This Saturday, September 10 promises to be an exciting one in Guysborough as 300 cyclists gather to ride the inaugural Lost Shores Gran Fondo.
Gran Fondo is Italian for ‘big ride’ which is very popular elsewhere in the world but new to Nova Scotia. It’s all about having a day of fun, scenic cycling without the need to compete. With a 90-km oceanfront loop and three other rides of 30 km and 50 km, riders of every fitness level can enjoy the stunning scenery and the fun of riding with a big group. After the ride, cyclists will be greeted by a beer tent and a feed of delicious BBQ ribs followed by an evening with local musicians.
This event came together earlier this year with Guysborough Municipality agreeing to sponsor the event and build on the lessons of Nova Scotia’s very successful first Gran Fondo held last September in the District of Clare. Lost Shores Gallery is a local photography business which promotes the area through a cooperative marketing brochure and a popular Facebook page filled with a steady diet of local aerial pictures.
As plans came together, several local businesses and community groups offered to assist. Local accommodations were snapped up quickly making it hard to attract more riders until Elaine Shanks of Pepperlane Manor B&B offered to direct visitors to stay with local residents.
The beer tent is being provided by Stanfest and operated by the local athletic association as a fundraiser for Guysborough’s proposed new Lifestyle Complex.
A tasty BBQ back ribs meal seemed like a great way to make the event truly memorable and Days Gone By Bakery has taken on the challenge of feeding all those hungry riders and volunteers.
A sizable crew of volunteers is coming together to help with greeting, registration, food and drink stops, ride escorts and helping feed the hungry crowd.
Guysborough Recreation Director Angie Tavares says, “The buzz is starting to happen. We’re thrilled that so many people have signed up. It’s a great way to showcase our municipality to so many new sets of eyes.” Building on their experience hosting triathlons, recreation staff and a small army of volunteers are ready to welcome riders on September 10.
Event Director Rob Carter says, “This seems like the perfect size crowd for our inaugural Gran Fondo. We’ll have lots of fun and we’ll learn what we need to know to make future events even better.”
Previously, fairly unknown to the cycling community, local roads have been seeing more bicycles this year than ever before. Demand for non-competitive Gran Fondo cycling events is clearly growing as other similar events elsewhere in Canada are drawing as many as 3000 riders. Guysborough is well positioned to offer a great cycling experience with an unhurried pace and so many miles of low traffic, oceanfront scenery.
Information, routes and pictures are all shown at lsgf.ca and registrations are still being accepted right up until the event.