February Spokesperson

In this issue:

President's Message

It is spinning bike and snow bike season.  Some of us have switched to skis.  All of us are trying to stay tuned up!

Your Board is busy planning 2018 cycling activities.  OBC membership and the Rideau Lakes Cycling Tour registrations are open.  The Virginia, Westport, and  Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu Tours are available for sign-up and groups are heading to the track.  From our youth and junior programs to our TTs, day tours and touring events, we are working to keep our programs running and are looking for your ideas.  

All of our programs depend on volunteers and leadership.  We are fortunate to have some steadfast volunteers but as indicated in the Directors’ wrap up reports before our AGM last November, we need new volunteers.  So please consider adding this role to your cycling roster.  Just contact the office or any of the Executive or Directors.

Soon we will all be back on the road again.

Jenny Moore

p.s. our website has the details including the Social calendar

Spring to Virginia Registration Open

(The last one) April 6th to April 15th, 2018

This is the very last Virginia spring tour! So come out and enjoy as hundreds have over many years this trip has run. I remember my first time on the tour when every day's ride was the best ride of my life even better than the day before. Come out and enjoy some of the most pleasant riding available.

The trip offers a range of cycling options for the recreational cyclist to the most hard core. You will be able to select rides each day of 20 km on rolling terrain to 150 km in the mountains, a little something for everyone. We have selected two hotels in the centre of small historic towns of Lexington VA (for 5 nights) and Harrisonburg VA (for 4 nights).

Each day you will be provided with cue sheets, GPS files and company to explore the beautiful scenery around these two towns.

This is a great way to kick start your cycling season cycling on quiet paved roads where motorist are friendly to cyclists and there is nothing to worry about except whether or not you will run out of memory space in your camera. The terrain ranges from small towns, farms, horse ranches on palatial estates, to forest and are considered by many to be some of the best cycling available in North America.

Registration open on the Spring to Virginia page.

Westport Registration Open

May 23-25 2018

Westport offers ideal terrain for Spring Training. Routes heading North to villages such as Maberly, Lanark , Sharbot Lake or Elphyn  travel along mostly quiet but hilly roads. You can also enjoy more undulating terrain by heading East toward Brockville through small villages such as Athens, Delta and Lyndhurst.

The tour will take you to the most impressive locks on the Rideau Canal Lock System (The Narrows, Newboro, Chaffeys, Davis and Jones Falls).

Registration open on the Westport page.

Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu Registration Open

July 27 to 29 2018

In 2018 we will be celebrating the 5th anniversary of our tour in the Eastern Townships of Quebec.  Once again we will be returning to the Auberge Harris in Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu for our Friday, Saturday, & Sunday weekend tour.  This year the tour will run from Friday, July 27 to Sunday July 29.

Once again, we will be hosted at the Auberge by Mme Boucher-Boutin who will provide us with facilities for early arrival on Friday and late departure on Sunday for those who want to get in extra rides at the start or finish of our weekend tour.  The Auberge has a beautiful outdoor heated salt water pool for relaxation following an exhilarating ride or even in lieu of a ride on one of the 3 days.  It has a sauna and exercise room as well as a billiard room.  The Auberge is designed specifically to accommodate cycling groups.

Registration open on the Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu page.

Looking for Tour Leaders for Family Rides

I am looking for members that would be interested in leading family rides that we will be adding to the 2018 touring program. Currently, we would be planning to have 1 ride a week, and this would be shorter rides (approximately 90 minutes to 2 hours), at a slow pace. I am still working on the details for this ride, as well as planning the routes. I am looking for ride leaders to help guide the rides, as we are looking at offering a pleasant experience for our club members that have families and want to ride together.

Please e-mail Laura if you are interested. I will get back to you with more information, and we will go into more detailed planning early in the spring.

OBC Touring Program Director

Touring Program 2018 Season

The weather is still cold outside, but the planning of the 2018 Touring Program has started. I am currently in the process of putting in the ride dates in the 2018 calendar and will be working on the routes for the rides during the month of February. We are looking at adding some new routes and will also scout some of the existing routes early in the spring to look for potential trouble spots to modify the routes to avoid them. We will also modify some routes with the feedback received from club members and tour leaders, your comments are always welcome and appreciated.

I am also looking at adding more rides to the calendar to give club members more choices and opportunities to ride. One type of ride that will be added this year will be more family friendly (shorter rides tailored for riding as a family). These rides should start late in the spring / in early summer, once the weather is more stable.

