First Navy Bike Ride around CFB Esquimalt

First Navy Bike Ride around CFB Esquimalt

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

Cool wet conditions didn’t deter military and civilian personnel who took to their two wheel rides for the inaugural Navy Bike Ride in Esquimalt on June 2.

More than 300 cyclists took part in the 10-kilometre non-competitive, family-friendly ride organized by Personnel Support Programs (PSP).

Riders set off from the Naden Drill Shed and wound their way through two loops of the course that stretched through both Dockyard and Naden. Most riders took between 30 to 45 minutes to complete the course.

Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd, Commander Royal Canadian Navy, took part in the race. VAdm Lloyd is an avid cyclist who makes the 50 kilometre round-trip commute from his home in Orleans, ON, to his office in Ottawa. 

He gave the cyclists a pre-ride pep talk in the Naden Drill Shed, joking about his cycling gear and that “sailors and spandex normally don’t mix.”

“I can’t be more pleased how the navy has embraced this event,” he said after completing the ride. “There was energy and excitement in this event and everyone seemed to have completed the course with smiles on their faces.”

On May 20, he was one of approximately 700 cyclists who participated in a similar ride in the National Capital Region.

Matt Carlson, CFB Esquimalt Navy Bike Ride organizer and PSP fitness coordinator, said this year’s inaugural bike ride was an overwhelming success.

“Despite the less than ideal weather conditions we had an excellent response,” said Carlson. “One can clearly see our employees and military personnel embrace the concept of a healthy lifestyle with regular physical activity and fun such as this ride.”

Carlson noted that several steep inclines on the course, wet conditions, and morning traffic caused some safety concerns. He said PSP will look to make alterations to the race course for next year’s event.

Special thanks to Babcock Canada and BMO who come on board as event sponsors.

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