Hi friends. We are happy to continue our list of most popular cycling events in Canada (2023/2024)
4) Blue Mountains Gravel Fondo
The Blue Mountains Gravel Fondo is a newly inaugurated event spearheaded by Cycling Events Ontario, a non-profit ensemble composed of cycling enthusiasts dedicated to introducing secure and stimulating cycling occurrences in Ontario. Come October, this event, part of the UCI Gravel World Series, serves as a stepping stone for qualification to the UCI Gravel World Championship in Veneto, Italy.
The course options for the Blue Mountains Gravel Fondo encompass a lengthy route spanning 76 miles with an ascent of 4800 feet, and a more condensed route of 48 miles elevating 2800 feet. The layout of these courses has been meticulously crafted in collaboration with some of the region’s seasoned gravel riders, with paramount emphasis placed on rider safety. The orchestrated pathway promises a blend of challenges, with certain stretches favoring power riders amidst open, breezy expanses of broad gravel roads. In contrast, other segments feature short, sharp ascents where climbers can gain an edge. Further, some car-restricted stretches allow riders with superior bike maneuvering capabilities to pull ahead. The entire trail offers a visually stunning ride for all participants. Adhering to right of way principles is integral to the ethos of the UCI Gravel series, which underscores a rider-centric experience in this event.
Sponsored by TREK, the UCI Gravel World Series is an ensemble of UCI-endorsed races conducted globally. With 15-20 qualifying rounds, the top 25% of participants from each age group earn a ticket to the UCI Gravel World Championships, where victors are honored with the prestigious UCI rainbow jersey. This series is modeled on the well-received UCI Gran Fondo World Series initiated in 2011, which paved the way for UCI Gran Fondo World Championships, attracting up to 8000 riders in events and a yearly championship boasting 3000 contenders. Catering to both elite riders and master cyclists as well as cyclo tourists, these events encapsulate long-distance biking races on predominantly unsealed roads and trails, often embarking on an adventurous journey amidst natural splendors. The Highlands Gravel Classic, held in June in Fayetteville, Arkansas, is the sole other event of this series hosted in North America.
Nestled in Ontario, Canada, Thornbury is a quaint hamlet situated on Georgian Bay’s edges, a modest 100 miles NW of Toronto. The town is enveloped by awe-inspiring natural vistas including the Niagara Escarpment, the Beaver Valley, and the Blue Mountains. With its undulating hills, verdant woodlands, and pristine lakes, the locale is a magnet for those with a penchant for the outdoors.
5) Gran Fondo Badlands
The Gran Fondo Badlands in Canada stands as a distinct road cycling affair, with its starting line intriguingly set at the foot of the world's tallest dinosaur statue, a grand 26.2 meters (86 feet) fiberglass Tyrannosaurus Rex. Established in 2011, Gran Fondo Badlands swiftly garnered attention when it relocated to the Drumheller Valley, nestled in the core of the Canadian Badlands. This relocation, coupled with remarkable rides and picturesque scenery inclusive of the Dinosaur Trail, Royal Tyrrell Museum, Bleriot Ferry, hoodoos, ancient villages, and numerous bridge traverses, propelled its popularity. The event has earned a high rating by Strambecco, being recognized as one of the top road cycling events in the Northwest.
With four diverse distance choices ranging from 50km to 162km, the event caters to riders spanning all skill levels. Regardless of the chosen distance, riders are treated to an array of hoodoos, extensive river and coulee views, and the distinctive “badlands” backdrop of the Dinosaur Valley. It’s an invitation to soak in the ambiance, relish the ferry crossing over the Red Deer River, and tackle some short yet demanding inclines. A hallmark of the event each year is the Ferry Hill Climb, a 1km timed stretch following the ferry disembarkation, with every participant's time recorded. The fastest climbers are heralded as King and Queen of the Mountain for each distance, receiving a prize pack. Participants are well-supported with aid and hydration stations along the route, and a dedicated WhatsApp group managed by TransRockies for resolving any inquiries.
Located northeast of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Drumheller is a town easily accessible from Banff, Calgary, or Red River. Situated at the town’s periphery, in Midland Provincial Park, is the Royal Tyrrell Museum, boasting a vast assemblage of dinosaur fossils. In the town center, a colossal model T-Rex, known as the “World’s Largest Dinosaur,” towers with a viewing platform within its jaws. Southeast of the town, the Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site delves into the coal-mining legacy of the Drumheller Valley. Drumheller has been the chosen locale for over 50 advertisements, television, and film productions, also housing the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, the hub of Canada’s most extensive dinosaur fossils collection. For lodging, the Canalta Jurassic Hotel or the Ramada Hotel & Suites are viable options, while the River Grove Campground & Cabins or Dinosaur RV Park cater to camping/RV preferences.
