December Spokesperson

In this issue:

President's Message

We're entering a slow period for cycling, but a busy one on the OBC administrative agenda!  We ended our fiscal year on September 30, and the financial statement was sent to all members by email later in October as part of the AGM package.  Our Club Treasurer, the indefatigable Ron Stoneham, did another great job of running the business side of the OBC, including several hundred thousand dollars of cash flow.  Since Ron is stepping down after many years on the Board, a search is underway for a new Treasurer. Ron has left our books in excellent condition, along with training/ transferring knowledge to our Club Admin, Laura, who provides superb support to the Treasurer.
We held the Club's Annual General Meeting in the Hintonburg Community Centre, a new venue this year, which worked out really well.  At the AGM, we welcomed several new and several returning Directors:  Jim Brennan was acclaimed for two years as the Vice President, and Emily Graves for two years as Club Secretary.  Michel Ferland, Byron Johnson, and Richard Persaud were acclaimed as two-year Directors, and Dave Palmer as a one-year.  Bob Hicks was renewed for two years, while Doug Corner was also renewed for one year.  The remaining directors will continue for the second of their two year terms.  A huge thanks to all of these folks, as well as the departing members of the board, for their willingness to contribute to management of our Club! 
We also have a new Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour manager for 2020, Keri May.  Keri has extensive experience in sports event management, and will be working closely with Gail Tannenbaum, RLCT Director, and her team of volunteers to maintain the extremely high standards of the RLCT.  Welcome aboard Keri!
VP Jim Brennan presented the Board's Strategic Plan at the AGM.  All members received a copy of this by email with their AGM package.  The Plan is an exciting vision of what the OBC could be, if we put our minds to it, and make the necessary commitment.  Delivering on this ambitious agenda will require significant participation by members, so I urge you to review the plan, see what area you identify with, and let us know that you can get involved with a particular area or initiative.  We're not asking for everyone to help out with every facet of the Plan, or join the Board, but simply choose what interests them (and let us know so we can put you in touch with like-minded members!).
We're also going to create a Members' only area on the club website, for documents such as the Strategic Plan, the OBC Policy Suite, draft By Laws, and anything else that is of exclusive interest to members of the OBC.
A final reminder - Tuesday December 3 is the Holiday/Awards dinner, 6 PM at St Anthony's club on Preston Street.  Eat, Dance, pray to win one of the door prizes!  And show your appreciation for award winners, and two new life members of the OBC! 
You might be able to find a last minute ticket - email OBC Social or the OBC Admin if you suddenly realized you'd forgotten to sign up!
Yours in safe cycling - remember to wear a light! 
Scott McDougall, OBC President

2019 OBC Annual General Meeting

On Monday November 4th, the 48th Annual General Meeting of the Ottawa Bicycle Club was held in the Wellington Room of the Hintonburg Community Centre.  This year's meeting was well attended with more than forty club members in attendance, including past presidents and board members.

The annual meeting conducted its regular business including a review of the operations and activities of the Club over the course of the 2019 season.  Following the presentation of the Club’s finances by President Scott McDougall and Treasurer Ron Stoneham, there was a brief discussion about the overall financial health of the club.

Following this, Vice-President Jim Brennan provided a detailed presentation on the Board’s new five-year strategic plan.  This presentation outlined the seven priority areas that the Board and the club will focus on implementing over the coming five seasons.  These core priorities include:


  • Building a strong sense of community, club identity and volunteerism
  • Building a strong public profile for the Ottawa Bicycle Club
  • Enhancing the Quality of the touring program through innovation, training and challenging riding opportunities
  • Building a leading youth cycling training program in Canada developing recreational and competitive cyclists
  • Developing an adult racing program that provides opportunities for riders of all abilities to compete
  • Conducting racing and training events that provide challenging and adventurous opportunities and experiences
  • Develop an administrative and governance structure to support the club’s new plan, core objectives and vision

For those who were unable to attend the AGM, a copy of the Club’s new plan was previously circulated to the entire membership as a part of the AGM package.  The link to this package is here 

At the conclusion of the presentation of the plan, nominations were sought for new directors to serve on the 2020 OBC Board of Directors.  Returning to the board in 2020 are:

  • Scott McDougall, President, for the second year of his two-year term
  • Eric Burpee, currently Director for Touring Events serving his second year in 2020
  • Gail Tannenbaum, Director responsible for the Rideau Lakes Tour,  returning for her second year as well.

