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Great summer getaway

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dave norona photos/for metro vancouver


Dave Norona, above, enjoys one of the awesome stunts at Silver Star Mountain’s Double Dog mountain bike run.





Kim Duess and Dave Norona enjoy the Wine Master’s Dinner at the Silver Lode Inn.





Last week, my girlfriend Kim Duess and I loaded up the van with our mountain bikes and made our way to our favourite mountain top destination, Silver Star Mountain, for the Okanagan Wine Festival. We attended this event last year and there was no way we were going to miss it. Plus it offered the opportunity to get out of the big city and off into Silver Star’s updated and super-fun Mountain Bike Park.





Upon our arrival, we quickly unloaded our gear at the Snowbird Lodge before heading off for our first adventure at the Sip & Savor wine and cheese challenge at Clementine’s Lounge. In front of us were six different wines from the Okanagan and six different Canadian dairy cheeses, all of which had no labels. Our challenge was to identify each wine and cheese. We were horrible at this challenge but we made lots of new friends and had a wicked time.





The following day we awoke to Chai Lattes and fresh chocolate croissants at Bugaboos Café before hitting the mountain bike park.





This year the park is amazing with longer runs, no crowds and bigger stunts to test even the most seasoned downhillers. They have also created some of the best beginner to intermediate trails so new riders can join in the fun without risking life and limb.





It had rained a bit over night, which created the perfect dust-free conditions as we hopped the first chair of the morning. Kim and I took a few easy blue runs to warm up and dial in our bikes. We then hit Double Dog and with its unique stunts and technical twisty terrain it was soon our favorite run on the mountain; however, RockStar, SuperStar and Pipe Dream were close favourites. After dialing runs all day we hit the hot tub to ease our tired muscles before heading off to the Wine Master’s dinner with Hestler Creek and St. Hubertus Estate Wineries. The six-course meal was amazing and was paired with delicious wines that brought out the fabulous flavours of the food.





After mountain biking all day Saturday, we joined some friends for the afternoon progressive tasting in the middle of Silver Star Village. It was a perfect afternoon of trying some amazing varieties under gorgeous sunny skies. My favourite wines of the festival were from Granite Creek, which is a small estate in the Shuswap area. All their wines were amazing and their ice wine is to die for!





There is still a lot of time to experience Silver Star’s incredible mountain bike park and ride till your hearts content under the hot summer sun. For more information on their great deals check out www.skisilverstar.comor call 1-800-663-4431.



















gear guide


Oakley MTB 3.6 Short



Description: These lightweight freeride shorts from Oakley are perfect for all-mountain xc rides as well as hucking big drops. The 33-centimetre inseam covers your knees and the removable mesh liner and open-air vents keep you cool on those epic climbs.



Price:$120



Where to find it:
www.oakley.ca





Osprey Astro Courier Bag



Description: Whether you hike, ride or cruise around town the Osprey courier bag is the perfect carry-all. Within the 18 litres of space you get a padded laptop sleeve, a giant front pocket and tons of zippered and mesh pouches for anything you carry.



Price:$99



Where to find it:
www.ospreypacks.com





Sombrio Twin Skull L/S Jersey



Description: The 50/50 Cotton-Soy Blend of the Twin Skulls jersey makes it breathable, ultra soft and odor free. The semi-tailored shape fits great and works perfectly with or without pads.



Price:$45



Where to find it:
www.sombriocartel.com





Bionicon Ironwood Bike



Description: The Bionicon is the ultimate downhill/freeride machine with 20 centimetres of front and rear suspension. At 16.8 kilograms it is feathery light and with one push of a button the geometry changes and the suspension reduces to 10 centimetres for easy uphill climbing.



Price:$5,600



Where to find it:
www.bioniconus.com


 
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