Toronto September 12, 2009 – Unicycles, tricycles or just your regular road bike – bring them all out as the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation kicks off the 2009 Tour de Greenbelt. The Tour, a fresh air festival on wheels, explores all that Ontario’s Greenbelt has to offer—fresh, local food, rural hospitality and fun recreation. Mountain Equipment Co-op, Canada’s leading outdoor retailer as well as Enbridge and Aeroplan are all sponsors of the Tour.
On your mark. Get set. Meander. This family-oriented cycling event, held over two weekends has four distinct routes with visits to farms, farmers’ markets, wineries and historic sites. End-of-ride barbecues feature delicious, local Greenbelt food.
“Good food, good people and a great ride -- there’s no need to empty your wallet for a blockbuster vacation when all you need is right here in your own backyard,” said Burkhard Mausberg, President of the Greenbelt Foundation. “Cycling through Ontario’s Greenbelt allows everyone to explore what’s beyond our city streets at their own pace.”
Designed for fun, rather than competition, this family-oriented cycling Tour is both accessible and affordable to all, with numerous attractions and a variety of rest stops along the way. Described as a ‘fresh air festival on wheels,’ theTour takes place over four fully paved, marshaled routes. Each route features three different lengths of 25, 50 and 100 km.
The four routes include:
- Saturday, September 12 – St. Catharines/ Niagara: Starts and ends at Henry of Pelham Winery. Points of interest include Balls Falls, Ridge Point Winery, Jordan Valley and the Town of Pelham.
- Sunday, September 13 – Burlington/Halton: Starts and ends at the MEC store on Brant Street in Burlington. Points of interest include Confederation Park, Mounstberg Conservation Area, the Niagara Escarpment and Andrews Scenic Acres.
- Saturday, September 26 – Newmarket/Lake Simcoe: Starts and ends at the Newmarket Main Street Farmers’ Market. Points of interest include the market as well as the Nokiidaa Trail System, Lake Simcoe, Mussleman’s Lake and the Briars Inn.
- Sunday, September 27 – Toronto/Durham: Starts and ends at the Greenwood Conservation Area. Points of interest include Rouge Valley Park, hamlet of Whitevale and several area farms.
Registration for each of the days opens at 8:30 a.m. and rides begin at 10 a.m. The Tour costs only $40 per person per day to register and is free for children 14 and under who are accompanied by an adult (up to 2 children per adult). Riders are encouraged to register prior to the event online at www.tourdegreenbelt.ca or call 1-888-960-0030 but registration also takes place the day of.
At the end of each route, riders will enjoy a chance to rest and mingle with fellow riders while enjoying freshly prepared local Greenbelt food – all included in the price of your ride!
The Tour de Greenbelt is carefully organized to support all riders. Special transport is available for those who do not wish to complete the full day’s ride. Emergency Medical Services and bicycle repair support are also available.
The Tour was first held in 2008 as a partnership between the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation and Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC), Canada’s leading outdoor retailer, and attracted more than 1,000 riders. The event introduces Ontarians to the importance of the Greenbelt to the quality of life in southern Ontario.
Possibility grows in the Greenbelt. Wrapping around the Golden Horseshoe, the Greenbelt is 1.8 million acres of potential to make Ontario a better place. Encompassing the Niagara Escarpment, the Oak Ridges Moraine, Rouge Park, hundreds of rural towns and villages and some 7,100 farms, Ontario's Greenbelt is the largest and most diverse in the world.
The Greenbelt Foundation began in June 2005 as an independent, charitable foundation with a mandate to promote and sustain our Greenbelt as a beneficial, valuable, and permanent feature, enhancing the quality of life for Ontario residents.
For further information and promotional material, please visit www.tourdegreenbelt.ca, and contact:
Gwen Young, Communications Assistant, Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, cell: 416-523-0886, gyoung - at - greenbelt.ca
Peter Hart, Tour de Greenbelt Manager, Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, 647-224-0634, peterh - at - tourdegreenbelt.ca
Jennifer Asselin, Communications Manager, Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, 416-960-0001 ext. 310, jasselin - at - greenbelt.ca