Newly re-elected members of the OBC include:

  • Jim Brennan, Vice President, elected for a two-year term to the Executive Committee
  • Emily Graves, Secretary, also elected for a two-year term to the Executive Committee
  • Bob Hicks, currently the club’s Education Director, returns for another two-year term
  • Noel Harrington, Director of the club’s Youth Development Program re-elected for a two-year term.
  • Doug Corner, Director without Portfolio, re-elected for an additional one-year term.

Joining the Board for the coming year are three new Directors:

  • Richard Persaud, for 2-years
  • Michel Ferland, for 2 years
  • Byron Johnson, for 2 years
  • David Palmer, for 1 year

President Scott McDougall took the opportunity to thank the retiring directors for their service to the club:  Ron Stoneham (Treasurer), Nicolas Déry (Touring Director), Mark Manners (Racing Events), Larry Sargent (Marketing & Communications), Jason Clark (Director without Portfolio), Bill Bourne (Director without Portfolio) and Cindy Vineberg (Director without Portfolio).

The specific portfolio assignments for the new 2020 Board of Directors will be made at the first meeting of the board on December 9th.

OBC Racing

An unusually cold and snowy November tested the mettle of outdoor bicycle racers throughout the month as the Eastern Ontario Cyclocross series wound its way down to its conclusion on November 24th.

With November representing the peak month in the annual cyclocross calendar, the four races held in Cornwall, Renfrew, North Gower and Perth were run successfully alongside major regional, national and international events in Ontario and West Quebec.

OBC Racers saw themselves competing in the FQSC’s Hammer and Anvil series at Camp Fortune and the Canadian National Cyclocross Championships held in Peterborough over the weekend of November 9th and 10th.

Ewan Smith, a coach with the OBC’s Youth Development program and one of the OBC’s Masters-level racers who attended Nationals earlier this year, competed in the Saturday men’s race and commented that,

“I thought it was interesting, refreshing and comforting that even a National-level cyclocross event still retained the same approachable, not-overly intimidating feel as our local race series. The top riders in the country could be seen freely and casually wandering around the site, and they (and their teams) were setup in the same tent city as all the other teams”

For a more intimate review of the National Championships, see Stephen Daniels’ article later in this edition for his thoughts on competing at the National level.

The club congratulates all its cyclocross competitors who participated throughout the various events held in 2019!

Please don’t forget that there are ample opportunities to stay on two wheels over the winter, through the OBC’s various trips to Ontario’s two indoor velodromes, and the racing opportunities that they offer.

The OBC Racing community is anticipating an exciting 2020 season, with a planning meeting scheduled for later in January.  Please monitor the January 2020 issue of the Spokesperson for more details on senior and masters level racing in 2020.

2019 Canadian National Cyclocross Championships

A person wearing a costume

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(OBC’s Stephen Daniels & Ewan Smith)  Photo Credit: Ruby Photography Studio

Reflections on the 2019 Cyclocross Nationals – by Stephen Daniels

We went down to Peterborough on the Friday and drove in nice weather - a stark contrast to the icy sleet we faced in 2018. The small merry band of OBC’ers (Jaime Harrington, Ella Smith, Evan Clare and Robin Daniels and accompanying Master’s racers Ewan Smith and Jared Bone) met up for course recon when we arrived.

The course itself was fully-taped and by-design much more challenging than what we see at the Eastern Ontario Cyclocross Series (EOCX) races. There were a couple of steep downhills with loose or bumpy surfaces and with sharp turns at the bottom. The weather was to be intermittently rainy so we knew we could anticipate some slippery conditions. The course had a prolonged off-camber section where failure to stay on the high side meant sliding down into a trough of leaves and muck. There were 2 un-ridable run-ups so some amount footwork was a given.

With OBC cyclocross coach Todd Fairhead as our excellent guide, we worked and re-worked some of the tricky sections, keeping an eye on the elite riders, figuring out strategies and best lines for each part of the course.

