MANITOULIN— The fifth annual Manitoulin Passage Ride was a great kickoff to the cycling season on the Island this past weekend attracting 237 riders from across Canada and the United States.

Riders making their way off of the Chi-Cheemaun
Riders making their way off of the Chi-Cheemaun

“The ride was awesome,” said Manitoulin Island Cycling Advocates (MICA) president and ride organizer Maja Mielonen. “We have a total of 237 riders, 167 that arrived on the ferry (the MS Chi-Cheemaun). We had riders from Ottawa, Quebec, Ohio, Michigan, Sudbury, North Bay, the Greater Toronto Area and a large group from Oakville—and pretty much everyone in between. We received great feedback from all of the riders who all reported having a fantastic time. A large number of participants actually requested pre-registration for next year for prior participants to ensure their spots.”

As the Chi-Cheemaun sails back to Tobermory, cyclists make their way through South Baymouth. photos by Robin Burridge
As the Chi-Cheemaun sails back to Tobermory, cyclists make their way through South Baymouth.
photos by Robin Burridge
Riders make their way in cycling packs up Highway 6 towards Manitowaning.
Riders make their way in cycling packs up Highway 6 towards Manitowaning.

The 167 riders arrived by the Chi-Cheemaun, 40 on Friday evening and the rest on the Saturday morning ferry. Following registration, riders embarked on routes across Manitoulin, all ending at Batman’s Cottages and Campground in Sheguiandah: a 22 km short route starting in Manitowaning at 1:30 pm at the Info Centre on Highway 6; a 52 km medium route starting in South Baymouth and travelling along Highway 6; a 90 km long route travelling from South Baymouth to Tehkummah, up Highway 551 to Mindemoya, taking Bidwell Road and Indian Mountain Road to Sheguiandah; and a 118 km keener route which followed the same initial path as the long route, but took the Bidwell to Highway 6 before looping back to Sheguiandah.

Una Gould of Ottawa gets her bike tuned up by Espanola Bicycle Mechanic Gus MacIntosh following the first day of the ride.
Una Gould of Ottawa gets her bike tuned up by Espanola Bicycle Mechanic Gus MacIntosh following the first day of the ride.

Day two of the Passage Ride departed from Ten Mile Point with two routes, and one departing from the Manitowaning Information Centre. All three routes had stops at the Kicking Mule Ranch for a break, entertainment and lunch before continuing along to South Baymouth for the ferry.

The riders enjoy dinner and entertainment after a long day of cycling at Batman’s Cottages and Campground in Sheguiandah.
The riders enjoy dinner and entertainment after a long day of cycling at Batman’s Cottages and Campground in Sheguiandah.

“We had great weather all weekend,” concluded Ms. Mielonen. “It just started raining as we waved goodbye to our riders on the ferry.”

For more information about the Manitoulin Passage Ride or MICA visit www.manitoulincycling.com.