Ryder Hesjedal’s annual Tour de Victoria is shifting gears to get more kids to come along for the ride.
Although the Oct. 2 event will attract close to 2,000 riders, organizers have added three new routes to the free Kids Ride in an effort to get hundreds more younger participants involved.
“The purpose of our kids’ rides is to introduce young riders to cycling in a fun, non-competitive, safe, and traffic-free environment,” ride director Seamus McGrath said in a media release. “Making the cycling experience enjoyable right from the start will hopefully see the kids coming back year after year as they progress with their riding.”
Capital Bikes, which has come on board this year as the title sponsor for Kids Ride, will be offering additional support to help with the planning and logistics of putting on the three events for kids geared to a variety of cycling abilities.
“We are excited to be part of the Kids Ride this year,” said Sarah Frumento, event co-ordinator at Capital Bikes. “Any opportunity to expand our reach about safe and fun riding is wonderful, and our volunteers are looking forward to seeing all those young riders enjoying perhaps their first cycling event.”
The three new events include Ryder’s Striders, which is designed for young riders on run bikes and those new to pedaling. It will be on a loop course of one to three laps on Belleville Street, with each lap covering 400m.
Ryder’s Mini Club is aimed at young riders on pedal bikes. The out and back course is 1.1 km, with the group waiting and starting the return together for a total of 3.1 km.
The Terry Fox Monument Ride is designed for confident, competent cyclists who are ready to challenge themselves. The ride features the Terry Fox monument on Dallas Road as the turnaround point, covering a total distance of 6.5 km.
Kids will receive a finisher’s medal and pizza from Hothouse Pizza as part of the ride registration, and there will be a bouncy castle and inflatable obstacle course at the finish line celebration.
Parents are invited and encouraged to ride along with their children in any of the kids’ events.
Ryder Hesjedal’s Tour de Victoria was launched in 2011 by local riding legend Ryder Hesjedal, who garnered numerous Canadian and international awards during his career. The event, which began in 2011, is presented by Scotiabank and produced by Ryders Cycling Society of Canada, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and supporting cycling across the country.
The event caters to riders of all ages and abilities, with distances of 160, 140, 100, 60, 45, 30 and 15 kms in addition to the Kids Rides.
This year’s event also features some exciting new changes to a few of the routes.
To register or for more information, cycle over to http://www.tourdevictoria.com/.
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