Participants at the inaugural Lighthouse to Lighthouse Gran Fondo experienced a beautiful, albeit occasionally muddy, course.
Submitted by Tim Little

The Bruce Peninsula Biosphere Association was delighted with the success of its debut “Lighthouse to Lighthouse” Gravel Gran Fondo, bike ride held on October 6th.

Riders of every age and ability came from every corner of the province, to take part in this new and most ambitious event to date. EcoAdventures was launched in 2017 to inform visitors about the ecology of the Bruce through active outdoor tours and to encourage sustainable local economic development. 

After a send-off from Mayor McIver and ride director Mike Campbell, 265 biking enthusiasts set out on a back roads adventure up the Bruce from the Lion’s Head beach to Cabot Head or Jackson’s Cove. And then back again! Riders had plenty of ready help along their routes from roadside marshals, snack crews, a medical assistance team, back up bike trailers and a rear-guard sweep at the ready. The snack booth butter tarts were reportedly a big enroute hit.

Snack crews were on hand for the duration of the race, even offering butter tarts, which were reportedly a big enroute hit.

After a sometimes-muddy adventure, riders trickled in after a few hours and were provided with a nourishing Lions Cub lunch and a Mudtown Brewery ale at the finish line. 

Most encouraging was the feedback from riders themselves: “…beautiful route!” “Well organized…and fabulous food!”

Biosphere Association Board Chair Elizabeth Thorn expressed her deep appreciation for all the generous Gran Fondo sponsors, “In a small community, businesses are repeatedly called on to support good causes. We are so very grateful the business community places a high value on the conservation and sustainable economic development goals of the Biosphere Association. Continuing support makes events like this feasible as do the hundred volunteers who contribute their time. Without the incredible leadership of Board member Mike Campbell this wonderful event would not have happened.”

Mike Campbell praised the dozens of ride volunteers who provided baking, registration, site preparations, marshalling, feed stations and emergency services. He also thanked our many sponsors.

A key Fondo supporter was the Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula which embraced the Biosphere Association’s new event early on and offered a lot of timely assistance.

Thanks to the Fondo 2019 sponsors, all proceeds from the event, expected to surpass $24,000, will go directly to support local Biosphere Association’s conservation, stewardship and education programs designed to help safeguard the clean waters, forests and biodiversity of the peninsula. 

Plan early for 2020 as this inaugural event sold out early!