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Observatory Closure/Access

2 Jun

Subject: Dominion Astrophysical Observatory closure during the COVID-19 pandemic

In March 2020, the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory (DAO) made the difficult decision to temporarily close public access to the site, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under normal circumstances, we at the DAO are happy to welcome hikers to enjoy our trails, the cycling community to train on our hill and, through the Friends of the DAO, welcome the public to our historic site to share our knowledge and passion for astronomy. Our staff, who are all part of the Greater Victoria community, are proud to be able to share our site and our interests with the community.

When the pandemic began, we reduced our presence onsite and asked our employees to work remotely to do our part to support physical distancing and the fight against COVID-19. Only essential staff are onsite to allow our research operations to continue.

We have an important responsibility to care for this property and the people who use it, and to protect our employees and our community. As a research institution, and with a limited onsite presence, the DAO is not in a position to ensure safe public access to our site during the pandemic.

We recognize the disappointment this has caused within the communities of cyclists, hikers, nature and astronomy enthusiasts who enjoy our site. We ask for and appreciate your patience and support as we strive to continue to focus our efforts on supporting Canadian research under these unprecedented circumstances.

We sincerely look forward to welcoming you back and re-opening the site to our community and public outreach activities once again, as soon as it is safe to do so.

Clear skies,

Luc Simard,

Director General, Herzberg Astronomy & Astrophysics Research Centre

Dominion Astrophysical Observatory

National Research Council of Canada

2020 Season Delay

16 Mar

FYI – with the guidance of Cycling BC, and following the footsteps of Cycling Canada and other bodies, we are postponing the 2020 race season, with all event between now and May 1st being on hold. We will reassess in a few weeks, and provide further information as it becomes available.

2020 VCL Schedule – Near Final

8 Mar

The wait is nearly over, and to whet your racing appetite, below is a link to the near-final 2020 VCL Schedule. The up-island dates and the Windsor Park races are still to be confirmed, but, this should help you get your training regimen started/kicked into high gear.

VCL 2020 Schedule2


4 Sat Caleb Pike Broad St/VBCC Conf’d
8 Wed Speedway Tripleshot Conf’d
12 Sun Newton Heights Wheelers/Marcel Conf’d
19 Sun Cobble Hill VBCC/Ian Birch Conf’d
21 Tues Sidney TT Sidney Velo To Be Advised
22 Wed Speedway Tripleshot Conf’d
25 Sat Tsolum River RR Cycling Comox Valley To Be Determined
29 Wed Caleb Pike Broad St/VBCC Conf’d
3 Sun Windsor Pk Wheelers/Karl ? Or Long Weekend?
6 Wed Speedway Tripleshot Conf’d
10 Sun Neild Rd HC Wheelers/Errington Conf’d
12 Tues Sidney TT Sidney Velo To Be Advised
13 Wed Caleb Pike Broad St/VBCC Conf’d
17 Sun Cherry Pt RR VBCC/Bill Yearwood Conf’d
18 Mon Windsor Park Wheelers/Karl ?? Long Weekend
20 Wed Velodrome GVVA ?
24 Sun Lazo RR Cycling Comox Valley To Be Determined
27 Wed North Saanich Wheelers/Marcel Conf’d
3 Wed Caleb Pike Broad St/VBCC Conf’d
6-7 Fri-Sun RCL Crit Champs Jr/Masters/Elite Non-VCL
13-14 Sat-Sun BC TT/RR Champs Jr/Masters/Eite Non-VCL
14 Sun Mt Douglas HC Wheelers/Errington Conf’d
16 Tues Sidney TT Sidney Velo To Be Advised
17 Wed Newton Heights Wheelers/Marcel Conf’d
21 Sun Metchosin RR VBCC/Dave Dallin Conf’d
24 Wed Velodrome GVVA ?
27-28 Sat-Sun Trackfest GVVA Conf’d Non-VCL
4 Sat Lazo RR Cycling Comox Valley Possible
5 Sun Windsor Park Wheelers/Karl To Be Conf’d
8 Wed Velodrome GVVA ?
10-19   Superweek Vancouver Non-VCL
12 Sun Paskin TTT Sidney Velo Conf’d
15 Wed North Saanich Wheelers/Marcel Conf’d
19 Sun Windsor Park Wheelers/Karl To Be Conf’d
25 Sat Maple Bay RR Cycle Therapy/Beggs Conf’d
26 Sun Observatory HC Orme Conf’d

Remaining Races

22 Jul

It has just been noted that this Wednesday’s Velodrome VCL (July 24th) is missing from the Schedule posted on this site (although, it does properly show on the IRC site). Registration an open-track starts of 6:00PM, with racing starting around 6:30.

Saturday’s Maple Bay RR is still uncertain – final status will be conveyed by tomorrow evening, we apologize for the late notice and confusion.

Lastly, Sunday marks the return of the Observatory Hill Climb – come out and test your legs against the relatively inoffensive grade. It would be great to have a huge turnout for the return of this popular cycling training location. Come out and show your respects and appreciation for the venue operators!!


19 Jun

FYI – there has been a change in base command, and unfortunately the crit that was scheduled for July 6th has been cancelled. Thanks so much to Arin (Fort Street Cycle) and his cohorts for all the work they did to get it approved with previous command – we were all REALLY looking forward to this new venue.

Road Racing at Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit – Sunday June 16th

10 Jun

One of the best venues on the annual race calendar, this Sunday sees the opportunity for roadies from up and down the island to battle themselves, their friends and the remarkable VIMS road circuit. We are opening things up a little to give more than just the usual VCL’ers a chance to ride this amazing venue. In addition to self-seeded A, B and C races, there will be a Check Engine Light for anyone who wants to attend. You just need your club ride license (day-of insurance will also be available, but, if you are a cycling club member, your Cycling BC Ride license is sufficient).

Sign-On starts at 9:00, and the track opens for warm-up.
10:00 – Check Engine Light event – the final distance will be determined shortly, but is expected at 30-45 minutes.
11:00 – C Race – 15 laps (1 hour) – subject to change, and may include a shorter 20-30 minute sub-race
12:10 – B Race – 20 laps (80 min)
1:45 – A Race – 25 laps (105 min)

Pre-registration is highly encouraged to smooth things at the track. Please click here to complete your pre-registration and then pay on-site. For those new to the VCL, you must complete a 2019 VCL-waiver-final and bring it on Sunday.

We are also considering a Hot Lap Competition to see who can log the fastest full-circuit lap (or maybe a short-course Hot Lap). Tell all your friends, tell the whole bunch – let’s fill this venue up!!!

Wednesday May 22nd – Velodrome

21 May

This coming Wednesday May 22nd is GVVA + Victoria Cycling League (VCL) race night. For VCL riders who did not get a chance to take a Learn-to-Ride session and don’t want to miss out on the action / points, please show up by 5pm at Westshore Velodrome on Wednesday and we’ll get you up to speed with a “Track 101” session so you too can partake in the races that evening! We’ll sort bikes out and go through some basics between 5-530pm and then get on the track at 530pm as the venue is booked until then. Hope to see you out there this Wednesday!

Cherry Point Road Race – Sunday May 19, 2019

14 May

Hey everyone, pack up the bike(s) and the family, and head up to Cherry Point Vineyards on Sunday. The format is great, a ton of fun, and the course is scenic, challenging, and a lot of fun. Details available here – thanks to Cycle Therapy in Duncan for race organization/hosting.

Here are some details on the Youth Road Race Series component
Lister Farrar This event was also slated to be an island youth road and track series event. But with registration up and down for the races so far, organizer David Beggs and I have agreed to merge them as 5 ability categories, A,b,c, d, e, with d and e for youth riders who want something easier than A, b or c. And it’s moved to 1:00. So bring some kids and have an early lunch! 🙂.

Ps. I’d expect E to be 7-10 yrs, D to be 10-13. Strongest youth welcome in a,b, c.

Race Results – Neild Rd HC

13 May

Race Results have been update on the IRC page, with season standings updated. Here are the times for the various hill-climb warriors – thanks everyone for showing up!!

Powered by IRC

Cobble Hill/Mill Bay Road Race – Details

16 Apr

We have a very exciting addition to the VCL schedule coming up this weekend. The Cobble Hill/Mill Bay Road Race takes place on Sunday April 21st. Details are as follows:

Sign-On 11:00 AM – Racing at 12:00

Distances will be 60 km for A, 50 km for B, 40 km for C and 20 km for the Youth category.

Click here for details on location, parking, etc.

This race will be a lot of fun, and likely very different than our regular weekly circuit races. Come on out, test your legs!!