Sports

Ride’s scenic beauty a hit with cyclists

Cyclists take off down Mavis Avenue during the inagural Valley GranFondo mass cycling event, benefitting Special Olympics B.C. Nearly 1,200 cyclists took part in the event, which saw them ride from the Fort Langley National Historic Site, down country roads to Abbotsford, up Sumas Mountain and back to Fort Langley.   - Miranda Gathercole/Langley Times
Cyclists take off down Mavis Avenue during the inagural Valley GranFondo mass cycling event, benefitting Special Olympics B.C. Nearly 1,200 cyclists took part in the event, which saw them ride from the Fort Langley National Historic Site, down country roads to Abbotsford, up Sumas Mountain and back to Fort Langley.
— image credit: Miranda Gathercole/Langley Times

Judging by comments from some of the participants at Sunday’s Prospera Valley GranFondo, the sideroads connecting Fort Langley to Abbotsford should become even more popular among the cycling community.

“They were totally blown away,” said George Lacny, the Canadian Velo Event Management Society’s media relations manager.

“The net result from this is going to be a lot more people coming to cycle in Fort Langley.”

He said the participants, many of them in the area for the first time, marveled at the scenic beauty the ride offered.

Just under 1,200 cyclists took part in the GranFondo, a mass cycling event which featured three different rides of varying lengths.

The 160-km GranFondo, which went south from Fort Langley through the country roads, along 0 Avenue, up and over Sumas Mountain and then back to Fort Langley along the Matsqui flats and through Glen Valley along the Fraser River.

The 80-km MedioFondo went from Fort Langley, along O Avenue and then back through Bradner and Glen Valley.

And then there was the Sylvan Family Fondo, a kid-friendly three-km ride.

The GranFondo will be held again next year, this time on July 28.

The same route could possibly be used once again, but that will be determined following a debriefing of Sunday’s event, Lacny said.

Among the participants were travellers from four different provinces as well as four states. The furthest of those were from Alabama, and they came specifically for the event, he said.

Everything went smoothly in Sunday’s event, including the weather co-operating as the rain held off until later in the day.

The Fort Langley National Historic Site also served as the place for the pre and post-ride festivities.

“It went fantastic, it truly was a great event,” Lacny said.

“And the festivities at the Fort, everyone had a great time with it.”

Half of the proceeds will be donated to Special Olympics BC, the ride’s charitable partner. That amount will be announced once all of the numbers are finalized.

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