January Spokesperson

In this issue:

President's Message

Hello and welcome (gulp) to 2020!  The message will be short for this month - we've been really busy with year-end and year-start, but not much on the cycling front!  You can see how the board of directors is taking shape for 2020 by going to the OBC website, where you'll also note we've added a Members Only area.
Most importantly for you, though: the 2020 Membership link with CCN Bikes is going live. If you haven't seen the other messaging about it, you will probably notice the Board has decided to increase fees this year, for the first time in 15 years.  Needless to say, expenses have increased, club programming remains at a high tempo, and we've added some resources in order to ensure programming continues to be delivered in a safe and professional way. We've maintained a family rate, as well as a junior rate, to continue to make it attractive for families and youth to join the OBC.  
You'll also likely notice the menu of volunteer activities hard coded into the process.  We plan to establish a number of committees, so the members of the board can concentrate on delivering better programs, with the assistance of committees to do more of the day to day in a particular program area.  This is continuing in the theme of the OBC being a club, with membership participation, and not just an inexpensive place to source cycling activities.  We know we have a wealth of knowledge and experience in the OBC, and just need to tap into it a bit more! At the moment we particularly need volunteers in areas such as Racing Events (Time Trials - women, and open). day tours, and the social events.
There will be some adjustments to programs in 2020, such as the Sunday tours, as we do from time to time, in the interest of better serving members and their interests.  More on this in coming months.
As you'll recall from my email of earlier in December, we held an affordable and fun year-end awards gala and banquet on the 3rd, for the first time in several years.  I previously sent a list of the volunteers who were instrumental in making that event a success, but would like to again mention that they worked really hard to make sure it went very well, and that the award winners felt they had a really special evening.  The event raised significant funds for the youth program as well, an added bonus.  We hope to keep the momentum going next year!
On a last sad note, our condolences to well-known cyclist and our invited master of ceremonies for the awards dinner Giacomo Panico and his family, who lost one of their family members last month.
Yours in safe cycling, 
Scott McDougall, OBC President

2020 Membership Registration

As we ring in the new year we also mark the beginning of our 2020 cycling season. The Ottawa Bicycle Club is excited to announce that registration for the 2020 season is now open here:

Becoming a Member

2020 marks the clubs 49th year in its current guise and the OBC looks forward to inviting you to another great year of riding. 

The OBC is dedicated to being a premier cycling club in Canada, supporting high quality recreational and competitive cycling opportunities that promote a lifelong passion for the sport. For the last 15 years the OBC has maintained the same membership fee; however, in order to continue to provide the quality of service you have come to know, the OBC is adjusting its membership fee for the 2020 season.

An individual membership will now cost $50.00
An additional family member will cost $25.00

The OBC is committed to making cycling accessible to youth (19 and under) and is proud to keep the youth cycling membership cost at $15.00.

This membership grants you access to the OBC Sunday and Tuesday rides, covers your race fees for the open and women’s time trial, provides you with discounts at numerous Ottawa area bike shops and grants you access to skills development courses. 

For Non OBC members, please note the Open Time Trial season will now cost $45.

*prices do not include OCA Membership. Each member is required to be either a) an affiliated club member of the OCA ($45) or b) a full member of the OCA through the purchase of a UCI license or a full OCA membership.

Please contact the Club Office for further information.

The OBC clothing store returns

The OBC’s Team Store clothing store returns for the 2020 season featuring a new and wide array of custom Ottawa Bicycle Club branded kit by premier clothing supplier Castelli.

Once again the club will be offering a wide variety of custom garment offerings including:

  • Jerseys
  • Bibshorts
  • Outerwear
  • Accessories
  • Socks & headwear
  • Youth cycling wear
  • A variety of new and/or updated items

New for this year in the OBC livery is the famous Castelli Gabba short sleeve jersey.  A perfect all weather jersey for cooler days; windproof, waterproof, and breathable (https://www.castelli-cycling.com/ca/gabba-ros/p/451950219A-710). 

Also new this year the Castelli Perfetto long sleeve jacket. The Perfetto is the one jacket that does everything well (https://www.castelli-cycling.com/ca/perfetto-ros-long-sleeve/p/45195001…). The Perfetto RoS is that ideal weight: no built-in insulation so you can layer over a light base layer for moderate conditions. Or you can add a thermal jersey underneath and take it to very cold conditions. 

Also new this year is an updated (men’s and women’s) Aero Race Jersey.  The Aero Race 5.1 garment has been replaced by the sixth revision of Castelli’s top of the line high performance jersey.  The OBC will be offering Castelli’s new Aero Race 6.0 starting in January.

