GCTC Bike-a-Thon

Founded in 1975, the Great Canadian Theatre Company is Ottawa’s longest established independent English professional theatre company. I and a group of fellow GCTC board members with the help of theatre staff, are organising the first annual GCTC Bike-a-Thon to raise funds to go towards mounting upcoming productions. It all takes place early in the morning on Sunday, September 15th.

This Spring I test rode the following route with Eric Coates, GCTC’s new Artistic Director AND avid cyclist. I recently re-visited the route to celebrate the recent launch of our fundraising website and to blab about it in this blog!

It’s a participaction / distance achievement type of bike-a-thon i.e. not a race. Very laid back. In keeping with the bee icon on the cover of next season’s program and posters, all the riders are encouraged to wear whatever yellow and black combo’s they can pull from their wardrobe. Rumour has it some may even sport wings and antenna. The Bike-a-Thon will start from the Irving Greenberg Theatre located at the corner of Holland and Wellington St W, home of the GCTC.

GCTC
GCTC

We will ride east on Wellington and head north on Parkdale to where it joins the Ottawa River Pathway.

Where Parkdale meets the Ottawa River Pathway
Where Parkdale meets the Ottawa River Pathway

Continuing east along the pathway we will be treated to such wonderful sights as this…

Ottawa River
Ottawa River

… and this, where the path follows the edge of the river and continues behind Parliament Hill.

Ottawa River behind Parliament Hill
Ottawa River behind Parliament Hill

We will leave the Ottawa River and climb up beside the Rideau Canal locks between Parliament Hill and the Chateau Laurier.

Ottawa Locks
Ottawa Locks

After passing under Sapper’s Bridge…

Sappers Bridge
Sappers Bridge

… we will pull up to our good friends at the National Arts Centre.

National Arts Centre
National Arts Centre

Once we’ve paused long enough for everyone to catch their breath after the climb up from the river, we will continue along the Rideau Canal where one is treated to glorious views such as this.

Rideau Canal
Rideau Canal

The path circles around Dows Lake and weaves its way through the Arboretum.

Path on the other side of Dows Lake
Around Dows Lake
Through the Arboretum
Through the Arboretum

One more short climb up beside the locks across from Carleton University before our route takes us through the Experimental Farm.

Experimental Farm
Experimental Farm

A section of the route that runs parallel to Fisher wanders through a stand of tall majestic trees like so.

A little bit of forest for good measure
A little bit of forest for good measure

The route then crosses Carling and follows the bike lanes along Island Park Drive, like so.

Bike lanes along Island Park Drive
Bike lanes along Island Park Drive

A few blocks east along Byron Avenue.

Path along Byron
Path along Byron

Then one block north along Holland, and voila! – We arrive at the finish line back at the GCTC.

FINISH / ARRIVÉE
FINISH / ARRIVÉE

So dear friends, bikers, and readers, if any of you may be interested in helping fund the great art created at the GCTC, as well as indirectly promote biking as a wonderful activity within our area, please visit the Bike-a-Thon site and follow the instructions.

Happy trails!

Author: ottawavelo

bicycler

3 thoughts on “GCTC Bike-a-Thon”

  1. I was wondering where the ubiquitous google map was but then I saw it on the linked site. Good looking route. A lot of people will enjoy that. Keep us posted!

    1. I will indeed keep folks posted, and will write up another blog entry on the Bike-A-Thon, post event. I’m realising one great way to promote the numerous benefits of biking is by reaching out and collaborating with different interests such as theatre. The map should show up on my blog post and the event site. It is indeed a fine route, regardless of the occasion. I’ve almost reached half way to my fundraising target of $400, but seemed to have stalled at $190, so if anyone would be like to push me over the 1/2 way mark simply visit http://raiseathon.ca/gctcbike/profile/d5ww3m4 and go from there!

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