Race day had the U13, U15 and U17 riders going out first at 8am. The rain hadn’t started but, being the last day of daylight savings time, it was still dark with 20 minutes before start. Good thing we rode the course the day before!

A private moment of crisis came when my son, Robin, found he had forgotten his OBC jersey! He was freaked out over the fact that the rules clearly state riders must wear the team kit for his home club. To compensate, he had to ride in his OBC shorts and a plain long sleeve shirt which, given the cold, wasn’t too out-of-place and didn’t draw any undue attention from the Commissaire.

The youth race field was small but competitive. The U15 boys race was won by Ashlin Barry (of notable pedigree). Evan put in a great performance trailed by Robin, Jaime, and Ella on the increasingly slippery course.

By the time the Masters were heading out, the rain had made things pretty slimy. Mud tires were definitely warranted, and I had made the mistake of too much tire pressure. Although well into the lower half of the strong field of 45-55 aged riders, Ewan, myself and John Clare were in a pretty fierce battle. 
In cyclocross, everyone has different strengths and weaknesses and racing is all about working within one’s constraints and making the best of the course and the conditions of the day. Ewan defeated me based, I think in part, thanks to his muddy off-camber prowess - or perhaps my total lack of it. 
Whatever it was, the fun of racing is all about the struggle and it was a really fun race!

OBC Youth and Junior Programs

A great 2019 cyclocross season has just come to an end for OBC’s Youth Program athletes following the last event of the Eastern Ontario Cyclocross Series held in Perth on November 24th. There was good youth participation throughout the series with many OBC performances sure to be recognized at the end of year celebration held on December 1st at the Westboro Legion. To keep head’s warm over the winter while thinking of next year’s cyclocross season, you might see our riders sporting new OBC CX toques.

Earlier in November, a small contingent of athletes travelled to Peterbrorogh to compete in the Canadian National Championships in Peterborough on November 2-3rd. Our riders did a great job on the challenging course. Congratulations to Evan Clare (3rd) and Robin Daniels (6th) in the U15 men’s category, and Jaime Harrington (2nd), Ella Smith (3rd) and Charlotte Brooks (4th) in the women’s U15 category. In was a great experience for these young athletes and inspiring for them to be able to also watch the elite athletes contend for the national championships in wet and muddy conditions - perfect cyclocross weather!

Jaime Harrington (L) and Ella Smith (R) from the OBC flanking the winner (Geza Rodgers)
 in the women’s U15 category at the Canadian Cyclocross Championships.


OBC-Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour -  June 13 & 14, 2020

Here we roll…again!

On January 31, 2020 registration opens for the 49th edition of the Tour.

The Tour website is undergoing updates including information on volunteer participation and description of areas in need of dedicated volunteers including:

  • Century Route Manager

Driving Century route and supporting Century riders from Perth to Kingston Saturday and return Sunday; overnight stay in Kingston/Queen's

  • Perth (Conlon Farm) volunteers

Saturday morning - Assist cyclists with bib handout and info; 

Sunday afternoon, greet returning riders

  • Perth Luggage Truck Driver

Pick up truck rental in Perth, oversee organization and loading/unloading of luggage truck; drive to/from Kingston; overnight stay in Kingston/Queen's

  • SAG (support and gear) drivers

Classic and Century routes

  • Bike Repair/Mechanics

Assist riders with mechanical problems (Classic Route, Century Route, Kingston (Queen’s), and Perth)

  • Algonquin College volunteers

Saturday morning - Assist cyclists with bib handout and info;

Sunday afternoon, greet returning riders 

  • Queen’s volunteers

Saturday afternoon - Assist cyclists with check in and info

  • Route Sign ‘uppers and downers’

 Both Century and Classic Routes  

For more information or to sign up for one of the above roles (or if you are interested in volunteering in any other role), please contact:

Keri May, Event Manager, RLCT,

Rideau Lakes is enhancing the Tour Marshal/Ambassador program this year. Stay tuned for further details; if you have questions and/or would like to volunteer as a Tour Marshal/Ambassador, please contact Keri, above

Start the training ... spring is around the corner!!

Wishing everyone Happy Holidays from your RLCT Committee.