The San Remo 3.0 Speedsuit has also been replaced by their updated 4.0 model incorporating the new fabrics used in the Aero Race 6.0 jersey.  The Body Paint skinsuit has also been updated for 2020 with a seamless race number window attached to the lower back as well.  

All Castelli garments will be made using high quality YKK zippers starting in 2020 as well. Check out the online Team Store for all our OBC branded offerings.

In 2020, minimum orders for most items have lowered considerably and this will make ordering accessories easier for all OBC members starting this year.

The first OBC Castelli Team Store of the year will open in January and will close February 5, 2020 at 23:59 EST. Delivery is anticipated during the week of March 23, 2020.

The OBC’s Team Store will be accessed here:  OBC Team Store

For additional information on the OBC’s custom cycling kit program please contact: obc.kit@gmail.com

A Look Back at the 2019 Awards Dinner and End of Season Party

Marking the end of the 2019 cycling season, the OBC held its 2019 Awards Dinner and End of Season Party last month. The evening event, attended by over one hundred members and guests, allowed us to recognize a number of outstanding cycling achievements by our youth and adult members, as well as volunteer contributions to our programs. 

OBC junior rider Laury Milette capped off a phenomenal year in 2019, winning both the George Alfred Ellender Memorial Trophy for Best Junior and the Lee Gault Trophy for Rider of the Year. We also recognized the long term contribution to Eastern Ontario cycling/cyclo cross made by Ian Austen and Bob Woods, by awarding them the clubs most prestigious award, lifetime membership in the Ottawa Bicycle Club. 

The night was not just for the winners, attendees were treated to live music, door prizes, a silent auction and videos from OBC Junior alumnis Alex Cataford, Carson Miles, Ariane Bonhomme and Derek Gee.

We would like to thank St. Anthony’s Banquet Hall for hosting the 2019 OBC Awards Dinner and End of Season Party and providing dinner and refreshments. We would like to thank all of our sponsors for their generous donations to the silent auction and door prizes. The banquet would not have been possible without our volunteers and we would like to thank them for making it a huge success.  Finally we would like to thank Fletcher Thomson, our 50/50 winner who donated his proceeds back to the OBC’s youth program. 

A list of all of the night's winners and sponsors can be found here

We look forward to seeing you in 2020. 

Lifetime Membership Awards to Bob Woods and Ian Austen  

Lifetime Membership Awards are presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to the OBC and these two individuals have not only done that, but they have made significant contributions to both the Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec cycling communities.

Way back in the late 1980’s, more than 25 years ago, Bob Woods  and Ian Austen got together and started to put some structure into what had been a few casual, essentially unofficial cyclocross events that had sometimes attracted as many (or as few) as a dozen riders. Of course, there was only one event on race day, and at the time, they had very few poles, so the racers always did a pre-ride of the course to know where to go.  Some of the first venues were Lac Des Fees, the Dunlop Picnic Field, LeBreton Flats and the Conroy Pit. 

Road racing was the dominant activity through the 90’s and cyclocross was always a casual, fun way to keep cycling well into the fall once the road season ended.  Bob and Ian were able to expand the event locations throughout the city and local riders were able to have close access to some Sunday morning fun at 10:00 a.m., 8 to 10 times through September, October and November every year. 

So what was a typical race day for Bob and Ian when there was one event at 10 a.m.?  Arrive at 6 with a trailer full of gear, review and set up the course, get ready for the first riders to arrive at 9, set up registration, run the event from 10-11:30 , keep track of every rider on every lap, finalize the results manually, take down the course, get home by 2 or 3. Repeat the next weekend.

But there is much more work than just on race day. While way back in the early days, courses were “unofficial”, eventually the number of participants rose to the point where official approval of land or park use was essential. This meant Bob and Ian spent a considerable amount of time well before the actual events to establish all the venues. Ian would also drive to all the venues well in advance so that he knew what kind of course he could design. Nobody showing up on race day really knew how much prep work had taken place.

Until about 2004, there was one event on race day and all the categories started at the same time. Men, Women, Juniors, Masters, Youth etc. However, the series kept getting more attractive and the good news was that field size became too large for just one event. No problem said Bob and Ian, we’ll just lengthen the day and add another event. Then, about 6 years ago, even more participants were getting hooked on cyclocross and there were too many for just two events. No problem said Bob and Ian, we’ll just lengthen the day and add a third event. Believe it or not, now there are four events on race day. Might the organizers be a big reason for the success? Of course they are.

