the race, most were for human failings, ie: tendons/hamstrings/chafing etc. Mechanicals played their part, but most racers had put many, many miles on their steeds and knew what to expect of them. I did several ‘long’ rides on local gravel roads, ie: six to seven hours and did an overnight trip to Princeton and slept in the bush.

I should have “trained” harder, faster, and longer, but at seventy-three, there’s a limit to my strength and endurance, which I knew beforehand.  All through the race, I kept looking for Lance Armstrong’s care packages, but alas, I found none.

I passed so many lovely lakes and streams that I desperately wanted to dip in and just stop and enjoy, but I did not succumb until the last evening at Koocanusa lake. What a joy to swim and wash after five days of hard riding! On reflection, maybe except for the awful Grey Creek Pass, the route would be nice to do in, say, two weeks, in a group–still riding hard, but stopping to smell the roses…often.

Who wants to do it? The Epic 1000

Nope, not again, for me…unless? I’ll be pleased to assist other Nicola Valley rider who wants to do it and I’ll continue to help Lennard with organizing a BBQ, home hosting, etc. The BC Epic 1000 is a free event, totally volunteer, which turns my cranks for sure. Any riders wanting to try bike-packing, I’d be glad to loan equipment and accompany you if desired. Go to Bikepacking.com for the best info. The kindred spirit of the racers was super, although, as stated above, I rarely saw another racer after day one, until the finish.

My thanks to my family and friends who sent texts of encouragement along the way, those who helped with the BBQ, home hosting, and to Mayor Menard who came out at 7 AM to start the race. Thanks to MMBA for renting the Park for the BBQ, which was appreciated by all the racers, as they got to meet each other–often for the first time.

Racers filled over fifty Merritt motel rooms the night before, and many will be back to enjoy the hospitality they experienced as well as the mountain biking on our great trails. A win for all.

Ride On!

By Darch Oborne

Event Date 06-29-2019 7:00 am
* Location Merritt

June 29 - June 30

At Voght Park

Website: www.westerndogshows.com or www.dogshow.ca/en/2039?club=Nicola-Valley-Kennel-Club

Contact info: Lori Jacobson 250-378-5172 or Elaine Gill 250-378-6827

Event Date 06-29-2019
Event End Date 06-30-2019
* Location Voght Park

The Merritt Crown: A self-supported singletrack race for dirtbag mountain bikers

Check out the promotional video at https://www.pinkbike.com/news/details-announced-for-the-merritt-crown-a-self-supported-120km-event-with-over-3000m-of-climbing.html?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=mobile&utm_campaign=news&fbclid=IwAR37imVlSCl5baiS7My3GOfhZdHOCPk79Fh2BawBGJHpuoSllw_ZCE8ooE4 

118 km. 3,322 meters. Only 12 hours.

TO REGISTER: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-merritt-crown-tickets-54452268200

The course joins the four major singletrack riding areas of the Nicola Valley: Coultee Plateau, Iron Mountain, Lundbom, and Swakum Mountain.

Time limit: 12 hours (riders that won't make the cut to retire at end of Section 3 if over the 5pm deadline to avoid riders in the dark)

Fastest completion: James Oborne and Lennard Pretorious, 11hr47 minutes

Start/finish line: Central Park, Merritt, British Columbia

Sponsored by: Nicola Valley Trail Alliance & Breathe Bikes

Cost: $50 entry fee (payable by 6/10/19)

 

For More Info Visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/611110999344035/?active_tab=about 

Event Date 06-22-2019 7:00 am
Event End Date 06-22-2019 7:00 pm
* Location Merritt
Loggers Sports Boot Camp See poster for details 
Event Date 06-22-2019
Event End Date 06-23-2019
* Location Central Park
Longest Day of Play

Longest Day of Play

Jun. 21

At the Nicola Valley Aquatic Center

Contact: 250-378-6662

There will be a fun leader in the water to play games with the kids

Event Date 06-21-2019
* Location Nicola Valley Aquatic Centre
Nicola Valley Bar Bender See poster for details 
Event Date 06-16-2019 11:00 am
* Location Merritt

Contact Us

Got questions? Contact us by phone, or by email using our contact form.

Merritt Visitor Centre: 250-378-0349
Tourism Manager: 250-378-8619
Email: Contact Form