This past weekend, June 9-10, I road my sixth Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour. This is one of the signature events for the Ottawa Bicycle Club and has been very well run for 41 years. This year's tour was no exception.
The tour is an organized ride from Carleton University, in Ottawa, to Queens University, in Kingston, and returning the next day. Attracting riders form all over, the tour accommodates 2,000 or so riders over four routes:
The Classic, by far the busiest route clocks in at 177km each day.
The Century, really the Classic route with the start moved to Perth. Still a respectable 100km each day
The Cruise, a more southerly route a little longer, maybe a little flatter then the Classic. Officially 179km each way.
The Challenge, 225km of hilly Eastern Ontario roads. Starting with the Classic, this route takes a northerly detour through Almont, Elphin and Boilingbroke before rejoining the Classic route before Westport.
This year I road the Challenge route on Saturday and the Cruise Sunday. Both days were brilliant. The weather was overcast, with a short period of light rain on Saturday. The rain came towards the end of my eight hours in the saddle, not so heavy as to make riding miserable. Just enough to motivate to end the ride as quickly as possible. Sunday was sunny and hot, a beautiful day with the danger of over heating. The Cruise route had good shade and everyone in our group managed to remain well hydrated. We finished strong and together. A great ride a great tour. Thanks OBC and the legion of volunteers that make this fine event possible.
I didn't bring my camera, so I'll link to a Fliker slide-show of the Ottawa Bicycle Club's Rideau Lakes Tour through the years.
If this inspires you, register early. The Tour sells out every year.