To reach out to fellow Canadians and put their fitness skills to the test, the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) is hosting its first ever Navy Bike Ride in the National Capital Region on May 20.
“We want to connect with Canadians. Basically educate Canadians on our Navy and what we do, and why we do it and be able to have that one-on-one connection so that Canadians across the country have a better sense of what we do,” said Cmdr. Gord Roy, Director of the Navy Bike Ride.
Inaugurating the bike ride serves a threefold purpose for the RCN: connecting with Canadians, giving back to the community and fulfilling the Navy’s fitness mandate.
“When you’re at sea, you need to be in really good shape. You have to maintain your own fitness and health so that you can perform well in adverse circumstances; whether you’re in the arctic, whether you’re in the Indian Ocean, where it’s really hot, or sometimes even when you’re on shore,” noted Roy.
Open to both members of the public and members of the military family, the RCN is expecting close to 500 participants in their inaugural year.
Since the ride is open to families, all ages and skill levels, the RCN created two routes for a convenient ride: a 10 km and a 30 km. Both routes take cyclists through the streets of Gatineau and downtown Ottawa and by Parliament. The 30 km, additionally, takes cyclists through the Gatineau Park.
“We specifically designed that distance because this whole event is centred around families. This is not a competitive race it’s a ride,” explained Roy.
The RCN also aims to give back to the community through the Navy Bike Ride. A percentage of the registration fees will go towards Support Our Troops and the Royal Canadian Naval Benevolent Fund.
“We have a long history in the military, especially in the Navy, of giving back to our community. We have a big belief in that because we are a part of that community,” stated Roy.
The Navy Bike Ride coincides with the annual Grand Prix Cyclist Gatineau (GPCG).
Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members looking for an extra challenge can compete in the Admiral’s Cup, military category, for the GPCG Medio Fondo, a 63.9 km timed race that takes place on May 21. Awards and prizes will be given to the top three male and top three female competitors.
The Navy Bike Ride is much more than just a cycling event, however. A designated area will be setup for families to enjoy various activities and food and the RCN will have a booth setup to connect with fellow Canadians.
“It’s a place where families can come out, they can bike around the course, and then they can just enjoy the atmosphere, see the Navy exhibits and get educated on our Navy and what we do. The big thing is connecting with sailors,” said Roy.
The Navy Bike Ride will take place on May 20 at 9 a.m. in the National Capital Region.
Registration includes post-ride snack, official Navy Bike Ride cycling jersey (13 years and older), official Navy Bike Ride buff (12 years and younger), entertainment, family activities and more.
To register or for more information visit the Navy Bike Ride website.