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A Cyclists Guide to Kelowna & Bike Races in the City

A cyclist wearing a blue cycling jersey and white helmet riding up the side of a road in Okanagan.

Nestled in the heart of the Okanagan Valley, Kelowna is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. With its stunning scenery, mild climate, and extensive network of cycling paths and bike routes, it’s no surprise that the city has become a renowned destination for cyclists of all levels. Whether you’re a seasoned road warrior or a casual cruiser, Kelowna offers a perfect route to match your pace and interests.

The Rise of Destination Cycling

Gone are the days when vacations were synonymous with lounging on the beach. Today, a growing number of people are planning their adventures around more physical activities like cycling. This trend, known as destination cycling, allows travellers to explore new locations in new ways, experience the outdoors, and challenge themselves physically.

Kelowna is a great place to experience this trend. Our city boasts well-maintained cycling infrastructure, breathtaking landscapes, and a supportive cycling community. Imagine pedalling past sprawling vineyards, crystal-clear lakes, and through rolling hills, with a backdrop of majestic mountains. It’s a recipe for an unforgettable cycling vacation.

Fuel Your Competitive Spirit: Popular Cycling Events

A group of road racers in various spandex cycling kit pedalling around a slight corner as seen from the front.

Kelowna isn’t just a beautiful place to cycle – it’s also a hub for exciting cycling events. These races attract participants from all over the world, creating a vibrant atmosphere for both competitors and spectators.  Here are a few highlights to mark on your calendar:

The Okanagan Granfondo (Penticton)

Held annually in early July, this Granfondo in Penticton offers a variety of routes ranging from 40km to 160km, catering to riders of all abilities. The scenic rides take participants through the stunning Okanagan Valley countryside, showcasing vineyards, orchards, and breathtaking vistas.

Starts in downtown Penticton
65.5km (1 hr 4 min) drive from the Shore 

The Okanagan Shuswap Century Ride (Salmon Arm)

This challenging one-day event, typically held in late July, offers a 160km loop that traverses the Okanagan and Shuswap regions. With stunning scenery and a supportive atmosphere, the Okanagan Shuswap Century Ride is a bucket-list ride for seasoned cyclists. 

Starts in Memorial Park, Salmon Arm
77.1km (1 hr 14 min) drive from the Shore 

Ride Don’t Hide Kelowna

This annual event, held in September, combines cycling with a great cause. Riders can choose from various routes and distances, all while raising funds for mental health awareness. 

Starts at Sutherland Park
612 Ellis St, Kelowna, BC 
5.8km (14 min) drive from the Shore 

Must-Try Biking Routes in Kelowna

A family riding down the middle of a street as seen from the back. A woman is pedalling the bike with a kid in the bike seat behind her and an extended bike connected with a kid in a tie-dyed shirt in the back.

Kelowna boasts an extensive network of cycling paths, catering to a variety of preferences and experience levels. Here are a few popular routes near The Shore, ideal for exploring the city and surrounding areas:

For the Leisurely Rider

Lakeshore Route

A classic choice, this mostly flat, paved path stretches along Okanagan Lake from Gyro Beach to Glenmore Beach Park. Enjoy breathtaking lake views, stop for a refreshing dip, or grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants along the way.

Mission Creek Greenway

This scenic route follows Mission Creek through the heart of Kelowna. It’s a mostly flat gravel and packed dirt path that offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, perfect for a relaxing ride with friends or family.

Myra Canyon Trestles

This historic railway conversion offers a unique cycling experience with stunning views of the canyon below. You can also rent bikes with Myra Canyon Rentals if you don’t have your own.

For the Adventurous Cyclist

Knox Mountain Park

This sprawling park offers a network of single-track trails for mountain bikers. With varying difficulty levels and stunning viewpoints, Knox Mountain Park is a paradise for off-road enthusiasts.

Okanagan Rail Trail

The historic ORT stretches from Kelowna to Vernon. A lot of the trail is fairly flat and family-friendly, offering a mix of paved and gravel sections with plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy the views of the Okanagan Valley.

For more information on local mountain bike trails, visit Mountain Biking BC

Tips for a Successful Bike Adventure in Kelowna

A hand holding the bars of a mountain bike against a dirt ground background. Their thumb is on the gear shift.

Gear Up

Ensure your bike is working well before your ride. Bring appropriate clothing, sunscreen, water, and snacks for longer journeys. If you’re missing something or need a tune-up on your bike before you get going, visit the friendly folks at The Lions Cyclery or Kelowna Cycle to get you ride-ready.

The Lions Cyclery
1276 Ellis St, Kelowna, BC
4.5 km (11 min drive) from the Shore

Kelowna Cycle
1276 Ellis St, Kelowna, BC
1.1 km (4 min drive) from the Shore

Plan your route

Kelowna offers a variety of cycling resources online and through local bike shops.  Plan your route based on your experience level and desired terrain. 

Check out Kelowna’s cycling routes on this bike map.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Always follow traffic rules and share the road with pedestrians and motorists. Wear a helmet and use appropriate hand signals. 

Source: BC Cycling

Respect the Environment

As with any outdoor activity, make sure you’re leaving no trace and dispose of any waste properly. Stash snack wrappers, gels, and other packaging in your jersey or bike bags. 

Your Biking Basecamp

Shot of the Shore Kelowna taken from the street looking up against a blue sky background.

The Shore is a great place to use as a home base while living and riding in Kelowna. Having a full modern kitchen means you’re able to refuel yourself before and after rides while the in-suite laundry gives you a quick and easy gear clean-up after your event. 

Explore our suites today.