Bluewater International Granfondo
Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN MY ENTRY?

Each entrant will receive the following:

  • A great B.I.G. experience you will not forget from an awesome day on your bike with a thousand of your new cycling friends
  • A number of timed road sections
  • A series of fully stocked fuel stops with amazing food and friendly service
  • A B.I.G. SWAG bag at registration
  • A B.I.G. 5TH Anniversary Signature Giordana cycling jersey
  • A swim in Lake Huron after your ride
  • An exceptional B.I.G. Après ride event with live music, post-ride meal and a cold beer or non-alcoholic beverage

HOW DO I GUARANTEE CORRECT JERSEY SIZE?

By carefully looking at the Giordana size chart when you are picking your jersey size..all jerseys are custom made in Italy and tend to fit snug

 PLEASE TAKE THE TIME AND CHECK YOUR SIZE CAREFULLY

WHAT ARE THE REGISTRATION COSTS?

Rates vary by distance and date when you register.  Please check our registration page at www.bigf.ca

IS THERE PARKING? - IS THERE A SECURE BIKE CORRAL?

Yes, ample free parking at Mike Weir Park Sarnia which is 5 min from the start finish.

Yes there is a secure Bike Corral at Mike Weir Park.

ARE THERE AGE LIMITS?

Yes, any minor under the age of 15 CAN ONLY RIDE IN THE GROVE – 30KM and must be accompanied by an adult.  The adult must be present to sign for their minor and must agree to accompany them during the ride.

ARE THERE REFUNDS, DEFERRALS, OR TRANSFERS?

No.  There are no refunds or deferrals to subsequent rides.

Transfers to another participant is permitted however the cut-off date for transfers is Friday July 22 2022.  You can go to the TRANSFER button and make the required changes.  There will be a small transfer fee.  New rider may be able to change ride jersey size depending on when change is made.

WHERE AND WHEN IS PACKET PICKUP?

Packet pickup refers to showing up to get your rider packet and swag bag

PLEASE DO NOT SHOW UP BEFORE THESE TIMES.

  • Thursday, 28th July, from 6 pm to 8pm                                                                         LOCATION: Blackwell Cycle 1804 Blackwell Rd Sarnia
  • Saturday, 30th August, from Noon to 4 pm.                                                   LOCATION: Blackwell Cycle 1804 Blackwell Rd Sarnia
  • Sunday, 31st August, from 6 am to 8 pm.                                                        LOCATION: Mike Weir Park Sarnia – Event location

I CAN'T MAKE THE RIDE. CAN I HAVE MY PACKET?

We will retain your packet until the end of August 2022.  If you are local, we will make arrangements for pick up via info@bigf.ca if out of the area we can mail to you at a cost of $20.00 paid in advance.

IS THERE A COMPREHENSIVE RIDER GUIDE FOR THE EVENT? HOW DO I ACCESS THE RIDER GUIDE?

We work hard each year to provide the most up-to-date, pertinent information for our riders. It comes complete with information regarding a schedule of events, routes, parking, staging, road closures, course signage, rest stops, bib number placement, and the like. If you have registered for 2022 B.I.G. expect a Rider Guide to land in your email in-box approximately two weeks prior to the day of the event.

CAN I FUND RAISE?

Yes, you can donate via our website to both St Joseph’s Hospice and Bluewater Health Foundation.

WHEN DOES THE RIDE START?

The 150K ride starts at 7:00 AM.

The 100k starts at 8:00AM

The 50K at 8:30AM

The 30K starts at 9:00 AM

Location: Mike Weir Park Sarnia

WHAT IF I SHOW UP LATE?

The starts are as shown SHARP.  Don’t be late, if you want an official time, you must start with your group.  Fuel stations and Time sections will be closed at the times as shown in your Rider Guide.  You may be able to drop back and start with the next ride but will have to confirm with registration at Mike Weir Park,

WHEN DOES THE RIDE END?

The course is officially CLOSED at 1:30 PM.

WILL I GET A CUE SHEET OR TURN-BY-TURN MAP FOR MY CHOSEN ROUTE?

Cue sheets and routes will be available at bigf.ca under THE RIDES and then click on the distance you are interested in then RIDE WITH GPS.  All routes can be downloaded onto a Garmin or printed.  However, we don’t think you’ll need one.  Our idea of an amazing time on the bike does not consist of fishing around your jersey pocket as you constantly wonder how far off the course you may have gotten.  We’ve signed every turn, most hazards, and every route split with every sign you may need to find your way around any of our routes.  It should be noted that our hazard signs are erected by experienced cyclists with decades of local knowledge.

