Now in its third year, the annual Prospera Valley GranFondo (PVGF), which takes place on July 20 this year, is a celebration of community, sport and healthy living.
Founded in 2012 by a group of cycling enthusiasts in Langley, it’s the biggest mass participation cycling event in the Fraser Valley, attracting upwards of 1,000 cyclists of all ages and skill levels. Since it started, the PVGF has been enthusiastically embraced by the community and each year it gets bigger and better. This year, the event will offer three options for riders including the 50km PrestoFondo, the 88km MedioFondo and the big ride, the 160km GranFondo.
Giving back is an important part of the Prospera Valley GranFondo and during the first two years, the event has donated $40,000 to Special Olympics BC. This year organizers are very excited to welcome a second community partner, Cycling BC, in support of the iRide School Program. For seven years, iRide has been providing free school and community cycling programs for elementary school aged children, primarily in the Okanagan and the Lower Mainland. Last year 1,200 youth participated in the program and this year it is expected 3,500 more will take part. The primary objectives of the iRide Program; to inspire children and youth to develop their bike riding skills, increase their fitness level and realize the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle are all ones that are equally important to the organizers and sponsors of the Prospera Valley GranFondo. Through the partnership with the Prospera Valley GranFondo, the iRide Program will be expanded to include a number of schools throughout the Fraser Valley.
“We’re committed to making our communities healthier and stronger and cycling is a fantastic way to encourage youth to get outside, have fun and spend time with friends and family,” says Bruce Howell, President and CEO of Prospera Credit Union, founding and title sponsor of the Prospera Valley GranFondo. “Bringing the iRide Program to schools in the Fraser Valley is a great way to promote cycling and ensure that kids have the knowledge and awareness to stay safe when they venture out.”
“Cycling BC is extremely grateful to have partnered with the Prospera Valley GranFondo to create new iRide Schools Programming,” says Richard Wooles, Executive Director of Cycling BC. “Our organizations share a common goal of getting kids on bikes and teaching them how to safely have fun.”
“We look forward to working with the Prospera Valley GranFondo to book new schools with the Cycling BC iRide curriculum and see these new programs happen,” says Dr. Stephen Berg, Schools and Youth Manager with Cycling BC.
“Being involved with Cycling BC and their iRide Program is an excellent way to not only give back to youth, but to promote cycling at an early age as part of a healthy lifestyle,” says Marc Campbell, Event Director of the PVGF. “Families are more likely to participate together in whatever their kids are active in and the iRide Program is a great vehicle to build confidence and pave the way for kids to one day participate in events like the Prospera Valley GranFondo.”
The Prospera Valley GranFondo has something for everyone, from seasoned cyclists to novice riders. Created by the Canadian Velo Event Management Society (a not-for-profit incorporated in British Columbia) it attracts more than 1,000 cyclists to the Fraser Valley for a scenic day of cycling that begins and ends in beautiful Fort Langley. It’s an event that requires 250 enthusiastic volunteers to make it happen. Talk about people power! If you would like to experience the excitement of this amazing event for yourself, either as a volunteer or rider, visit valleygranfondo.com for more information or check out their Facebook page.