Bicyclists Join the CJOC HQ Ride

Bicyclists join motorcyclists for the CJOC HQ Ride. // Des cyclistes se joignent aux motocyclistes pour la randonnée en moto du QG COIC.

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Dawnieca Palma, CJOC PA

Lined up along the front of 1600 Star Top, spoke-to-spoke, riders are getting ready for the start of the Canadian Joint Operations Command’s Headquarters (CJOC HQ) Ride. Among the revving of a Harley-Davison and the gleam of a BMW motorcycle, a small group of bicycles stand with the other riders. For the first time, bicyclists join motorcyclists for the CJOC HQ Ride.

On June 7, 2019, 14 motorcyclists from the CJOC HQ spent the day riding through the National Capital Region. Two groups, split between Harleys and other motorcycle marques, cruised from 1600 Star Top through Russell, Morrisburg, Spencerville to Richmond, Ontario, stopping along the way for fuel and lunch at an outdoor café in Merrickville.

“This year’s ride was simply excellent. The weather cooperated, the route had a variety of riding conditions and the roads were almost empty,” recalled Major (Maj) Dan McNeil, one of the organisers for the event.

Notably, a new segment was added to this year’s event. Bicyclists also joined the event and had a different ride route, opting to bike through a collection of Ottawa parks such as Hog’s Back Park and Stanley Park, and passing by the Aviation Museum.

From its beginning in 2015, the CJOC HQ Ride has catered exclusively to motorcyclists. When asked what motivated the new bicycle segment, Maj Katie Cleghorn, one of the lead organisers, reflected on the growing inclusion of other vehicles for the general public’s Ride for Dad. “As soon as I heard about BGen Bourgon’s idea to add a Bicycle segment to the Spring Ride event, I was excited. The Ride for Dad (www.ridefordad.ca) has added snowmobile, watercraft and ATV ride events, so this seemed a perfect fit for the CJOC HQ Ride,” she noted.

The addition was welcomed and well-received. “This was the inaugural bicycle ride. The weather was perfect, the ride fun and the company pleasant,” said Maj Kelly Chow, one of the first three bicyclists to participate in the CJOC HQ Ride. “Great to include bikes on this year’s ride. It gives people more opportunity to participate as not everyone rides a motorcycle.”

As the Spring CJOC HQ Ride is deemed a success, Maj Cleghorn looks forward to the Fall Ride, and a growing group of bicyclists. “We’ll be working to adjust the planning program, information material and administration instruction to incorporate the bicycle segment for the Fall Ride. By getting the word out earlier, I’m hoping to have more bicyclists participate,” she said.

The CJOC HQ Ride, a fundraiser for Motorcycle Ride for Dad and the Prostate Cancer Fight Foundation, was organised by Maj Katie Cleghorn, Maj Dan McNeil, and Jeff MacLennan. Together, the group raised over $300.00 for Prostate Cancer Research.

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