The second Capital Spokes Bike Rally & Rodeo was held on Sunday, June 2, 2019 in Windsor Park. This year the Old Ottawa South Community Association (OSCA) and the Ottawa Tennis & Lawn Bowling Club (OTLBC) collaborated to stretch Capital Spokes into a weekend event.
On Friday May 31st Capital Spokes kicked-off its bike weekend at the OTLBC where guests could cycle to the club and eat at The Cameron (OTLBC’s in-house restaurant). The bike parking racks were fully loaded on Friday night and for many visitors this was their first visit to OTLBC. There’s something rather “magical” about relaxing on the balcony of this 1920s club overlooking tennis matches on outdoor clay courts and a little further to the right, beach volley ball games in courts made of sand. Imagine this and more in the very heart of downtown Ottawa!
On Saturday June 1st training sessions for volunteer cyclists (leaders of the rally) were held at the Old Firehall (built in the 1920s and home to OSCA). On Sunday June 2nd cyclists met at Brewer Park, winding their way through Carleton University, along the Colonel By eventually veering to the right into Old Ottawa South and Windsor Park.
The Capital Spokes Bike Rally & Rodeo was better organized this year. There were more volunteers, different rodeo options, free tune-ups, and Safer Roads Ottawa was booked well in advance. What wasn’t planned was “the rain.”
April and May have been rainy & cool, and early June proved to be more of the same. It rained 4.6 mm on Sunday June 2nd. The temperature, however, was a warm 20 degrees Celsius and for those who decided to explore bike safety, the journey seemed worth it.
We set up tents, hung tarps, cancelled the bike wash, wore rain gear, opened umbrellas, set up the obstacle courses, and nestled in a semi-circle near the basketball court and children’s playground. There was a round of applause when the rally riders arrived and later plenty of elbowroom to test individual rodeo skills.
Thank you to all of the volunteers who made this year’s Capital Spokes Bike Rally & Rodeo memorable. Although there are too many to include in this grateful “shout-out”, a few key players need to take a bow: Maria, Morgan and Claire from OTLBC, Natasha, Elizabeth and Sarah from OSCA, Denise and John from Old Ottawa East, and the Southminster Scouts. There are more, of course, many more: to all of you, thank you. Without you the weekend would not have been possible.
Photos by Winnie Pietrykowski.