Navy Bike Ride a huge success

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Crowsnest - Summer 2017 / July 12, 2017

By Lieutenant (Navy) Diane Larose

The first annual Navy Bike Ride triumphed in its first year with a sellout event that saw over 700 participants get on their bikes and ride through downtown Ottawa and Gatineau on May 20.

Canadian Armed Forces members, veterans, families and friends chose either a 10 km or 30 km ride to raise money for the Royal Canadian Naval Benevolent Fund and Support our Troops.

As riders took to the roads they were greeted with sunny skies and some of the best views that Ottawa and Gatineau have to offer. Back at the finish line, in the Vélo-Village, participants had the chance to check out a variety of displays and speak with local members of the Royal Canadian Navy. 

“My kids have never participated in a ride of this size before. It was a really nice family-friendly event that we were able to enjoy together,” said Doug Fountain, who took part with his wife and their two children, aged 11 and 7. “The kids really liked getting their own medals at the end.”

“As an avid cyclist I loved that there was a competitive event that I could participate in as well as non-competitive rides,” said Lieutenant-Commander David Dallin, who came in third in the Admiral’s Cup challenge, a 69.3 km timed race that took place on May 21. “This was a great event and I will definitely be back next year.”

The winners of the first annual Admiral’s Cup were Captain Pierre-Luc Belanger-Melancon from 2 Canadian Division Support Group in Montreal for the men’s category, and in the women’s category it was Capt Lesley Quinlan from 1 Canadian Field Hospital Detachment in Ottawa. Each winner received two flight vouchers from WestJet.

In addition to the Navy Bike Ride that took place in the National Capital Region, there were 18 shadows rides throughout Canada and abroad. Some notable shadow rides came from the ship’s company of Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Winnipeg, who rode stationary bikes at sea while deployed in the Indo-Asia Pacific, and members from HMCS Cabot in Newfoundland who suited up in their dive gear to hold their shadow ride on stationary bikes underwater.

Plans are already under way for next year’s Navy Bike Ride with the hopes of growing the event. Keep checking the Navy Bike Ride website (navybikeride.ca) for photos from this year’s ride and updates on what’s to come next year!