The four events are now Master Men, Women, Youth, and Senior Men. The phenomenal growth in the participation levels in the Women and Youth categories are achievements that both Bob and Ian have said give them the most satisfaction. As well, the combination of categories has made the series very attractive to families, with all members participating. A great way to spend a Sunday morning. 

One particularly daunting challenge that was forced on Bob and Ian several years ago was the decision by the city of Ottawa to set difficult conditions on the cyclocross series in order to continue to use any park within the city such as Britannia, Mooney’s Bay and the Kanata Recreation Complex. These conditions were such that Bob and Ian decided to move the series out of Ottawa and look for other venues. Fortunately, they found welcoming partners around Eastern Ontario in places such Cornwall, Kingston, Morrisburg, Arnprior, Perth, Renfrew and the always reliable Almonte. So now imagine Ian and Bob dealing with all these communities and the time that they had to spend reviewing the new locations for courses. However, their work was a huge success as rider participation continued to grow every year. Now, it is truly the Eastern Ontario Cyclocross Series, and it is the largest in Canada. 

But there’s more. Not only did they organize the cyclocross series during all this time, they also organized the annual Almonte-Roubaix spring classic.  This was modelled after the European spring classic, the Paris-Roubaix where cobblestones are the main feature. With Almonte-Roubaix, the cobblestones are replaced by gravel and sometimes lots of mud and sometimes snow. It’s these challenges that make this event so popular and just like the cyclocross series, what was initially a one race, all category event, there are now a race group and a non-race group for the 80 km course, plus a relaxo 40 km route . Bob and Ian just kept making changes to benefit more riders. 

A very interesting aspect of the Almonte-Roubaix course is that the route has remained essentially the same for its 30 year history. This confirms its uniqueness and we are lucky to have it.

Of course, often helping the lead organizers are other people whose efforts add tremendously to the successful events. Bob and Ian want to recognize and thank Les Humphreys for his assistance with the Almonte-Roubaix Classic, Joan and Ian Fraser for their help with the cyclocross series when most tasks were manual, and Cheryl Woods for managing so many administrative tasks that were essential to the success of all the events.

Congratulations Bob Woods and Ian Austen for your tremendous contribution to the OBC and the cycling community. We are honoured to name you as Lifetime Members of the Ottawa Bicycle Club. 

Awards Banquet Photos

Thanks to  Greg Crevier for sharing the following photos from the Awards Banquet  

Volunteer Thanks

To our volunteers, thank you for your tireless efforts and dedication to promote cycling, and the Ottawa Bicycle Club programs. We could run these programs without you. 

2019 Volunteer Slideshow

OBC Youth Program

Youth Program - Coach Announcement!

The OBC is pleased to announce the selection of Alan Dempsey as a new coach of the Youth Racing Program, effective January 2020. Coach Alan will focus primarily on working with our U19 athletes, but will also support the development of our U17/U15 athletes training towards racing regionally and provincially.



Coach Alan has been riding bikes all his life. He started racing competitively on the track with the Forest City Velodrome squad where he also developed a passion for coaching and supporting youth athletes. After several years of bike racing, he switched to triathlon and has been racing as a professional triathlete for the past two years. He currently works with junior and U23 draft legal triathletes in the Olympic pathway. However, he is very excited to return to bike racing and to working with the OBC’s dedicated youth athletes and volunteer coaches.

We know that Alan will be a great addition to our roster of coaches. He will provide our athletes with a challenging, supportive, and fun training environment to assist them in achieving their goals.

Thanks to Coach Shawn Clarke

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Coach Shawn Clarke for his years of dedicated service to the Club and the Junior Racing Program. Coach Shawn has been working with our athletes who have achieved some incredible results over the past few years, while also juggling his own coaching business, working as a Director Sportif with La Prima Bicycle Racing by InstaFund, and various other coaching and life commitments. 

We wish Coach Shawn well with his endeavors going forward! As a master Director Sportif we hope he will be coming back to assist at some target events for the Junior Racing Program in 2020 and beyond.


Traffic Safety - January 15, 2020  6:30-9:30PM

Open to All Members
Crow’s Nest, HMCS Bytown, 78 Lisgar Street
A Social for All Members - Presented by Bob Hicks

C:\Data\mydata\OBC\Skills Clinic\2020\Four Lane City Accident.jpg

For the past several years, the Advanced Skills Clinic has included a session on traffic safety. It focuses on paying attention, assessing risk, and avoiding accidents in traffic. We’ve been revising this session a bit every year as we learn more about the dynamics of accidents especially as they affect cyclists in a group.

