#55 — A Grand Fondo From The Heart – Bluewater International Grandfondo

Sponsor: RePowerU — a free fitness practices assessment (a 10-minute questionnaire)

Outline of Discussion

  1. The origin story behind BIG
  2. What was the result?  Why did it succeed so well?
  3. How to replicate this in other cities?  What are the keys?  What are the layers…the sequence of what comes first, second, etc.?

Summary of Key Points

4 pillars

  1. Community health — Lowering barriers to access
  2. Charity
  3. Connection
  4. Fun


  • Non-profit with a cause that resonated with many people, cyclists and beyond
  • Quality volunteers (enabled by the “no one is making money; we’re all in this together”)
  • Support of professional and celebrity cyclists and personalities (no fees, just hotel plus 1 dinner: Hunter Allen, Lance Armstrong guy, Canadian continental league team, …)…also enabled by non-profit status?
  • Effective board leadership…connections plus strong management skills
  • A great jersey that people liked and wanted to wear
  • Inclusive of experienced, inexperienced, and non-riders; weekly rides to provide skills and fitness for 12 weeks in the lead up
  • Some people jumped in early to make it happen, while others saw a success and wanted to be a part of it….a snowball effect.

It’s takes a community

  • Cycling shops (and other vendors) help out and get business
  • City provide support and get positive


  • Bike ridership is way up
  • City received a ton of tourism benefit…people came from all over

YouTube videos:

B.I.G. Website:

The ever curious athlete who demands answers.
About the Author
Curious athlete who demands answers. Husband to Susan ( Father of 3 daughters. Athletic pursuits over time, in reverse order: cycling, skiing, mountaineering, rock climbing, triathlon, golf, tennis, football.

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