Reproduced from Canadian Biker Jan/Feb 99

 Pg. 2

  Well, to appreciate the trail, perhaps it's best to first explain what it's not, he says. The railbed itself is not a wild-assed ride navigable only by the country's top berm busters. No, the KVR was, after all, built for locomotives to haul carloads of heavy stuff. Because it's a railbed, there's only a slight grade, ("About four percent," says Grenon.) Yet the KVR gains some respectable elevation during its inexorable climb from the starting point at Midway (500m) to the summit in the Okanagan Highlands (1270m). The line then plummets to Penticton (341m). The railbed remains flat, wide, and smooth even as it threads its way into tunnels blasted through solid rock and across wooden trestles spanning steep-cut gorges.

Grenon says the relative docility of the trail makes it a good bet for the less experienced rider who still wants a sense of real adventure. The thing to remember, he says, is that the trail runs through wilderness backcountry that comes complete with fast-moving creeks, canyons, god-like vistas, grizzly bear warnings and cautionary notes concerning rattlesnakes. In short, The KVR may be flat, but the country it covers is a montage of the geography that makes BC great.

A bonus for the hardcore motocrossers: there's no end of suspension-mangling trails leading off the KVR. A bonus for the newbies: plenty of places where the railbed intersects urban centres (places to grab a beer and burger). Plus the railbed zooms over grassy meadows and past rustic points of interest, i.e. the historic Coalmont Hotel.

Grenon says the trail offers something for just about every off-pavement rider and the scenery will make you gag. We've come to trust Tom and if he says there's Room to Play on the Kettle Valley Railway, we believe him.