If you are out and about, on Sunday, June 15th, you may notice some highly visible Women on Wheels (WOW) pink shirts among the fray of cyclist that will be participating in the third annual Lobster Roll Rides.
Women make up 50 percent of the ridership in Cape Breton. That is noteworthy, considering that there is an impression that cycling is a male sport. Here in Cape Breton, cycling shares equal attraction as an activity by both men and women. Women on Wheels is the creation of Velo Club Member, Shelley Johnson.
“When I was getting into cycling, I learned so much from my fellow female cyclists,” says Johnson. “From them I learned tips on how to ride and be safe. After a couple of years of mentorship and a Can Bike Safety course, my confidence built and I wanted to give back. I wanted to create something that brought women cyclists into an environment that was safe, accessible to all women regardless of level, and was fun and social. I wanted to see a program developed where women learn in a non-intimidating forum about riding skills and cycling issues from other women.”
Based on this philosophy, Women on Wheels came into fruition in 2013 with a highly successful season. WOW is back for its second season and through their Tuesday night ride sessions, the participants have been gearing up the Lobster Roll Rides this weekend.
The Lobster Roll Rides are a signature event sponsored by Velo Cape Breton and are a family friendly event, with a set of 4 legs, approximately 25 kms each, or a loop of 100 kms. Rides leave the Mira Road Firehall, going out to New Waterford Firehall, DAM Fitness in Glace Bay, Mira Gut and back to the Mira Road Firehall. Participants have a choice of how many rides they will complete. One can enter as a family, team, or individual. Police escort will assist with the heavier traffic areas. With a festival atmosphere and gorgeous scenery, participants are guaranteed to work up an appetite for two lobster rolls, one at the halfway point at DAM Fitness in Glace Bay and the other at the end of the ride. For those who are not keen on lobster, vegetarian options are available.
Women on Wheels participant Cheryl Berube said about the ride, “I’m really looking forward to attending this year’s Lobster Roll Rides. I attended last year and it was fun! It was just a good day with friends and you can ride at your own pace.”
This year’s event has drawn people from mainland Nova Scotia and the United States.
“We are putting it out there that we have great rides with a beautiful Atlantic coastline and we are steeped in history and charm making us a tourist destination par excellence!” said Johnson, this year’s Chairperson for the Lobster Roll Rides. “I want to encourage everyone to come out and enjoy the rides. We have prizes at the end of the day, along with lobster rolls and cake to celebrate your accomplishment. It’s going to be a great day with food, friends and fun.”
Onsite registration is available until Sunday, with a ride start time of 9am.