Started in 2001, this year marked the 17th running of the Salty Dog six hour enduro mountain bike race on the beautiful South Canoe trails. As always, the trails drew rave reviews from the many out-of-town riders, appreciative in regards to the quality of riding available in the area. Cooler-than-usual spring weather meant the trail was faster in some sections and slower than usual in others—different than the hot dry conditions of the past several years. However, there were still plenty of smiles and the same great attendance at the race as well as at the fourth annual Salty Street Fest held on Saturday in downtown Salmon Arm, where locals and visitors, in town for the race, got to enjoy a great taste of the Shuswap, including free live music, swing dance classes, street yoga, a bike swap, a petting zoo and much more.
This year’s sold out race featured approximately 500 riders in the main six-hour race, 100 under-15 riders in the three-hour race and 80 kids racing in the Salty Pup race. Riders enjoyed the comfortably mild weather in the morning and then endured cold, windy weather with rain and hail in the afternoon as they pushed toward their goals of delicious apple pies, cookies, and Salty Dog-trademark woodallions. Waterway Houseboat Vacations again generously donated a houseboat vacation valued at $5,000. Event organizer, Skookum Cycle & Ski Ltd., and numerous other local and bike industry sponsors, such as Kona, Giant, Norco, Rocky Mountain, Smith, Camelback, Dakine, and more donated prizes for competitors and volunteers. And of course, volunteers, over 100 of them at this race, are what make community events like Salty Dog possible. A big thanks goes out to all of them.
This fun, family event has become an annual rite of spring in which competitors of all ages and abilities come together and race in teams of two or solo for six and a half hours to complete as many 11km laps as possible before time runs out. It is one of the few races were recreational riders get to ride on the same course, at the same time with world and national class athletes. As always, many great performances were turned in on Sunday.