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Tour Tips - for your Safety and Health

Are you a 'first time' Rideau Lakes rider? Don't forget to check out First Time Tips.

Your Bicycle ... 

  • Replace worn out tires before the tour! (90% of road-side repairs are tire problems!)
  • Be sure your bike is in tip-top condition; run it through a safety check before the tour.
  • Carry a repair kit that includes, a tube, patches, tire levers and a small multi-tool.  Also, carry gas cartridges or a pump. Know how to fix a flat tire and make minor repairs. Practice ahead of time in the comfort of your home if you are new to this.
  • Maximize your efficiency by properly inflating your tires (90psi will normally be fine).
  • Something New: Don't wear new shoes or try new equipment for the event. Try out your new gear on training rides!

Your Fitness …

  • Follow a training plan that progressively adds distance, but includes rest.
  • Aim to ride a minimum of 1000 km prior to the RLCT – more is better if you are doing the longer routes.
  • The key is doing back-to-back training rides, just like on RLCT weekend.
  • A great way to get in some training: participate in the OBC’s group rides. You may also find cyclists you can ride the tour with! Register in advance for these rides, via the club calendar – which lists the upcoming rides – on the club’s home page:  www.ottawabicycleclub.ca ⇗

See: Fitness Tips.

Your Health …

  • Dehydration is the leading cause of exhaustion. Drink lots of fluids during your ride, starting before you feel thirsty. Top up your bottles at the aid stations. Keep drinking after arriving in Kingston, to be sure you’re rehydrated before getting on the bike Sunday morning.
  • Bring snacks to eat during the tour. Aim to consume about 60g of carbohydrates for each hour you’re on the bike, from foods that you have tried during your training rides. Do not wait until you are hungry to eat.
  • Be prepared for all types of weather - cold and hot. See Weather Section (below)
  • Get in shape! See: Fitness Tips.

Cycling ...

  • Two abreast: Do not ride more than two abreast. See RLCT Code of Conduct.
  • 12 Cyclists max: Do not ride in groups of more than 12 cyclists. Larger groups are difficult for motorists to pass. See RLCT Code of Conduct.
  • Join a Group: Please ask before tagging on to the end of another group. Never join a group that already has the maximum of 12 riders.
  • Group Spacing: Long struggling lines of cyclists can create hazards when motorists try to pass. Please leave enough distance between groups to allow motorists to pass and return to the right lane. This optimizes the safety of the group and acknowledges the rights of other road users.
  • Road Surface: Not all road surfaces are smooth like a babies bum - stay alert for pot holes, irregular surfaces, gravel and sand that can quickly become dangerous.
  • Hills: Exercise extreme caution when climbing or descending hills and stay alert for poor road surfaces.
  • Stops: When stopping, move completely off the road.
  • Group Riding: OBC members are strongly encouraged to attend an OBC Group Riding Clinic ⇗.
  • Stay Alert: Be careful not to 'zone out' when following a group. Stay alert and aware - especially at intersections where crossing may not be safe for riders farther back in the group.

Rules of the Road ... and the Tour

  • Helmets: Helmets are mandatory in Ontario for those under 18 and for all those participating on the Tour (as part of the OC's Cyclist's Responsibility Code).
  • Traffic Laws and Intersections: Obey all traffic laws, red lights and stop signs. BE AWARE, understand, and follow the rules of the road. All cyclists are considered vehicles under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act ⇗ and must obey the rules of the road. The MTO's Driver's Handbook ⇗ acts as a guide to defensive driving techniques, and the CAA has some great visuals ⇗ for cyclists looking to brush up on safe practices, rules, and responsibilities.
  • Youth Cyclists: Adults accompanying youth cyclists on the tour should be sure all group members are familiar with the rules of the road and driver behaviour. The MTO has a created a Young Cyclist's Guide (pdf) ⇗ for your reference.
  • The Route: Follow the designated route and avoid major roadways such as Highway 7 into Perth and Highway 15.
  • Tour Marshals: Cooperate with the Tour Marshals wearing yellow sashes - they are there to ensure that the tour is orderly, safe, and to report offenses which endanger the safety of others.
  • Personal sag vehicles: Please refrain from having a friend or spouse drive a personal sag car as this adds to traffic congestion.
  • Leaving the tour: If you abandon the tour, please notify one of the tour officials en route. See Route-Support.

Packing Tips …

  • Please keep your bag as small as possible – you're only away for one night!
  • We will all want to pack:
    • Evening clothes for Kingston – remember a pair of shoes and a sweater or jacket!
    • Toiletries and sleepwear 
    • Fresh kit for Sunday: cycling shorts, jersey, sox
    • Nutrition for Sunday: energy bars, sports drink powder
  • Depending on the weather forecast, consider carrying (or packing for Sunday)
    • Sunblock, including lip protection
    • arm, leg and/or knee warmers
    • base layer (e.g., merino wool), short or long sleeve tees
    • jacket – thermal or rain
    • Long-fingered gloves
    • chamois butt’r

Weather …

The average temperature for June is 18C (64F) but can be variable. You may require shorts and jerseys one day; jackets and tights the next. Be prepared for rain and cold or extreme heat and humidity.

Right before the tour, use these links to check the weather: