I’m totally excited to be a guest blogger for the Tour de Greenbelt 2010!! I'll do my best to post fun, cool information about the Tour de Greenbelt on the Greenbelt’s blog @ greenbelt.posterous.com and my own blog @ rocketgirlblog.com. I’m stoked to talk to some past participants, some local producers and to do some “Touring” of my own this year too (I missed it last year due to a trip)!!
Here is the first of many posts about the Tour de Greenbelt 2010!
Mini-interview with Peter Hart and the Tour de Greenbelt!
Who is Peter Hart and what does he have to do with the Tour de Greenbelt?
I’m the president of PHL & Associates ltd., a Toronto based event management company that specializes primarily in developing and producing fundrasing events for the not-for-profit sector. I’ve been involved in both recreational and professional cycling since 1988 when I became ride director of the 1st annual ride for heart, a position that I have retained to this day. I’ve also been race director for a number of world class, televised pro-am cycling events, and is currently working in his third year as tour director for Tour de Greenbelt.
On a personal note, I’m an avid recreational cyclist and rides two bikes; one is a beautiful carbon fiber Specialized Tarmac pro which I use for longer, faster rides, and the second a Steve Bauer turbulence mountain bike, a real classic from the 80`s that was state-of-the-art in its’ day! I use it around town and when riding with friends who are either new to cycling or prefer riding shorter distances, bike paths…etc. I live in Newmarket so I can access literally 100's of km's of peaceful, scenic country roads within ten minutes riding from my house!
How is the Tour different this year from last year’s Tour?
This year we are truly celebrating the concept of “meander!”. We are focusing on three unique routes for each of the four days of the Tour de Greenbelt, so twelve routes in total. For the first time this year, we have 100% traffic free routes that range in length from 1-10km, or more if riders choose to do more loops. These rides have been designed specifically for families with small children that are not yet comfortable cycling on the open road, and they actually get to choose their own distance! The Nokiidaa trail in York region and the vineyard of Henry of Pelham in Niagara are two examples of these short routes; both are spectacular!
For novice cyclists or those wishing to really take their time and enjoy a liesurely ride, we have four “meander” routes averaging 20-30 km in length. These are relatively flat rides through beautiful countryside that are “user-freindly” to even a brand new cyclist who just bought their bike on Thursday!
The “long haul” routes tend to be 40-55 km in length, and are perfect for those who maybe ride once or twice a week and have a few miles on their bike already this year. While being a bit more challenging than the meander routes, as Tour de Greenbelt is not a race but rather a relaxed, recreational ride through the Greenebelt. Participants can take their time, stopping frequently to enjoy the many “experiences” that we are offering this year!
Name 3 exciting things you can see on the Tour de Greenbelt this year!
There are so many!
1. The “dirty hands project” at Henry of Pelham winery in Niagara. Short route cyclists (and others if they choose to) will experience a personally guided tour of the vineyard where adults and children alike will have the opportunity to cycle through the vineyard, stopping to taste wine (and grapejuice for the kids!) Right beside the very grapes that it came from! Feel the soil, squeeze the grapes, enjoy the unique experience…hence the name “dirty hands” project!
2. Corn maze at Coopers Farm in Durham region! Kids (both big and small!) Will have the unique opportunity to navigate an actual living corn maze as one of the “greenbelt experience” stops along the route! And this year for the first time we are offering “the greenbelt express” which is a free pick-up service for any local produce, wine, baked goods…etc purchased along the way! Our Greenbelt express van will follow the last rider and pick up all of the name-tagged items that have been purchased and bring them back to the finish area, where they can be claimed with the other half of the claim tag by the purchasers, then loaded into their vehicles for the trip home!
3. An apple orchard in Niagara, where tour participants will be able to take a break along their ride and pick some fresh apples to take home later that day! Plus there will be hayrides for kids as well as assorted crafts and children’s games, so great fun for all ages!
Which Tour route are you most excited for?
I love them all! There are a few favourites though; the Jordan valley ride in Niagara is absolutely stunning in its beauty and serneity…all lush green valleys and winding country roads, and traveling right through the incredibly quaint and lovely town of Jordan. Another is the York region long haul route which winds through the Greenbelt and at one point circles around musselman’s lake in Whitchurch Stouffville…lakeside riding at it’s best! Another is the Durham meander route that passes by several of the Durham regional forest tracts…widely acknowledged as some of the best trail systems in Canada!”
Please visit www.tourdegreenbelt.ca for more information or to register for this year’s Tour!
See you on the roads!
Rocket Girl 2010