Now under the umbrella of the TransRockies Race Series, Gran Fondo Badlands is managed by the seasoned producer responsible for orchestrating challenging and unique endurance events since 2002. Beginning with the TransRockies Challenge mountain bike stage race in 2002, it expanded to include the TransRockies Run trail running stage race in Colorado in 2007. The TransRockies Race Series now oversees 11 events across 36 days annually in Alberta, British Columbia, Colorado, and Utah. The events under TransRockies are lauded for top-notch participant support and an engaging social ambiance. With bases in Calgary, Alberta, and Lakewood, Colorado, TransRockies has been proficiently organizing Gran Fondo cycling events since 2011, making it adept with the event format and participant needs.
6) TransRockies Singletrack 6
The TransRockies Singletrack 6 stands as a six-day mountain biking journey, epitomizing the finest rides across diverse biking locales in Western Canada. Every year, the race unveils a fresh route, presenting a unique blend of cross-country trails, breathtaking views, thrilling descents, and the finest singletrack trails that British Columbia has to offer. TransRockies Singletrack 6 has earned its place as a must-experience event, with Strambecco ranking it among the Best Mountain Bike Events in the Northwest and one of the Best Cycling Events in Canada.
Though full route maps are provided below, notable areas covered include Fernie, Crowsnest Pass, West Bragg Creek, and Canmore. Riders can anticipate a specially crafted stage route that encapsulates a spectrum of marathon cross-country loops with timed descents, tailored to accentuate the unique features of each stage locale. Over six consecutive days, participants will traverse diverse singletrack trails, ascending to high alpine, coasting across arid, desert-like terrains, and eventually descending through dense rainforests. For a condensed adventure, there’s the ST3, a 3-day alternative. The festive vibe in each host community offers both riders and their supporters an engaging experience, with an array of activities for both biking enthusiasts and casual visitors, all set against some of Canada’s most picturesque, hospitable, and inviting regions. A specially curated accommodation package is also on offer, providing a hassle-free and time-saving option for participants.
The year 2023 heralds the seventh rendition of the TransRockies Singletrack 6 adventure, while simultaneously marking the 20th anniversary of the event, formerly known as the TransRockies Challenge. This milestone edition will revive the original 2002 route from Fernie to Canmore, featuring the same host communities from the inaugural year of the TransRockies Challenge, but infused with the communal, fun-centered ethos that Singletrack 6 has become synonymous with recently. While some stages may evoke nostalgia among repeat participants, the route composition has been consistently refreshed and refined. A participant from last year's event raved, “Every facet of the race was simply splendid! The towns were delightful, trails exhilarating... somewhat challenging at moments... and the support was unparalleled,” - a sentiment echoed by numerous athletes.
Positioned in the southern interior of British Columbia, the Kootenay Rockies region, bordering Alberta and the United States, is a treasure trove of natural splendor, encompassing four National Parks (Yoho, Glacier, Mt. Revelstoke, Kootenay) and over 75 Provincial Parks. As you wander through this area, the majestic Rocky Mountains along with the Purcell, Selkirk, and Monashee ranges of the Columbia Mountains unveil a visual feast.
Since its inception in 2002, TransRockies has been a persistent presence in the Kootenay Rockies region, forging connections within major mountain biking communities. Under the banner of Kootenay Dirt Epic 8, these communities encompass Fernie, Kimberley, Rossland, Nelson & Kaslo, Golden, Revelstoke, Cranbrook, and Invermere/Panorama. Riding through these terrains, one is enveloped in stunning mountain and valley vistas. The mountain biking trails in British Columbia’s Kootenay Rockies are undeniably among the most pristine and captivating.
TransRockies Singletrack 6 is a brainchild of the TransRockies Race Series, the seasoned entity known for orchestrating challenging and distinctive endurance events since 2002. Commencing with the TransRockies Challenge mountain bike stage race in 2002, the portfolio expanded to include the TransRockies Run trail running stage race in Colorado in 2007. The TransRockies Race Series now hosts 11 events spread over 36 days annually in Alberta, British Columbia, Colorado, and Utah. TransRockies Events are known for top-tier participant support, a lively social milieu, and are home to some of Strambecco’s favorites like the TranSelkirks Run and Gran Fondo Badlands.
Now you know about 6 cool cycling events in different parts of Canada. There's truly something to see here for extreme sports enthusiasts and eco-friendly transportation aficionados. When we at Movin Mobility participated in such races, it became clear that a standard 15A battery would definitely not last even for a third of such routes, but a 25A battery performed better. We haven't yet dared to participate in mountain races (for that, we will soon release a special model E-mountain bike), but on the highway or country road, our e-bike handled wonderfully and 25A lasted for 130 km of riding, which is 35-50% of the entire route. We continue to come up with ideas on how to increase the battery capacity without adding weight and without compromising the safety of our e-bike. Come to our store and see for yourself what we've achieved (Movin Mobility - 654 College Street, Toronto).
More to come, there are still 3 cycling events awaiting in the final article of this series.