We will also be running a pilot program this year to rides during the week at different starting locations, speeds, and times. More information to come on this subject in the early spring, so keep an eye on the OBC website and newsletter for more details.

I am looking forward to a great 2018 touring program and always welcome your comments and suggestions (new routes, safety warnings, new ideas, etc…). You can reach me at by e-mail

OBC Touring Program Director

Touring Events

The 2018 Touring schedule is coming along very well. Most dates are available on our website under Touring. The Spring to Virginia Tour in April,  the May Tour to Westport and the St-Jean-sur-Richelieu Tour in July are now accepting registrations while the May Tour to Northumberland will be open to registrations shortly. For all the other tour information, keep checking the website for ongoing updates on registration.  Please let me know if you are interested in coordinating an existing Tour or one that you feel would be of interest to club members.

Questions and queries regarding the Rideau Lakes Cycling Tour can be sent either to me or to the Rideau Lakes link found on the OBC website.

André Gauthier

Vermont Weekend - August 3 - 6 - Montpelier, VT

With the cost to stay at an inn or hotel having risen dramatically, we've decided to try this tour once more at a college: Vermont College of Fine Arts. The club has stayed at the college a couple of times back in the late 80s and early 90s, when it was simply the Vermont College and was associated with Norwich University in Northfield, VT.

By far the smallest state capital in the US, Montpelier is worth a visit on its own, with several nice, affordable restaurants and interesting shops. As a cycling destination, it offers access to a wide variety of quiet routes to suit all levels of strength and endurance.

The college has 29 double occupancy rooms plus four singles. Although pricing is not final, at US$75 per double room per night, the cost in Canadian dollars per person for three nights will be in the neighborhood of $150; a single will be about $260.

We will not be including meals as part of the club package; they are available in the college cafeteria at US$7 for breakfast and US$10.50 for dinner. Anyone who wants to eat elsewhere can choose from many alternatives.

Children: One child can stay in a room with two adults at no extra charge. The only additional cost will be for meals.


OBC Social - Holland and Belgium Bicycle Tour

by Les Humphreys, Fred Geuer, and Dave McAuslan
When: Wed, February 21st, 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Where: 78 Lisgar St, Ottawa, ON K2P 0C1, Canada (map)

Going Dutch in Holland & Belgium

Four riders from Almonte and one from Toronto met in May in Delft, in Holland for a 12 day 1000 kilometer self guided tour through Holland and Belgium. Our trip took us east across the Amsterdam hinterland to Woerden, Nijkerk, Zwolle, then, heading south along the Ijessel to Deventer & Arnhem, the Waal to Nijmegen,and the Maas toVenlo and Maastricht. After a brief foray into Belgium along the Albert Canal to Geel, returning to Breda in Holland, we split. Three continued on to Rotterdam to finish in Amsterdam, while the remaining two cut back through Belgium to pick up the Gravellines ferry to Britain for the return flight from Gatwick.

We stayed mainly in hotels, some B&B, all booked on the internet by organiser Fred Geuer, with some help from his dutch relatives. We were too late for the tulips but we enjoyed many easy days in warm sunshine along dykes, rivers and canals. We navigated via GPS, aided by cycling maps issued by the dutch automobile association. We gave museums a miss but spent many evenings in town squares enjoying a drink amid the passing parade of pedallers.


We paused for a moment of reflexion at the Canadian War Cemetery at Groesbeek before moving on to Venlo. Among the few hills encountered, it was in Valkenberg, above Maastricht where we got blown away. A lone break by a blue rinse lady riding an e-bike in her Sunday best left us gasping in her wake.

One museum we did not miss was the Hotel Courage at Nijmegen. Attached to it there's a bicycle museum. The museum comprised three floors packed choc a bloc with mostly pre-1890 machines including hobby horses, boneshakers and trikes. Some machines of cabinet maker quality, were exquisitely crafted, others, more crudely fashioned of blacksmith origin. The collection featured a wide variety of unique mechanical innovations, too numerous to absorb in a single visit. Hotel Courage also offers rental bikes and scooters to tourists coming off the riverboats moored opposite the hotel.

In a land of helmet deniers, one class of rider stood apart from the utilitarian milieu. We saw many cycling clubs out on the road, all lycra clad, all riding carbon bikes and all wearing helmets. Our paths seldom if ever crossed but we encountered many riders of the utilitarian variety, including one who blew by on a fully enclosed recumbent.

