Kicking off the cycling season is exciting. The days are longer and the weather is better, there are more days when the wheels hit the road rather than stay locked up in spin class. However, the thrill of being out in the sun, pulled along by your teammates will wear off eventually. It’s time to reflect on motivation. What will get you out and active week in and week out?Fitness? Great. Dial in your nutrition for the change in your activity level, educate yourself on supplements and superfoods and embrace the summer bounty of local fruits and veg.Social? Fantastic. Find the right club in your area and motivation will arrive in the palm of your hand as ride emails and calendars ping your smartphone throughout the season.
The finish line? Smart. And brave. Setting a clear plan to accomplish a season-long goal will be the key for many cyclists. Whether that goal is to best a previous time or to add more kilometres, there is an event you. It takes grit to, weekly, push longer, harder, faster. It takes courage to find the faith in yourself that you can finish what you set your mind to do. If this is your first season, look for an event near the end of the season. Work slowly toward the goal. Once you cross your first finish line the odds are you will have caught the bug. British Columbia is home to stunning gran fondos, gruelling hill climbs and friendship-building charity rides. There are rides for rookies, there are rides for enthusiasts, there are rides for the elite. Blow the bank on luxury, raise money for a cause you are passionate about or grab a team and tackle something new. Choose one of these riding events in and around B.C.
British Columbia Cycling Events 2017
May 6Wheel2HealCoquitlam15, 40 & 100 km Minimum $250 in fundraisingwheeltoheal.ca
This fundraising ride through the Tri-Cities raises money for the Eagle Ridge Hospital Foundation. It features two trail rides of 15 and 40 km and a 100 km road ride. Journey through Coquitlam, Maple Ridge and Fort Langley.
May 19-21Bici Gusti / Gourmet Ride
Bici Gusti Whistler
Whistler70 km$750+bicigusti.comThis is more than a ride - it is an experience. Building on last year’s success, the one-day event has been extended to a full weekend. The route takes riders through Whistler and Callaghan Valleys. The event is designed to be welcoming to riders of all levels who have one thing in common: a love of gourmet food. May 28Okanagan Shuswap Century RideArmstrong14 , 56 & 100 km$40www.oscr.caThis recreational ride for all ages and abilities will explore the scenic farmland of the North Okanagan. This ride is limited to 475 and sells out quickly each year. New this year is a training ride in Kelowna on May 7. June 3Cycle for Sight West CoastLangley30 km loop, 1-4 loops$55 + $500 fundraisingffbcan.convio.netThis ride is part of a series across the country raising money for the Foundation Fighting Blindness. The foundation has invested $30 million to support vision research across Canada since 1974. That’s more than 200 research grants that have led to more than 600 new discoveries in exciting areas of study like stem cell research, neuroprotective therapies, technological developments, pharmaceuticals and gene therapies. Tackle the route through Langley and Fort Langley and help a worthy cause.June 10 & 11MS Bike TourLangleySaturday: 35 km, 67 km, 86 km / Sunday: 50 km$350 in fundraisingmssoc.convio.netMS Bike is the largest fundraising cycling series in North America. Make your way through the spectacular vistas of the Fraser Valley and pass some of the most acclaimed vineyards in the province for a taste of world-class B.C. wine.June 107th Annual Rotary Ride for Rescue - Tim Jones Memorial Cypress Mountain Hill ClimbWest Vancouver11 & 17 km $40 + pledgeswww.rotaryrideforrescue.org
Rotary Ride for Rescue
This all-inclusive event has three specialties: one 17 km road ride, an 11 km mountain bike ride and an option to raise pledges as an indoor cyclist. The annual fundraiser pits individuals and local teams against each other in a friendly battle to the top, raising funds for North Shore Rescue and international Rotary projects. There is a pancake breakfast, event expo and a chance to get a closer look at North Shore Rescue’s equipment. June 11Gran Fondo VernonVernon135 & 161 kmwww.granfondoguide.comInformation on this event is limited. In the past it had been an annual event bringing together cyclists to challenge themselves through some of the most beautiful roads in the world. You’ll pass vineyards and lakes. Gran Fondo Vernon is not a race. June 17 The Dirty Phil - Canada’s Premier Gravel Fondo ⠀Kelowna ⠀100 & 171 km$118 and upwww.dirtyphil.comThis annual event brings one of B.C.’s greatest challenges: conquering a variety of terrain including smooth fire trails, single track, pavement, grass, dirt and more than 90 km of gravel! There are three fully supported rest stops and a pre- and post-ride party. June 17 Victoria Gran FondoVictoria260 km$320www.victoriagranfondo.com
This is an epic ride throughout southern Vancouver Island from Victoria to Sooke, Port Renfrew, Lake Cowichan Duncan and back to Victoria. It begins with a controlled speed rollout and is supported by five rest stops. It will take you through stunning scenery. The ride is limited to 100 riders so sign up early.
