Bluewater International Granfondo
Sold Out Two Years Running
The third annual Bluewater International Granfondo is set for Aug. 5 after two successful sell-out years. This year, the registration is capped at 1,000 cyclists, who can choose from three routes of 50, 100 or 150 kilometres.
“The cycling community here was starting to get some momentum, so we took the initiative and started an event that would increase interest in cycling and also raise money for the education of palliative-care workers,” says Kenneth MacAlpine, one of the event organizers.
MacAlpine says that the original event was capped at 500 people and sold out seven weeks before the start of the event. It grew again the following year to 750 and was sold out again. Why so successful?
“One thing is that the committee, myself included, don’t take any money. Instead everything is funneled back into the event and to the charity,” he says. “So participants receive a free Giordana cycling jersey, hot gourmet food after the event, a five-piece rock-and-roll band playing on the shores of Lake Huron and wellstocked fuel stations throughout the route.”
Then there’s the scenery. Arcona is perhaps an area of Ontario not known to many, but its surrounding landscape is quite pastoral. Think fruit orchards, farms, rolling hills and the Lake Huron shoreline.
“Arcona is well known in Ontario for its fruit-growing abilities, so we cycle through the orchards, and the last few kilometres are along Lake Huron and the rest is on quiet country roads,” says MacAlpine.
Included in the 2018 proceedings is the inaugural Ontario First Responder Road Cycling Championships with its three categories of races catering to fire, police and EMS personnel. “We’re excited about this new addition to the gran fondo,” said MacAlpine
The night before the race, a gourmet pasta dinner will be held at the Sarnia Dante Club, complete with such guest speakers as Alex Steida, the first North American to wear the yellow jersey, and Stephen Cheung, author of Cycling Science and world-class authority on science and training.
Another unique feature of the Bluewater Granfondo that participants seem to appreciate, according to MacAlpine, is that it isn’t all timed. There are timed sections, and there are sections that are not timed. And that mix enables those of varying abilities to enjoy the event together while still getting the competitive juices flowing now and then.
Exhausted at the finish line? Take a running leap into Lake Huron for a brisk and refreshing conclusion to your day in the saddle before enjoying a great meal.
For complete event information, visit www.bigf.ca.
The Bluewater International Granfondo has sold out two years running.
Three Three exciting exciting routes routes cater cater to to all all levels. levels.
Happy riders means smiles ... and success.
Great routes, great scenery and great food...