With the deadline to register for this year’s Kootenay Rockies Gran Fondo counting down to 11:59 p.m. Aug. 31, another entertainment headliner has been added to the big party taking place at the end of the event Sept. 7.
Singer-songwriter and Juno Award winner Barney Bentall will join the local group “The Testers” at the party, which takes place at the St. Eugene Golf Resort and Casino, the starting and finishing point of the event.
“How cool is that,” says Al Davis of the Cranbrook Sunrise Rotary Club, which is organizing the event along with major sponsor Taylor Adams Chartered Accountants.
Bentall last appeared at the Peterborough Music Festival Aug. 6 and rose to fame as a solo artist founding the Legendary Hearts in the mid-1980’s. He later became a rancher in B.C.’s Cariboo region recording hits such as “Gift Horse” and “Flesh and Bones” and formed a new band The Bonaparte’s. orse Horse
Some 300 riders are expected to register for the second annual fondo which consists of three courses; the “Piccolo 57 km, the Medio 102 km and the Gran 152 km. All the routes run from St. Eugene to Kimberley along the Rails to Trails bike route with the longest also taking in Wasa and Fort Steele before returning to the St. Eugene Pavilion for the windup dinner and party.
In recent years Gran Fondos have become a world-wide phenomenon with some participants treating them as a race and others as fun recreational events. In addition to prizes awarded, Fondos are often used as fund-raisers, which is the case which is the case with Rotary, which will use the money raised for various Rotary charitable projects as well as donating some of the money raised to the Northstar Rails to Trails Society.
Registration can be completed online in less than five minutes at www.KRGF.ca . Any other information registrants need can be found at the Kootenay Rockies Gran Fondo site on Facebook.
In addition to a continental breakfast, every rider in the event will get a swag bag with a T-shirt, water bottle, mini-flashlight and a course map to help them through the route. There will also be prizes awarded for the Best Team Spirit and King and Queen of the Mountain Award for the fastest time up the grueling, Fort Steel Hill.
The event is expected to give a major boost to the local economy with participants coming from all over the Kootenays as well as Alberta, other parts of Canada and the western US.
Submitted by the Cranbrook Sunrise Rotary Club