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 are on THURSDAYS and 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 (identified as SHORT on the calendar) and a longer, generally quicker paced ride with fewer stops (identified as LONG on the calendar).
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 information, meeting spot (this varies so riders generally drive themselves) and lunch location.
If you’re unsure whether or not a particular ride is right for you, please contact the leader to discuss. 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
RIDE WITH GPS (RWGPS):
This is for those who wish to use technology to view rides on their computer or tablet and/or follow routes on cellphones.
All the VOC rides are created in the program called Ride with GPS (RWGPS), where they are called Routes and each route incorporates a map and cue sheet.
The RWGPS Routes have then been saved as .pdf documents which are uploaded to each calendar entry so that members can view the appropriate ride prior to the calendar date, as noted above.
The RWGPS Routes are accessible to you through a Ride with GPS App on your cellphone AND on your computer/tablet through a Ride with GPS account.
Depending on what you would like to do, you can select one of three options for an account with RWGPS.
FREE account: allows you to view the route and follow it on your cellphone, seeing the directions at the top of your screen. Cue sheets are NOT included in this level of membership.
BASIC account: there is a choice of paying monthly or annually. Cue sheets are included.
PREMIUM account: there is a choice of paying monthly or annually. Cue sheets are included.
HOW WE RIDE:
Safety is emphasized. To that end:
WHAT TO BRING:
WHEN WE RIDE:
All rides are listed on the cycling calendar under the website CALENDAR tab. We typically begin cycling at the very end of March or the first week of April until the end of June, starting up again the first week of September until the end of October.
Make sure to recheck the calendar the day of the ride as unexpected circumstances (weather, road construction, etc) may have necessitated changes. Also, on the morning of the ride, please re-check your email in case of CANCELLATION or important updates. Please be prepared to be flexible.
*** FOOTNOTE: Please read GENERAL INFO FOR ALL ACTIVITIES under the RESOURCES tab regarding your responsibilities, leaders, guests, use of alcohol/smoking, registering.