IS THE EVENT TIMED?

Yes.  It is important to note that, strictly speaking, B.I.G. is not a race.  However, participants in the 150KM, 100KM, and the 50KM will be given a timing chip that attaches to their leg that records how long it took them to complete each timed section, NO OVERALL TIME IS GIVEN.  All riders times will be shown on our website and plaques will be awarded to the lowest cumulative time in the various age groups.  Again, this is not a point to point race.  The 30KM route will not include any timed sections.

WHY IS THERE A CUTOFF?

The mandatory cut off is above all, a safety issue.  Having riders out on the course, far from the finish, is not only a wellbeing issue, but also one of fatigue and discomfort for the rider.  In addition, it is unreasonable to expect our volunteers, some of whom begin before dawn, to remain on course any longer.  Beyond the safety issues, we plan to provide an enjoyable GranFondo experience which includes not only a fun, challenging day on the bike, but also taking in our Après ride event enjoying live music, having a meal and/or a beer with new friends, and not struggling through a prohibitively difficult ride for the entirety of the day.  A SAG Wagon will be available to bring you back to Mike Weir Park is required.

ARE ALL ROUTES FLAT AND STRAIGHT?

In some places the roads are challenging and technical.  Be extremely careful riding your bicycle.  There are places along all of the routes where people have injured themselves because they have gone into a turn too fast or had a lapse in their attention.  If you do not slow yourself soon enough before turns or stop signs this is not safe. Some roads have potholes that you will have to navigate.

ARE WASHROOMS PROVIDED?

They are available at all Fuel Stations on route and at Mike Weir Park.  Please use these facilities and respect the local area and residents.

Please use toilets provided and not the local trees.

DO THE RULES OF THE ROAD APPLY - NEVER CROSS THE CENTER LINE

YES… You must adhere to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation Cyclist’s Rules of the Road for the duration of the event.  Cycling  – Highway Traffic Act

WHY DO I HAVE TO STAY TO THE RIGHT?

Many of the roads you will ride are very narrow, with no center line.  They will be shared with vehicular traffic.  Please ride to the right when in narrow sections of road. Please use rules of the road at all intersections.  The GranFondo roads are not closed and there will be open to non-event vehicles traveling with and against you.  While traffic on these roads is minimal, it is still there.

Additionally, riding in the middle of the road absent motor vehicle traffic can still cause unsafe conditions for other, faster riders.  Regardless of how fast you think you’re going, someone is pretty much always coming up behind you. Get over to the right as far as safety allows and let the faster flow pass you by.  It’s better for them and it’s better for you.

WHY DO I HAVE TO RIDE COURTEOUSLY?

We are conducting this event on some remote roads in our county.  Nevertheless, these roads pass through working landscapes and those who use these roads require your respect and courtesy.  Residents along these routes are made aware of the event, but this many cyclists using these roads at one time is an anomaly.  Please be courteous to drivers and let them pass by moving to the right whenever it is reasonably safe to do so.

CAN I LITTER?

NO…  Please put all garbage or trash, gel packs, inner tubes, or any other disposable items into your pockets until you arrive at either a Fuel Station or the finish.  There will be blue boxes available for recycling.

ARE THE RULES ENFORCED?

We will enforce all of these rules in order to ensure rider safety.  There’s always a few people in any large group of cyclists who, for one reason or another, disobey the rules of the road. I n a ride this big and challenging, there can be serious consequences to this sort of recklessness; some could even be fatal.  Event marshals, motorcycles, and SAG staff will be riding with you to offer the best and safest experience possible.  They will also ensure that all of these rules are being followed.  If these rules are broken, you will be disqualified and not permitted to return next year.

CAN I USE MY MOBILE PHONE?

You must not use your mobile phone while cycling.  You must stop at the roadside if you need to make or receive a call.

WHAT TYPE OF BIKE MAY I RIDE IN THE GRANFONDO?

At B.I.G., safety must reign supreme. We need to know that everyone is operating at the same level of visibility and maneuverability as a thousand cyclists are out on the course sometimes shoulder-to-shoulder with each other.

