The streets of Bowness were busy this long weekend as Calgarians came out for the Tour De Bowness and Heritage Day Street Festival.

The Tour De Bowness kicked off on Saturday and consisted of three races over three days; Road Race, Hill Climb and Criterium. Organizers had to cancel one race due to rain.

On Monday, dozens of cyclists faced The Criterium, a challenging, seven turn, road race through the streets of the community.

Roads were closed off to accommodate the 960m, short circuit track that looped through the area.

Gabby Traxler from Synergy Racing took part in her first race this year.

“I definitely find this tougher than the road race because the road race is longer so if you do get dropped you have a better chance kind of catching up if they fall behind so in this race it’s pretty fast so once you get dropped on your back its kind of hard to get back on and I prefer the longer races,” said Traxler.

Traxler came in third and says the course can be challenging especially in the corners.

“It can be pretty dangerous in the corners, you could crash really easily so you have to be careful when you come in and how you take the corner and the amount of people coming in as well,” said Traxler.

Martin Dodd is with Cyclemeisters and says events like this help to raise the profile of cycling.

“I think so for sure. It’s such a good sport. Great thing about cycling is anyone can do it,” said Dodd.

Bowness residents like Steve Byl also suited up for the cycling sprint through the streets.  

“It’s great to have a cheering section. This race is pretty hard, pretty fun. It’s my backyard so it’s a fun race to be in. Having people in the crowd cheering for you just makes it that much more fun” said Byl.

Bow Cycle is behind the race and marketing manager Bob Grunewald says the Tour De Bowness continues to grow.

“Our first couple years we were maybe 70, 80 participants and we’ve been averaging about 236 over the last five years and this year we’re about 216,” said Grunewald.

  • Click HERE for race results.

Grunewald says Bownesians embraced the event from the start and that the festival is a fantastic addition to the day.

“We’ve been one of the two big draws for Bowness for many years and the street festival has come on board because they saw how many people were showing up and it’s a chance to show off Bowness.We’re different, we’re unique, we’re not the same as a cookie-cutter new neighbourhood, we are an older place. We have a definite wide-variety of people living here,” said Grunewald.  

Main Street was also filled with vendors and visitors on Monday for the fourth annual Heritage Street Festival.

“We have a really great sense of community around here and especially since the floods it just seems to have grown stronger,” said Bownesian, Courtney Barrett.

“If you’ve lived here for any length of time, you know everybody and everybody knows you, it’s like a small town atmosphere and it’s a great place. I love it,” said Debbie Barrett.

The festival was on from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., click HERE for more information.