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Bonus Race!!

5 Aug

Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!

Exciting News – Bonus Race – Windsor Park

We are offering a bonus VCL Race on Sunday August 14 at Windsor Park. Cap-off the road racing season, tune your legs for Cross, and just enjoy a good hard day on the road. The race agenda is as follows:

Youth Clinic – 8am – 30 min

Open/Youth/C Group – 8:45-9:15am – Estimated 25 min + 5 laps

B Group – 9:30-10:30am – Estimated 45 min + 5 laps

A Group – 10:45-12:00pm – Estimated 50 min + 5 laps

Registration Fee – $20

Registration Link –

Prizes and Primes offered courtesy of Phillips Brewing Company, Burnt Bridge Classic Gravel Fondo, and more.

Final Week of the Race Season

25 Jul

Good afternoon race fans. We are fast approaching the end of the 2022 VCL season, and your last chance to gain remaining-year bragging rights over your friends. Three events remain, and individually they offer a little somethin-somethin for everyone.

Newton Heights this Wednesday, July 27th – climb a hill, suffer immensely, descend and recover ever-so-slightly, then do it again, 10-12-14 more times… Registration is on-site only – be there!!!

Windsor Park Crit – Shim’s Ride Version – see – all funds raised go to supporting spinal cord research. This pista is a favourite of almost everyone. Sunshine, crowds, prizes, and comradery – let’s try to make it a registration record. Reg HERE AND on-site

Finally, Sunday the 31st offers you the chance to prove your season fitness, with a one-and-done effort up the Observatory. Due to some rather incoherent access restrictions, this event will take place entirely on Strava. An official VCL event, with on-site timing has been rejected by premises officials, so, we are proceeding within its access guidelines. More specific details in the next day or so (but, essentially, you will have the one day to post a result on Strava, then I will tabulate the results.

Tell all you friends, and see you this week!

Alert – Maple Bay CANCELLED

9 Jul

With sadness we have to announce that next Sunday’s Maple Bay race is being cancelled. We, unfortunately, have fallen victim to the same issue many face – a lack of bodies.

So, we will see you at Newton for the July 27th (Wed) race, the Saturday July 30th Windsor Park Crit (my favourite), and then potentially the July 31st Observatory Hill Climb (if they open the venue up to group events).


10 May

After a very long > two year closure, the Observatory grounds have now been re-opened to the public. Please see the official announcement below – please, please please adhere to the restrictions. Do NOT go above the stop sign during Mon-Fri business hours (7AM-5PM). Evenings and weekend are when we can make our way right to the top. Close the gate, be respectful, don’t ride past the stop-sign during the day, and be sure to thank anyone you see there for sharing the space with us!!

Hello All,

Well as we have been closed to Covid 19 for just over 2 years it is time to welcome back the public to our beautiful site. As of today at 9:15 the front gate will be open. Vehicle Gate opening times will be Monday to Friday 9:15-5pm. The man gate at the bottom will be open 24/7. This is subject to change as operational requirements dictate.

We have hired a licensed security guard who will patrol and monitor the public who are accessing the site. All requests and or directions from this guard are to be adhered to at all times. At no time will aggressive or abusive behaviour to anyone on site be tolerated. All rules of the site and road must be followed and respected.

Cyclists are to turn around at the first stop sign in the parking lot to the left as you hit the sign. There is ample room to maneuver and a nice stop in the lot to look at Mt. Baker. During working hours Monday to Friday 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM, this is the only approved turn around spot. Outside of regular working hours you can continue to the top for more spectacular views. I have included pictures of the stop sign and the turnaround area to the left. Please familiarize yourselves with this. I reiterate that this rule must be followed and no aggressive or abusive behaviour will be tolerated. Reminder that this is private property and by following the outlined rules we will hopefully be able to provide this privilege for years to come. There is no off road cycling allowed anywhere on our site.

Hikers/ Walkers please stay on the road/ hard pack as we have many areas that are currently under restoration / recovery. Many people walk their dogs on site.  If the dogs are under their owners control and do not chase the wildlife (deer) they are not required to be on a leash.  However if it is determined that the dogs are chasing wildlife or impeding staff in any manner then it will be mandatory to have them on a leash. Just so you know, that with the lack of people we have had up here, we have a huge influx of wildlife from deer, bears, racoon, eagles, hawks, and to many birds to name. We are still a Species at Risk site so again please stay to the hard pack so we don’t disturb the habitats of many. Removal of any plants, mushrooms, and or animals is illegal and will not be tolerated. Please take pictures only. It is also unlawful to feed the animals so, again, take pictures only.

If at any time you come in contact with staff or the guard please provide 6’ social distancing and or wear a mask. Covid is still out there and we wish everyone to remain healthy and safe at all times. I can’t stress enough to follow all signage, speed limits, and directions from security and staff. Once again, at no time will aggressive or abusive behaviour be tolerated.


