Registration numbers swelling for Gran Fondo

First-ever cycling event is getting a lot of support from local riders and business community.

The Kootenay Rockies Gran Fondo registration deadline is one month away and spots are filling up quickly, according to organizer Glenn Dobie.

At last count, there are close to 200 riders signed up, which is an encouraging sign for the first-ever instalment of the event.

Right now, there is roughly an equal numbers of local riders to out-of-towners from Calgary, Lethbridge, Terrace, Langley, Clearwater and the northwestern U.S. that have registered.

“We’ll go over 200 [riders] and talking with different people in the cycling world, with Cycling B.C. and that, they said if that’s your first year, if you’ve got that many coming, be thrilled,” said Dobie.

Dobie stresses the event is a ride, not a race—even though some people may treat it as such—and that as a non-profit organization, any extra funds raised will go back into maintenance for the North Star Rails to Trails and other charitable causes.

Riders can register individually or as a group or business, Dobie added.

“There’s a group from Jaffray riding, there’s 15 of them—they’ve got a jersey they got made for themselves,” he added.

There are three different courses in varying distances that riders can sign up for, which include a 52-km route, a 100-km route and the longest route at 150 kms—all of which start and finish at the St. Eugene Golf Resort and Casino.

Each route will be marked with signage and there will be traffic control at highway intersections, and Dobie urges motorists to be aware of cyclists and share the road.

The majority of support needed for the event has come through help from local business in the area, acknowledged Dobie.

“The support has been overwhelming,” he said. “The business support in both Cranbrook and Kimberley has been fantastic.”

During and after the race, entertainment will be set up at the White Pavilion tent at the resort, featuring Cranbrook’s Good Ol’ Goats, and Dobie encourages anyone—even if they didn’t participate in the ride—to come check it all out.

To register for the event or to find more information, visit www.krgf.ca.