Saturday marks the 24th annual Tour de Cariboo in Williams Lake

Saturday marks the 24th annual Tour de Cariboo in Williams Lake

Tour de Cariboo rides Saturday

If you haven’t already signed up for the Tour de Cariboo, there’s still time to do so.

If you haven’t already signed up for the Tour de Cariboo, there’s still time to do so.

Melissa Newberry, executive director of Williams Lake Big Brothers Big Sisters and Tour de Cariboo organizer, said registration is still open for the ride, which starts Saturday at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex and leads bike riders on either a 75- or 100-kilometre scenic tour from Williams Lake to Gavin Lake.

Registration starts at 8 a.m. inside the CMRC followed by the ride at 9 a.m. leading out of town on Highway 97 South, then turning east onto the picturesque Likely Road.

“Registration is pretty low this year and I think it’s got to do with the weather,” Newberry said. “Right now we’re at about 40 and, traditionally, we’d probably have between 60 and 70.

“You can register right up until the start of the race.”

One of WLBBBS’s largest fundraisers of the year, Newberry said riders have been busy collecting pledges to help support the non-profit organization’s various community-based programs.

“The riders raising money are doing pretty well,” she said. “They like to keep [how much they’ve raised] a secret until they hand in their books. We’ve got some big numbers for sure.”

Along the ride, participants will have the opportunity to stop for refreshments and have lunch at the Big Lake Store before they are treated to a day of relaxation, a delicious dinner and entertainment once they reach Gavin Lake.

Riders who want to stay the night in one of the cozy cabins at Gavin Lake also have the option to do so.

For those wanting to take part in just the festivites, dinner tickets are available for $15. Kids 12 and under are free.

“This year’s entertainment will be the Big Lake Symphony,” Newberry said. “And Jay Goddard is going to be playing some songs, as well.”

For anyone curious about riding the 100-kilometre route — a newly added option this year which will take riders past Gavin Lake and back — Newberry said it will be well marked.

“We’ll have water, granola bars and a marshal at the turnaround point,” she said.

Registration can also be completed online at www.bbswlake.com, by stopping by the WLBBBS office at 369 Oliver Street #200, by calling 250-398-8391 or at the registration desk the morning of the race.

Donations can also be made to the organization or to a participating rider at www.bbswlake.com.

“Come out and ride,” Newberry said. “It’s going to be good. The weather is supposed to be a high of 18C which is a nice riding temperature.”

In the event’s 23-year history Newberry estimates $1 million has been raised by the Tour de Cariboo.

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