Sunday, 8 June 2014

The Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour - 2014

What a great weekend to be out playing radio!!   This year was 43rd Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour.  This cycle tour runs from Ottawa to Kingston on Saturday, and back to Ottawa on the Sunday.  The weather was fantastic, in fact it was almost too good.

Each year ham radio operators from Ottawa, Perth, and Kingston band together to provide a seamless communications system for the riders and support crews.  This year, 50 operators provided support to the tour, and another two rode their bicycles and operated mobile.
Don VE3MNE checking on the riders
The Frontenac EmComm Group has looked after the southern section of the tour route for the past 9 years, and it has become quite the fixture on our activity calendar.  We look after five locations, from Perth Road Village in the North, down Hwy 10 to Queen's University in the South.  There are lots of hills in our section and on Saturday we see a lot of very tired riders.  The route from Ottawa to Kingston is 170 Kms long.

On Saturday the first rider arrived at Perth Road Village at 1030 hrs, I'd love to know what time he left Ottawa!!  During the day it was a steady stream of cyclists through my check point, all looking for water or gatorade to rehydrate, and given the high temperatures we had they drank a lot,  In fact by 1600 hrs the Perth Road Village General Store was complely out of bottled water and other drinks, and that's a first as far as we can tell.  We finally shut down the Perth Road Village check point at 1715 hrs.  It was a pretty long hot and sweaty day, and we had to be up early to get back their on Sunday morning.

Sunday was a lot cooler than Saturday thanks to some sparce cloud cover and a cooler breeze.  The first rider headed out of Queen's University at 0500 hrs, and passed through Perth Road Village at 0600 hrs, he was pushing hard to get to Ottawa so he could get to work by 1100 hrs........I can't imagine doing that!!

This year we had three emergencies that had ambulances called to them.  The first accident was in the Ottawa Sector and involved a broken pelvis.  The second accident had a broken shoulder blade, and the third accident was a face plant into the gravel at high speed.  As bad as these were, we're glad that everyone will recover.

Thanks to the guys and gals who volunteered their time this weekend to make this a success.  Plans are already being made to make next years event a bigger success.

Saturday Perth Road Village set-up
Sunday Perth Road Village set-up


  1. I rode RLCT this weekend. Thank you so much for helping out. It was much appreciated. :)

    1. Hi Janet,

      We enjoy providing the communications for you guys, it's always a pleasure!

  2. I think it's great what you guys do. I ride the Cruise route (unsupported), but always felt reassured seeing the radio trucks those times I did the Classic.

  3. I think it's great what you guys do. And thanks for writing about it too. I think it makes a big difference for the riders on the Classic route to have you out there.