 

While mountain bikes are generally not a problem, trikes, elliptical, fixed wheel and recumbents represent a departure from this standard and for this reason, we do not allow them.  Anything outside of what we’ve mentioned here is strictly not allowed.  We need everyone at their best, both in the way they operate their own bikes and, in the way, they interact with other cyclists.

 

Non-standard wheel sizes also present a big risk as these roads are, at times, chock-full of cracks or potholes and anything smaller than what we’ve normally planned for can present a risk to you and those around you.

CAN I RIDE WITH AERO BARS?

You can have Aero Bars fitted on your bike BUT DO NOT USE THEM for several reasons, the main one being they aren’t safe in large groups because of the diminished handling capability.  Using them on the flatter stretches in the pack is touchy at best and dangerous at worst not to mention redundant) when riding with hundreds of other cyclists providing a wind break.  They would also provide an unfair advantage in the timed sections.

CAN I RIDE AN E-BIKE?

Yes, you can ride an electric bicycle (e-bike) at B.I.G., but some restrictions apply.  Only pedal assist e-bikes are allowed; throttle assist e-bikes are not allowed.  You are responsible for making sure your battery will last long enough for the route of your choice and you will be staged in the back.  No time section times will be given for e-bikes.

CAN I RIDE A RECUMBENT BIKE?

We do no allow Recuments.

ARE TANDEMS ALLOWED?

Yes, you can ride a tandem but no time will be given for tandems.

WHAT SIZE/TYPE OF TIRES DO YOU RECOMMEND?

Like the discussion on wheel types, tire types and sizes vary in construction, performance, and, therefore, preference.  Generally speaking, this is a road ride that takes place on paved roads of varying conditions.  There are potholes and cracks and smooth pavement alike.  These are public roads, after all.  Most riders have generally chosen to ride standard wheel sizes and tires with widths from 23mm–32mm.  Ultimately, however, the choice is up to you, as you best know your abilities and typical riding style.  We can say, though, that the gravel sections of our routes are typically mellow and rideable–that is, they are definitely not single track and do not generally require large, mountain bike tires.

ARE TRAILERS, TRAIL-A-BIKES, AND BIKE SEATS ALLOWED?

No… however, we do make special exceptions please email info@bigf.ca if this is required.

SHOULD I USE CARBON WHEELS?

Thousands of people have ridden our route successfully on both carbon and aluminum rims.  Due to the variances in construction methods and technologies used between different carbon rim manufacturers, it is impossible for us to make the call for you.  We recommend riding that with which you are most familiar.

WHAT TYPE OF CLIMATE SHOULD I EXPECT FOR THE GRANFONDO?

Our past rides have been known to start cooler but warm up quickly.  Expect temps between 24 and 32 degrees C.  Please check the weather the night before and plan accordingly.

WHAT IF IT RAINS?

B.I.G. will take place rain or shine unless cancelled by authorities due to lightening or severe weather that is judged hazardous to riders.  There will be no refunds but do not worry as your money goes to a very good cause.

CAN I RIDE WITH HEADPHONES DURING THE EVENT?

No

WHAT IF I NEED MECHANICAL SUPPORT?

All riders are expected to have a spare tube and a CO2 or a pump.  There will be mechanical support at the start and mechanics will be in cars roving covering all routes.

IF I NEED MEDICAL ASSISTANCE WHAT DO I DO?

If you need help inform someone at the Fuel Station.  If needed urgently please call 911.

WHO IS THIS RIDE FOR ANYWAY?

The Bluewater International Granfondo supports Palliative Care Education for front line workers at Bluewater Health Palliative Care, St. Joseph’s Hospice as well as nurses and support workers within the community of Sarnia Lambton.

B.I.G. is open to EVERYONE.  For competitive cyclists, this is an opportunity to stretch your legs in an event that fosters competition in a relaxed environment. While there are timed sections with peloton dynamics, it is devoid of the pressure created by television cameras, roaring crowds, and a director sportif yelling in your ear.  Let this represent a return to your love of cycling: epic landscapes, and rich camaraderie with your peers.

For recreational cyclists, this is your chance to ride with your friends and meet new ones while also riding with some past and present members of the Canadian National Team along a route long celebrated for its beauty.

WILL THERE BE BREAKFAST PROVIDED BEFORE THE START?

