Thousands of riders set to race through Langley streets

The fifth Valley GranFondo is in Fort Langley on Sunday.

Thousands of cyclists will be taking to Langley streets this weekend as part of the Prospera Valley GranFondo.

There are a series of different rides, ranging in distance from 50 to 160 km, plus a number of other cycling challenges set up as part of the GranFondo, which starts and ends at the Fort Langley National Historic Site on Sunday.

The GranFondo Imperial Century is a 100-mile ride for the avid recreational to advanced riders.

There’s also a 100-km Medio ride, and a 50-km Presto ride, the latter perfect for beginners wanting a taste but not yet ready for the big event.

There’s also the Ride for Hope, an event raising money for Canuck Place children’s hospice, a hill climb challenge, and a team event.

Much more information on all aspects of the day are available at www.valleygranfondo.com.

The GranFondo was founded in 2012 by a group of cycling enthusiasts in Langley and is now, according to organizers, the biggest mass participation cycling event in the Fraser Valley that keeps growing each year.

It’s also, apparently, one of the top 10 granfondos in the country.

In addition to being a multi-level cycling event, it is also a fundraiser.

The GranFondo raises money to get youth active in cycling through a program called iRide.

The program inspires children and youth to develop their riding skills and increase their fitness level, said GranFondo director Marc Campbell.

“It is our hope to help kids at schools throughout the Fraser Valley take part in the iRide program to prepare the youth of today for a life of fitness and health and take part in great events like the Prospera Valley GranFondo,” Campbell said.

Leading up to Sunday’s events, more volunteers were still needed.

Approximately 300 volunteers make this weekend’s Propsera Valley GranFondo possible, Campbell said.

“Volunteering for PVGF is filled with fun, camaraderie, goodwill, and excitement,” he added, noting volunteers play a key role in creating an “unforgettable experience for riders, spectators, and special guests.

“Without these volunteers who offer their time, energy, support and enthusiasm we would not be able to put on this great event.”

To help, people are encouraged to go online.