Cyclists will be on the road more than ever this summer as the Prince George Cycling Club gears up for a new season packed with races in the city.
The club is organizing 13 events over the season, a dramatic increase from the two they had last year.
“Last year we tested the waters and the response was good,” says Matt Thomson, president of the cycling club.
He’s hoping this year’s events, which include road races, time trials, and cross-country races, will help draw more people to cycling.
“It’s just an incredible sport,” Thomson says. “Great for cardio and a good family activity.”
The club is even planning a “Tour de Jasper,” trip from Prince George to Jasper
While road races traditionally consists of longer distances 100 kilometres is standard the club is keeping their races to about 50 km to make them more beginner friendly.
Most races will be out towards Pineview and Blackburn.
The roads are in good condition there and the roads aren’t busy, says Thomson.
“It’s really lovely. Rolling hills and nice flats.”
The club is always looking for new members, the cyclist says, and their group rides, which go most weekends, are ideal for newcomers.
“We basically take people that are new to the sport and show them the etiquette.”
While there may not be much to riding a bike, cycling in packs, as in group rides and races, involves some basic rules and signals, not the least of which in Prince George is the one alerting riders to an upcoming crack or hole in the road.
People interested in joining the club and trying races shouldn’t be dissuaded by a perceived lack of fitness, says Thomson. The club has a “no-drop policy,” which means if someone is having a bad day riding or a mechanical problem the group or at least a couple of people will stop with the person and help them or keep them company.
“The club is aimed at all cyclists, whether they’re Sunday riders, triathletes or road racers.
“It’s about getting people riding.”
The club’s first time trial goes this Thursday and a complete schedule is available at bike stores around Prince George and at the club’s website at www.pgcyclingclub.ca.