A limited amount of bagels, muffins and fruit will be available, however we do recommend having breakfast before coming to the start line.  We will have food prepared for all rest stops and of course, Petrolia Lions Club will have fabulous offerings waiting for you at the Après Event at Mike Weir Park.

WILL THERE BE VEGETARIAN OPTIONS AVAILABLE?

Yes a vegetarian option will be available at the Après ride event.

IS THERE A SECURE PLACE TO STORE MY THINGS WHILE I RIDE?

No.  We do not offer a bag check but your vehicle parking is very close to the start line.

IS THERE RV OVERNIGHT PARKING OR CAMPING AVAILABLE?

No, unfortunately, we are not set up for overnight RV parking or camping at Mike Weir Park We recommend you check local camping and RV parking.

DO YOU HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS ABOUT BIKE RENTALS?

No.  We do not have any bikes available for rent.

CAN I BUY BIB SHORTS, SOCKS AND AN EXTRA JERSEY?

Yes online at our store.

I HAVE ORDERED MERCHANDISE THROUGH REGISTRATION, WHERE AND WHEN CAN I PICK IT UP?

All pre-ordered merchandise can be picked up directly at one of the 3 Packet Pickup times.  Please bring your ID and our team will take care of you.

ARE THERE EXCHANGES FOR MERCHANDISE AT PICKUP?

All orders are custom made in Italy and exchanges cannot be assured.
However, we usually have additional merchandise and exchanges would be limited to stock on hand. There are no refunds.

CAN I CHANGE MY JERSEY AND BIB SIZE

You can change online before May 29th 2022.  If you require help, then email info@bigf.ca before May 29th 2022 with your full name and registration confirmation along with your change request.

CAN I CHANGE TO A SHORTER ROUTE?

You can always ride a shorter route than the one for which you are registered.   If you know that you are going to ride a shorter route ahead of time you can go to the TRANSFER button and make the required changes.  You can only move to a shorter distance.  If you require help then email info@bigf.ca within 2 weeks of event date with your full name and your registration confirmation along with the route you would like to ride and we will be happy to change it for you.

CAN I SELF-UPGRADE TO A LONGER ROUTE?

There is no “self-upgrading” your existing registration to a longer route.  Email us within 2 weeks of event date with your full name and your registration confirmation along with the route you would like to ride and we will help you make change.  There will be an upgrade fee.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I REGISTER AFTER JUNE 1 2020?

As all orders are custom made in Italy and require a 9-week lead time.  Your size cannot be assured but you will receive a custom Giordana cycling jersey.  However, we usually have additional merchandise, but exchanges would be limited to stock on hand.  There are no refunds.

WHAT HAPPENS IF COVID CASES INCREASE AGAIN AND THERE ARE NEW RESTRICTIONS?

Our aim has been to communicate consistently with you.  Due to Canada’s high vaccination rate, we are optimistic that B.I.G. will happen in 2022.

WILL YOUR REFUND POLICY CHANGE?

If the event is cancelled due to Covid your registration will be donated to one of our charities or deferred or refundedIt will be your choice.

WILL THERE BE A VACCINE MANDATE, VACCINE PASSPORT MANDATE OR MASK MANDATE?

We will follow all Provincial guidelines as it relates to July 31 2022, when they becomes available. 

HOW DO I ROLL OVER MY PASTA TICKET?

All 2020 Pasta dinner tickets will be honored at the door in 2022.  Further information and your ticket will be emailed to you. 

WILL THERE BE ANY CHANGES TO THE EVENT? ANY SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS?

While we cannot predict what the rules will be in July 2022, we will hold the event in accordance with the Provincial Guidelines to keep you, our staff and volunteers safe. 

IS THERE A MINIMUM AGE TO REGISTER?

Yes, you need to be 15 years of age or older except for The Family Ride where children must be the age of 10 or older & children under 15 must be accompanied by an adult.

GENERAL INFO

 

CONDUCT

If, at any time, you treat others with disrespect, including staff, fellow riders, course marshals, motorcycle drivers, SAG wagon, volunteers, or anyone else, you will be disqualified and not permitted to return next year.

ENJOY YOURSELF

Bluewater International Granfondo is one of the most enjoyable cycling events in Canada.  We are very proud of this and want you to leave as ecstatic about the event as we are to host it.  If you follow these rules, keep your head up, and treat others like you’d expect to be treated, you will leave with one very memorable experience.

STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?  Send us an e-mail: info@bigf.ca