For anyone who's interested in learning more about the trip, Les Humphreys, Fred Geuer and Dave McAuslan will be at the Navy Mess for the Club Social on Wednesday Feb 21st
at 7:30 pm to give a presentation on their experiences.    More Pictures in the club photo gallery

As you already know, the presentation is at the HMCS Bytown Officers' Mess (Naval) CROW'S NEST at 78 Lisgar It begins at 7:30 p.m. 'ish'. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Look for the anchor on the lawn directly across the street from the south entrance of Ottawa City Hall. And, there is a cash bar to boot. Let's hope to see you there. Note: there is limited free parking on the east side of the building. Get there early for a parking spot. DOOR PRIZES will be given out.

George Gonis - OBC Social Director

Advanced Skills Clinic 2018


This is a nine-week clinic aimed at experienced riders who want to develop the skills needed to ride safely in a group with a high level of skill and fun. The sessions will take place on Monday evenings from 6:30 to 8 pm during April, May and June.
Sessions: Mondays from April 23rd, 6:30 pm
Organizer: Bob Hicks, e-mail , 613 862-1024   

Registration & Cost

All participants must register on-line.  There is a charge for the course of $65, which includes on-line access to all course materials and covers the cost of dinner on the last night.

Not for Beginners – Road Bikes Only

The course is not for beginners, so if you do not have much experience, you should take the introductory Group Riding Clinic first, go on club rides, and come back next year for the advanced clinic.

The course involves lots of agility work and group riding. You must bring a bike with drop handlebars and NO time trial bars.


Classroom sessions are in the Council Chamber at Ben Franklin Place where we handle the administration and introductory material followed by a second session on traffic safety.

After the first two sessions, we will move to Tunney’s Pasture for four sessions, two sessions in the Gatineau Park and one at the Experimental Farm.

Euro-Sports & Bike 2 Body

For several years, Mike Bennett of Euro-Sports and Mary Paterson of Bike 2 Body have generously donated their time and expertise to the skills clinic. Mike checks and ensures that all bikes are in satisfactory mechanical condition before taking part in the clinic; Mary, a registered physiotherapist and certified bike fit professional, provides a basic bike fit to all students in the clinic. These services help provide us with a safer learning environment and ensure that no student is handicapped by a bike that is not properly fitted to their body.

The Coaches

Our coaches are volunteers from the OBC. Most have years of racing experience and experience teaching learn to race clinics.

The Curriculum Details

The curriculum has been adapted from Cycling Canada’s "Learn to Race" manual and modified over the years to meet the specific needs of our group.  Although this is not a “learn to race” course, the skills are the same required to be a competent racing cyclist.
Week 1 – Council Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Dr, classroom session

  • Introduction
  • Video
  • Q & A

Week 2 – Council Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Dr, classroom session

  • Traffic safety
  • Video
  • Q & A

Week 3 – Tunney’s Pasture

  • Bicycle Safety Checks
  • Bike fit
  • Agility drills

Week 4 – Tunney’s Pasture

  • Agility drills
  • Braking
  • Pedalling
  • Side-by-side bumping
  • Wheel touching
  • Cornering

Week 5 – Tunney’s Pasture

  • Cornering side-by-side
  • Looking behind while keeping a straight line
  • Single-file
  • Single echelon
  • Double echelon
  • Bumping & wheel touching review
  • Agility drills

Week 6 – Tunney’s Pasture

  • Sprinting
  • Group sprinting and coming off a wheel
  • Single echelon review
  • Double echelon review
  • Cornering review
  • Agility drills
  • Bumping & wheel touching

Week 7 – Gatineau Park, P8 (Meach Lake Rd & Parkway)

  • Taking a feed
  • Hill climbing
  • Descending
  • Changing gears

Week 8 – Experimental Farm, Cow Lane & Morningside Lane

  • Echelons on rolling terrain
  • Controlling speed
  • Sitting on

Week 9 – Gatineau Park, P8

  • Putting it together – a ride in the park
  • Evaluation of the clinic
  • Graduation Dinner

The Vehicular Cyclist

I’ve written a couple of columns recently about how cyclists need to think about positioning themselves on the road.

Along with a few other club members, I recently took a Can-Bike course. One point that was drilled into us was the importance of making ourselves visible to other vehicles; to do that, we needed to ditch the idea that we should be hugging the right edge of the roadway, where we actually become invisible to motorists. Better to stay three-quarters to a full metre to the left of the edge, where we are in full view. The notion that cyclists have not just a legal right to a significant portion of their lane, but a need to take it for safety reasons is worth a reminder.

