January Spokesperson

In this issue:

2017 OBC Holiday Party and Awards


Photos from the 2017 OBC Holiday Party and Awards are in the Club Photo Gallery

The Ottawa Bicycle Club Office was a busy place during the annual Open House with over 60 people coming in for a variety of reasons. We had several curious cyclists asking what they would be in for if they became members. We had lots of fun with them, promoting our club by discussing all the wonderful options available to members. And, we had a great selection of sandwiches, wraps, fruit and vegetable trays, with loads of delicious seasonal treats, including ‘on demand waffles’ covered in berries, whipped cream and maple syrup.

Joining in on the festivities were OBC Board members Jenny Moore (President), Scott McDougall (Vice-President), Ron Stoneham (Treasurer), André Gauthier (Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour & Touring Events), Bob Hicks (Education), Noel Harrington (Youth Program), and Peter Tregunno (Racing Events). Our wonderful Office Administrator, Laura Jane Johnson was also out enjoying the Open House.
OBC Time Trial Awards were handed out by our own Peter Tregunno, Jenny Moore presented her choice for the President’s Award, and the OBC top youth cyclist trophy was given out by Noel Harrington.

Thanks to all who came out to share in this wonderful OBC festive tradition! Have a great holiday.

George Gonis - OBC Social Director

AlaskaBike Social January 10th, 2018

OBC Social at the HMCS Bytown Officers' Mess, doors open at 6:30 p.m.

AlaskaBike Anchorage, Alaska
Greg Rowland, co-owner

Alaska's Bicycle Tour Company since 1993
Experience: 25 years, over 200 tours,
over 2,000 happy customers!


OK Cycle & Adventure Tours Social January 17th, 2018

OBC Social at the HMCS Bytown Officers' Mess, doors open at 6:30 p.m.

OK Cycle & Adventure Tours
Ottawa Manny Agulnik, host

over 20 years  experience coordinating tours all over the world
Bike Tours, Boat-Bike Tours, Adventure Tours, Trekking/Hiking/Walking Tours, Ottawa Area Tours, Special Tours


OBC X-C Ski Social Wednesday, January 24th, 2018

We are having another OBC Cross-country Ski Social.! Please meet in the P10 parking lot in Gatineau Park at 6:15 p.m.  We will ski up the Fortune Parkway and turn west at the T-junction toward the Champlain Lookout.  We will meet at the Huron Cabin at about 7:15 p.m. to 7:30ish. If you like, bring a snack wrapped in tin foil to warm up on the stove and something to drink. If you can, please bring an item to share with each other (e.g., a can of cashews, a bag of chips, an assortment of vegetables with dip). Door Prizes will be given out.
 We should stay about an hour or so, then ski back down to the cars for about 9:30ish. I will be at P10 with a blue Subaru Impressa (licence BKKM 039) at 6:15 p.m.. We will assembly in the parking lot and go from there. My cell number is (613) 668-1076.
Drop in to see us if you are skiing on your own! Take care.
NOTE: if it is raining and miserable, or snow conditions are really bad, we will alert you as soon as we can to cancel
George Gonis - OBC Social Director


OBC Trip to Forest City Velodrome, Nov 24-26

Many cyclists, when the cold and snow arrives, retreat to bike trainers or switch to skis or fat bikes. But for track enthusiasts, winter means track season - Ontario's indoor velodromes beckon!

Bill Bourne organized an OBC trip to Forest City Velodrome in London Ontario at the end of November. Seven riders between the ages of 15 and 75 attended. Whether a beginner or a seasoned track rider, these trips follow a similar format and offer a great experience and a ton of fun packed into a long weekend:

  • Drive down Friday during the day
  • Friday Night is for getting new riders trained on riding fixed gear bikes and riding the track. Experienced riders refamiliarize themselves with FCV's short track. Get the rust out, get comfortable on the track.
  • Saturday and Sunday Morning we participate in the FCV recreational group riding sessions. Ride the track in pacelines with 10-20 other riders. Meet and socialize with other riders. Get in some good endurance riding.
  • We have a couple of sessions of private track time where we have the track to ourselves. Bill leads exercises based on whatever our riders would like to do. Getting this kind of private track time is very rare. We take full advantage of it!
  • Our youth riders join the Kallisto FCV youth development program in a structured training session. It's a great opportunity for them to train with experienced track riders.
  • We drive back Sunday afternoon, happy and feeling the tired satisfaction of a great riding experience.

