The 2017 GranFondo gets underway in Fort Langley. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

PHOTO SLIDE SHOW: GranFondo ride held in Fort Langley

1,500 riders take part in annual ride through Langley and Abbotsford

About 1,500 riders took part in the sixth annual prospera Valley GranFondo Sunday morning at the Fort Langley Historical Site.

That’s about as big as the annual ride needs to get, event director Marc Campbell said.

“We’re right around where we typically are,” Campbell told The Times shortly after the last rider departed.

“I think we’re ahead of last year by probably 50 or 60 people, so we’re around that 1,500 mark.”

Because Fort Langley is a small community and the parking is limited, that is the maximum number of participants, Campbell said.

“We want to keep it intimate,” Campbell said.

“We’re not looking to to grow too big. If we can pay our bills and donate to our charities, then we’re all good.”

The event has raised about $25,000 every year for charity, but this year could be above average thanks to London Drugs Ride for Hope which raises funds for Canuck Place Children’s Hospice.

Campbell said there is a lot of support for Canuck Place, which provides care for newborns, children and teens living with life-threatening illness and their families.

“I think we might go over (the $25,000 average), Campbell said.

“I heard two guys alone raised $6,000. And we also got a donation for that (Canuck Place) for $5,000 or $6,000. Plus there’s a team of people that are out there raising (funds).

The prospera Valley GranFondo started in 2012, created by Canadian Velo Event Management Society, a not-for-profit incorporated society develops and manages cycling events by partnering with community organizations and businesses.

The GranFondo, which has three routes for riders ranging from seasoned cyclists to novices: the 50-km PrestoFondo, the 88-km MedioFondo and the 160-km GranFondo.Each ride begins and ends in Fort Langley and takes riders through the scenic Fraser Valley. To All Proceeds from the event go to youth cycling programs in BC including Cycling BC’s iRide School Program, DEVO, Global Relay Bridge the GAP, and the London Drugs Ride for Hope.

The day before the GranFondo, kid’s events were held at the Langley Events Centre, for young racers with categories that included “Two Wheelers 6 and under” and “Two Wheelers 7-9.”

 

Some of the 1,500 riders who took part in the 2017 prospera Valley GranFondo in Fort Langley. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

A race organizer gives riders their direction of travel at the start of the prospera Valley GranFondo. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

GranFondo graphic.

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