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10 Cycling Events You Don't Want to Miss

Manitoulin Island

Best festivals, races, and tours in Ontario

Whether it’s cruising gentle backroads or tackling the ultimate mountain bike trails, these events offer something for riders of every level and persuasion.



If you’re a cycling enthusiast, there’s nothing better than spending a weekend, or longer, with a whole bunch of other cycling enthusiasts. And one of the best things about cyclists is that they are a welcoming and friendly bunch. So if you’re new to the sport—or just want to try something different for a couple of days—you could end up making some lifelong friends on this year’s can’t-miss rides.

JUNE

Manitoulin Passage Ride

Taking place on June 1–2, 2019, the Manitoulin Passage Ride is a super fun event that combines great food, music and camaraderie on a two-day, fully supported ride. Free passage on the MS Chi-Cheemaun ferry transports you and your bike to Manitoulin Island, then for Saturday and Sunday there are varying lengths of ride choices—anywhere from 66 to 116 km of road riding per day. You need to find your own accommodation, but your luggage will be shuttled for you and meals are provided. So is live music and dancing on Saturday night, should your legs need a further workout.

Mountain Bike Extravaganza At Walden Mountain Bike Club

Celebrate singletrack, Sudbury-style

Sudbury’s Walden Mountain Bike Club celebrates all things mountain bike and singletrack on the weekend of June 1–2, 2019, with an advanced rider trail ride on Saturday followed by a demo day on Sunday. Put the newest bikes from Rocky Mountain, Giant, Scott, Salsa, Kona, Specialized, and Norco to the test on the 12 km of singletrack. Find places to stay and eat.

Sault Cycling Club Trails Fest

Test out the bikes and trails at Sault Ste. Marie’s Hiawatha Highlands.

The Sault Cycling Club hosts their Trails Fest this summer from June 7–9, 2019, at Sault Ste. Marie’s Hiawatha Highlands. Fun for the whole family, the event features kids’ rides, adult rides and women’s rides. Hit the trails on the latest and greatest demo bikes, then top off a great weekend with a barbecue and local beer. Find places to stay.

Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour

Now in its 48th year, the Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour takes place on June 8–9, 2019. Four route options allow a total weekend distance of 200-420 km between Ottawa and Kingston along the Rideau Lakes waterway and the shores of Lake Ontario. With as many as 1,800 riders participating, this is a great weekend to celebrate all things cycling and get some serious early-season kilometres under your chamois.

Manitoulin Cycling’s All-Inclusive Cycling Adventure

With four all-inclusive rides planned for this season (starting on June 17 and 24, September 2 and 9), there is plenty of opportunity to explore Manitoulin by bike. These four night, five-day tours cover 58–67 km per day on the beautiful, quiet roads of the island. Luggage is shuttled for you, all meals are taken care of, and accommodation is provided in peaceful lakeside cottages—there’s nothing for you to do but enjoy the ride.

24 Hours of Summer Solstice

Chico Racing’s 24 Hours of Summer Solstice is North America’s largest 24-hour mountain bike festival and relay event. Taking place at Caledon’s Albion Hills Conservation Area on June 22–23, 2019, the race course traverses double- and singletrack, and is a great challenge for riders of all levels. Grab a team and do it as a relay, or if you’re a real masochist try riding it solo. Either way, between the camaraderie, food, drinks, and amazing attitude of everyone there, you’re guaranteed to have a good time.   

JULY

Sea Otter Classic at Blue Mountain

In July, the scenic trails at Blue Mountain are host to a legendary cycling event.

Known throughout the cycling world as one of the biggest events of the year, the original Sea Otter Classic has taken place every year since 1991 in Monterey, California. For the first time ever, this year the event has multiple stops throughout North America. On July 4–7, 2019, the Sea Otter Classic arrives at Collingwood’s Blue Mountain. They’ll be running dual slalom, downhill, enduro, and pump track races for all levels. There’s also an 8-hour cross country relay in the works, as well as a number of road races. Families aren’t overlooked: the event features plenty of activities for kids, too. There is a lot of excitement in the cycling world about this legendary event coming to Canada. Don’t miss it!

Great Lakes Waterfront Trail’s Cycle the North

Less travelled roads are the norm along the North Channel.

From July 28 to August 2, 2019, join the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail Adventure on a six-day ride from Sault Ste. Marie to Sudbury. Covering 65–107 km per day on a mix of paved and gravel backroads and trails, this tour passes through 26 communities and four First Nations along Lake Huron’s North Channel. Camp in scenic waterfront parks in these northern communities while taking advantage of daily luggage transportation and enjoying the incredible lakes, rivers, forests, and farmland for which the region is known.

AUGUST

CRANK THE SHIELD

Not for the faint of heart, the Sault Ste. Marie edition of the Crank the Shield is back for the second year and takes place on August 16–18, 2019. This backcountry stage race starts with a twist: riders take the Agawa Canyon Railway into the wilderness, then race back over three days. The route covers tons of double- and singletrack and challenges the heartiest of mountain bikers. Plenty of elevation gain and technical trail create a ride you won’t soon forget. Everything is covered with the registration fee (camping or hotel options are available)—the only thing you’ll need to bring is your determination.

SEPTEMBER

Manitoulin Cycling’s All-Inclusive Cycling Adventure

With four all-inclusive rides planned for this season (starting on September 2 and 9), there is plenty of opportunity to explore Manitoulin Island by bike. These four night, five-day tours cover 58–67 km per day on the beautiful, quiet roads of the island. Luggage is shuttled for you, all meals are taken care of, and accommodation is provided in peaceful lakeside cottages—there’s nothing for you to do but enjoy the ride.

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