June 24Gibsons Grind Gran FondoLangdale50, 70 & 110 km$25+www.gibsonsgrindgranfondo.com
Gibsons Grind Fondo
This is a very popular event and already sold out for 2017 - add your name to the wait list! The sixth annual Gibsons Grind Granfondo on the Sunshine Coast provides scenic routes with event lengths that will appeal to all riders. All rides start at the Langdale ferry terminal and end at Persephone Brewery Company for a barbecue. June 24Ride2SurviveKelowna400 km$258 + $2,500 fundraisingwww.ride2survive.ca
Ride2Survive is a fully supported one-day 400 km bicycle ride from Kelowna to Delta raising funds for Cancer Research. The 100 per cent volunteer run event sends all of its fundraising directly to cancer research and is known for its awesome team, great group training rides and epic challenge.
June 25Ride Don’t HideBurnaby / Vancouver 10, 20, 60 & 100 km$45 or $75ridedonthide.comThis Canadian Mental Health Association annual fundraiser is the largest participatory mental health awareness event in Canada. Last year $1.5 million was raised for mental health services. This is an inclusive ride for cyclists of levels. The longer ride requires $500 in fundraising and will go through Vancouver, Burnaby and Richmond.July 9Axel Merckx Valley Gran Fondo55, 92, 126 or 160 km$210www.granfondoaxelmerckx.comTake a ride or tackle this one as a race through stunning Okanagan wine country. Besides a great route and family-friendly festival that are popular with participants, this event put major focus on promoting women’s cycling. To honour this commitment, the Granfondo Women’s Night (July 7) provides a casual, social evening for likeminded women that typically features a wine tasting, appetizers, door prizes and bike maintenance and information sessions.July 22Tour de WatcomBellingham, WA22, 50, 62 & 100 miles$35 USD and upwww.tourdewhatcom.comHosted at Boundary Bay Brewing, the Tour de Whatcom is regarded as one of the most beautiful rides in the west. The route winds through valleys and farmland, past lakes, beaches and Puget Sound. The mild grade and variety of distances make this a great first ride.July 23Prospera Valley Gran Fondo50 or 100 km or 100 miles$160 and upwww.valleygranfondo.comThis is a great ride through the Fraser Valley. The route has fantastic rolling hills through some of B.C.’s best farmland. The growing popularity of this event makes it a ride not to be missed. August 13Glotman Simpson Cypress ChallengeWest Vancouver5 or 12 km $25www.cypresschallenge.comThis event is one of the most popular rides of the season, bringing together teams and clubs from across the Lower Mainland all to support pancreatic cancer. This is a ride for anyone who wants to challenge themselves – not just elite riders. The spirit of the event is to get everyone to the top – not race there.August 19 & 20MS Bike TourCowichan Valley$350 in fundraisingmssoc.convio.netBiking in the beautiful Cowichan Valley is an experience of breathtaking views and sumptuous flavors. Throughout your ride you can stop and enjoy local wineries, farms and artisans, and sample delicious local fare. The afternoon continues at Rider Village with appetizers, a gourmet dinner and evening musical festivities. On Sunday, wake up to breakfast and head out with friends, family and co-workers to explore more of the Cowichan Valley. Finish with a barbecue lunch and celebrate your success at the closing ceremony!August 19 & 20MS Bike TourWest Kootenay - New DenverDay 1: 107 km / Day 2: 115 km$350 in fundraisingmssoc.convio.netThis ride is part challenge, part glorious views and part fabulous food! This extraordinary two-day 222 km MS Bike tour loops around the Kokanee Glacier in the Selkirk Mountains, from New Denver to Slocan, to Kaslo and back to New Denver with an overnight in Nelson. This ride also has a relay option – all the fun, half the distance. Help end MS!August 20Tour de VictoriaVictoria$160 and up45, 90 or 140 kmwww.tourdevictoria.comSee southern Vancouver Island’s most beautiful scenery on Ryder Hesjedal’s Tour de Victoria. With routes for the novice, the enthusiast and the experienced, this is an event for everyone. Check out the website for training clinic and plans. August 26 & 27Ride to Conquer CancerCloverdale to Redmond, WA
