First G2G Challenge Tour shows promise - July 5, 2018
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Despite the unbearable heat over the weekend, organizer Grace Vanden Heuvel says the first-ever Canada Rides G2G (Goderich-to-Guelph Rail Trail) challenge tour was a success and will only continue to grow.
The tour welcomed 10 participants and travelled all over Huron and Perth Counties from Friday, June 29 to Monday, July 2. Vanden Heuvel said that not all cyclists completed the tour, but that was to be expected, even without the oppressive heat.
Vanden Heuvel said she knew the trail would be challenging thanks to the distances and the terrain, especially through Perth County.
However, Vanden Heuvel said that for a first-year event, the tour represented a great first step for the G2G organization, which is hoping to make it an annual event.
Those who did brave the heat and humidity, she said, seemed to have a great time and all got along over the course of the four days.
The tour began in Elmira and ended its first day in West Montrose before then travelling to Blyth and using it as an anchor location for Canada Day.
The cyclists left Blyth early Sunday morning, making it to Goderich in the morning to take in the sights and sounds of the town on Canada Day before making their way back to Blyth for fireworks that night.
The ride was then scheduled to make its way back through Perth County on Monday to finish the event.
While not everyone was able to finish the tour, one woman did, a 60-year-old from Edmonton, Vanden Heuvel said, which shows just how important the event can be to those who choose to participate.
While there was plenty of cheer and good spirits on the trail, things were also positive off of it, she said.
The tourism aspect of the event, Vanden Heuvel said, was also great. Those taking part in the event were able to absorb culture from throughout Huron and Perth Counties and interact with residents when they stopped, whether it was in Blyth or Goderich.
As for next year, Vanden Heuvel said the organization is planning on expanding the event and welcoming even more cyclists into the fold.
Getting that first event completed and in the books so she can learn from it, she said, is an important step in the process.
In the meantime, the trail is still looking for help in the form of fundraising and partnerships with adjacent landowners and local service groups to keep portions of the trail groomed throughout the year.
For more information, visit the trail website at g2grailtrail.com.