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XC Ottawa rides the 2011 Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour
By:  Andre Marchand   (2011/06/17)


For those who aren't familiar with this event, the Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour is an annual event organized by the Ottawa Bicycle Club. It is simply a supported ride from Ottawa to Kingston or from Perth to Kingston, 180 km or 100 km rides respectively. Once you have arrived in Kingston your bags have been delivered for your stay on the Queens university campus. Then after a good night of sleep you ride back to your starting location.

Some of our team members have been doing this for years, and so each year we put together a group of riders interested in making the trek. This year 4 XC Ottawa members took part in the ride from Ottawa to Kingston... and back of course! They were Karl Saidla & Megan McTavish (the hardened veterans), Peter Beisel (a first-timer) and myself. Also part of the group were ex-XC Ottawa members such as Arno Turk, and Gavin Hamilton, and finally some team friends Stephanie Rees and Claude Marchand.

The chain gang.

The ride departs from the Carleton University campus early Saturday morning. Above we have the gang all together and eager to get the ride started!

On the first day we decided to go the unsupported route, that is we went through Merrickville then Elgin on our way to Kingston. We choose to go the unsupported route because we find it nice to not see the same scenery both days. It does come with the risk of no support vehicles circulating, and no official OBC rest stops. Our ride up was happily free of hick-ups so we did not regret our decision.

And as for the rest stops to refuel, Karl had it covered!

We made three short pit-stops both days over the 180 km rides. Always eating and refilling our bottles because after all we would be riding for about 6 hours each day! Also, I was continuously applying sunscreen to avoid sun burns, but I'm not complaining because that is way better than the rain they were predicting :) We were super lucky and got sunshine both ways!

The other important thing to do at our stops was obviously to pose together. Here we are sporting our super nice Fresh Air Experience bike kits at our last stop before Kingston.

Finally we arrive in Kingston at the Queens University campus where all the cyclists gather at the end of there long day. The nice part about arriving in Kingston is that there is a Barbecue and Beer tent waiting for you when you get there! Nothing like a burger and a cold beer to speed up recovery!

Here is a video I took as we were riding to Kingston: