June Spokesperson

In this issue:

President's Message

As you read this, you’re probably in the final stages of your preparation for the Rideau Lakes tour, our largest touring event of the season.  There are other resources on the website and in emails that address what to expect and how to prepare, so I won’t rehash them.  Be safe, follow the ride guidelines, and enjoy the ride!  And don’t forget to thank the army of volunteers who make this ride possible when you see them at the check-ins and along the way!

Although the OBC isn’t primarily focused on urban cycling, since many members do ride regularly on city streets and paths, I wanted to make a couple of comments about discussion we’ve had on certain issues that seem to be prominent in the public conversation.  Creating bicycle lanes that are segregated from motor vehicle traffic creates the appearance of improving urban cycling safety, but without substantial evidence to support it.  We’re not opposed to segregated lanes, which possibly make sense on certain downtown streets, but we are opposed to the companion notion that it’s unsafe for bicycles to share city roads with motorized vehicles.  There are thousands of kilometres of roads in Ottawa, and only a small percentage offer the option of a segregated bike lane.  I won’t go into some of my personal experiences and concerns trialling the various flavors of segregated bike lanes, but aside from that, the cost and practicality of adding segregated bike lanes to every road in Ottawa is clearly unreasonable. As a cyclist, you have a right to be on the road, unless clearly posted otherwise (e.g. Highway 417).  That said, you also have an obligation to follow the rules – yielding to pedestrians and other vehicles when necessary, observing traffic lights, stop signs, avoiding riding on sidewalks – the list goes on! You also should ride defensively, making sure motor vehicles can see you. Especially with lights after dark – do I need to say that?

On a personal note, after riding on city streets for over 25 years: I never sneak up on the inside of a motor vehicle with a right turn signal flashing, or a line of motor vehicles, even when there’s a sign telling motor vehicles to yield to bicycles before turning right.  I’ve seen motor vehicles pass bicycles and then turn right in front of them, even with the signage.  Be defensive, slow down, be seen, and avoid the “right hook”!

The OBC’s Advanced Skills Clinic  has a session on traffic safety that focuses on defensive cycling. 

Turning to organized OBC rides, you’ll appreciate how we plan most of our routes outside of the city core, on roads that are less-travelled.  We’re not afraid of motor vehicles, but planning routes that avoid heavy traffic is a common sense approach that we’ll continue to follow.
Update on club policies: the 1.0 draft policy suite is being reviewed by members of the board.  As soon as that’s completed and comments incorporated, draft 1.1  will be made available  to the membership for your input.  I expect that will happen around the 15th of June, with a 30-day period for comments.  If you have no idea what I’m talking about, please refer to my piece in the May Newsletter for a more fulsome explanation!

Social Media  the OBC has a new Facebook group, and we’d love to see you posting your cycling photos, links to events, informative articles, or other non-political stuff you think would be of interest to our 1000 members.  Please check it out, sign up, and post away! 

A last word on club jerseys – apologies to anyone who read our recent email blast and thought the May order had come in.  It takes several weeks for Castelli to produce our branded jerseys, so we expect the May order will arrive in July.  For those who did order early, wear those new jerseys with pride, to show your membership in Ottawa largest, oldest, and (IMHO) best bicycle club!

Last word – we’re always happy to receive your input.  If you have suggestions, or want to get more involved, give us a call or send us an email.  And help out with club activities via ivolunteer!

Yours in safe cycling –  
Scott McDougall


OBC Cycling Kit Update

As mentioned in the President’s message, the new OBC kit items that were ordered and submitted at the end of March have been manufactured and received at the OBC offices.  While most members have picked their items up, we still have a number of packages that have yet to be claimed.  If you have not picked up your order submitted in March, please come by the office at your earliest convenience to claim your new kit items.

The second Club order was placed with the factory on May 17th and we expect that these items will be delivered sometime during the first or second week of July.  In some instances, the Club did not meet the minimum numbers required to place an order (mostly accessories).  These items have not been ordered and impacted members will not be charged for them.  However, we are able to fulfill a number of these desired products using overstock items that arrived as a part of our March order shipment.  Impacted members will be notified of this directly via email and asked to come to the OBC offices to pay for and pick up these items.  If you ordered an item in May and we did not meet the minimum numbers required (nor could we accommodate you with our overstock), please plan on re-ordering these items under our 3rd and final 2019 order slated for late July.

