Mark your calendar for Saturday, September 9th when several hundred cyclists will venture to Guysborough for the 2nd annual Lost Shores Gran Fondo.
Following the tremendous response to last year’s inaugural event, organizers expect nearly 500 riders to enjoy the undiscovered oceanfront scenery of Guysborough’s Lost Shores.
A totally non-competitive event, Gran Fondo is Italian for ‘big ride’ and focuses on enjoying the breathtaking scenery and friendly community spirit followed by a feast of craft beer, barbecued ribs and live music. Five different routes from 30 km to 130 km offer something for every level of fitness. “It’s all about having a safe and fun day riding bikes on some beautiful low traffic oceanfront roads,” explains event director Rob Carter.
The idea started two years ago with the Lost Shores cooperative marketing map highlighting the natural beauty and unhurried pace of eastern Guysborough County. The presence of a 90 km low traffic, oceanfront loop seemed like a great feature to attract tourists, photographers and bicyclists to explore the endless beaches, coves, wharves and lighthouses One hundred years ago, this area had a very prosperous fishing industry. Those times are mostly gone but the spectacular scenery and warm hospitality remains. Some of the best weather is in early September which makes September 9 an ideal date to showcase the beauty of Guysborough’s Lost Shores.
The event is a partnership between Municipality of Guysborough and local photography business Lost Shores Gallery. Last September’s inaugural event attracted 300 riders drawing rave reviews about the scenery, friendly smiles and the barbecued ribs meal. More than 100 volunteers helped with registration, rest stops and rider support. With limited local accommodations, many riders stayed in local homes. Residents were out in large numbers to cheer on the riders.
“I felt like I was in the Tour de France in Larrys River,” said several riders. “Best event we have ever attended,” according to one group of cyclists.
New for 2017 is the addition of the 120 km Tickle Loop, already the most popular choice with riders registered to date. An all new website provides route details including elevation profiles and photo tours of each route. Check out lostshoresgranfondo.ca to sit back and enjoy a scenic aerial tour or to register to join the party. There will also be more support this year for companions and families including childcare (ages 4-14), yoga classes, painting classes, even a mackerel fishing class at the Queensport wharf. Those with RVs and campers will appreciate the free overnight parking adjacent to the event site.
Support by the Guysborough Municipality keeps the admission price to only $99. Early birds registering before July 31 will also receive this year’s bold, bright event jersey featuring the Queensport Lighthouse. According to Guysborough Warden Vern Pitts, “Cycling is a new and growing concept for our municipality. Last year was our first Grand Fondo which was a huge success, and we’re looking forward to expanding and growing the numbers this year and for years to come.”