Hill Climb Time – Neild Rd

6 May

Sunday morning leg opener, on your way out to East Sooke, or warm-up before doing repeats at Bear Mountain.

Come on out an suffer – its only 7-8 minutes of pain if you are super fit, or 10 minutes if you are a Clydesdale (as the writer is).

Sign-on is at 10:00 AM, and first rider off at 10:30. On-site registration only, bring cash (and race license). $5.00 race fee – incredibly value for the money!!

See you there.

Velodrome Races this Wednesday

25 Apr

Apr 27th (this Wednesday) is the first of 3 VCL races at the GVVA Velodrome. To make it fair for riders on rental bikes, all riders will be gear restricted to max. 89 gear inch (46×14 on the rental bikes*).

On schedule will be Scratch race, Elimination race, and Keirin. Track opens for warm up at 6pm, first race begins at 630pm.

(you can find some videos from last year:

Those who have NOT ridden on our track or have prior track experience as well as those who want a refresher, please either a) show up early (~5-530pm) to get a run down, or b) sign up for a full Learn-to-Ride which we have one this Sunday especially if you do plan to do more racing / training at the track (GVVA has weekly racing starting next month)

*those coming with their own track bikes, make sure you come prepared with gear options below 89″, examples: 49×15, 53×16, 57×17.

Registration information to follow shortly.

Race #1 of the 2022 VCL Season

5 Apr

T-1 to the first VCL event of 2022. Western Speedway hosts to the first race of the very full 2022 season. Race times will be the same as in the past, with 5:30 reg start for the 6:00 C Race, the B-Race will follow at 6:30 and the A-Race at 7:15.

Online reg takes place at Webscorer. $15 to race, $10 for juniors. We won’t have the full-season timing chips and bib numbers available for tomorrow, so, you will have a temp chip that has to be returned at the end of the race. There will be limited on-site registration available also.

Full-year chip/bib number combos will be available on the weekend, at Caleb ($5 cost, for the full season).

Bring your cash (if you didn’t pay online), bring your race license, and bring your signed waiver (printed from webscorer, pls).

See you tomorrow evening!!

Windsor and Mill Bay info

23 Jul

Just a quick reminder of the 2021 VCL Summer Season – see below.

We have a double header coming up this weekend, with the Windsor Park crit on Saturday, and Mill Bay RR on Sunday.

Spread the word, and we hope to see you all this weekend.

The Windsor race kicks-off 8:30 for the C-Race, 9:30 for the B-Race and 10:30 for the A-Race – if sufficient nbrs of mini-humans around, there could be a kid-race between the B and A events.

The race costs $20, and will have on-site registration only.

Juniors and Wheelers are free.

For Sunday, race registration for Mill Bay can be done online at CCNbikes.com!/events/12577-mill-bay-road-race – click link for all details.

If you haver any issues, there will be on-site registration also.

Season Schedule

– July 14 – Wed – Newton Heights – Wheelers
– July 18 – Sun – Cherry Point RR – VBCC
– July 24 – Sat – Windsor Park – Oak Bay Bikes / Wheelers
– July 25 – Sun – Mill Bay RR – Sidney Velo
– July 27 – Tues – Speedway – Tripleshot
– July 28 – Wed – Newton Heights – Wheelers
– Aug 11 – Wed – Caleb – Broad Street VBCC
– Aug 17 – Tues – Speedway – Tripleshot
– Aug 22 – Sun – Metchosin RR – VBCC
– Aug 25 – Wed – North Saanich – Wheelers (new course)
– Aug 29 – Sun – Windsor Park – OBB/Wheelers
– Aug 31 – Tues – Speedway – Tripleshot

VCL 2021 – Race #1 Newton Heights

13 Jul

Without further adieu, and with an ample dose of short notice, here are the details on tomorrow evening’s race.

Newton Heights, Sign-On/Nbr pick-up is at 6:00, and racing starts at 6:30.

Registration is done online, via Webscorer, (if the link doesn’t work, copy and paste the address into your browser and hit enter). Failing that, search the Race ID #247511

Race results will be done via timing chip, there is no charge for the chips this year, HOWEVER, they must be returned after each race. Given that this is the first race in a year and a half, please arrive with plenty of time (before the 6:30 start). Expect a few delays, as we work out the bugs on a race plan that was pulled together very quickly.

Each of the races this year are one-offs, there will be no full season standings. There are a number of reasons for this, including things like: COVID, technical difficulties, short notice, among other things.

SAFETY NOTICE – people are going to be nervous, and there is no prize money or life-changing accolades, so, your primary goals is to stay upright, to keep your race-mates upright, and to have fun.

Bring your cycling BC license to sign-on, you will need either a UCI or Provincial Race License, or a Cycling for All Cycling BC Membership.

More information is available on the VCL Facebook page, and more information will be added to this site in due course.

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