Many of you know Avery Burdett as a former club president and a regular presence at the weekly time trials, but he has been writing on the subject of cycling and the law from the perspective of a club cyclist since the early 1990's. He maintains a website, The Vehicular Cyclist, that provides a wealth of information about strategies for keeping yourself safe on the road as well as discussion about cyclists and the law. I highly recommend checking it out.

Avery recently posted an article to the club forum that bears repeating here: “what most motorists and many cyclists still believe to be the rules of the road do not stand up to scrutiny. It still remains the prevailing view and attitude that we should just ‘get out of the way’ of motor vehicles. This needs to change and one way of doing it is for all cyclists to consistently exercise our full and equal legal rights to the road. The prize is that it makes cycling safer for all of us.”

“There are eight articles on [his] Cyclist Rights page that address various aspects of Ontario's Highway Traffic Act as affecting cyclists. Sections 147 and 148 of seem to be particularly problematic to many -  both motorists and cyclists.  [He covers] S.147 on slow moving vehicles in Cycling and the Law.  Covered in Notes on S.148 are key sections that apply to cyclists while being passed.  Both of these articles are especially relevant to our right to ride two abreast in addition to the practice of ‘taking the lane’ that some of us apply.”

You may find some of Avery’s opinions controversial and I would be interested in your feedback on all the subjects he addresses.

One of the problems we cyclists have to deal with is how to “share the road.” If you consider that one lane on a roadway is approximately 3 to 3.5 metres wide and a typical car is about 1.8 metres wide, there is somewhere between 1.2 to 1.7 metres on the right side of the roadway for a cyclist if a motorist passes hugging the centre line. I’ve already told you that Can-Bike recommends riding out from the edge of the road by at least .75 metres, so, even on a wide roadway, there is hardly enough pavement left for a car to pass with one metre clearance unless they move into the oncoming lane.

I have mixed feelings on this; I would like to see cars pass, as a rule, in the oncoming lane whenever possible. Riding two abreast encourages motorists to do so. But, rather than hold up traffic when it’s not possible and as long as the road is not too narrow, I’m willing to move to the right and single up for as long as necessary. I can do this quite safely and comfortably because I use a mirror and can see behind me and judge that I am not going to be squeezed off the road. Shoulder checking in such a situation is not practical or safe.

As always, I welcome your comments,
Bob Hicks, Director of Education

RLCT Registration is Open

A friendly reminder when registering for the Tour. To receive the OBC member discount, you must log in with the same CCN user account (email address) you used to purchase your 2018 OBC membership. If you are not yet a 2018 registered OBC member, add your OBC membership to your cart FIRST and then
register for the RLCT. The online registration process directs you on becoming an OBC member for 2018.

To register for the Tour visit our website at http://www.ottawabicycleclub.ca/rlct/regnow.

Not riding this year? Consider volunteering. If you have any questions contact Susanne Reid at https://www.ottawabicycleclub.ca/contact/rideau_lakes_event_manager

Make sure you mark June 9-10th in your calendar!

January 24 OBC Ski Social

On a cold half-moon night, 9 intrepid OBC x-country skiers donned their headlights for a trip to Huron Lodge in Gatineau Park.  The warmth of the cabin and the prizes (2017 RLCT t-shirts) made the night memorable.  Thanks to George Gonis, our intrepid Social Director.

OK Cycle Tours

All about GREECE:

OK Cycle and Adventure Tours invites all club members and others to attend a free embassy presentation evening at the main branch of the Ottawa Public Library

120 Metcalfe corner Laurier. Room B125

February 13th

Presentation starts at 7:00 pm. Doors open at 6:30

Register with katherine@okcycletours.com to be sure that there is space.

We will have a member from the Greek Embassy and Greek Tourism Board doing the presentation.

Come out and learn all about what to see and do in Greece. Plus ask questions.

Cycling, boat and bike and hiking tours in the magical and mystical country of Greece and it historical islands. Cycle tours through the stunning country side, enjoy the Mediterranean sunset each night, and indulge in healthy and abundant local cuisine. A special experience!

And we do send out a once a month e-newsletter about different tours available. Email katherine to sign up. Copies of our once a month e-newsletters are available at our presentation evenings.


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;