On September 6 the GranFondo returns to Whistler and Vancouver for the fourth year in a row. The gruelling ride will see approximately 7000 enthusiastic cyclists make the 122km ride from Vancouver to Whistler.
What is GranFondo
GranFondo roughly translates as “big ride” from Italian. The rides are often hundreds of kilometres and are designed for a large number of cyclists across a wide range of skill levels.
GranFondo Whistler began in 2010 with the combined vision of Kevin Thompson and Neil McKinnon. The idea was to stage a spectacular bike ride for a large amount of people along the beautiful sea-to-sky highway.
Accommodating all levels
The GranFondo is divided into four categories to accommodate a range of cyclists and abilities.
GranFondo – This is the standard 122km ride for those who want to challenge themselves at their own pace. This is the most popular ride and will see elite racers alongside keen amateur cyclists.
Forte – New to this year is the extended GranFondo which will see a lot more elevation and distance for those wishing to push it just a bit further. This ride is 152km.
Medio – The Meido is for those who aren’t quite ready for the full 122km. This ride is a more conservative 55km from Squamish to Whistler. Be warned though, there is still a lot of elevation!
Alta Classe – This is the VIP package for the standard 122km for those who want a special ride. It will see you rubbing shoulders with the celebrity riders as well as the benefit of having no queues!
There are many ways to get involved in the event. Obviously, the best way is to take part and grab your bike – you can register HERE.
But for people who don’t particularly want to face such a tough ride but still want to get involved, there is always volunteering.
Volunteers can help out all along the course, whether its helping to set up the start, packing up the finish, or handing out water and energy drinks throughout the route.
GranFondo in Whistler
There will be events happening all day in Whistler at the Olympic Plaza for people wanting to take part. The award ceremony will be taking place once all riders have completed the ride and there will also be live music throughout the day.
There will be food and refreshments as well as beautiful beer gardens and for any families, there is Whistler’s incredible four-season playground for the children.
GranFondo is one of many events that comes to Whistler over the summer and as always it is one not to be missed. Much like Ironman it is a chance to see incredible elite athletes at the peak of their form and come together as a community to enjoy it.
If you’re planning to visit Whistler or Vancouver for or during the event, it is a good idea to do your travelling on Thursday or Friday. Otherwise it could take a rather long time!
Motorists can expect delays of up to three hours during the event and should be aware of a speed limit change to 60 km/h along highway 99. You can see all travel changes on the GranFondo websiteHERE.