A 'gran' time: BonRexton Granfondo to challenge cyclists on the Bonavista Peninsula

In September, cyclists will pedal their way around the Bonavista Peninsula for an event organizers are calling the first of its kind in Newfoundland and Labrador.

1st-time long-distance cycling event picking up speed among riders

Co-organizer Ryan David Butt says the idea came about over a few pints. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

In September, cyclists will pedal their way around the Bonavista Peninsula for an event organizers are calling the first of its kind in Newfoundland and Labrador. 

Ryan David Butt said the idea came about while he and a buddy were polishing off a pint. 

"The west coast [of Newfoundland] has a lot of really, really cool cycling events and we'd like to do something on par around here," Butt said. 

The Port Rexton Brewery is one of the event sponsors. (Ryan David Butt)

The BonRexton Granfondo will offer up two distances: a 130-kilometre ride for the truly adventurous and a shorter 50-kilometre route. 

The longer ride happens on Sept. 8, with the shorter event the next day. As of July 30, about 25 people have signed up to do both.

There will be two rides; the 130 km Bonavista loop and a 50 km ride from Port Rexton to Catalina and back. (BonRexton Granfondo)

"The interest has been growing pretty quickly. We are very excited about the response," said Butt.

A Gran Fondo is a long bike ride format that started in Italy. It translates to "big ride" and has becoming a big hit with cyclists around the world.

Cyclists move at their own pace and can stop along the way at designated checkpoints. When it's all over the riders will gather for a social event.

BonRexton Granfondo to hit the Bonvista peninsula in September. (BonRexton Granfondo)

Butt has gotten support from Bonavista Peninsula businesses Port Rexton Brewery, the Two Whales Cafe and Fisher's Loft Inn. 

"It's a nice big cycling, cultural event and we don't have one of those on the island yet, and I don't think we ever had," said Butt. He hopes this event will change that.

Registration for the BonRexton Granfondo ends July 31.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador