Thursday, 20 October 2011 08:06

Waterton Red Rock bike ride enjoyed by many

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By Susan Quinlan
Waterton Lakes National Park
Under somewhat rainy, but blue skies and with a breathtaking vista, cyclists again enjoyed Waterton National Park’s annual Ride the Red Rock event Oct. 1.

Starting at Pass Creek, the 30-kilometre round trip event had 175 cyclists participate.

“It’s a great opportunity to get out with the family in a nice, social setting,” said Dennis Madsen, acting superintendent of Waterton National Park.

He  participated in the ride with his son Kyle, 15 while his wife, Pam, and daughter, Claire, volunteered at a refreshment station along the way.

Christy Gustavison, Parks Canada product development officer in Waterton, said overall, participants had an enjoyable day.

“We had a bit of rain to start out, but it ended up to be a great day for cycling; about 15 degrees. The rain didn’t stop people from coming.”

The event provided cyclists with the chance to ride up the Red Rock Parkway without concern for vehicle traffic, as the road was closed to traffic the day of the ride, from 9 a.m. until noon. It also marked Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day, with 40 children having participated.

Meanwhile, Waterton Foundation members served refreshments at the pay-what-you-can barbecue held following the event, with hotdogs prepared by Wieners of Waterton. Almost $500 was raised for a new bike rack for the renovated community centre, said Gustavison.

“That’s a very good start.”

Gustavison said Headwinds Cycling (Lethbridge) also contributed to the event, sending a staff member to circulate throughout the group in case any bike needed repair.

In addition, Waterton Outdoor Adventures provided a bike shuttle and Cardston EMS were on hand as well.

The event was a success because of community support and involvement, said Gustavison.

As for any bear sightings, Gustavison said cyclists were asked to stop if they saw a bear and wait for others to join them.

“Most of the bears were just passing through. Lots of people saw bears.”

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