Nelson neighbours Vince Zenarosa and Jon Luckett did not know the other was participating until after they had both registered separately. They decided to team up for their first ever Scotiabank MS Bike West Kootenay Glacier Challenge and were the first two riders to arrive at Lakeside Park before noon Saturday.

Cyclists complete first day of Scotiabank MS Bike West Kootenay Glacier Challenge

Ninety three cyclists rode 88 km from Nelson to Salmo return today. Sunday's route will take them to Procter and back.

The Scotiabank MS Bike West Kootenay Glacier Challenge may have a different route this year but the cause and energy is still the same-ride the scenic West Kootenay roads for two days to raise funds for Multiple Sclerosis.

Cyclists began arriving at Lakeside Park just before noon today but the bulk arrived after 1 p.m.

They departed Nelson at 8:30 a.m. with the assistance of Nelson Police Department and the RCMP. Their route: 88 km to Salmo return.

This is only day one of two for the 93 cyclists. Tomorrow participants will bike 68 km on Hwy 3A north to Procter with a stop at the Procter bakery before returning to Nelson.

Cyclists arriving at Lakeside Park. Riders departed Nelson at 8:30 a.m. to ride to Salmo. After a lunch stop in Salmo, riders returned to Nelson. Tamara Hynd photo

Bike tour coordinator Leona Dimock said there are even more riders this year. The event’s reputation for good food and epic views continue to draw riders from Nova Scotia, Alberta and Vancouver Island year after year. Neighbours Vince Zenarosa and Jon Luckett, both first timers to the ride, were surprised to find out they had both registered separately. They decided to team up as their postal code: team 2S8 and were the first riders to finish on Day 1.

Tonight’s awards dinner, provided and served up by Save-On-Foods staff at the Rotary Shelter, will recognize the top fundraisers. Once again Dr. Jim Noiles is the top fundraiser with more than $11,693 raised for the the cause. Team Gerick Cycle has raised $8,380.

One volunteer estimated that there are close to 100 volunteers and supporters, including Cyswog’n’ fun Triathlon.

Check back to find out the total funds raised.

Ross McNamara (right), owner of Gerick Cycle was one of the first four cyclists to complete 88 km on Saturday. This is his third time participating in the two day challenge. Tamara Hynd photos

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