Next September 8, 2013, A Gran Fondo (Big Ride) bicycle event will be rolling through Kimberley, and making use of the Rails to Trails.
The event is being organized by the Cranbrook Sunrise Rotary club, who approached City Council for sponsorship of $1000 of the event.
A Gran Fondo is a mass participation event, which challenges riders to a long distance. Riders are supported with mechanical and medical help if required. There will be aid stations along the route as well.
This particular event will offer 50 km, 100 km and 150 km distances, all beginning at the St. Eugene Resort. The route will take cyclers from the Resort through backroads to the Rails to Trails, and then north to Kimberley. 50 km distance riders will turn around at Kimberley, 100 and 150 km riders will continue north to Wasa and then on to Fort Steele. 100 km riders will head to St. Eugene, 150 km riders will take a loop along the Bull River before returning.
It is the hope of the Sunrise Rotary Club that the First Annual Kootenay Rockies Gran Fondo will bring tourists to the area, and raise funds for the Rails to Trails Society, in addition to other community projects.
Kimberley City Council believes the event has potential and unanimously agreed to support it. Sunrise Rotary will also be approaching the Kimberley Rotary Club for support with the event.