A major cycling event coming to the Fraser Valley this summer is looking for some help when it comes to handing out its hardware.
The inaugural Prospera Valley GranFondo takes place July 22, with the race’s start and finish line in Fort Langley.
The 160 km GranFondo route starts in Fort Langley and heads out along southern country roads to 0 Avenue, where it continues through Arnold, along the Sumas Prairie, and over Sumas Mountain in Abbotsford.
Riders then head back to Fort Langley through the Matsqui flats and Glen Valley. This route is for cyclists 19 and older.
As the participants cross the finish line, each will receive a medal showcasing a unique First Nations design.
“We are pleased to recognize the artists of Kwantlen First Nation and are honoured to have their artistry symbolize the accomplishment of our riders,” said Jeffrey Hansen-Carlson, the general manager of the Canadian Velo Event Management Society.
The contest to come up with the winning medal design — which combines First Nations art work with the theme of cycling — has been narrowed down to two designs: one by Phyllis Atkins and the other by Brandon Gabriel.
“Before creating this piece, I first thought about what it would mean to have true passion to be a cyclist, and that cycling is more than just riding a bike,” explained Atkins.
“It’s like flying but without wings. So that is why I chose the Eagle to represent the cyclists riding free in the wind.”
“The Golden Eagle is the most revered icon in many North American Native cultures, in particular, to the Coast Salish culture,” Gabriel said.
“The Golden Eagle is considered to be the Messenger to the Creator, because of its capabilities to fly to extreme altitudes.”
The original images may be viewed at the Fort Langley National Historic Site until Feb. 29.
Online voting between the two designs can be done here.