Baie Sainte-Marie, Digby County - Registrations continue to mount for the Baie Sainte-Marie Gran Fondo, now the largest cycling event in Atlantic Canada, to be held Sept. 23.
As of July 10, there were 443 total registrations. There were 439 by that date last year.
In addition to over 400 Canadian entries, there are 24 from the United States, three from Germany and two from Australia.
This year, organizers partnered with the HeartLand Tour to offer four opportunities for participants to win their registration for free.
Early-bird registration ($99) is open until July 31, although registration will be available up until the morning of the event.
Road work that includes paving typically means delays and while this is the case this summer in Clare, the anticipated end result of the work being done is being touted by Gran Fondo promoters.
“We're pleased to share that there will be over 12 km of new pavement for your Gran Fondo rides in 2018,” said Larry Peach, tourism manager for the Municipality of Clare.
Four unique routes on low-traffic roads are being offered this year. Experienced riders will be challenged by the 160-km Super Gran and 120-km Gran routes, while intermediate and novice cyclists may prefer the shorter 67-km Medio or 35-km Piccolo rides.
New for 2018, a Mini Fondo (2 km and 4 km) for five-to-12-year-olds will take place Saturday, Sept. 22. There were 32 signed up for that event as of July 10. There will be a free day camp available on Sunday when the adults ride.
Most of the licensed accommodations in Clare are filling up quickly. There are also Airbnbs, private houses, camps, campers and rooms to rent for singles, couples, families and groups of riders. Call 902-769-0221 or message organizers from the Facebook page, and the committee will do its best to assist.
There are still plenty of campsites available at Belle Baie Park and Church Point Campground, situated just 15 minutes from the start.
More about registration
Swag bag and event jersey
Finish line with medals
Access to Saturday social
Nutrition stops during the rides
Post-ride meal. Choice of lobster in the shell, barbecue pork or, new for 2018, veggie chili.