A crowd of avid cyclists congregated on the side of the highway just outside Nelson on Sunday morning to participate in the 13th annual 119-km Bombi bike race.
Sponsored by Gerick Cycle, the event took 18 four-person teams down backroads to Castlegar, then over the Bombi Summit on Highway 3 before turning back towards Salmo and ending at the Nelson Nordic Ski Club’s hut near Whitewater Ski Resort.
It was a gorgeous, sunny morning as the teams made their way through Blewett just after 9 a.m. It only got hotter from there.
Event organizer Ross McNamara said the heat became an issue for some teams, and a few people had to drop out early. But every team that started the race finished it, only some of them minus a member or two.
The fastest team to complete the race were the T.T. Fast Dudes, comprised of Brian Marsh, Dallas Cain, Seth Bitting and Adrian Hamilton. They finished in three hours and 17 minutes.
The women’s team winners were The Bombideers, which consisted of Genevieve Pomerlau, Carole Wallace, Lindsay Robertson and Louise Porto.
The winning mixed team was Team Gerick Cycle Trail, made up of Ian Reid, Gerold Klassen, Danielle Klassen and Guy Chapdelaine.
“This was the first year where mixed teams was our biggest category,” said McNamara, who was thrilled by the turnout for the race. He said anyone interested in competing next year should talk to him personally.
“The Bombi went spectacularly well. People were ecstatic,” said McNamara.
The event raised $510 for KidSport — $255 from participants and the rest matched by Gerick Cycle. “I wanted that charity because I know the money stays local and helps local kids.”