Ever consider joining a bicycle group so you can share some of your rides with others?

Maybe now is the time to get organized for when the Covid restrictions end. Many of us will haul out a bike this spring. Some will ride to do errands around town, a few to commute to work, others ride to explore the beautiful quiet roads and trails in the area while still others will enjoy a long, hard workout. Hopefully, we all do it for pleasure. Sometimes we prefer to ride solo and sometimes the kilometres are a lot shorter in the company of others.

More and more riders of all types can be seen in our community. What may not be as obvious is that there are a number of loosely organized groups locally. There is a group of mostly well-aged riders who enjoy a group ride through the countryside each week. Another group is actively involved in facilitating off-road mountain bike riding and improving infrastructure. A third group, the oldest of the three, is the Almonte Bicycle Club. This group was established in 1985 and focuses on traditional road cycling activities. Joining any of these groups has its benefits.

The Almonte Bicycle Club has long been involved in numerous activities around Mississippi Mills.  The two main functions the club traditionally focused on were a time trials series and weekly social group rides. Other performance-oriented activities included gravel road style races, cyclocross races and stage races. Along the way, the club can boast of supporting world-class athletes including an hour world record holder and numerous professional riders presently competing in Europe on  UCI World racing teams.

Besides the weekly tour rides, non-competitive riders have enjoyed participation in remote start rides and week-long tours in Quebec, the North Eastern United States, Europe and Cuba.  Members have enjoyed each other’s company at breakfast get-togethers, BBQs and the annual banquet. Participants come from Mississippi Mills, Ottawa, Carleton Place, Lanark Highlands and beyond. The Club regularly offers members club designed cycling jerseys that have been proudly worn around the world.  Members have also benefitted from club discounts at a number of bike shops and from group riding insurance. Unfortunately, the Club has had to wind down its activities over the last couple of years due to a number of reasons. But with enough interest, it could be revived in time for the end of the Covid pandemic.

All groups offer camaraderie and loads of shared knowledge to benefit from. Among participants, there is a gold mine of information to be had about favourite routes to take, bike maintenance, bike handling skills and safe cycling practises. This alone makes it worth joining.

If you are interested in more information about any of these groups you can call Fred and 613 256 3234 and I’ll try to steer you in the right direction.