Since February 2017, I've been part of the organizing committee for a new charity ride. While I advise and consult on lots of different things, helping to plan and organize an event like this is a new and exciting challenge for me. It's an opportunity to help put together the kind of cycling event I want to ride in myself. And that is exactly the whole premise of the Northern Pass. This is a cycling event organized by cyclists, for cyclists. We have set out to build a cycling event that includes all the things we loved about the various events we'd each been to - while adding some aspects we wished they'd had.
The Northern Pass will take place this year on, August 13th, and the ride will take a small group of cyclists through some of the most picturesque lakeside roads in northern Ontario. All while helping raise money for cancer research at the Princess Margaret Hospital. Part of my role on the organizing committee is route planning because I spend time each summer riding the roads around Lake Muskoka. So I've been able to use that experience to advise on some of the best and most challenge roads in the area. What they've come up with are some challenging routes that include quintessential segments.
Both the 100km and 150km routes will encircle the major lakes of the area (Lake Muskoka and or Lake Rosseau.) But trust me, they are no soft Sunday afternoon coffee runs . The overall elevation of the 150km route may only be ~1500 meters, but look at the elevation profile! Without a doubt, this route will destroy the strongest of legs. The entire route is a never ending see saw battle across the granite landscape carved out of the Canadian Shield.
There will be no long stretches of flat respite. There will be no moments of reprieve. Northern Ontario is known for its undulating terrain and the Northern Pass will use every bit of it to dole out ascent after unrelenting ascent. For a guy like me who does their best work pulling for long stretches of sustained power across the flat lands or digging deep into the reserves for pack dropping efforts on the extended climbs - I've got my work cutout for me. Suffering will ensue.
I recently had the opportunity to head up to the area for a route recon and a photo session with friend and fellow organizer, Mike from Blacksmith Cycle. We spent the afternoon checking out various stretches around the east side of Lake Muskoka to scope out road conditions. Smiles were ear to ear because the roads are looking as prime as the pine vista views.
But here's the best part. Not only am I on the organizing committee, but Life Is A Beautiful Detail is a sponsor of the event And we're doing a contest together!! One lucky participant who has signed up will win a photo session... with me. The winner will have the choice of either a 2hr outdoor ride along session for them and couple friends where I'll capture on the bike memories, or a studio photo session detailing the full build details of their prize whip. If you've ever wanted a photo set to express your passion for cycling or to see what your bike would look like light up for a magazine, the contest runs July 24th through the 30th so there is still time to get in on the action. Check their Instagram feed for details.
And if you sign up before July 30th, use the promo code 'Life' and you'll get $50 off the registration fee. But if you can't make it and you'd like to help out, you can always sponsor some of the participants - including me.