Look­ing Ahead

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - THE CALENDAR - Lost Shores Gran Fondo

The Lost Shores Gran Fondo of Nova Sco­tia takes its name partly from the Lost Coast of north­ern Cal­i­for­nia. For years, the Pa­cific coast has at­tracted work­ers from other parts of the con­ti­nent, in­clud­ing gran fondo or­ga­nizer Rob Carter. Carter has since re­turned home to Nova Sco­tia, and is hop­ing to help peo­ple find the Lost Shores.

Lo­cated a few hours out­side of Hal­i­fax and sur­round­ing Guys­bor­ough, N.S., the Lost Shores area is made up of a col­lec­tion of fish­ing com­mu­ni­ties that dot the At­lantic coast. De­spite Guys­bor­ough only boast­ing two res­i­dents who cy­cle (in­clud­ing Carter) and a mere $1,000 mar­ket­ing bud­get, the first Lost Shores event in 2016 was an im­me­di­ate suc­cess with nearly 400 rid­ers par­tic­i­pat­ing.

“We learned a lot from the first year,” re­calls Carter, speak­ing of this past year’s edi­tion. “It was a slow start on the reg­is­tra­tion. The event had great weather and the com­mu­nity was to­tally en­gaged. We sent fly­ers to ev­ery­one along the route, so lo­cals all came out to cheer on the rid­ers.

“We cer­tainly didn’t have a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence, but the com­mu­nity came to­gether and re­ally made it hap­pen.”

The small com­mu­ni­ties work with their lim­ited tourism in­fras­truc­ture to cre­ate an event with a neigh­bourly feel. Rid­ers can choose to camp at the Ched­abucto Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­tre, where change rooms and show­ers are made avail­able. But the more im­mer­sive choice is to reg­is­ter to bil­let with lo­cals for a chance to re­ally get to know the peo­ple of the Lost Shores.

This year, par­tic­i­pants can choose from a va­ri­ety of routes rang­ing from a 30-km Rail Trail Loop to the 120-km Tickle Loop. The early Septem­ber date for the event was cho­sen of the best chance for good weather

Lost Shores is also de­vel­op­ing ac­tiv­i­ties that make the event fun for fam­i­lies. “We’re also adding in more for non­cy­clists so fam­i­lies don’t have to go sep­a­rate ways for the day,” says Carter. “With the school fa­cil­i­ties, we’re able to of­fer yoga classes, and day­care.” There’s also hik­ing and kayak­ing as other ways to ex­pe­ri­ence of the re­gion.

Now that the se­cret of the Lost Shores is out, reg­is­tra­tion is fill­ing more quickly. ( lost­shores­gran­fondo.ca) — Dean­camp­bell

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