Monday, September 12, 2011

Ottawa Bicycle Club Summer End Century Tour

The Ottawa Bicycle Club is Ottawa's oldest bike club and is over 100 years old. It is a club that truly has something for everyone including time trials, races, tours and many speed groups.

For those of you who may be intimidated by the riding style of the OBC, don't be. Pack riding is disciplined, fun and enables you to cover greater distances and greater speeds. Our stops are shorter and we drink and eat as we ride, all of that makes for more efficient and fun rides. The OBC offers some great overnight tours as well.

One of these tours is the Summers End Century Tour, or SECT. This from Ottawa to Cornwall and back again. The ride starts at Kelseys where your bags are picked up. You start in your speed catagory and off you go, either for 100km or 100 miles. The SECT tour is one of the nicest bike tours ever and here are the reasons:

1) We ride in a peleton. This is usually a double peleton which allows you time to chat and ride at a fast clip;
2) Drafting means that I rode 100 miles in a little over 5 hours;
3) The riders are polite and very friendly;
4) The rest stops are wonderful;
4) The number of participants is not huge. We had 50 riders. You will not be swamped or lost in a crowd. Our riding groups were limited to 12;
5) The little towns that you ride through are beautiful and charming; and,
3) The overnight stop in Cornwall is great

We have an overnight stop at the Navcan centre in Cornwall. This has a wonderful little pub with Karaoke. Celine Dion, the beach boys, Sonny and Cher and possibly Elvis were all present for Karaoke night. Did you know there is a song called Cheeseburger in paradise? Neither did I. Our evening meal was beautifully served and included succulent ribs, mash, corn chowder soup, a plethora of salads, rice, peas and a table full of desserts. Our riders ordered wine with our dinner...nothing says a good 100 miles than ribs and a bottle of MASI wine.

The resort is large, comfortable and beautifully situated on the St. Lawrence seaway.

On the second day we rode back and I chose to ride 135km rather than a full 100 miles. The highlights of the stop back were a wonderful lunch in Russell complete with homemade carrot cake and other delicious salads and cookies, and the beautiful little towns on the way home. The ride ended at Kelseys which is a stones throw from my home. In short, the ideal bike tour.

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