The third and final order deadline will most likely be Friday July 19th.  We will re-open the team store for purchases in early July once we have the designs in place for all our available kit items.  While this 3rd and final order will offer the basic club kit for sale, we will be offering you new and existing product offerings aimed at keeping you on the road during the colder and rainier weather seasons.  We will also be offering special garments specifically for the use of our large number of cyclocross enthusiasts.  We hope to have sample garments of these new items at the club for sizing and fit in July.

Lastly, those of you who ordered and were delivered the branded OBC Team and Full Finger gloves in the March order will have noticed that the blue colour used is not the same as the blue used on all other OBC kit items.  This was an error made at the factory, we communicated this problem to Castelli and they are rectifying this matter for us.  All members who ordered and received gloves in the March shipment will be receiving replacement pair(s) with the correct blue colour on them in 4-5 weeks time – at no charge.  Those affected members can also keep the gloves that they have already received.  The Club will be notifying all impacted members when these replacement items arrive in Ottawa from the manufacturer.

Importance of the Group Riding Clinic for New OBC Members

The group riding clinic is a mandatory requirement for new club members who will be participating in group rides with the club, even if members have had experience riding with other clubs previously. Here are the reasons why this is an important part of the introduction to the OBC.

Each club has their unique way in which group rides are conducted. I was a member of the Twin Cities Bike Club previously (Minneapolis / St. Paul), and was riding in an urban environment, which required a different group riding style (how to handle stops in town as a group, how to ride through neighborhoods, high traffic roads, bicycle only paths, etc…). When I started with the OBC, I had to take the group riding clinic, which was invaluable to me, as the group riding with the OBC was very different from my experience with the TCBC. The OBC uses some different signals, group formations, and group maneuvers versus my previous clubs.

The OBC has been running its group riding clinic in the spring and early summer to help new members of the club learn the group riding signals, formation and techniques it uses on group rides. This allows new members to learn and practice these skills from well-seasoned instructors, as well as practice them in a controlled environment.

The classes start with a review of the group riding techniques (which are available on the OBC website under the education tab), then a practice on the ground (on foot) of the signals and maneuvers of the group. This helps understand the group formations before attempting them on the bike. Then the group goes on a ride around the grounds of the Experimental Farm to further practice the techniques in a low traffic environment. Finally, the group heads out on a final ride in city streets to practice in an urban environment. This final ride is also a requirement of the clinic.

The group riding clinic is an important part of the safety of the group rides. It makes sure people in the group are communicating effectively and making maneuvers predictable. Not knowing or attempting to learn these skills on an actual group ride puts everybody in a group at risk of an incident.

The group riding clinics are taking place most weekends until the end of June. See the club calendar or the Ride with GPS event calendar for more information.

Have fun this cycling season!

OBC ‘Spring Thing’ Picnic  

Saturday, June 22nd, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.'ish', 2019
In conjunction with the OBC Youth Program at the Asticou Centre in Gatineau (Hull)

Welcome to the OBC 'Spring Thing' Picnic! Please cruise by to take part in the 'Build Your Own Sandwich' event.


As always, there is a great selection of sandwich products, snacks, and various drinks. We have assorted kinds of breads, assorted gluten free and vegan products, vegetables, packages of sliced cheese, tuna, fresh lettuce, hot peppers, pickles, hummus, falafel, dozens of packets of assorted sandwich meats, bags and bags of potato chips, cheesies, pepperoni sticks, cartons of cookies, apples and bananas (to balance things off), a wide selection of pop, coffee (from Equator Coffee!), and tea.

This year we decided to change things up a bit and join the OBC Youth Program, directed by Noel Harrington, at the Asticou Centre in Gatineau (Hull)

There are some 100 eager young cyclists learning to improve their overall bike handling skills and to appreciate the differences between road cycling, track, and cyclocross. Come along with us and say hello to our up and coming OBC ‘charges’ in the beautiful setting of Gatineau Park.

You will notice that we have also changed the day from Sunday to SATURDAY. This made it possible for the Juniors to join us. There will be a special Saturday ride that will meet up with the Spring Thing along the way. Details will follow as we get closer to the event.

If you can’t make the OBC Sunday ride, come and join us by bike, car or city transit. The Asticou Centre has a huge parking lot and is situated along a major bus route.


I hope to see you there! Take care.
George Gonis - OBC Social Director

OBC Youth and Junior Programs

Our vibrant youth program continues to grow with over 80 registrants supported by 18 volunteer coaches for the 2019 spring session. In addition to braving some cold early season training sessions at Asticou and the Central Experimental Farm, we have started to participate in additional local events including the ‘CN Ride for CHEO’ and the OBC’s Almonte Paris-Roubaix cyclosportif event.


Some OBC Youth riders and coaches eager to start the 35km route of the CN Ride for CHEO

On the racing front, a small contingent of youth travelled to Laval on the May long weekend to take part in the first Quebec Cup event of the season, going head-to-head with the best riders from all over Quebec. The OBC had nine riders ranging in age from 9 to 16 and with novice to seasoned race experience. The weekend’s events consisted of a road race, criterium and agility games (U9, U11, and U13) and individual time trial (U15 and U17). Everyone competed with enthusiasm and Carter deVeer and Jazmine Lavergne managed podium finishes.

Jazmine Lavergne on the podium for a second place finish in the U17 individual time trial.

Looking ahead to June, our busiest month of the year, we are pleased to have a contingent of 12 youth riders registered to take on the Perth-Kingston route of the Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour.  Be sure to say hello if you see us out there!

Youth Program Member Profile

Name:  Cooper DeVeer
Age: 9
Favourite thing about cycling:  Going on road trips to bike events with my family.
Favourite event: Eastern Ontario School Mountain Bike Challenge
Favourite post-race food: Sushi
Future goals: To one day be faster than my dad.

New Kit Photo Contest

The new club jerseys have arrived so we're running another photo contest giving members an opportunity to showcase the new jerseys in action.  The  contest will run over the summer in four rounds.  The winner of each round will receive a pair of OBC socks in the new design.  The final winner will receive their choice of either an OBC volunteer's jersey or an OBC membership.  Bring your camera to the next OBC event and submit your photos for your chance to win.


  • All photos submitted may be used by the OBC on the club website, social media and newsletter. However, the original photographer remains the copyright owner of the photograph
  • Contest is open to OBC members only
  • You may only submit your own photos
  • All photos submitted must contain at least one person wearing either new OBC club kit or the OBC Junior Team kit
  • Contest will consist of four rounds. June, July, August, September. 
  • OBC Members will select the top three photos from each round via the  Club Facebook Group
  • Deadline for each round is the end of the month
  • Final winner will be selected from the previous 12 winning photos


There are two options for submissions

  1. Send full sized originals to webmaster@ottawabicycleclub.ca and include your 2019 member number with your submission
  2. Post your photos in the Club Facebook Group with the hashtag #contest

New OBC Strava Club Policy 

As many of you know, Strava is one of the most popular, if not the most widely used, social media platforms in the world - particularly for cyclists. Many OBC members already use this platform and the Club is taking steps to enhance member use and enjoyment of what it has to offer.

The Ottawa Bicycle Club has recently been transferred ownership of the "OBC - Ottawa Bicycle Club" Strava Club after having been set up and managed for a number of years as an open group by ex-OBC Junior Racing Team member, and current professional rider (who is based overseas in Dubai), David Williams - thank you David for your stewardship and support for this group. Concurrently, the OBC has recently registered this group with Strava and this is now the "official" Strava group for Ottawa Bicycle Club members.

The OBC is changing our social media policies on certain platforms, Strava being one of them. Many, if not most of the registered users of the OBC Strava Club are not members of the OBC, making it almost impossible to see how other Club members are doing relative to one another with their riding. As such we have now made this a "closed group" and will only make it available for use to current Club members.

