The GranFondo delighted 1,500 cyclists in Banff Saturday but 60 kids and one Banff Mayor couldn't have been happier about the pre-events on Friday when the FamilyFundo took over Central Park.
"These are great, great, great events. It's really fun for the families to come out. I think it is superb that we have the GranFondo here but this is just a great add on," said Banff Mayor Karen Sorensen.
While the mayor said she won't likely ride in a GranFondo, she was more than willing to bring out her yellow cruiser, complete with a basket, to lead the kids in a ride around the park.
Exactly 60 kids showed up for the FamilyFundo ride, each receiving a prize for their participation including a water bottle from the Bow Valley Primary Care Network, a T-shirt from the GranFondo and a chocolate from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.
Adding to the excitement around the FamilyFundo on Friday was Olympic flag bearer Simon Whitfield, and Alex Stieda, the first North American to win the yellow jersey in the Tour de France.
Both cyclists were riding in the GranFondo Saturday and came out Friday to meet and greet with the families and kids.
"It's fun. I love seeing the energy of kids and their youthful enthusiasm!" said Stieda who brought his bike and lead a ride around the park for the older kids.
According to Stieda, the bike culture in Canada seems to be growing. Even more exciting is that it's not just road bikes but every kind of biking style.
"That's the great thing about cycling you can do it at so many different levels. You can ride just to and from the store, you can ride with your kids, your kids can ride, you can ride when you're 80 years old," he said.
Stieda added that at an event like this it is good to see parents supporting their children in cycling.