Ready Set Pedal

A charity bike ride has changed my life :)

Gastown Grand Prix: July 11 2012

A day after the UBC Grand Prix…. is the legendary Gastown Grand Prix. This GP went on a 3-year hiatus due to lack of sponsorship funding ….  Global Relay, a Gastown-based technology firm has saved the day however and have brought this super prestigeous event to life again. Way to go Global Relay… and all the other sponsors who helped make this happen!

Twitter: @gastowngp

Facebook: Gastown Grand Prix

Many famous cyclists have raced in this important event over the decades, making the Gastown Grand Prix (GP) one of the most popular one-day bike races in North America.

Gastown Grand Prix 2006 Copyright: Greg Descantes

The Instigator:

Back in 1973, Dr. Roger Sumner, a Vancouver native and bike racer, organized a race with a primary goal of showing the public how spectacular top level bike racing in Canada COULD be.

He wanted to create a quality race that would be highly accessible to the public. Gastown, Vancouver’s popular historic district, has streets lined with cafes and restaurants and is in a central downtown location…. so it fit the bill. Sumner himself competed in the Gastown Grand Prix until 1978. He was later inducted into the BC Hall of Fame for his 30 years of service to the sport in the roles of racer, coach, manager and racing organizer. Tragically, he died in 2000 after being hit by a car while riding his bike!!

The Route:

Start & Finish line:  Intersection of Cambie and Water streets, site of Gastown world famous steam clock. Riders will travel west on Cambie into the hairpin turn at Water and Cordova. From there they’ll ride east on Cordova past The Cambie and past Army and Navy before turning left onto Carrall Street and left again around the Gassy Jack statue and back onto Water street towards the steam clock.

This isn’t a super long route…. judging by this event’s popularity & central location and some of the images I’ve seen … the streets will be hopping with spectators!

Women’s Race: Start Time: 6:15pm (30 laps – 36 km)

Men’s Race: Start Time: 7:30pm (50 laps – 60km)

Awards: Start Time: 9:15pm

A vintage clip of when Lance Armstrong won this race back in 1991 (Soooo vintage – the graphics, the fashion, the hairstyles!):

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