Hundreds of cyclists to cross county on Monday

Cyclists tour through Picton. (Chad Ibbotson/Gazette file photo)

The Friends for Life Bike Rally and Great Waterfront Trail Adventure come to Prince Edward County next week.

A news release issued by the municipality on Tuesday says 350 participants are expected to cycle through the county on Monday, July 30.

Both rides take place over six days, heading east toward the Quebec border. Each day the cyclists cover between 40 and 110 kilometres with the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure (GWTA) beginning in Cobourg an the Friends for Life Bike Rally (F4LBR) taking off in Port Hope.

Mayor Robert Quaiff welcomed the riders on behalf of the county.

“I’m pleased to welcome these riders to our community,” Quaiff says in the release. “With gently rolling geography, bucolic views, waterfront vistas and a wealth of bike-friendly businesses — from wineries to art galleries to restaurants and cafes — we’re an ideal cycling destination for novice and experienced riders.”

About 150 of the cyclists will be taking part in the GWTA. Their route will mostly follow Loyalist Parkway and will make stops at Terra Restaurant in Consecon, Hillier Creek Estates Winery, Wellington Park, Slickers in Bloomfield, Bloomfield Bicycle Company, and Barley Days Brewery.

The F4LBR will feature 200 riders and who will travel along Lakeside Drive in Consecon to Melville Road and on to County Rd. 1. They’ll travel County Rd. 1 to Tripp Road and across to Old Belleville Road before travelling south into Picton via Talbot Street. They’ll head down Main Street across to Bridge Street and then continue on to the Glenora Ferry.

While the F4LBR riders will camp at Adolphus Reach, GWTA riders will spend the night in Picton.

GWTA began a decade ago and is intended as a showcase for Ontario as a world-class cycling destination and to help cyclists connect with the many communities that dot the waterfront trail.

Taking place for the last 20 years, the Friends for Life Bike Rally raises money to in support of those living with HIV. The event has featured more than 3,800 riders and crew members in that time and has raised more than $15 million for the Toronto People With AIDS Foundation (PWA).

In an effort to reduce its environmental footprint the F4LBR is seeking to curb the use of single-use plastic water bottles. Organizers are asking residents to set up water stations along the route to support the effort. Anyone interested in offering a tap or filling station can put a “water available for F4LBR support crews” sign on their lawn. Residents are welcome to put a limit on how many litres or gallons they are willing to offer.