Once again, an international cycling event is coming to Grand Forks.
Robb’s Ride returns for its ninth year, a three-day fun but challenging event for serious road cyclists. This year’s route is centred in Grand Forks which makes it a boost to local businesses, particularly hotels and restaurants, and our local bike shop, Chain Reaction.
The Grand Forks Cycling Club is a staunch supporter of the annual event, which started in 2006 as an early season training event for a few, keen club members. The local cycling club is proud of its wonderful array of cycling routes for both road and mountain cyclists and is always looking for ways to promote safe and enjoyable cycling in this area.
Our local cycling enthusiast, Dr. Robb Sebastian, has put together an event for cyclist of all abilities. The three days of rides cover local and U.S. terrain. Day one starts at noon on Friday, May 29 with a police escorted ride through town. Cyclists appreciate the smiles and support of town folk who stop to applaud the riders as they pass through downtown before heading up the North Fork – Granby loop, a ride of 110 kilometres.
This year, day two is endurance day. Riders may choose from two challenging routes south of Grand Forks in Washington state. The shorter 107-kilometre ride up Boulder Pass climbs over 1,000 metres and the 180-kilometre Sherman Pass option tops 1,400 metres of elevation gain.
Both routes provide riders with the requisite climb that is integral to road cycling success and provide a huge sense of accomplishment once the summit has been reached.
The descent from these passes presents yet another challenge as riders reach speeds of up to 80 km/h. A fast descent is not for the faint of heart and, in cool weather, can be chilling in more ways than one!
Day three is a kinder, gentler ride as cyclists head to Greenwood for coffee and cyclist-inspired goodies at Deadwood Junction. This local gem is a huge supporter of all cyclists, whenever they arrive, and is a favourite fueling stop for Grand Forks Cycling Club members on their weekend rides.
It is amazing how much improvement a rider can gain in an intense three-day event like this. Riders new to the event are encouraged to train but are also advised by seasoned veterans that by day three, you can feel how much stronger you are!
Meals on Friday and Saturday evenings are locally sourced and draw on the heritage of the area. Saturday’s supper will be provided by local Doukhobor ladies who are cooking up a heritage meal of borscht and bread.
As always, safety is paramount to making any cycling event a success. Cyclists are advised to be aware they are sharing the road with motorists and we ask the same respect in return from those in vehicles.
Forgive us when we get chatting–sharing cycling stories or just plain visiting–and ride two-abreast. We realise this is not a good practice and most of us reserve it for lesser travelled roads.
There are times, however, when we are legitimately overtaking a slower rider or dropping back in a pace line; these instances of riding two-abreast cannot be avoided and we ask consideration of motorists with whom we share the road.
This is a beautiful part of British Columbia. Grand Forks Cycling Club and all his fellow Robb’s Riders thank Robb Sebastian for continuing to create this amazing cycling adventure for so many.
For more information, check out Robb’s web site at: sites.google.com/site/robbsride/ride-details.