This page will be continuously updated over the upcoming months to reflect changes due to the shift in event venue from the Clare Veterans Centre to Université Sainte-Anne for 2023. Thank you for your patience!
- 1. What is the schedule?
- 2. What is a Gran Fondo?
- 3. What's new for 2023?
- 4. Can I change my ride distance after I register online?
- 5. Can I find a place to stay near the start?
- 6. Are there special rates for participants travelling by ferry?
- 7. Will there be day care services for children of participants?
- 8. I would like to bring my dog. Is there a dog daycare facility nearby?
- 9. Where is the event headquarters?
- 10. When is check-in/registration?
- 11. When do I pick up my swag bag and jersey (if applicable)?
- 12. What if my jersey doesn’t fit?
- 13. What's going on Saturday?
- 14. Where can I park my car?
- 15. Where and when do the rides start on Sunday?
- 16. What is the support for cyclists along the routes?
- 17. Is there a time limit?
- 18. How many rest stations will there be?
- 19. When and where is the post-ride meal?
- 20. Can I bring family and/or friends to the post-ride meal?
- 21. I have special dietary needs
- 22. Where can I purchase breakfast on the Sunday morning?
- 23. Will there be photos and videos taken?
- 24. Is the event on social media?
- 25. What is the cancellation/refund policy?
- 26. What is the inclement weather policy?
- 27. What are the safety rules?
- 28. What are our Accessibility options?
- 29. Interested in being a Volunteer?
- 30. Who is the organizing committee?
1. What is the schedule?
Please visit the schedule page for the complete schedule.
2. What is a Gran Fondo?
Gran Fondo means "grand tour" or "great distance" in Italian, which is a mass-start cycling ride which brings together road cyclists of all abilities. It is a growing sporting and cultural experience originating in Europe, and in recent years, has become popular in North America. The Gran Fondo Baie Sainte-Marie will appeal to those looking to ride for fun, for good health and to take on a personal challenge, all while enjoying the beautiful scenery in a safe environment. Although a timed event, this is more of a self-paced FUN group event, rather than a race.
3. What's new for 2023?
Due to renovations related to the revitalization of the Clare Veterans Centre, the 2023 Gran Fondo Baie Sainte-Marie will be held at Université Sainte-Anne in Church Point (click to view in Google Maps).
4. Can I change my ride distance after I register online?
Yes! Just send us a message using the form on the Contact page. We understand that many of you may be debating which distance to ride. We highly recommend that you sign up early to take advantage of the best value jersey package. You can actually change your route distance on the morning of event day!
5. Can I find a place to stay near the start?
We are working with the community to find houses, camps and rooms for singles, couples and groups of riders. Please contact Marcel at 902-769-2345, Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.), or send us an email request and we will find you a place to stay that fits your needs. If you prefer to stay in a hotel, please consider our accommodations sponsors listed on our Travel page.
6. Are there special rates for participants travelling by ferry?
Yes! We are pleased to partner again with Bay Ferries and Northumberland Ferries Limited for 2023 and that means you can save!
Book: July 24 - September 17, 2023
Travel: September 5-17, 2023
Discount: Save 15% on passenger and vehicle fares
Instructions: Book online with promo code GRANF23
- The Fundy Rose - Saint John, NB to Digby, NS
- The Cat - Bar Harbor, Maine to Yarmouth, NS
7. Will there be day care services for children of participants?
Yes! The Municipality of Clare Recreation Services will be providing a Day Camp for the children ages 5 to 12 of participating cyclists during Sunday, September 10. Please fill out https://forms.gle/CLtYRTuRnPKe4Xcs7 (one per child) before Thursday, September 7, 2023.
- Your child may be dropped off as of 7:30 a.m. at the Centre sportif Marcel-R.-Comeau (Université Sainte-Anne campus)
- Throughout the day, the children will be entertained by our trusted day camp staff. They will play games, play sports on the soccer and track field, walk in Le Petit Bois and along the beach.
- Healthy snacks and lunch will be served at the cafeteria. Please let us know of any food allergies or intolerances on the registration form!