The Club will be giving existing registrants in this Strava Club until Sunday June 2nd to also register their membership on CCN Bikes with the OBC. If they are not a current member of the OBC as of Monday June 3rd, The Club will be removing non-Club members from this Strava Club.

If you would like to register a free account with Strava, click here: https://www.strava.com

To join or visit the OBC Strava group, click here: https://www.strava.com/clubs/ottawabicycleclub

RLCT Update

By the time you read this update it will be a few short days before the start to the 48th annual Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour!  Follow us on Facebook or check the website to stay up to date on any last minute important information. 

C:\Users\Susanne Reid\Downloads\rlct-2018-001_42665658694_o.jpg

Our goal to provide a safe and enjoyable Tour for all (riders, volunteers, and community members) remains a constant. What changes is what we can do each year to make it happen. If you are riding you will have received Rider Letter #2 with important safety information that includes notable road construction areas. 

If you are volunteering – thank you! 

Next report from your RLCT Committee will be when it is all said and done!

OBC Racing Update

New OBC Racing Group

Are you a current Senior or Master’s level licensed racer who participates in cycling competitions as an OBC registrant?  Are you a former racer who would like to return to competitive riding?  Or, are you an aspiring adult competitor who would like to learn to road race, time trial, track or cyclocross within a supportive team/group environment?

Earlier this spring, the Board of Directors of the Ottawa Bicycle Club identified Senior and Master’s level racers as a segment of the membership that it would like to provide additional support for on an incremental basis starting in the current 2019 season
The Club is taking a first step by creating an online self-directed “OBC Racing” community for its interested members using the popular TeamSnap desktop and mobile application.  For those of you with children enrolled in our popular Youth Program, you will already be familiar with this tool.

Here are key pieces of information for members interested in participating in the new OBC Racing community:
Participation is free of charge, and open to all member racing enthusiasts, male and female, 19 years of age and older including those adult athletes who want to learn to race.

  • This will be a self-supporting group and a self organizing group.
  • Members must hold a valid 2019 membership in the Ottawa Bicycle Club.
  • Members must also hold a valid OCA Citizen’s Permit, or a valid UCI Racing license whose designated team is “Ottawa Bicycle Club”. (if you need one, it can be added to your membership on CCN Bikes).
  • OBC members participating in any registered racing event (i.e. OCA, FQSC or UCI sanctioned events), are required to purchase and wear the OBC’s formally registered cycling kit (blue Jersey and matching bibs) while in competition.  These items may be obtained through the OBC Team Store on the Club website.
  • OBC Racers are not obligated to participate in any racing disciplines that do not interest them.  
  • OBC Racers may choose only to participate in events that match their schedules, interests, level of competition and discipline of interest.

With the 2019 racing season now underway and many members having already registered for and/or participated in various spring events, there are still many more to come including bi-weekly criterium races, road races, gravel races, OBC time trials and the very popular Eastern Ontario Cyclocross Series.  Now is the time to build our internal racing community and show off your new Club colours in these upcoming competitions.  We encourage any interested members to register with OBC Racing and become a part of this community within the Club.

To register for the OBC Racing TeamSnap, or if you have any questions or require additional information, please email OBC Director Jim Brennan at: obc.racing.team@gmail.com

OBC’s 30th Annual Almonte Paris-Roubaix

The OBC staged its venerable 30th annual Almonte Paris-Roubaix gravel sportif on the hilly roads of Lanark County on Sunday May 5th.   In keeping with tradition, both an 82 Km long course and 42 Km short course sportif races saw 173 riders registered for the 82 Km event and 35 riders registered for the short course.

The early May weather was almost ideal with a cool sunny start and limited winds throughout the entire morning.

Of the 173 registrants for the long course, 26 OBC members pinned numbers on their jerseys, whereas 15 of 35 registrants for the short course represented the OBC.

Derrick St. John from the Gatineau-based Trek/Hyperthreads Racing team came in first overall, Matteo Dal Cin from Rally-United Health Care Cycling was in second, and Matthew Surch from the Tekné Cycle Club crossed the finish line just west of Almonte in third.  OBC Youth program graduate and current national cycling team member Derek Gee was beset with mechanical issues mid-race, yet still managed to come in 16th place overall.

