With any group activity some rules and norms are necessary!  Our formally scheduled activities generally involve a leader and a “sweep” who follows at the end of the group.   On most hikes the leader and the sweep keep in touch using hand held GRS radios.

General Info for All Activities

You are welcome to participate in any of the great activities offered by the VOC. If you wish to participate in a club activity to “try it out” , you can do so by paying a $5 guest fee and signing a liability waiver.  You may attend two activities as a guest, after that you are expected to join. 

Leaders are volunteers who facilitate a VOC activity and are not trained outdoor activity program leaders.   Many of our leaders are experienced outdoor recreationalists, but as a participant you are responsible for your own safety, equipment, food & water and navigation on any VOC activity.

It is the responsibility of each individual to keep up with the pace of the average participant on any given activity. VOC Leaders may refuse to allow anybody in their activity if, in their opinion, the participant is inadequately equipped or physically unfit for the planned activity.

All members are expected to self-evaluate their own wellness and exposure risks (COVID, influenza, or other communicable illnesses) and avoid participation in VOC activities if a risk to others is likely. When uncertain, err on the side of caution when deciding to take part in a VOC activity.

The VOC will respect the needs of members to exercise whatever safety precautions those individuals feel are necessary for themselves to take, such as wearing a face mask, practicing social distancing, avoiding carpooling or even declining participation from some activities altogether.

Please bring everything to make your outdoor experience enjoyable and safe. In bear country consider carrying bear spray and know how to use it.

VOC also recommends that all members carry easily accessible emergency contact information for use in case of emergency.

Participants must pre-register for an event by email with the leader listed on the online calendar. This should occur no later than 7pm, two evenings before the event, or as noted on the calendar. Please notify the leader if you must cancel.

The leader will state on the online calendar whether to meet in the regular meeting place, or at the trail head, or starting point for the cycling. Directions will usually be provided.

Carpooling is good for the environment, but it is at the member’s discretion to participate, or to wear a face mask if they wish.

The Leader will mention the suggested carpool gratuity (posted on individual schedule sheets and on the club website) and which everybody is encouraged to pay. For insurance and legal purposes please pay when you return to your point of departure.

VOC can’t guarantee that ride sharing will be available for everyone who shows up for an activity.

Please remain behind the leader and in front of the sweep.  The leader will point out to the group who the sweep is.

No smoking or alcohol consumption during a club hike or bike ride!  Liabilities may apply to those starting a wildfire, even if accidental.

If you’re unsure if you are strong enough for a particular activity, contact the leader to discuss.  Some activities may be more leisurely and others require greater levels of fitness and– this will be indicated on the calendar, along with the leader’s email/phone is listed on calendar.  Generally routes start out easier in the spring and get more challenging as the season proceeds.

Hiking and Rambles

You need to bring everything to make your outdoor experience enjoyable and safe . This  includes food, water, hiking poles, extra snacks and water, GPS, compass, map, personal first aid kit, electrolyte tablets in hot weather, sunscreen, insect repellent, etc.

Bring sufficient clothing for mountain weather conditions.  An alpine hike may leave Vernon in hot summer temperatures and encounter hail, rain or snow at the apex of the hike.

For hikes in remote areas consider bringing an “emergency” kit including space blankets, emergency snacks, headlamp, whistle, etc.

Suitable trail footwear must be worn which includes purpose-designed hiking boots or trail shoes, that provide full coverage of the foot (e.g. no open-toed sandals or flip flops allowed) and have an aggressive tread to provide traction in loose soil as well as in wet, muddy or snowy conditions, all of which may be encountered during typical VOC activities.

Always inform the leader or sweep when leaving the trail for a "nature call" or for any other reason.  It is a good practice to leave your pack on the trail to remind everyone someone is temporarily “missing”. In bear country take your bear spray with you.

If for any reason you do get separated from the group, stay put; an individual is much easier to find if he or she refrains from wandering off.



Our group rides include both road and gravel trail rides.  We do not generally tackle downhill mountain bike trails.  Routes are generally close to the North Okanagan, with the exception of the yearly camp out, which can be further afield.

The focus of rides is enjoyment, exercise, and camaraderie.  Our rides are geared for cyclists who have experience on public roads and/or gravel trails (as appropriate to the route of the day) and a moderate level of endurance.  Most days we offer a choice of two rides - a shorter, slower paced ride and a longer, generally quicker paced ride with fewer stops. 

Each ride is described in the CALENDAR tab of this website, where you will find the rides of the day, distances, difficulty rating, leader’s name and contact #, meeting spot, lunch location, and gratuity (if ride sharing).  While the meeting place each Thursday is usually the Vernon Curling Club parking lot (3400 39th Avenue near the Recreation Complex), you are strongly urged to check the calendar the day prior for any updates or changes.

If you’re unsure whether or not a particular ride is right for you, please contact the leader to discuss.  Some rides may be more leisurely, and some more focused on speed and distance.  This will be indicated on the calendar along with the leader’s email/phone#.

Generally, routes start out easier in the spring, and then become more challenging as the season progresses.

RIDE RATINGS (degree of difficulty):

A  Leisurely      < 35 km       15 km/hr        Frequent stops    Mainly flat terrain

B  Intermediate  35-50 km  15-20 km/hr  Occasional stops  Flat to rolling terrain, some hills

C  Advanced     >50 km       20-25 km/hr  Limited stopping   Hilly with some steeper climbs


Safety is emphasized.  To that end:

  • cycling helmets are MANDATORY on all club outings
  • for their own and other road users' safety, cyclists will be expected to observe all road regulations and cycle in single file when on public roads or highways. 
  • cyclists must maintain good group bike riding discipline (use of hand signals, safe passing, single file)  Riders must remain together and in visual contact.  The leader is to be informed of any departures or deviations from the group activity.
  • you are strongly encouraged to equip your bike with a rear view mirror, lights (front and back) and wear eye protection, even on dull days (a bee in the eye at speed hurts!)
  • bright clothing is encouraged.  Motorists have told us that they don’t always see us if dressed in grey, black, dull colours.  So go flashy, dress as brightly as possible.
  • make sure that your bike is in good working order.


  • a bike in good repair, with properly inflated tires.  Tires slowly lose pressure day to day, poorly inflated tires will drag you down.
  • adequate (and bright) clothing for expected and unexpected weather changes. Rain gear and sunscreen are always good to have. 
  • adequate water, nutritious snacks and a picnic lunch.
  • bike repair kit (at least 1-2 spare tubes, small pump, and tire irons)
  • personal first aid kit (what you would want/need for minor injuries, road rash, headache, allergies, etc.)
  • cell phone is highly recommended 
  • please carry on your person or in bike bag personal health ID (emergency contact number, Health Insurance number) 


All rides are listed on the cycling calendar under the website CALENDAR tab. 

Make sure to recheck the calendar the day prior to each ride as unexpected circumstances (weather, road construction, etc) may have necessitated changes.  Please be prepared to be flexible.

*** FOOTNOTE:  Please read GENERAL INFO FOR ALL ACTIVITIES under the RESOURCE tab regarding your responsibilities, leaders, guests, use of alcohol/smoking, sign in sheets.