They are coming! Who are they! They’re women and men, young and older, riding straight-out to highly sophisticated machines… they are the 100+ riders coming from all over the Maritimes to do the Across the Highlands Mountain Bike Challenge (AHC) this Saturday July 13th from the Gaelic College.
This is the 10th Anniversary of this signature event in the calendar of Velo Cape Breton Bicycle Association. We’ve criss-crossed the island visiting Creignish, Cheticamp, St. Peters, Whycocomagh, Belle-Côte and it is now the turn of Gaelic College in St. Ann’s Bay to welcome the riders this year.
“This year’s routes are a dramatic assembly of adventurous and breathtaking trails. The best ever course,” says Jacques Coté, founder and event organizer.
Riders can choose to ride the 35km Adventure, the 45km Pursuit or the 65km grueling Marathon. They will all ride through the historic landscapes of abandoned farmlands, 2-tracks, fire roads and the remains of old gypsum mines full of caves, sinkholes and dramatic white cliffs. The three courses are well-signed and GPS co-ordinates are provided to all participants. Patrol crews will be on the course and at strategic locations to direct participants and to provide emergency assistance. There will be four Pit Stops at 10-15km intervals where riders can refuel with high energy healthy food and refreshments.
Micheline Guillot, Ride Captain of Velo Cape Breton is particularly proud to say that 30% of the participants are women. There will be something for everyone–whether it’s lung-bursting climbs to the Highlands plateau they’re after, long fast descents, or even a more relaxed pedal through the quiet roads of another era–AHC will be an experience that will leave riders with big grins and happy hearts at the end of the day. This event is sure to be the spice of the cycling season.
The AHC’13 is four to six hours of outdoor adventure topped off by a scrumptuous BBQ prepared by the Chef at the Gaelic College. Velo Cape Breton’s AHC is presented with the collaboration of Naturally Active Victoria County, Entreprise Cape Breton, Destination Cape Breton, Gaelic College and a slate of dedicated volunteers who, for the last year have put much time and resources to help make Cape Breton an exceptional place to stay, work and play.