The top OBC men’s rider on the long course circuit was Arno Turk who finished a very strong 11th overall.  The top female OBC rider was Susan Morris finishing 112th.

The top three overall finishers for the 2019 short course event were: Henrique Martins from Les Cuisses Or de l’Outaouais in first, his father Alex Martins from 613 Cycling came in second, followed by the OBC’s Jamie Harrington who was also was the top female coming in third.  Jamie was joined by the OBC’s Chris Speelman who was the top male rider coming in 5th place on the short course.
Congratulations to all OBC participants in what was a successful and memorable 30th edition of one of the most celebrated and popular gravel road races in Ontario.


On Sunday May 19th, OBC senior and junior racers participated in the 9th edition of the Clarence-Rockland Classic Gravel Sportif, a 91 KM road race presented by the Ottawa-Gatineau based Ride with Rendall cycling club.

The cool temperatures and rains from earlier that week made for a moist and muddy course and saw the riders ending up being covered in dirt early on from head to toe, however the skies opened up in the mid-morning resulting in drier conditions for the second half of the race.

The first rider to cross the finish line on Sunday morning was OBC Youth Program alumnus and current member of the Canadian National Track Team, Osgoode's Derek Gee.

The Club was represented by senior racers Peter Tregunno, Shawn Clarke and Jim Brennan as well as five members of the OBC Junior Racing Team, Brett Stoppa, Ben Harrington, Theo Woodford, Dominique Gervais and Ben Gabriel.

Congratulations go out to all the club's racers but to Brett Stoppa in particular who was first overall in the U19 category and Ben Harrington who also took a spot on the podium finishing in third place.

OCA Northumberland Classic

The following Sunday, the 25th of May, saw the staging of the Northumberland Classic, a 70.8 Km Ontario Cup road race in Baltimore, Ontario just northeast of Cobourg.

The course consisted of a 16.5km loop in addition to a 3km out and back from the main loop. Each loop had over 225 meters of elevation and contained a small strip of hard-packed dirt road.

Once again it was another podium finish for Brett Stoppa of the OBC Junior Racing Team finishing third in the Elite 3 Men category. The presence of torrential rains made the racing "epic" (as in crazy hard!) 

Well done Brett!


The Advanced Skills Clinic I organize has a session dedicated to traffic safety. Two recent cycling accidents in Ottawa have reminded me that I need to keep working at understanding how accidents actually happen. Ottawa is home to the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) and I contacted them to see if they could help me. 

They describe themselves as "an independent road safety research institute that conducts research related to the human causes and effects of road crashes, providing objective and scientific information to support the development, implementation, and evaluation of road safety programs, effective advocacy, and consultation.

In terms of bicycling safety, [TIRF] is conducting a project with BikeMaps.org, funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), to develop implementation strategies to increase the usage of BikeMaps.org, a citizen web-mapping surveillance tool to report bicycle crashes, and evaluate the impact of this tool. The objective of this project is to promote and encourage safe and accessible bicycling and healthy living promotion."

I had a look at bikemaps.org and, though I have reservations about recommending it wholeheartedly, think you might find it an interesting resource. I'd be interested in any feedback you can provide.

Bob Hicks
Director of Education

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
170b Booth Street
Ottawa, ON K1R 7W1

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
Google Photos
Google Discussion Forum


Editor - Larry Sargent : 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.

2019 Board of Directors

President - Scott McDougall
Vice President -Jason Clark
Treasurer - Ron Stoneham
Secretary - Vacant
Marketing & Communications - Larry Sargent
Group Rides - Nicolas Déry
Social - George Gonis
Racing Events - Mark Manners
Youth Program - Noel Harrington
Education - Bob Hicks
Touring Events -  Eric Burpee
Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour - Carolyn Gail Tannenbaum
Director Without Portfolio - Jim Brennan
Director Without Portfolio - Doug Corner
Director Without Portfolio - Bill Bourne
Director Without Portolio - Cindy Vineberg

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;