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Whistler Cycling Club set for 2018

Group rides scheduled to start soon

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It might be appropriate if you end up labouring a bit toward the end of the road—May Day will be the first organized ride of the Whistler Cycling Club (WCC) season.

Led by incoming president (and Pique co-founder) Bob Barnett, the club will launch its Tuesday night rides on May 1. Meanwhile, Sunday morning rides will begin on May 13 and Wednesday night rides will start on May 16. Tuesday and Wednesday rides start from Whistler Village Sports at 5:30 p.m., while Sunday rides start at Alpine Café at 9 a.m. for riders who can go 25 to 30 kilometres per hour, or at the Pemberton Visitors Centre at 10 a.m. for those with a slower pace.

As well, Stewart's Ride, which Stewart Blaser holds each year to remember WCC members Kelly Blunden and Ross Chafe, will be run on the same day as the Solstice Ride on Saturday, June 16. The ride is usually on or around May 31, the day on which the cyclists were hit and killed by a drunk driver on the Duffey Lake Road in 2015, but Barnett said Blaser will be out of town at that time.

"We get a few people coming from the city for it," Barnett said.

As well, the WCC is set to host a ride on Saturday, May 19 as part of GO Fest, the Resort Municipality of Whistler's initiative to provide safe and wholesome outdoor activities during the notorious May long weekend.

Barnett noted membership has totalled roughly 100 people since the club's early days without any major push to recruit new members. However, a burgeoning partnership with the Whistler Triathlon Club should help create some crossover between the two organizations as members of one can take part in the other's programming.

As well, Barnett said the club will offer roughly half a dozen coaching sessions this year for riders of all abilities.

"It's going to be a bit of everything. There will be some skills to work on for people that are newer or beginners, which would be (part of) the Wednesday night rides," he said. "There will be something, as well, for more experienced riders."

Barnett also hopes to increase the club's social events by planning outings after select rides this summer.

Plans are underway as well to ramp up the group's advocacy, including working with the British Columbia Cycling Coalition to push for safer passing laws across the province. Such laws, which require motorists to allow cyclists at least 1.5 metres when passing, are already in effect in such jurisdictions as Quebec and Ireland. Also important this year, he said, will be to ensure both Mainroad and Miller Capilano keep Highway 99 in prime cycling condition this summer by keeping the roadway swept and otherwise maintained.

For up-to-date schedules and more information, visit whistlercyclingclub.ca.

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