The gran fondo that travels along the beautiful Kootenay Lake is returning this summer.
The Creston-Kootenay Lake Gran Fondo is the same challenging, beautiful venture with a new name and a new date.
After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, this ride will build on the success of the inaugural Kootenay Lake Gran Fondo that was held on Sept. 21, 2019, which saw 130 participants.
Setting off on June 18, the event is organized by the Rotary Club of Creston and sponsored by the Town of Creston, RE/MAX Discovery Creston, and the Creston and District Credit Union.
The date of the event has been moved up by several months in efforts to avoid the smoke from summer wildfires.
“Riders in the 2019 event were enthusiastic about the scenic route, great ride organization, and the enthusiastic support of the community and volunteers,” said Don Low, event chair.
Competitive cyclists looking for a challenge will appreciate the aggregate elevation gain of more than 1,500 metres over a 151-kilometre (94 mile) route that includes a combination of mountain switchbacks, stunning lake shoreline, and agricultural valley. Riders of the 97-kilometre (61 mile) Medio and 56-kilometre (35 mile) Piccolo routes will enjoy the southern end of Kootenay Lake, as well as the lush valley views of Canyon-Lister.
Covid complexities stopped the ride for 2 years, but riders are enthusiastic about returning with friends to ride in the current event. Organizers hear riders say, “I have been talking about it nonstop” and “I’m telling everyone I know who cycles.”
Riders can register online at crestonkootenaylakegranfondo.com/register. Early bird registration ends May 7.
Ride maps and videos of portions of each route are also available on the website.
Visitors to the Creston Valley are encouraged to bring the whole family and stay while. There is something for everyone here, with four local wineries and two breweries to visit, trails to hike, birds to watch at the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area, rivers to kayak, and the beautiful beaches of Kootenay Lake to enjoy.
For more information about local tourism, visit explorecrestonvalley.com.