This trip had an added attraction ... Saturday night was Race Night! And wow, does FCV know how to host a racing event! Loud music, lasers, spotlights and stage lighting, an exciting announcer .., it's a special experience for both the riders and the spectators. For our part, we left the racing to our four youth riders, Ben Harrington, Brett Stoppa, Matt Dickson, and Carson Miles. It was Ben and Matt's first track racing ever, and Brett and Carson's first time racing on the short FCV velodrome. These are fun races, with four categories based on ability, rather than age or sex. Our riders rode in the top categories and did fantastically. All four had at least one top 3 placing. They all rode with confidence and skill, handling the 10-second lap times, over 2 Gs in the bankings and close group riding like seasoned 6-day riders!

We are planning a couple more trips to FCV this winter. If you are interested, just let Bill Bourne know.

Here’s a few photos. For more photos, and some videos of the action see: https://1drv.ms/f/s!Ai6M5ygOH2X9gaZhgoVf6se_penoHg

Ben Harrington entering the velodrome:

Matt Dickson on the front of the peloton:

Ben attacking off the front:

Our four racers. From left to right: Matt Dickson (OBC), Ben Harrington (OBC), Carson Miles (ECG), Brett Stoppa (ECG)

Local Riders on Podium at UCI Track World Cup Dec 1-3

The best track cyclists from over 20 countries converged at the Mattamy National Cycling Centre at the beginning of December for three days of fantastic racing at the  Tissot UCI Track World Cup - Milton This is the first time the UCI Track World Cup has come to Canada.

And two graduates of our region’s Youth Development Program were on the podium! Ariane Bonhomme trained as a youth with Club Cycliste les Cuisses Or de l’Outaouais and was coached by Dob Moxley. She won gold as a member of the Canadian Women’s Team Pursuit team. Derek Gee won silver as a member of the Canadian Men’s Team Pursuit team. The team set a new Canadian record in their second ride and were well on their way to winning the gold medal matchup against New Zealand, but they lost a rider and got slowed up by a crash. Derek came through the OBC Youth Development Program and was also coached by Don Moxley. Derek and Ariane are just two examples of many successful elite riders who got their start on our Youth Development programs. It takes years and a lot of support for riders to make it to success in international competition. Club programs like the OBC’s Youth Development and Junior racing programs are essential for developing our next generation of athletes, regardless of whether they go on to be elite athletes or recreational riders.

Here’s a couple photos of the Canadian women’s team pursuit team in action:

For spectator excitement and engagement, nothing beats track racing. The racing is fast and close, with sprinters hitting speeds of over 70 KPH on the steeply banked track. The spectators are close to the action… just a few feet from the riders, and with a good view of the entire track. And the riders are known for coming to the rail to accept “high-fives” from the crowd,  take selfies and chat with fans after the race. If you missed this year’s excitement, fear not! The UCI Track World Cup is back in Milton for 2018 and 2019.

Ontario Cup Track Races Dec 9-10

By now you may be sick of Spokesperson articles about track! But, hey, it’s the middle of track season, and the roads are snow covered and the velodromes are busy!

Each winter the OCA runs a series of Youth Development and Ontario Cup Track races at the Mattamy National Cycling Centre leading up to the provincial championships in March.

The Youth Development races are for riders from age 10 to 18, and are focussed on giving athletes a chance to develop their track racing skills. Riders race in one of 5 categories based on ability, rather than age or sex. There is an additional category for para-athlete youth. An athlete rides 4 events over the course of the meet. While the emphasis is on fun and development, riders still give it their all, and the racing is quite exciting.

We had three athletes ride the youth development  races Saturday. Denis Berthelot (who just turned 11!), Ben Harrington, and Brett Stoppa. This was Denis’ first time track racing, and Ben’s first time riding at the Mattamy National Cycling Centre.

