GRAN FONDO BADLANDS

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - FEATURE -

Lo­ca­tion Drumheller, Alta. Date June 24

Dis­tances 160 km (gran fondo), 75/100/140 km (medio fondo), 50 km (pic­colo fondo)

Cost $100–$190, de­pend­ing on dis­tance and regis­tra­tion date Web­site gran­fon­dobad­lands.ca

Gran Fondo Badlands is set where the di­nosaurs roamed 70 mil­lion years ago. The routes take rid­ers in and out of the Red Deer River val­ley. The scenery – think rock for­ma­tions like the bot­tom of the Grand Canyon – and the vibe make for a great day on the bike. “The ride is big enough that it cre­ates the vi­brant at­mos­phere, but it’s a lot more laid-back and easy­go­ing than other events,” said Rick Skeith, one of the fondo’s event di­rec­tors. The ride does have timed seg­ments, but slows rid­ers down by de­sign at its aid sta­tions. “At 22.5 km in, we cross on a ferry,” Skeith said. “That forces peo­ple to chill out, so they’ll have an­other cof­fee at the aid sta­tion and look at the scenery while they wait for the ferry.” The ride’s ”ba­con sta­tion” is in an old sa­loon where rid­ers can’t help but pause to en­joy bar­be­cued ba­con on a bun.

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