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The idea of the Canada Day Populaire came to long time randonneur Harold Bridge on July 1 1999 while cycling through history-rich Fort Langely. Alive with a festive spirit, summer sunshine... the perfect place and perfect day to celebrate Canada's birthday with a bike ride. The idea of riding a kilometre for each year since confederation was also Harold's. It was thought that it would be a good distance for many recreational cyclists, including those not used to the normal distances of randonneur / marathon cycling (200-1200 km rides). The first Canada Day Populaire was held one year later, on July 2000, and was 133 km.
Harold organized the event in the early years. Ali and Roger Holt organized it from 2004-2014.