Kids benefit from GranFondo

Expect road closures while GranFondo bike tour rolls through Lake Country Saturday, July 14.

Kyle Zachodnik with his mom Adriana  Zachodnik and Cam Donald from Lake  Country Cycle

Kyle Zachodnik with his mom Adriana Zachodnik and Cam Donald from Lake Country Cycle

The RBC GranFondo Kelowna will be held July 14 and the growing event has several new elements that involve Lake Country.

The GranFondo is part of the growing sport tourism sector and thousands of people are expected to come to the Okanagan over the July 14 weekend to participate as riders, spectators or volunteers.

Two young people in Lake Country have already experienced tangible benefits from the race. Base funding of $1,000 was donated to the Lake Country chapter of KidSport to purchase bikes and helmets for two deserving young riders from Lake Country Cycle. Kyle Zachodnik has already been enjoying his new gear.

“We hope that with the bike and helmet provided, the children will be able to find a passion and develop skills in cycling that lead them on the path of a healthy lifestyle,” said Sheila Gunn, committee member of Lake Country KidSport.

“We anticipate upcoming Lake Country youths to have sights set on completing in a GranFondo in the future.”

There is the chance that a third bike will be given to a Lake Country child, but that is on the volunteer shoulders of Lake Country’s new Economic Development officer, Ryan Roycroft.

Roycroft put on his game face and volunteered to be the staff member to participate in a friendly competition between Kelowna, Vernon and Lake Country to see which community could win a ‘medio’ or half GranFondo race.

Roycroft will be racing the southern portion of the GranFondo loop from Vernon to Kelowna. The prospect of pedaling the large hills has him slightly concerned. “The first thing I did after volunteering was email around the office and see if anyone had a bike I could borrow,” said Roycroft.

He has been training since the July long weekend and right now his goal is to simply finish the race. “It will be a good challenge, a manager or councilor was invited to participate and this is a really neat opportunity to showcase the community.”

For the safety of all the GranFondo participants, the route will involve some temporary road closures.

The route is 122 km long and will touch on three major Okanagan lakes.  Lake Country will host the route on its northward swing through Okanagan Centre and Carr’s Landing. On the southward portion of the route, it will proceed through Oyama and Winfield.

Road Closures:

• Safe Harbour from approximately 10 p.m. July13 to 9 a.m. July 14.

• Okanagan Centre Road West 7-9 a.m. July 14. No left turns permitted from Camp Road onto Okanagan Centre Road West until all event participants have passed.

• Carr’s Landing Road northbound between Okanagan Centre Rd & Commonage Rd. 7:30-9:30 a.m.

• Commanage Road northbound between Carr’s Landing Road and Lake Country boundary 7:30-9:30 a.m.

• Hwy 97 to Oyama: southbound shoulder lane from Vernon to Old Mission Road in Lake Country closed 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Hwy 97 southbound lanes speed reduced to 70 km/h.

• Oyama Road eastbound and southbound 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. No turning onto Oyama Road from the highway.

• Woodsdale Road westbound and Oceola northbound 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. .

• Okanagan Centre Road East, Davidson, Bond, Chase, Dick, Seaton eastbound lanes 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

• Intersection of Hwy 97 and Oceola Road in Flash 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Check for an interactive traffic map of the full route.