The presentation consists of video clips showing different kinds of accidents, all avoidable. There is a discussion of road rage, safe passing, avoiding dooring, dealing with trucks, even a whimsical clip on one of my favourite topics, mirrors. There is plenty of opportunity for discussion of the accidents and strategies among all who attend.

This is important material that all members should understand. In the past this session has only been available to students of the advanced skills clinic; now it’s offered to everyone.

Here are the topics covered:

  • Paying attention
  • Habits of a Savvy Cyclist
  • Knowing about road hazards
  • Some tips for cycling more safely
    • Develop your skills
    • Route selection - don't ride where you drive
    • Ride conservatively
    • Make eye contact with drivers when approaching intersections
    • Wear bright clothing during the day, reflective at night
    • Use a rear light all the time
  • Anatomy of a left cross
  • Right hook
  • Anticipate disappearing lanes
  • Passing stopped traffic at intersections
  • Dooring
  • Railroad tracks
  • Understanding the danger of trucks
  • Road rage
  • Passing pedestrians, slower cyclists, children, dogs, etc
  • SMIDSY - Sorry mate, I didn't see you
  • Revert Red
  • Mirrors

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

Ottawa to Kingston, return
Perth to Kingston, return

We’re Ringing in 2020 With All Things NEW  

RLCT has NEW Facebook and Instagram pages! Whether or not you plan to ride this year, please follow / like us at:

Instagram: @Rideau Lakes 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RideauLakesCycleTour

These pages will feature stories, photos, and information about the annual event (quickly approaching its 50th year!) and the people who make it successful year after year. The 2020 Tour is linked as an ‘event’ to this FB page as well as the OBC Facebook page. We welcome all comments and feedback. We also welcome any photo submissions and are currently looking for some great vintage shots - Does anyone have some scanned images from the 70’s or 80’s? Please share!

If your NEW Year’s Resolution is to give back to your community, the Committee could really use your help as an RLCT Volunteer Coordinator - Both to assist with the 2020 Tour and to help establish a solid Volunteer Recognition Program

There are many ways, big and small, to contribute to our 49th annual Tour, some of which allow you to volunteer AND ride (like helping with the NEW Advance Tour Kit Pickup at Bushtukah, Algonquin/Perth Kit Pick Up and Luggage Drop, or by signing up as a Tour Marshal). We are working on NEW prizes and gifts to hand out at the post-Tour Volunteer Appreciation Dinner which is always a great time. Visit ivolunteer.com for a full list of volunteer roles, and if you would like additional information or a volunteer job description, please contact Keri (the NEW Event Manager) at rideaulakescycletour@gmail.com.

When perusing the RLCT website, you may notice a change to the Perth-Kingston route. We would like to introduce the NEW and improved “Century Plus” route! Based on rider feedback, the route now avoids Scotch Line Rd out of/into Perth and instead takes riders through pretty Rideau Ferry and connects with the Cruise Route in Toledo. This new route adds 10 km each day, so you can enjoy Toledo’s ‘Church Ladies’ baked goods with less guilt. 

Of course, Early Bird and OBC Member Discounts are nothing NEW.. but they are always appreciated! Registration begins on January 31st with Early Bird Discounts until midnight on March 31st. Register early and start training!

OBC Racing

OBC Awards Presentation

With the 2019 racing season officially in the books at the conclusion of the Eastern Ontario Cyclocross Series in late November, the newly revived OBC awards and volunteer recognition dinner was held on December 3rd.  This newly reconstituted evening was the wrap-up to and celebration of a highly successful racing calendar for club racing enthusiast members that started back in early April.  As mentioned elsewhere in this edition of the Spokesperson, the Club highlighted the many achievements of OBC racers, touring program participants and volunteers throughout the evening, including the presentation of its long-standing awards to the top youth and senior riders, time trialists, junior and overall top rider.

This year’s recipients included Joel Katz (Age Handicap), Aaron Fillion and Linda Boisvenue as Best All-Rounders to name just a few.  However, the most decorated award winner that evening was OBC Junior racer Laury Milette who capped off a stellar 2019 year winning multiple youth time trial awards, the women’s age-handicap time trial award, the Junior of the Year and the Lea Gault Award for rider of the year.

Congratulations to all our racing members for their accomplishments in 2019!

