This is a big weekend for cyclists in the Ottawa and surrounding area.
For racers, tourists, new cyclists and those curious about cycling – it is the Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour. This is a fantastic event that sees cyclists riding from Ottawa to Kingston – following a range of routes that vary in distance from 100 km to the 220 km. Riders are treated to excellent care and support from Ottawa Bicycle Club members, local cycling and sporting goods store employees/owners and a range of volunteers. Bags are transported, sag wagons are provided, on-road support is provided and the police are out making sure everyone is safe and riding properly. For those staying at Queen’s University in Kingston, there is all the chocolate milk you can drink (though those glasses are pretty darn small!), lots of tasty food, good accommodations and a great venue to unwind and relax after a long day in the saddle.
I’ve only done Rideau Lakes once – and it was one of the most fun times I’ve ever had on a bike. I remember remarking to one of the folks in my riding group who is a former racer, that it was the first time I’d “lined up” for an event on my bike that wasn’t a race. It was a completely new experience, and one that I wish I was doing again. Since that first RLCT experience (the famous year when it poured with rain and the wind howled all the way home on Sunday), I’ve registered but haven’t been able to do the event – always thanks to youknowwhat.
Here’s to a safe, fun, friendly and enjoyable ride to Kingston tomorrow. Do me a favour and in Westport be sure to stop at the general store/gas station and have can of Cream Soda (so good during a long ride) and eat a Fudgesicle and a mint Aero bar for me – that sugar will get you over that last hump. And besides – you deserve it. Congrats for such a huge accomplishment.
The other big event going on this weekend is the Mississippi Mills Stage race. This is the second year for this event, organized by Ride With Rendall. The racing kicked off today with first stage and it looks like it will be a great weekend of racing and post-race story telling. It is very nice to see a local club stepping up and organizing such a huge event. It is a massive undertaking to organize a four-stage stage race along with separate races for those not racing with an elite men’s, M1 or U19 men license.
All the best to those folks who are out racing in the cold wet conditions this weekend. Remember to thank your team car drivers, your team managers, your feed zone people, and most of all the organizers who have worked hard to give you this racing opportunity.
If you’re sticking close to Ottawa this weekend, check out the Nepean BMX Facebook page for updates on the racing at the track on Saturday. Things could change depending on the weather conditions. It is so great to have this new race track in Nepean/Barrhaven – and most of all it is a real treat to see kids of all ages zipping around with big grins on their faces.