We saw all different types of bikes, ranging from mountain bikes to cruiser bikes to $10,000 road bikes.... and all different types of people to go along with them. Simply amazing. The main thing is that you choose a reasonable pace and do some preparation rides so you don't get too sore in the butt!
Basically, the tour goes from Ottawa to Kingston on Saturday and back on Sunday. There are three routes to choose from. The Classic route is the original route that is 177km each way. This route goes through Perth and Westport. The first half is very flat but between Westport and Kingston there are some pretty good climbs! They are always hard after being on the bike for 100km already. The Cruise route is the same length but is unsupported (no support vehicles, signs or rest stops). It goes through Merrickville and Manotick. Between Kingston and Merrickville is very twisty and rolling and a lot of fun! After that it gets pretty flat as you get more uncomfortable and approach Ottawa. The final route is called the Challenge route. This is because it is 225km! It is also an unsupported route...I'm not sure exactly where it goes because I have never done it.....my butt is sore enough after 177km.
Karl, Craig and I did this ride with former XC Ottawa member Arno Turk as well as our friends Ken Murray and Kate Belcher and 1800 other friendly cyclists. We started out at 7:30 on Saturday morning on the Classic route, faced with a day of headwinds and over 30 degree muggy weather. Luckily our group was free of mishaps (unlike our ride the previous week...) and we made it to Kingston hot and tired but happy. So many people were sporting bright red sunburns in interesting designs you can only get from cycling. After a hot night with less than stellar sleep we again faced the heat and rode home on the Cruise route... this time with the wind much less menacing and sometimes even a tailwind! The way home is always a bit more uncomfortable with sore body parts creeping up on you but everyone made it home safe and sound. It is a good event and lots of fun! An easy way to get in a couple of 6 hour days of easy distance.