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Ride Descriptions

Are you looking for your next cycling challenge? Do you need an ambitious goal to help focus your training? Look no further!

The Rideau Lakes Cycling Tour has four routes for the fit and "soon-to-be-fit" cyclist. With total weekend distances ranging from 200 to 420 kms, it will add plenty of mileage to your odometer!

All rides end in Kingston, a vibrant city on the shores of Lake Ontario. You overnight at the historic Queen's University campus with vine-covered, limestone buildings and sprawling lawns. Then wake up Sunday and retrace your tracks. 

RLCT Supported Routes

  • dedicated police (motorcycle and/or cruisers)
  • support and gear (SAG) vehicles
  • mobile mechanical support
  • roadside Amateur Radio Emergency Service operators
  • mobile Tour Officials
  • Route Marshals will be cycling along the route and may be available to respond to incidents. 
  • The Route Marshals will also be encouraging safe cycling behaviour.

All Support services and rider check-in end at 6 PM at Queen's on Saturday and 6 PM at Algonquin on Sunday. 

cen The Century: 100 km each day (supported)

The shortest route of our tour is a back-to-back metric century. It's a great introduction to the Rideau Lakes Cycling Tour. All the fun with less saddle sores!

The Century is the only route that starts in the town of Perth, nestled beside the Tay River.  You ride to Narrows Lock Station, where Upper Rideau Lake meets Big Rideau Lake. And, in the town of Elgin, you connect with the Cruise route riders and cycle through Battersea and on to Kingston together.

There are 3 official rest stops: Saturday at kilometer 28, 47 & 75 and Sunday at kilometer 27, 54 & 74. This route begins at the Perth Conlon Farm Recreation Complex with plenty of free parking.

Ascent: ~ 300m each day

cla The Classic: 171 km each day (supported)

This is the granddaddy route. The original RLCT that's been going strong since 1972. 

You ride from Ottawa through the towns of Ashton and Perth to the infamous Westport hill. On Saturday enjoy the long steep descent, with great views of the village and Upper Rideau Lake. On Sunday, conquer the climb! 

Just outside Westport, you'll be joined by the die-hard riders on the Challenge route. Together you'll make your way through North Crosby, Perth Road Village and on to Kingston. 

There are 4 official rest stops: Saturday at kilometer 33, 72, 117 & 142. And Sunday at kilometer 28, 54, 98 & 137. 

Ascent: ~620m each day

RLCT Unsupported Routes:

  • These routes are for the experienced and independent rider. 
  • Route Marshals will be cycling along the route and may be available to respond to incidents. 
  • The Route Marshals will also be encouraging safe cycling behaviour.

cru The Cruise: 174 km each day (unsupported)

In the late 1990's, a group of intrepid riders broke away from the pack and created this route. We made it official in 2000, giving riders  a new challenge with new scenery. Now close to 500 self-sufficient cyclists ride the quiet country roads through Kemptville, Merrickville and Jasper. In Elgin you connect with the Century route and carry on through Battersea to Kingston.

This southerly route appeals to more independent cyclists as much of the ride is unsupported. Let your detailed map and navigational skills guide you.

A highlight is the unofficial rest stop in Toledo. The 'church ladies' put on a mean spread of baked goods, sandwiches...and even soup, if it's cold! All money raised goes to the community. 

In total there are 5 recommended rest stops: Saturday at kilometer 28, 47, 96,120 & 148 and Sunday at kilometer 27, 55, 79, 128 & 157.

Ascent: ~540m each day

cha The Challenge: 210 km each day (unsupported)

Not for the faint of heart, this is our longest and most challenging route. Back-to-back double metric century rides and over 1,000 metres of climbing!

The Challenge attracts a small group of  hard-core, long-distance cyclists. You start and end with riders on the Classic Tour, adding your extra mileage on smooth roads that take you through some of Lanark County's prettiest towns. Like Almonte, Lanark, Maberly and more.

For you, the long, steep Westport Hill should be a walk in the park. Almost. 

There are 6 recommended rest stops: Saturday at kilometer 33, 55, 93, 127, 156 & 182 and Sunday at kilometer 28, 54, 82, 112, 155 & 177.  

To finish this ride before dark, you must be in excellent physical condition, capable of maintaining an average speed of 25 to 30 kph. For most of this route, there are no signs and limited support. 

Ascent: ~1000m each day