You may be wondering why “we” includes the Equipe Cycliste Gatineau. The OBC Youth Program works collaboratively with other clubs in the region, specifically with Club cycliste Les Cuisses Or de l'Outaouais for athletes up to 16 years of age (up to Cadet or U17), and with the Equipe Cycliste Gatineau for junior racing. This collaboration allows us to share the load, use the strengths of each club, and give our athletes a better experience.

All our athletes all rode strong, competitive races. The velodrome was still decked out from the UCI World Cup the previous weekend, which added to the energy. Below are some photos of the youth in action.

Sunday was the Ontario Track Cup, or O-Cup, racing. This event is for Junior men and women  and adult men and women. Brett Stoppa rode again in the junior men’s events. And why let the kids have all the fun? Bill Bourne, at the ripe old age of 62, rode in the men’s races. Fortunately for Bill, the men’s category is divided into 3 ability-based groups. But even in the slowest category the races average 45 KPH, and top speeds are in the high 50s. Fortunately, the races are short for the C category, the longest being 10KM, or 40 laps of the track. Here’s a couple of photos from the day.

If you would like to see more photos, see:  https://1drv.ms/f/s!Ai6M5ygOH2X9gacolCpDwUrRNoCGeA

Vermont Weekend Where Would You Like to Stay?

Participation in the Vermont Weekend has more or less plateaued the last few years at around 25 riders. It’s still a great tour, but far from the days when over 100 people from the OBC would descend on the state to enjoy the riding and attractions there.

About five years ago, we stopped going to the colleges where the tour originated. As we got older, many of us lost interest in sleeping on plastic mattresses, sharing bathrooms, and eating cafeteria food. The inns where we now stay are more civilized, more comfortable, and usually serve better food. They cost more, but for those who still do the tour, it seems to be worth it.

This year we’re planning to move north from Brandon to Montpelier, the state capital, where there is a wide variety of excellent cycling routes. The town itself has amenities that appeal to most Canadians, with interesting shops, restaurants, a movie theatre, and the well-known Onion River Bike Shop.

Montpelier also has some options for accommodation, with a large hotel, a mid-sized inn, and the Vermont College of Fine Arts with a dormitory and a cafeteria buffet that is managed by the New England Culinary Institute.

Pricing for the inn and the hotel  is going to be approximately $450 - $500 per person. We paid $370 last year for the Brandon Inn, but the college will cost $220 per person (double occupancy) including three dinners and three breakfasts. A child can share a room with their parents (no bedding) at no extra cost except meals - $70.

I need feedback from people who are interested in this tour. Where would you rather stay, the college or the inn? What about staying both places; it would split the group, but the inn and the college are quite close together and it might provide a workable alternative.

There is also the option of going back to Brandon, where there is excellent cycling at a more affordable cost.

We will set up a survey early in the new year, so look for that and let us know if this tour interests you.

Bob Hicks

When the One-Metre Rule Meets the Solid Centre Line

I wrote recently about the one-metre rule – how it appears that lots of motorists are obeying the spirit of the new law and giving us more room on the road. There is an issue with the law that I haven’t heard talked about much and it needs to be addressed if cyclists and motorists are to remain on friendly terms.

The provinces (and states) are inconsistent about whether it is legal to cross a solid centre line; in Ontario, the solid line is no more than a suggestion not to pass, but in Quebec it is against the law. However, in Quebec it is expressly permitted to cross a solid centre line in order to pass a slow-moving vehicle if it can be done safely.

I have read opinions both ways for the other provinces and honestly cannot find out what position they take on this. At any rate, I do not believe that many motorists know for certain what the law permits. From time to time, I find drivers waiting behind me when they have a solid centre line but there is plenty of time and room to pass. It’s a serious problem for them, because they may risk a fine and demerit points if they guess wrong.

Now that the provinces have passed these laws describing minimum passing clearance, they need to make a better effort to explain to motorists what they are allowed to do when they come upon slow-moving vehicles.

