NEWS

The GranFondo: What you need to know

09/06/2013 09:19 EDT | Updated 11/06/2013 05:12 EST
For the fourth year in a row, more than 4,000 cyclists will be heading up the Sea to Sky Highway for the RBC GranFondo Whistler on Saturday.

The 122 km ride from Vancouver to Whistler will take most riders somewhere between 3½ to 8 hours, depending on how much training they really did.

Whether you want to be part of the action or avoid it altogether, The Early Edition asked founder Kevin Thompson for his list of places to be -- and where to avoid -- during the race.

What not to miss?

- The VeloSpoke Bike Expo at Vancouver Convention Centre on Friday from 11:00 a.m PT until 8:00 p.m is free to the general public.

- Get downtown by 6:30 a.m. Saturday to see the start and catch the buzz of thousands of riders setting out for Whistler.

- If you're in Squamish, walk or ride to the Garibaldi Mall between 8:00 a.m. and noon. There's a FanZone there and market place set up. You can watch the cyclists ride by and this is also the location for the start of the Medio (55 km course).

- If you're in Whistler, you want to be at Olympic Plaza to see the first finishers around 10:15 a.m. and stay for the beer garden and live entertainment until 5:00 p.m.

How to avoid it:

- Avoid the Sea to Sky Highway until midday if at all possible. There will be significant delays for motor vehicle traffic.

- Lions Gate Bridge will be closed northbound from 6:00 a.m. until 8:00 a.m. Use the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge.

- Obey traffic control personnel and follow all signs along the route.

With files from The Early Edition's Franny Karlinsky. You can follow her on twitter @franhey

MORE:cbcNews