- Your child must be picked up by 4 p.m. (that’s also when route support ends), or you can come by anytime after you finish your ride.
8. I would like to bring my dog. Is there a dog daycare facility nearby?
9. Where is the event headquarters?
For 2023, the event headquarters will be the campus of Université Sainte-Anne, located at 1695 Highway 1 in Church Point (click to view in Google Maps).
10. When is check-in/registration?
Registration happens on the Saturday afternoon, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., in the Rendez-vous de la Baie Visitor Centre on the campus of Université Sainte-Anne (23 Lighthouse Road, first left after turning onto campus road). It's the building with the red roof on the south side of campus. Registration is also available on Sunday morning from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. at the visitor centre. Most of you have registered online, so this second registration is mainly to make sure you are there, to receive your bib and bike tag transponder, and if applicable, your swag bag and jersey. Please note: if you are registering on the Saturday or Sunday morning of the event, only cash or cheque payment will be accepted. The closest bank machines are RBC and Caisse Populaire de Clare bank machines, both located approximately 300 m north of campus.
11. When do I pick up my swag bag and jersey (if applicable)?
Your swag bag (and jersey, if you registered by July 16), are to be picked up either during the Saturday registration, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Rendez-vous de la Baie Visitor Centre on the campus of Université Sainte-Anne (23 Lighthouse Road, first left after turning onto campus road), or the morning of the ride. If you have registered after the early-bird deadline, our event jerseys are unfortunately no longer available and are not available for purchase at this time. Jerseys will not be mailed to cancelled participants.
12. What if my jersey doesn’t fit?
After you check-in and receive your jersey on Saturday or Sunday, we recommend you try it on. If it doesn’t fit, we will be coordinating a jersey swap that will be set up where you can buy extra meal tickets. Look for the sign.
13. What's going on Saturday?
We strongly encourage you to check in/register on the Saturday (11 a.m. to 5 pm) at the Rendez-vous de la Baie Visitor Centre on the campus of Université Sainte-Anne (23 Lighthouse Road). If applicable, you will receive your swag bag and jersey. All registrants will be able to pick up a bib and bike tag transponder. This will also be a casual opportunity for you mingle with fellow participants, organizers and volunteers.
An information table will include volunteers showing online maps and hard-copy route maps.
There will also be maps of the local area with lists of things to do can be found at our visitor information centre. Click here for a list of local restaurants.
While onsite, feel free to explore the Acadian Interpretive Centre and Museum and learn about the local area.
14. Where can I park my car?
The main parking lot will be the campus of Université Sainte-Anne, located at 1695 Highway 1 in Church Point (click to view in Google Maps). There will also be overflow parking available at the Église Sainte-Marie Church, a short walk away. There will be parking officials onsite to assist you with parking.
15. Where and when do the rides start on Sunday?
There will be three departures with approx. 15 minute intervals between each ride.
Cyclists will start in the mini-mall parking lot of the Conseil de développement économique de la Nouvelle-Écosse, 1649 Highway 1, Church Point (click to view on Google Maps) and pass through an inflatable arch, prior to cycling on Highway 1.
The Gran 128 km ride will start at 8:30 a.m. on the dot, the 67 km Medio will start at approx. 8:45 a.m., and the 35 km Piccolo ride will start at approx. 9:00 a.m.
Each ride will depart in two waves: 1) Advanced and Intermediate, and 2) Intermediate and Beginner, so that cyclists are grouped with participants of similar ability. There will be a motorcycle escort for each ride as well as lead and sweep vehicles (motorcycles and trucks with amber lights) for the duration of the event. Route support will end at approximately 3 p.m.
Finish Line: Please note that cyclists will be turning left from Highway 1 to the Finish Line area and must ride under the arch.
As of September 5, 2023 there are over 760 registrations!
16. What is the support for cyclists along the routes?
There will be a motorcycle escort for each ride as well as lead and sweep vehicles (motorcycles and trucks with amber lights) for the duration of the event. There will be directional signage and volunteers at key intersections to help guide cyclists along the routes.
There will be rest stations along the routes. All rest stations will supply:
- First-Aid attendants to help with any ailments to your body
Please note: rest stations will have nutritional supplements available but are not intended to provide the primary meal for riders during the day.
