Welcome to Spring: Top 5 Cycling Events in Ontario You Don’t Want to Miss
It may not feel like it in some parts, but Spring is officially here. And that means it’s time for us cyclists to make good use of the glorious weather. In Ontario alone, there are tons of exciting events that’ll make you want to pedal everywhere. Whether you’re a novice or a pro, be sure to check out some of the best cycling in the province. Below you’ll find our Top 5 picks!
Pedal the Pinery - Sunday, April 24th
If you’ve never been to Pinery Provincial Park, use this cycling event as an excuse to go. Located on the beautiful shores of Lake Huron near Grand Bend, this is nature at its finest. We like Pedal the Pinery because it’s family-friendly, and all funds from the outing are used to enhance this fabulous park. If you’re looking for a cycling race, then this event isn’t for you. But a leisurely day on the bike, plus a picnic and some camping afterwards, is our idea of a perfect getaway!
Bike for Mike - Sunday, May 1st
This popular event takes place each year in Hamilton. The city has been on a mission to make its streets more cyclist-friendly, and has been under a gentrification of sorts. Hamilton has been hit hard by the recent economic downturn, given that much of its economy depended on the struggling manufacturing sector. But for years, Bike for Mike organizers have been raising money to purchase bikes, helmets and locks for inner city students and their families. The fun family ride begins at Hamilton’s Bayfront Park, and features journeys ranging from 5 km to 70 km. This year’s fundraising goal is $60,000.
Epic 8 - Sunday, May 7th
Fast singletrack and interspersed doubletrack are just some of the features at the Epic 8. If you’ve never been to the Mansfield Outdoor Centre, this is one of the reasons why you should go. Located in the town of Mansfield, just north of Orangeville, this venue offers the best in outdoor adventure. The tracks are suitable for all skill levels, including first-time racers. Fast cyclists can expect to come in under 30 minutes. And average riders should expect to clock in at about 40 minutes. The best part of this event is that you don’t have to rush back to the city afterwards. The Mansfield Outdoor Centre offers onsite camping with approximately 50 sites.
Ride for Heart - Sunday, June 5th
Registration is now open for one of the hottest cycling events in Canada’s largest city. The Heart & Stroke Foundation’s Ride for Heart brings 15,000 cyclists each year to the streets of Toronto. Enjoy traffic-free cycling along the scenic Don Valley Parkway and Gardiner Expressway -- all for a good cause. Because the rides are of varying lengths, this popular event is suitable for everyone. After the ride, park your bike and enjoy all the wonderful things Toronto has to offer. Spend a day at the Harbourfront or freshen up and take in Toronto’s night scene. All funds from the event will support programs that fight stroke and heart disease.
Ride to Conquer Cancer - June 11th & 12th
If you like long, picturesque rides through Ontario’s countryside, this event is definitely for you. The Ride to Conquer Cancer features a guided cycling tour spanning 200 kms through Toronto, Hamilton and Niagara Falls. Because this is a challenging journey, we recommend you assess your endurance before taking part. But don’t be fooled. This event isn’t just for advanced cyclists or pro athletes. If you’re up for a new challenge (and want to do it for a worthy cause!) then this journey is yours for the taking! You can register as an individual, or even create your own team. The perfect excuse to get your friends, relatives and co-workers together for a wonderful day outdoors.