So far, about 1,400 riders have signed up for what is expected to be a scorching hot Prospera Valley GranFondo bicycle ride through Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack on Sunday.
The AccuWeather.com forecast was calling for a reversal of the current slightly cooler trend by Sunday, with “abundant sunshine” and a “very warm” temperature topping 30 degrees in the communities along the ride route, in contrast to the relatively cool temperatures experienced during the 2017 edition.
Event director Marc Campbell was warning riders to make sure they travel with enough liquids to keep hydrated.
“Be prepared to drink a lot of water,” Campbell said.
“I always travel with two bottles.”
Organizers plan to have additional supplies of water on hand at stations along the route as well.
The ride can accommodate a maximum of about 1,500 riders, a number that Campbell expects will be reached by the time cyclist are lining up at the start in historic Fort Langley.
“I’m thinking there will be a lot of latecomers.”
“We want to make sure all the riders are safe.”
Organizers have introduced “slow zones” on downhill sections, with signs reminding riders to reduce speed.
Cyclists will have the right-of-way along each of the routes for the most part.
A new addition to this year’s event will be live music at the post-ride celebration, provided by “Five Star Motel.”
The day before the Sunday GranFondo, there will be kid’s activities on Saturday at the Fort Langley National Historic Site 23433 Mavis Ave. from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with bike decorating, face painting, race categories that include “Two Wheelers 6 and under” and “Two Wheelers 7-9” and a bouncy castle.
The Prospera GranFondo will begin the morning of Sunday, July 22 at 7 a.m.
The ride offers three categories of challenges:
GranFondo Imperial Century is the longest at 100 miles or 160 km, which includes several steep hill climbs.
The shorter MedioFondo Metric Century, which is 100 km, is for “recreational to advanced riders …a great alternative if you’re not up for the longer time and distance of the Imperial GranFondo” the website states.
The PrestoFondo Half Century is 50 km.
Each ride begins and ends in Fort Langley and takes riders through the scenic Fraser Valley.
The event has raised an average of $25,000 every year for charity.
It includes the London Drugs Ride for Hope, which is open to riders participating in any distance of the Valley Fondo.
Last year, the Ride for Hope team raised almost $20,000 for the Canuck Place children’s hospice.
The Prospera Valley GranFondo was started in 2012 by Canadian Velo Event Management Society, a not-for-profit incorporated society develops and manages cycling events by partnering with community organizations and businesses.
Gran Fondos are mass participation cycling events that have been popular in Europe for decades.