Emergency Contact: should you encounter any problems along the route, please call the phone number on the back of your bib.
17. Is there a time limit?
Gran and Medio Fondo riders must maintain a minimum average speed of 15 km/h (including rest stations). If you are travelling below the 15 km/h average speed, you will at some point be passed by the Event Sweep vehicle. You will then be advised to accept a ride to the finish line. If you do not accept a ride to the finish line and decide instead to continue riding, the following details are in effect for the duration of your ride to the finish line:
- Water, nutritional and medical support from the event may be unavailable for the remainder of your trip
- If you are unable to reach the finish line by 3:30 p.m., your finish time may be recorded as Did Not Finish (DNF)
18. How many rest stations will there be?
There will be 5 rest stations for the 128 km Gran, 2 for the 67 km Medio and 1 for the 35 km Piccolo. All have washroom facilities, hydration, nutrition and first-aid supplies. We will also have a nutrition and water station set up at the start and finish line. Washroom facilities are also available at start and finish.
The Gran Fondo rest stations (and approximate cumulated distance to each rest stop):
- Chez Marcel (New Edinburgh) = 13 km
- Havelock Community Centre, Highway 340 = 38 km
- Moulin de Bangor Sawmill = 72 km
- Mavillette Beach = 97.5 km
- Broker Link Insurance, Highway 1, Meteghan River = 116 km
The Medio Fondo rest stations (and approximate cumulated distance to each rest stop):
- Chez Marcel (New Edinburgh) = 13 km
- Moulin de Bangor Sawmill = 50 km
The Start/Finish will both be at the parking lot of the Conseil de développement économique de la Nouvelle-Écosse, 1649 Highway 1, Church Point. There will be a drop off/pick up system in place. You may drop off an item of clothing at a rest station (if it gets too hot) and pick it up again later in the day at the Visitor Centre.
19. When and where is the post-ride meal?
The post-ride meal will start around 11:30 a.m. inside the Visitor Centre and on picnic tables (BBQ pork and alternative meals) and outside in the adjacent tent (Lobster). The meal will continue throughout the afternoon as cyclists finish. We are also very excited to offer you LOBSTER again as one of the post-ride meal options - a big thank you to our lobster provider BMC Seafoods Ltd. On the menu is Lobster, BBQ Pork or a vegetarian chili, salads and dessert. If you have indicated a special dietary need, someone from our team will contact you shortly to assure that we have a meal that is suitable for you. There will be live music for you to enjoy.
20. Can I bring family and/or friends to the post-ride meal?
21. I have special dietary needs
22. Where can I purchase breakfast on the Sunday morning?
The Clare Golf & Country Club in Comeauville is offering a breakfast menu for cyclists from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m.
The Seashore Restaurant (8467 Hwy 1, Meteghan) is also offering a breakfast menu starting at 6:30 a.m.
23. Will there be photos and videos taken?
There will be several photographers and videographers covering the event. Photos will be taken at the finish line and throughout the routes by event photographers and organizers for promote the event in the future. Photos will be posted following the event on the website and Facebook. You will have access to images free of charge.
24. Is the event on social media?
25. What is the cancellation/refund policy?
Refund: 100% refund until July 16, 2023 at midnight (12:00 a.m. AST). Please note: No refunds after July 16 for any reason. Cancelled participants may coordinate having their jersey picked up by another participant. No jerseys will be mailed.
Deferral Policy: Please note: There will be no deferrals accepted in 2023.
26. What is the inclement weather policy?
Due to the nature of Gran Fondo bike rides, weather conditions can play a large role in the production of the event. The safety of our participants is always our first priority and the cancellation of the Gran Fondo Baie Sainte-Marie will be at the discretion of the Municipality of Clare CAO, in consultation with the Gran Fondo Baie Sainte-Marie organizing committee and/or local law enforcement officials. Because a significant amount of the funds collected during registration have already been expended by the day of the event (e.g., purchase of event materials including jerseys, catering...) with no possibility of getting these funds back, and because the event is uniquely scheduled for its date and location, registration refunds are not possible and rescheduling the event is not possible. As such, Gran Fondo Baie Sainte-Marie has a no refund policy for event cancellation due to inclement weather. We will however defer your registration to our next Gran Fondo event in 2025. Please note if you have signed up by our jersey deadline of July 16, 2023, you will receive your jersey at the next Gran Fondo event in 2025.
