BLUEWATER INTERNATIONAL GRANFONDO
Location Sarnia, Ont. Date Aug. 6 Distances 150 km (The Bluewater), 100 km (The Lambton), 50 km (The Sarnia) Cost $60–$160, depending on distance and registration date Website bigf.ca
For organizers of the Bluewater International Granfondo, selling out all the spots weeks before the inaugural event had to feel good. The fondo in Sarnia, Ont., got rave reviews, with participants marvelling at the lakeside setting and the event format. “The riders who came from out of town were amazed by the location,” said Ken Macalpine, chairman of the fondo board. “People were just shocked at the view of Lake Huron.” Macalpine said some people even enjoyed a swim after the ride, which is on a mostly flat course with a couple of rollers. The routes offer challenges via timed sections. “This structure allows for the focus to be on enjoyment, letting your competitive juices to flow during the timed section before regrouping with friends or riding your own comfortable pace,” he said. Besides a dip in the lake, finishers can look forward to live music, warm food and a beer garden. This year, the fondo expanded its fundraising efforts in support of the local hospice and palliative care facility – a big inspiration for the ride’s creation – and will host 750 instead of 500 riders.