Celebrate Life in The City: Bike the Blossoms 2009 (April 18)

By Alicia Woodside, MMV Fitness Writer
Here in Vancouver, we all have something very special to share, which is living in the city designated “the most liveable in the world”. It’s easy to see why just by heading outside, and encountering a sparkling ocean against breath-taking West Coast mountains. Sometimes it’s easy to take our beautiful environment, and the lifestyle it provides for granted. At this year’s Bike the Blossoms event, take the moment to rejoice and celebrate our city’s natural beauty.
The event, organized by the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival in partnership with Slow Food Vancouver, welcomes everyone to slow down for a day to have fun and re-connect with our city’s beautiful outdoors. The day offers a well-planned bike route that will lead bikers through the most spectacular cherry blossom sights around town. There is also a special highlight on local farmers and eateries, aimed to promote the Slow Food movement. This year, many Fraser Valley farmers will take part in the event at Kitsilano and Britannia Community Centres, so that participants can stop by and get to know the people who actually produce their food. The farmers will be offering delicious tastings, as well as discussing the rarely explored topic of how the food we ingest is produced. Last year, some of the great public talks included a presentation by top beef producer Bob Hopcott, who taught about raising beef without hormones or additives for ultra-tenderness. Local eateries along the route will put their mark on the event with special menu items that incorporate local, fresh, or organic ingredients from Bosa Fine Foods. This year, many cafés and eateries along the Drive are highlighted. Stop by for a unique bite along the way, such as a sample of cherry blossom tea at Steeps Tea, (895 West Broadway) a cherry scone at Union Market, (754-756 Union Street) or Spelt Breakfast Cookie samples at The Spelt Bakery (2141 East Hastings). These are just a few of the foods to be savoured!
The Down-Low Before You Show:

  • Don’t like hills? Start the bike route wherever you want, but if you’re looking to avoid hills, make sure to travel heading North between Van Dusen Gardens and Kits Community Center.
  • Don’t like biking? That’s okay too! The event is a rare occasion to get to meet the people who produce your food, interact with the community, and visit some of the amazing restaurants in the area! This year, Slow Food has gathered some great eateries along the Drive to showcase, some of which will have special “Slow Tastes” to make the event truly special!

Support the Cause: The organizers at Slow Food Vancouver have brought together some great aspects to the event, including the delicious tastings along the way! To compensate, the organizers hope that all participants will support the program by officially registering at brownpapertickets. This will involve a $7 fee that will go to support the program! The official map will also be provided upon registration.

  • Bring a bag, or strap some panniers to carry any purchases along the way! Local farmers may have some tasty products for you to purchase.

The event promises to be a great way to admire our beautiful surroundings and enjoy some unique food and learning amongst the great people who make up our vibrant community. For more information, and to check out full listings of the participating eateries and community centres, check out the official Bike the Blossoms website.

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