On Saturday morning 273 cyclists experienced the countryside up-close, rolling along the quiet back roads that knit together our region. It was the 15th Annual Kawartha Lakes Classic Cycling Tour, a fundraiser for A Place Called Home.
Cyclists had come from as far away as Ottawa and Niagara; in fact, roughly half were visiting from outside Kawartha Lakes. (Days Inn was the official hotel sponsor).
When they registered, the cyclists chose a distance, each with its own route. For the experienced and ambitious there were 100 and 160 km routes. A 50 km route wound its way to Woodville and back. And the 25 and 13 km tours made use of sections of the Kawartha TransCanada Trail. All departed from Boston Pizza (which, along with Canadian Tire, was an official sponsor).
Routes had been mapped out by the host organization, Kawartha Cycling Club. In doing this, Club-members Dermot Doyle and Deb Smith kept in touch with the City’s Works department and chose less-travelled roads.
They also attempted, as much as possible, to use roads that incorporate paved shoulders.
Fortunately, there are more and more stretches of these, thanks in good part to advocacy by the club that led council to make this the new standard for road-work.
Dave Tilley, manager of fund development for A Place Called Home, was quick to acknowledge the contribution of the Cycling Club.
“They were instrumental in the organization. Their expertise, knowledge, and connections to the cycling community has helped grow the event by leaps and bounds over the past five years.”
Also contributing to the Kawartha Lakes Classic event were about 36 A Place called Home supporters, many of them enlisted by Zita Devan, one of the founders of the shelter. (It was Zita and fellow Board member George Skerratt (a cyclist) who came up with the original idea for a bike tour.)
Cyclists returned to a well-earned buffet provided by Boston Pizza. They could take satisfaction in raising money for an essential local charity. Tilley expected registrations and pledges to bring in upwards of $20,000. “That will cover our entire food budget for the year,” he noted.