Cycling tours ready to ride in Cowichan Valley

A number of local farms and wineries have also agreed to partner with Island Joy Rides.

Cycling tours are rolling into the Cowichan Valley.

Island Joy Rides, a Vancouver Island-based boutique cycling tour company, has teamed up with local Cowichan Valley guides Laird Carruthers and Glenn White to provide customers with unique and active biking experiences in the valley.

A number of local farms and wineries have also agreed to partner with Island Joy Rides.

They include Merridale Estate Cidery, Blue Grouse Estate Winery, Cherry Point Estate Wines, Teafarm and Damali Lavender & Winery.

Carruthers said three regular tours are offered in the valley this summer, including tours of the Kinsol Trestle and local wineries and farms, and customized tours can also be arranged.

“Island Joy Rides looks forward to providing locals and visitors a unique opportunity to explore the spectacular and diverse culture of the Cowichan Valley, and find joy from a seat of a bike this summer,” Carruthers said.

For more information, call 1-855-830-8522 or check out www.IslandJoyRides.com

Merridale Cider ready to take over the taps

Cowichan Valley’s Merridale Ciderworks and Distillery took part in what is being called North America’s largest cider-tap takeover on July 18 at Vancouver’s St. Augustine’s Craft Brew House.

With the huge growth in the production of craft beer and cider over the last few years, tap takeovers, in which a tap house will have most of their taps taken over by one brewer for a brief period of time, have proven popular as promotional events.

Merridale’s owner Rick Pipes said the tap takeover was an “excellent way” to illustrate the diversity and skill of the distillery’s “makers”.

“As the region’s oldest craft-cider maker, Merridale had to accept the challenge,” he said.

“We now have 22 different ciders, ranging from dry and tannic to off-dry to semi-sweet… We appreciate the opportunity St. Augustine’s has given us.”

Arbutus RV tackling cancer with ride-a-thon

Arbutus RV in Mill Bay will host a ride-a-thon on Saturday, July 23 to help the Cell Cyclists raise funds for the Deely Research Centre in Victoria.

All five Arbutus RV locations on Vancouver Island will host ride-a-thons over the course of the summer to raise funds for the cancer research centre through their participation in the Ride to Conquer Cancer.

To support immunotherapy efforts at the DRC, a group of researchers from the centre formed a Ride to Conquer Cancer team, called Cell Cyclists, in 2015.

The RTCC is a two-day cycling event from Vancouver to Seattle, and the Cell Cyclists are once again participating this year.

All funds raised by the Cell Cyclists benefit the B.C. Cancer Foundation supporting the immunotherapy program at DRC.

The Cell Cyclists hope to reach their goal of $2,500 per rider, and Arbutus RV will match each rider’s contribution for a total of up to $10,000.

robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com