There are plenty of discussions on the internet about the one-metre rule (or its variants in other jurisdictions). Bob Mionske is a U.S. bike lawyer who always has a thoughtful perspective on cycling issues. Here’s a link to an interview with him on the topic:


Bob Hicks – Director of Education

How to Rock 2018!

The year 2018 has lots of things to watch: the Winter Olympics, World Cup Soccer, a royal wedding, the 105th Tour de France and much more.
If you are looking to DO something big this year join us for the 47th edition of the Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour (RLCT) happening June 9-10th.
How can you make 2018 the best year yet?

  • Register for the Tour starting January 31st
  • Remember to get your OBC membership first to receive your registration discount
  • Ask your family to train with you
  • Ask your friends to train with you
  • Mix up the training: try some cross-country skiing, skating, spinning or any other activity that strengthens your muscles and stamina
  • Consider riding or volunteering

We cannot promise warm, sunny days and favourable winds, but we can promise to do our best to help you rock your ride or volunteer experience!
Visit often the RLCT website for all your Tour needs


OK Cycle Tours

OK Cycle & Adventure Tours upcoming presentation evenings for January and February are the following:

January 16th will be in cooperation with the Spanish Embassy

February 13th will be in cooperation with the Greek Embassy

Both very interesting countries with incredible histories and fun to visit.

These evenings will be held at the Main Branch of the Ottawa Public Library 120 Metcalfe at Laurier Room B125.

7:00 pm. Doors open at 6:30. Space being limited, best to rsvp katherine@okcycletours.com

These are free evenings that offer an opportunity to learn about cycling, boat/bike and walking tours plus ask questions from the embassy representatives about their countries.

We will be also doing a general OBC tour presentation evening on January 17th at the Naval Officers Mess 78 Lisgar. Please look for George’s details elsewhere in the Spokesperson.



Club Office Information

170b Booth Street (Downtown Ottawa at the corner of Booth and Albert)

Office Hours

Mon - 3 PM to 8 PM     
Wed - 3 PM to 8 PM
Sun - 12 Noon to 4 PM

Mailing Address

Ottawa Bicycle Club
Post Office Box 4298 Station E
Ottawa, ON K1S 5B3

Office Administrator

Laura Jane Johnson : E-mail

OBC Contact Information

Telephone 613-230-1064
Fax 613-230-9504

Find us On-line

Webmaster Jeffrey Furry : E-mail 

Club website
Discussion Forum


Editor - Lynn Sones : E-mail

Submissions: newsletter@ottawabicycleclub.ca


Member Services

Club Clothing Boutique

Bike Shop Discounts

Club Calendar  

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is the de facto management body of the OBC, with powers defined by the Ottawa Bicycle Club Constitution. Directors of the Board are mandated by club members to conduct club business on their behalf through elections held at the Club's Fall Annual General Meeting.

2017 Board of Directors

President - Jenny Moore
Vice President - Scott McDougall
Treasurer - Ron Stoneham
Secretary - Jason Clark
Marketing & Communications - Lynn Sones
Touring - Nicolas Déry
Social - George Gonis
Racing Events - Peter Tregunno
Youth Program - Noel Harrington
Education - Bob Hicks
RLCT & Touring Events -  André Gauthier
Director Without Portfolio - Malcolm Townsend
Director Without Portfolio - Eric Burpee
Director Without Portfolio - Bill Bourne

Board Meetings

Meetings are held on the first (non-holiday) Monday of each month to discuss Club business in an organized manner.



Committees may be established by the Directors to support the activities of the Board and activities relating to specific events, such as racing, socials and the Rideau Lakes Tour.

Club Members

Members are welcome to attend Board meetings and find out more about how the club is managed. Members are also welcome and encouraged to assist with specific portfolios or events by approaching a director.

How to Become a Member

Club application forms are only accepted electronically via the on-line registration site.

Ottawa Bicycle Club Objectives

To conduct, encourage and promote cycle racing, cycle touring and recreational cycling;

To assist the cycling community at large in the promotion, encouragement and understanding of all aspects of cycling and related activities;

To ascertain, defend and pursue the rights of cyclists;

To promote youth cycling;

To carry on the above objectives in affiliation with the Canadian Cycling Association;