Get rolling at the first ever Navy Bike Ride!

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Crowsnest - Spring 2017 / April 26, 2017

By Kylee Mackay

Cycling enthusiasts in the National Capital Region have a brand-new event to add to their calendar. The first annual Navy Bike Ride brings together Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) members, veterans, family and friends on Saturday, May 20 for a full day of activities as part of Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations.

This fun family event is open to cyclists of all skill levels and all ages, with both a 10 km route and a 30 km route to choose from. It’s a non-competitive ride that will take cyclists through Gatineau and downtown Ottawa, and right by Parliament Hill. The 30 km route offers a longer ride through the beauty of Gatineau Park. Bike trailers, child seats and trailer cycles are welcome so even the littlest members of the family can join in.

The Navy Bike Ride is organized in partnership with the Grand Prix Cycliste Gatineau, an annual event that welcomes cyclists from around Canada for a series of competitive races throughout the weekend. A “Vélo-Village” featuring displays, games and activities for participants and families will also be located at the start/finish line. Bike rentals will be available onsite, but reservations must be made online in advance.

For more of a challenge, currently serving Canadian Armed Forces members can register for the Admiral’s Cup, a new military-only category in the Grand Prix Cycliste Gatineau’s Medio Fondo event on Sunday, May 21. This 69.3 kilometre race offers prizes to the top three male and top three female competitors in the military category, including two WestJet vouchers for first place, a $500 Via Rail voucher for second, and sunglasses from Zizu Optics for third.

Proceeds from the event will go to two organizations dedicated to the well-being of the RCN’s current and former sailors and their families – the Royal Canadian Naval Benevolent Fund and Support our Troops.

Registration is $40 for adults and youth aged 13 and over, and $20 for children aged 12 and under who are riding their own bicycles. The event is free for kids in bike trailers, child seats or trailer cycles. Each adult registration receives a free custom cycling jersey, with bandanas for registered kids. Sign up before May 8 and automatically be entered into a draw for more exciting prizes.

If you’re not in Canada’s capital, other cycling events will be organized in tandem with the Navy Bike Ride by RCN personnel in naval bases and Naval Reserve Divisions across the country, as well as in ships at sea around the world.

Celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, promote physical fitness and raise awareness of the RCN, all while giving back to naval families in need.