Gran Fondo cycling event begins Aug. 23
© Guardian photo by Brian McInnis
Kerry and Ginny Dennehy lead a group of Island cyclists around Victoria Park in Charlottetown Saturday when they visited Charlottetown during their cross-Canada cycling trip to raise awareness and funds to fight mental illness. They lost their 17-year-old son Kelty to suicide in 2001.
CHARLOTTETOWN – As a three-day road bicycle event approaches, drivers should be particularly aware of cyclists on our roadways, says the province’s transportation minister.
“Visitors are exploring our province by bicycle, and it’s important to remember that cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities on our roadways as motorists,” Robert Vessey said.
“Drivers should slow down when encountering cyclists, use care and allow plenty of room when passing them, and be aware of their location at all times.”
Staying alert for cyclists will be especially critical when Cycling P.E.I.’s first-ever Gran Fondo riding event brings more than 200 cyclists to Island roads from Aug. 23 to 25.
Riders will travel routes ranging from 57 km to 145 km that begin and end in Charlottetown.
“A great deal of planning and cooperation has gone into making this event as safe as possible,” said Mark Carr-Rollitt, Gran Fondo P.E.I. event manager. “Driver awareness is essential, but cyclists will do their part by making sure they are visible with brightly coloured clothing, reflectors and lights on their bikes, and by riding
responsibly and in groups whenever possible.
Under the province’s Highway Traffic Act, cyclists traveling on roadways must wear an approved safety helmet, avoid riding next to any other cyclist, keep both hands on the handlebars, and other specifics. For more on cycling safety, visit www.gov.pe.ca/bicyclesafety (click on “Safety”).
Beginning Friday, Aug. 23 Gran Fondo riders will travel in small groups on a 58 km
ride to Cornwall and on to Canoe Cove and back.
On Aug. 24, the weekend’s main ride will take cyclists on a 145.7 km loop out of Charlottetown along the Lower Malpeque Road to Hunter River, New Glasgow, Stanley Bridge, Cavendish, North Rustico, Prince Edward Island National Park Brackley, Grand Tracadie, Mount Stewart, and Stratford across the Hillsborough Bridge.
In Chartlottetown there will be road closures from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 24, there will be rolling closures of Queen Street, Belvedere Avenue, North River Road,
and Lower Malpeque Road to assist cyclists as they leave Charlottetown.
From noon to 4 p.m., one lane of the Hillsborough Bridge and Water Street will be closed to assist riders as they return to Charlottetown.
Lead and support vehicles will accompany participants throughout the ride, and signs as well as personnel from the Charlottetown Police, RCMP, and Department of Transportation will help direct motorists.
On Sunday, Aug. 25, riders will travel 58 km to Stratford on to China Point and back.
For more information including a complete route map, visit
www.granfondo-pei.ca or contact Mark Carr-Rollitt at 902-629-5798.