With thousands of riders taking to the roads throughout Penticton on Sunday, July 9, the City would like to remind residents in advance of the upcoming road closures and opportunities to join in the fun. Also, drivers should watch for increased bicycle traffic throughout the community starting next week, with many participants arriving in advance to train and enjoy an extended stay.
“We’re excited to welcome the 3,000 cyclists plus supporters back to Penticton for the Okanagan Granfondo Penticton. Events like these add energy and vibrancy to our city, showcasing our landscape and our hospitality to the world,” says Mayor Julius Bloomfield. “Let’s show the visitors a warm welcome and we hope you take part in all the free entertainment this event has to offer.”
Whether you plan to cheer on the athletes, work as a volunteer, or simply kick back in the beverage garden, there are multiple ways to soak up the energy of this event. Here are some options.
Everyone is invited to explore the Okanagan Granfondo Cycling Expo, which will have exhibitors and the opportunity to try out or purchase cycling gear. Registration is now open for the popular Kids’ Piccolofondo event, which will take place on Saturday, July 8, open to ages 2-10. Kids can do a 400 metre or 5km circuit as they loop past Okanagan Lake. Register online at okanagangranfondo.com.
On Saturday, the Penticton & Area Cycling Association (PACA) will be hosting a free kids’ event at Rotary Park at 12 noon, which will include an obstacle course. Also on Saturday, PACA and Freedom Bike Shop will be running mountain bike shuttle tours of the Three Blind Mice mountain biking trails for $15. To register for either of these events, visit the PACA booth at the Okanagan Granfondo Cycling Expo.
The race is seeking volunteers for a variety of positions on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday. More details and an event schedule is available at okanagangranfondo.com.
Road closures on Saturday, July 8
Lakeshore Drive between Winnipeg Street and Riverside Drive will be closed from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. for the Kids’ Piccolofondo event. Main Street from Lakeshore Drive to Westminster Avenue will remain closed until 5 p.m. Sunday, July 9.
Road closures on Sunday, July 9
Residents should expect large sections of Main Street to be closed from 5 a.m. until 3:30 pm. The event starts at 7 a.m. on Main Street near Lakeshore Drive, travels along Lakeshore Drive up Vancouver Hill and Lower Bench Road to Corbishley Avenue. Riders will connect to Upper Bench Road North, returning via Johnson Road and Haven Hill Road, down Eckhardt Avenue. It’s anticipated that this circuit between Vancouver Avenue and Eckhardt will be cleared by around 9 a.m.
Next, riders turn left on Main Street to Lee Avenue, toward Eastside Road and onwards to Okanagan Falls. From Okanagan Falls, riders will split into their chosen routes taking them to Osoyoos, Oliver or Kaleden, before winding back to Skaha Lake Road and Main Street. Riders will return to the finish line at Gyro Park between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Drivers are recommended to use Channel Parkway or Government Street wherever possible. The busiest times will be in the morning, with fewer delays and disruptions as the ride progresses. Several signalized intersections will be put in flash mode, with traffic being controlled by traffic control personnel or the RCMP.
Where to cross Main Street on race day
If you are driving and need to cross Main Street, here are the locations where you can cross:
- Lakeshore Drive (after 8 a.m.)
- Eckhardt Drive
- Duncan Avenue
- Industrial Avenue
- Warren Avenue
- Green Avenue
Okanagan Granfondo staff are distributing road closure information to homes and businesses along the route. These details, including route maps, can also be found online at penticton.ca/granfondo. The City is also setting up a temporary Call Centre on July 9 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. to take questions related to road closures, available at 250-490-2345. For specific information about the race, visit the Okanagan Granfondo website at okanagangranfondo.com.