27. What are the safety rules?
- Be familiar with Nova Scotia’s Rules of the Road.
- This is a self-paced FUN group event and is NOT a race. Riders are to consider their fitness and comfort level in deciding upon the course they choose and the start corral they start in. All riders are required to maintain a 15km/hr average in both the Gran and Medio rides. A 10 km/hr pace is required for the Piccolo ride. Riders who do not meet this requirement will be asked to exit the ride. Therefore, please choose your ride carefully!
- Helmets are mandatory. An approved cycling helmet is required. Cyclists must wear a certified cycling helmet with the chinstrap buckled at all times while riding on the course.
- Participants are permitted to use standard road bicycles, hybrids, recumbents, tandems, commuters or mountain bikes. E-bikes will be permitted - see #28 below for more info. Bicycles with aero bar affixed, as well as triathlon bicycles will be permitted. Time trial bicycles will not be permitted. Please note: If you have aero bars, please use them prudently at all times during the event, as our primary focus is the safety of all riders.
- All participants must stay on the designated route. If at any time a rider finds they are unable to continue, they are requested to stop by the side of the route and they will be assisted by the event staff.
- Know your limits. Crashes can occur when inexperienced riders do not have bike-handling skills or experience riding in a pack. Never overlap your wheels with another cyclist, always ride with care.
- Be aware of others around you and communicate well in advance while cycling. Use gestures in combination with verbal commands. Use hand signals or verbally warn riders behind you of obstacles and road imperfections. Maintain control and speed of your bike, even going downhill.
- Pass on the left only. It is recommended that riders advise others that they are about to pass – politely saying "passing on your left” upon approaching a slower rider usually does the trick. Ride with your head up. Look down the road not at the person in front of you.
- If you wish to stop while on course, signal to warn riders behind and pull over safely. If you need assistance stop on the right-hand side of the road. Our on-course support team (mechanics, ride marshals, medical staff) will ask you whether or not you need assistance. If you’re OK, signal with a "thumbs-up” or verbally indicate you are OK.
- No use of personal audio devices (iPods, MP3 players etc) will be allowed on course.
- Use of cameras is permitted. Riders are advised to stop to take pictures. Please exercise good judgement and ride safely.
- Use of cell phones (talking on a cell phone) is not permitted while riding. If one must use a cell phone the rider MUST pull over to the side of the road and come to a complete stop.
- Emergency Vehicles and Official Event vehicles ALWAYS have the right of way. If a rider encounters an emergency vehicle, the rider is to give way to the emergency vehicle by moving over to the nearest side of the road, stopping and dismounting. If a rider encounters an Official Event vehicle and the operator signals by use of the horn that they wish to pass, the rider must immediately give the right of way to the vehicles.
- Participants 15 and under need to be accompanied by an adult and are limited to the Piccolo Fondo. Any exceptions will be evaluated on a case by case basis. Please submit inquiries using the form on the Contact page.
- Participants between the ages of 16-17 will need a signed waiver from a parent/guardian at registration in order to participate. It is obligatory to have it with you on race day!
28. What are our Accessibility options?
29. Interested in being a Volunteer?
Volunteer positions for 2023 are available on this website.
30. Who is the organizing committee?
The organizing committee consists of several employees from the Municipality of Clare’s Community Development Department and community volunteers. Pictured below from left to right: Larry Peach (Marketing), Michel Hachey (Logistics), Pam Doucet (Chair), Natalie Robichaud (Hospitality), Louanne Doucet (Registration), Réanne Flynn (Finance/Equipment), Ashley Hanks (Secretary) and Tori Comeau (Volunteers).
We hope you are excited as we are and we are looking forward to seeing you! Please contact us if you have any questions. Cheers!
The Gran Fondo Baie Sainte Marie team.