The Cowichan Crusher Gravel Fondo is the oldest gran fondo on Vancouver Island and is an excellent opportunity for cyclists to explore the natural beauty of the Cowichan Valley. With routes for all levels of riders, and the opportunity to participate as an individual or part of a team, the event is a fun and challenging way to experience the great outdoors. Plus, the event takes place in an area known for its recreational activities, making it a great destination for outdoor sports enthusiasts to explore year-round. The event is part of the Triple Crown Gravel Series and rated by Strambecco as one of the Best Gravel Events in the Northwest.
The 2023 event will start and finish in the town of Lake Cowichan, located on the shore of Cowichan Lake. The three route options vary in length and difficulty, with options for all levels of riders. The shortest route is 35 kilometers (22 miles) long, while the longest is 100 kilometers (62 miles) long. The routes are primarily on gravel roads and feature challenging climbs, descents, and some technical sections. The event has several participant categories, including individual and team, with teams consisting of two or four riders.
Package pickup for the event will take place on Saturday, May 6th, at Centennial Hall in Lake Cowichan from 2:00-6:00 PM and on the day of the event at the Lowermost Ballfield below Hall and Rec Centre from 7:00 AM onwards.
The Cowichan Valley is located on the eastern side of Vancouver Island, and the area is known for its diverse and stunning natural landscapes, including forests, rivers, lakes, and mountains. The event features several routes that take riders through the beautiful and rugged terrain of the region, passing by farms, vineyards, and other rural landscapes. Along the way, riders will encounter various wildlife, including bald eagles, black bears, and deer. Favorite lodging options in the area are the Farm Table Inn and the Cowichan River Lodge while there are also plentiful vacation rentals and unique camping opportunities.
Tri 1 Events, a premier event production company in British Columbia, produces the event. Tri 1 produces the popular Triple Crown of Gravel Series, which includes Cowichan Crusher Gran Fondo, the Kettle Mettle Dirty Fondo, and Sea2Sky Gravel Fondo.