TRURO – The Heartland Tour is making its return to Victoria Park for its 11th year.

The tour promotes physical activity and health through cycling, something that Raj Makkar, a local committee member, enjoys on a regular basis.

“For me and the other tour riders, we get a lot of pleasure from having people come and get into cycling,” Makkar said. “Cycling is great. It’s a great family activity. I live outside Bible Hill and almost every day I see people out cycling.”

On July 12, cyclists of all ages will gather at the band shell at Victoria Park. Those embarking on a 55 to 60 kilometre road ride will leave at 9:30 a.m., with a 20-kilometre trail ride through Victoria Park departing shortly thereafter.

This is the second year the trail ride has been included in the Truro stop, and roughly 30 participated in it specifically last year. Adding it was simple, said Makkar.

“We’re extremely fortunate to have Victoria Park in our downtown core. It’s just beautiful.”

Because 2017 is Canada’s 150th anniversary, Makkar said more funding and infrastructure was available for the Heartland Tour through the federal government.

This year’s jerseys commemorate the anniversary by including the Canada 150 logo and its colours, representing Canada’s diversity, with red symbolizing pride and unity.

At the Truro stop of the tour, the Heart and Stroke Foundation will be on site, offering a walk through the park to those interested.

Makkar hopes doctors with the Walk With a Doc program will also be able to participate.

Following the return of the riders to the park, six bicycles and helmets will be given away to participants. There will be free food from Subway, as well as free water and snacks. There will be live entertainment and face painting, and core riders will offer a short ride through the park with children.

There will be a demonstration from Langille’s Tae Kwon Do, as well as yoga and Zumba for children.

All activities are free, as is registration for the rides or walk.

For more information or to register, visit heartlandtour.ca.