Pedal power ruled throughout Langley and parts of Abbotsford on Sunday.
The Prospera Valley GranFondo, the first of its kind ever held out of Langley, drew nearly 1,200 cyclists for its three rides.
This was one massive cycling event, designed primarily for amateurs. It included a 160kilometre GranFondo, an 80-km MedioFondo, and the Sylvan Family Fondo, for children between the ages of six and 12 and their parents.
George Lacny, the event's media relations manager, said the day went "really well."
"Everything ran smoothly," he said. "It was incredible. The traffic management plan worked flawlessly."
The GranFondo started and finished at the Fort Langley National Historic Site, with riders heading south to Zero Avenue and then along the flats of the Fraser Valley, before returning back to the Fort, making their way up and over Sumas Mountain along the way.
The MedioFondo cyclists stayed mostly in Langley and western Abbotsford.
Lacny said during the day, the response was overwhelmingly positive.
"Everyone crossing finish line said it was a phenomenal event, and they can't wait till next year," he said.
Clouds and cool weather moved in Sunday, giving the cyclists some relief from last week's sizzling mid-summer heat.
"The weather was perfect," Lacny said. "It was cool and made for just the right environment for cycling. We had a couple of little showers but they didn't hurt anyone."
The success of the GranFondo came as no surprise to Lacny, who described it as a "worldclass event."
"The comments we got back from the [cyclists from] four different U.S. states and four- Canadian provinces were that they were totally blown away with how beautiful the country roads and the scenery was, and how welcoming the people were in the area," Lacny said.
While times were recorded for the fastest male and female cyclists, and a hill-climb challenge determined who was able to summit Sumas Mountain the quickest, Lacny stressed the GranFondo was not a race, but rather a community event.
"What's more important for us was that this is a participatory kind of event," Lacny said. "That's what Granfondo is: it means big ride. It's like-minded people enjoying the scenery and countryside. Whoever crosses the finish line first- that's more for individual pride."
GranFondo 160 km Male - Tim Abercrombie - 4: 05: 53 Female - Sylvie Allen - 4: 38: 26
MedioFondo 80 km Male - Karl Probost - 2: 18: 29 Female - Terry Kornutiak - 2: 34: 05
Thule Hill Climb Challenge on Sumas Mountain (1.74 km climb) Male - Christian Meier - 4: 54 Female - Brenda Jelkin - 6: 19
Half of the proceeds from the GranFondo will go to Special Olympics BC, the event's charitable partner.
@ Copyright 2013