Ride To Conquer Cancer
$75 + $2,500 fundraising 250 or 300 kmva17.conquercancer.caThis is THE community building ride. Throughout the province teams and individuals are training to ride this cross-border adventure. The challenge of the two-day event is paired with collective emotion of hundreds of people working toward a common goal. Participants rave about the experience. Sign up and help conquer cancer.September 9 & 10MS Bike TourOkanagan - KelownaDay 1: 35 km, 50 km, 100 km; Day 2: 25 km, 60 kmMinimum $350 in fundraisingmssoc.convio.netRiding with likeminded people to end MS, follow the route in Kelowna through breathtaking landscapes and over challenging hills. See firsthand why the area is celebrated for its world-class wine and abundant fresh fruit with complimentary samples at rest stops. The ride has options for short and long routes on both Saturday and Sunday, as well as a 100 km Saturday route. The ride is suitable for any bike – however, some cycling experience is recommended and minimum cycling speeds will be suggested for the longer routes.September 9Whistler Gran FondoVancouver to Whistler122 & 155 km$250 and upwww.whistlergranfondo.comThis is the gateway ride for many cyclists. Ride the world-renowned Sea to Sky Highway car free. This event attracts people from all over the world to start by the ocean and finish in the clouds. It starts in beautiful Stanley Park and finishes at Olympic Plaza Whistler for a fantastic post-ride party. Check out the website for training plans and clinics. The My First Fondo is an excellent way to train for the event and become a lifelong cyclist.September 9Kootenay Rockies Gran FondoCranbrook58, 102 & 152 km$99 and upwww.krgf.caThis event will take you through the southern Rockies, starting at St. Eugene Resort and Casino outside of Cranbrook. This is an all-day fun ride with breakfast and a post-ride lunch included. Ride from Cranbrook to Kimberley circling back via Fort Steele. This ride promises epic vistas. There is also a fun kids' ride to kick of the season on May 28. $25 for an 8, 16 or 20 km course – including T-shirt, water bottle and lunch! September 9Bicycle Trek for Life and BreathWhite Rock100 km a day, one or two days $40 + $600 fundraisingbcla.convio.netGear up for the 32nd annual Bicycle Trek for Life and Breath on September 9 & 10 for an incredible two-day, 200 km ride through B.C.’s picturesque Fraser Valley in support of the BC Lung Association. Riding from White Rock to Cultus Lake and back, enjoy an unforgettable weekend getaway that includes all food, accommodation, entertainment, gear transportation and medical and mechanical support.September 16Bike for your life - Century RideSalmon Arm10, 35, 75 & 100 km$35www.bikeforyourlife.comExplore the backroads of the north Okanagan. This ride has some leg-challenging ascents – and 26 km of breezy descents. Circle from Salmon Arm, through Enderby and Glenemma, primarily on quiet back roads. There will be stunning views of Shuswap Lake, Larch Hills and the Enderby Cliffs. If you are not familiar with this part of B.C., it is definitely worth the ride!September 29 to October 1The Intrepid400+ km over three days$2,250theintrepid.caThis is THE bucket list ride. Join a limited 50 riders in three stages for a full-service event. From accommodations to food to celebratory gala – everything is taken care of. The daily rides vary from 120 to -170 km with a new 2017 option of a short Leggero route. The event is hoping to be more inclusive and is welcoming enthusiasts as well as elites. This is a world-class weekend.
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