Ride Tip of the Month, November 2019: How to Dodge the Right Hook

This article is lifted verbatim from Bike New York's official blog. You might be interested to have a look at their website at:

Just like in boxing, a “right hook” crash can knock an unsuspecting cyclist out–with potentially deadly consequences. But when motorists and riders commit to practicing safe road-sharing practices and exercise special precautions at intersections and driveways, the risk of collisions drops dramatically. In this month’s blog, Bike New York’s Education Director Rich Conroy shares some useful pointers to help readers dodge the right hook.

What is a right hook crash?  While vehicles and cyclists are stopped at intersections or driveways, they’re at risk for a right hook situation–when the motorist turns right as the cyclist continues straight, leading to a collision. These crashes generally occur for one of two reasons: either the motorist passes the cyclist shortly before making a right turn, leaving the cyclist nowhere to maneuver except directly into the side of the turning vehicle; or the cyclist enters the motorist’s blind spot while riding beside or passing on the turning vehicle’s right side.

Motorists should never pass a cyclist immediately before making a turn. Be aware of cyclists alongside your vehicle, and wait until they clear the intersection before you proceed. (Credit:

Every trip comes with some risk of incident, but with a few quick changes in behavior on the road, both riders and drivers can do their part to reduce the risk of right hook collisions.

If you’re a cyclist:

  • Take the lane–that is, ride in the center of the lane–as you approach an intersection or driveway where a right turn seems likely. This will deter dangerous passing and may even force drivers to wait behind the cyclist before they proceed with making a turn.
  • As you ride, think ahead: be aware of situations where motorists are likely to make right turns and watch the flow of traffic to assess motorist behavior; drivers who are about to turn will often slow ahead of an intersection. Try to stick to the same commuting route for several days in order to get a feel for which areas driver favor while making turns. It might sound like a lot to take in but, ultimately, an observant cyclist is often a safe cyclist.
  • When riding with moving traffic, choose to take the lane behind slower vehicles and pass them on the left side. While approaching an intersection, never ride along the right side of vans, trucks, semi-trucks or buses. Even riding along the right side of passenger vehicles in these situations can prove dangerous.
  • Be aware that separated bike lanes and bike paths adjacent to roads have their own dangers at intersections when it comes to turning motorists–for instance, Battery Park City in Lower Manhattan has many street crossings where motorists on the West Side Highway (aka West Street) can turn right at every intersection. Even when cyclists have the green light, it’s always a good idea to check the turning vehicles in the right lane to confirm that they’re stopping.
  • Be alert and cautious at each and every intersection you approach, even when you have a green light. As a rule, always avoid riding off the sidewalk into an intersection; riding on the sidewalk is against the law for teens and adults in NYC, and it’s regarded as a dangerous cycling practice in general.

If you’re a motorist:

  • Be aware of the presence of right-side cyclists, especially when you’re both approaching an intersection. It’s a safer choice for everyone to make your turn behind a cyclist rather than racing ahead to complete your turn.
  • When driving on roads and streets parallel to a separated bike lane or a bike path, be sure to stop, check for approaching cyclists, yield if you both have a green light, and proceed once the intersection is clear.
  • Always use turn signals so that cyclists coming up from behind are warned that you are turning right. 

Cyclists should avoid riding on the right side of large vehicles; instead, take the lane behind them, which puts you in a good position to pass a slow-turning vehicle on the left. (Credit: New York City Department of Transportation).

If you found this tip useful, you'll be interested to know that the OBC's Advanced Skills Clinic has for several years had a classroom session with tips just like this. This year, we're going to take that traffic safety session out of the skills clinic and present it to all our membership. Keep your eyes open for time and place.

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



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 - Jim Brennan
Treasurer - Ron Stoneham
Secretary - Emily Graves
Marketing & Communications - Larry Sargent
Group Rides - Nicolas Déry
Social - George Gonis
Racing Events - Vacant
Youth Program - Noel Harrington
Education - Bob Hicks
Touring Events -  Eric Burpee
Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour - Carolyn Gail Tannenbaum
Director Without Portfolio - Jason Clark
Director Without Portfolio - Doug Corner
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;