MP plans cycling tour of riding to meet constituents

Richard Cannings visited with a young constituent during a Canada Day stop in Osoyoos. He'll be back August 29 with his bike.

Richard Cannings is putting a new twist on a popular MP summer pastime.

This week, he plans to visit as many communities in the South Okanagan – West Kootenay riding as he can, but he won’t be travelling by train, plane or automobile.

Instead, he’ll be on his bike.

“My riding contains more than 40 communities, and it would be difficult to organize events in each one.  But it is a beautiful riding, and I love traveling through it, so I thought — why not cycle through the region?” he writes.

“That way I could go from one town to another, meeting people over breakfast, coffee, lunch and dinner, and showcase the scenic trails and highways that link our communities.”

The “Ride the Riding” event was born.

Mr. Cannings, an avid outdoorsman and historian who has written numerous books on the province’s natural history, has plotted a course that will take him from Nakusp on August 24 to Castlegar and from there through Trail and Rossland to Christina Lake, Grand Forks and Rock Creek.

He’s scheduled to arrive in Osoyoos either late on August 29 or early August 30 — where he’ll have breakfast at Jojo’s Cafe — and will travel to Penticton the same day.

“I decided a combination of highway and trails would be ideal and invite any interested cyclists to join me on some of the trail sections,” he writes. “I enjoy riding these rail trails myself, and one of the reasons for this cycle trip is to highlight their importance to the riding.”

Mr. Cannings, 62, invites people to ride sections of trails with him as he travels from community to community. He has scheduled numerous coffee and meal breaks at various points where residents can meet him to share their concerns, ideas and suggestions for the South Okanagan-West Kootenay.

He does ask of those joining him for the ride to arrange transportation for themselves back to their starting point.

A copy of Mr. Canning’s itinerary is available here.

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