Breathtaking scenery, world-class cycling routes and a former Olympian and Tour de France cyclist joining riders of all abilities along the way … sounds like a must-ride event, and a great way to explore the Garden City!
Ryder Hesjedal’s Tour de Victoria returns to the streets of Greater Victoria Saturday, Aug. 19 – a celebration of cycling and Southern Vancouver Island for locals and visitors alike.
Presented by Scotiabank, the mass-participation ride features eight options, ranging from a 15-kilometre route from Fairfield to downtown Victoria, to a full, 160km tour that takes riders through the city, out to the Saanich Peninsula and through the West Shore before finishing at the Inner Harbour. For pint-sized pedallers, there’s even a kids’ ride – trikes and run bikes encouraged!
No matter the route you choose, the quality of the ride, with its views and varied terrain, is second to none.
“The ride really celebrates the beauty of the south Island – we have some of the best cycling in Canada. It’s truly a cyclist’s dream,” says Seamus McGrath, Director of the Tour de Victoria.
And with so many ride lengths to choose from, the event really does appeal to riders of all abilities.
“It’s not an elite event – all ages and all abilities of cyclists are welcome,” McGrath emphasizes.
After all, “cycling is a sport that’s inherently social, it’s a good activity for our physical and mental well-being and it’s eco-powered!”
Ride this way!
The fact that the Tour de Victoria is a traffic-controlled course also makes it an easy-entry event for cyclists who may be uncomfortable riding along busy streets. Every major intersection will have professional traffic control in place, with priority given to riders. In certain sections, no vehicles will share the course route, McGrath notes.
“One of the barriers to riding is that riding in traffic can make it much more stressful,” McGrath says.
Aid stations will also be conveniently positioned along the route, with refreshments, washrooms, medical support and bike mechanics on hand if needed.
With the finish line positioned at the BC Legislature grounds, cyclists will enjoy a fun, post-race festival with food, music, children’s activities, beer garden and more, all in the heart of beautiful downtown Victoria.
And of course, Ryder will be joining the youngsters on the kids’ ride and visiting with participants after the race and signing autographs.