2020 Racing Season

As we begin a new calendar year and a new racing year, the Ontario Cycling Association (OCA) and Fédération québecoise des sports cyclistes (FQSC) calendars are now starting to take shape with events being posted weekly on their respective race calendars.  We encourage racing enthusiasts within the OBC to regularly monitor both sites and take note of 2020 racing events as they are finalized.

The OBC’s own racing events, our three Time Trial series (Almonte, Women’s & Open) will kick off 2020 with our Good Friday Time Trial on Friday April 10th.  Start dates for the Open, Women’s and Almonte Time Trials will be finalized and posted in an upcoming edition of the Spokesperson and will also be posted on the Club’s Calendar which is accessible via the OBC home page.

The club’s Almonte Paris Roubaix Gravel Sportif has also been tentatively set for Sunday, April 26th, 2020.  Details to follow.

OBC Club Kit

OBC racers are asked to wear the OBC’s kit when representing the Club in any organized competition.  If you are racing in a provincial, national or internationally sanctioned event, it is a UCI requirement that you must wear the kit of your registered club in these kinds of events.  Most OBC racers sported the club’s new kit in 2019 and we thank you for wearing our new kit with pride last season!

If you do not currently own the OBC’s registered (blue) cycling kit and would like to purchase one, we have a limited number in stock at the club’s office, please contact us during regular hours if you would like to purchase one.

If we do not have the size or the garment that you require, and/or if you want a certain specialty item for the coming year the OBC’s first Castelli Team Store of 2020 will re-open in early January and will be placing an order in time for delivery in late March.

We are pleased to note that Castelli has reduced the per-unit minimums for 2020 making it easier for us to get you those kit items that you may have missed out on last year.  For more details on the club kit, please refer to this edition of the club newsletter detailing the new product offerings available in 2020.  The OBC’s email announcements and home page will also indicate the official start of kit sales - please get your orders in early!

2020 Season Preparation & Planning

Starting with the new membership and calendar year on January 1st, the 2019 OBC Racing TeamSnap will be retired and replaced with a new one for the coming season highlighting all key local, provincial and national level racing events as well as the OBC’s key racing activities in 2020.  When you purchase your 2020 OBC membership on CCN Bikes, please check the ‘yes’ box indicating that you would like to be a member of the OBC’s internal racing community, OBC Racing.  Whether you race in one or all disciplines (Gravel, Road, Criterium, Time Trial, Cyclocross, Track) you should register with OBC Racing. This will enable you to get to know who the other racers are in the OBC while also ensuring that you do not miss any key events, competitions and training opportunities in 2020.

Once the member participation in the OBC Racing community has been re-established for the coming season, the club will be convening an OBC Racing meeting to discuss and determine member participation in key racing events over the upcoming season.

For more information on OBC racing, please contact the Club office or the Racing Team co-ordinator

Membership and Volunteer Director

Hi, I’m Michel Ferland, I’ve been a member of the OBC on different occasions starting in the early 90’s when I’ve lived in the Ottawa area.
This is my first contribution to the OBC Spokesperson following my nomination to the Board. I have agreed to work on the Members and Volunteers portfolio for a specific reason.

My first cycling mentor was Bernie Cowman from the Cornwall Cycling Club, in the mid 1980’s he welcomed me into a structured club environment as an adult. From touring to road racing and time trials Bernie was there to help foster a sense that I was in the right place and this cycling adventure would become a lifelong part of who I was.

Bernie came from a long history of cycling in the UK and had always been a member of a Cycling Club and for him had become an essential part of his life that he needed to share. It’s now time to thank him and work towards making the OBC a place to share my passion for cycling.

My focus will be aimed at encouraging new members to play an active role in finding their way around the OBC and it’s cycling offerings. At the same time, I will encourage long standing members who have played important roles within the club to be open to leadership roles and volunteer as mentors.

Volunteers are the lifeblood of OBC’s multiple cycling offerings and starting with your 2020 membership renewal we have provided an opportunity to identify how you would like to participate and also take an active part in deciding what the OBC will be in the coming years.

Looking forward to a rewarding cycling season in 2020.

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 - Richard Persaud : 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.

2020 Board of Directors

President - Scott McDougall
Vice President - Jim Brennan
Treasurer -Byron Johnson
Secretary - Emily Graves
Marketing & Communications - Richard Persaud
Youth Program - Noel Harrington
Membership and Volunteers - Michel Ferland
Education - Bob Hicks
Touring Events -  Eric Burpee
Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour - Carolyn Gail Tannenbaum
Director Without Portfolio - David Palmer
Director Without Portfolio - Doug Corner

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;