Growing Bluewater International Gran Fondo to star in new documentary
A new documentary will tell the story of the Bluewater International Granfondo and how it has supported end-of-life care while expanding cycling culture in Sarnia-Lambton
"Sarnia-Lambton’s big cycling event is headed to the big screen and will be of quality suitable for CBC and Netflix,” said event founder Ken MacAlpine.
The documentary will be directed by veteran journalist Jennifer Mossop with production by Sarnia’s Dragonfly Media Inc. They hope to distribute the 40-minute film to broadcasters and festivals this fall.
“If we can, through this film, show what some communities can do to help… and spread it in a similar manner to what, say, the Terry Fox road race did across Canada… it would be great.” continued MacAlpine.
In its first three years the Gran Fondo raised $140,000 which supports St. Joseph’s Hospice and the palliative care unit at Bluewater Health, as well as an annual palliative care conference in Grand Bend attended by more than 100 doctors and nurses each September.
Like many North American Gran Fondo's the ride is not a traditional race, but have timed sections for more competitive riders.
The Bluewater International Gran Fondo was ranked #1 in Ontarion, #2 in Canada, and #14 in North America in 2019 by Gran Fondo Guide.
This year’s event on August 4th will once again begin and end in Bright’s Grove. It’s expected to be the largest yet with the addition of a new route for beginners and additional training rides.
Organizers added a 30-kilometre ride to existing routes of 50, 100 and 150 kilometres so the day would appeal to all levels of cyclists, from those “who just got off the couch” to the pros, MacAlpine said.
The first year drew 500 riders and the numbers have increased steadily, said MacAlpine, who expects more than 900 this summer. Each year, organizers have had to cut off registration even though more wanted to sign up.
Cyclists arrive with all skill levels and from places as far away as Mexico and Europe.
The Ontario First Responder Road Cycling Championships also takes place during the event.
A pre-event dinner is planned for Aug 3, featuring guest speaker Hunter Allen, an expert cycling coach and author.
There are only a handful of places left, the ride has sold out in advance every year.
For more, visit www.bigf.ca