125. The 2022 Bike Race Calendar Spectacular

I Think I’m Gonna Need a Bigger Blog

UPDATE:  March 31:  Substance Projects XCMarathon #3 has been confirmed at Turkey Point, on October 22 (note date change).

Have you seen it?  Have you seen the OCA 2022 Preliminary Race Schedule?  Oof, it’s huge.  Races aren’t just back, they’re back hard.  If there’s a weekend between April and mid-October, there’s a race.  Sometimes there are even two races!

scrappy-badger-apex-race-photography-team-colin.jpg

With the pandemic finished (okay, not really), and bike stores full of new bikes to buy (yeah, really), we’re in for one heck of a 2022 race season.  Although, if you are close to wood right now, knock on it, because I’m going to say it.  Are you ready?

Okay, here goes…

Things almost feel like we’re getting back to–uhhhh, I don’t know if I can say it–NORMAL!

Phew, that wasn’t hard at all.  Actually, it was kind of easy.  It almost felt…normal.  There, I said it again.

You know what’s not normal?  Jamming my COVID body into a kit and then riding for hours!  Ugh.  After two years working through a computer screen, a mostly empty dance card last (I managed two races before a stupid wrist injury), and all the food (so much food), I’m just not ready.  Not even close.

It’s all good though, because racing for me isn’t really about the results anyway; it’s about the people and the community, and the bike and the courses.

Yeah, that’s the stuff.  The people.  My family.

I think it’s safe to say it would be tough to find a more disparate, quirky, crew of awesomely beautiful, totally NOT NORMAL, people then you find at a typical race.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way!

INDEX

  • Races by Month
  • Races by Discipline:  MTB
  • Races by Discipline:  Gravel
  • O-Cups
  • Substance Projects Races
  • Epic 8 Hour Races
  • Midweek Series

The Races (by Month)

The OCA has a preliminary calendar, but I find a bit user unfriendly, so every year I spend a bit of time putting it all together.  I have two versions:  by MONTH, by DISCIPLINE (and a third version for me of races I plan to do).  Here’s what to expect in 2022.  Spoiler Alert:  it’s BIG!

I tried to include all the necessary links, and be as accurate as possible, but well, you know.  For clarification, you can check out all the details on the OCA website, and Google can help you access info on each race.

Btw, as you scan, check out the new races, new venues, and new aweseomeness!

APRIL
MTB Ontario Open Beach Race Championships Turkey Point April 9
Gravel Eastern Gravel Cup Race #1 Ottawa April 9
Gravel Hell of the North Ballantrae April 17
Gravel Paris to Ancaster Paris April 24
Gravel Clarence Rockland Classic Rockland April 24
O-Cup O-Cup #1 (Woodnewton) Uxbridge April 30-May 1
MAY
Grave ON Gravel Race #1 (Scrappy Badger) Baltimore May 7
O-Cup O-Cup #2 Hardwood Hills Hardwood Hills May 14-15
Gravel Tour of Kincardine Kincardine May 15
Gravel Eastern Gravel Cup Race #2 Ottawa May 28
MTB Superfly Spring Epic 8 Mansfield May 28
JUNE
MTB Women’s 4 Hour MTB Relay Hardwood June 4
Gravel Bateman’s Toronto Crit Toronto June 5
Gravel St. Catharines Crit Series Race #1 Dunnville June 11
Gravel ON Gravel Race #2 (Screaming Squirrel) Mono June 11
O-Cup O-Cup #3 (Sir Sam’s) Eagle Lake June 12
MTB 24hrs of Summer Solstice Albion June 25-26
JULY
O-Cup O-Cup #4 (Niagara) Niagara July 1-3
ALL Sea Otter at Blue Mountain Collingwood July 8-10
MTB Summer Epic 8 Hour MTB Relay Hardwood July 9
Gravel Reggie Ramble Warkworth July 9-10
Gravel St. Catharines Crit Series Race #2 Dunnville July 16
O-Cup O-Cup #5 (Horseshoe Valley) Barrie July 16-17
O-Cup O-Cup #6:Canadian Championships(Hardwood) Hardwood July 22-24
MTB Crank the Shield Sault Ste. Marie July 30-August 1
AUGUST
Gravel Eastern Gravel Cup Race #3 Ottawa August 6
Gravel Scary Fast 200 Emsdale August 6-7
MTB Mountainview Nine Lives Enduro Mountainview August 7
Gravel ON Gravel Race #3 (Eager Beaver) Mansfield August 13
MTB Cannondale XCM Race #1 @ Mansfield Mansfield August 14
Gravel Dusty Nostril Milverton August 21
Gravel Kawartha Lakes Classic Lindsay August 27
O-Cup O-Cup #7 (Mountainview) Mountainview August 27-28
SEPTEMBER
Gravel St. Catharines Crit Series Race #3 Dunnville September 10
Gravel Eastern Gravel Cup Series Race #4 Ottawa September 10
MTB Cannondale XCM Race #2 @ Kingston Kingston September 10
Gravel John Hunter Memorial Ride Peterborough September 10
MTB Great Albion Enduro Albion September 17
Gravel Roady Groady Shedden September 17
Gravel 8 Hours of Hurtin’ in Haliburton Haliburton September 17
MTB Fall Epic 8 Hour MTB Relay Hardwood September 24
MTB Crushing the 12 Mountain Bike Race Niagara September 24
Gravel Rockin’ Raccoon (Daily Bread Food Bank) Trail Hub September 25
OCTOBER
Gravel Hastings Highlands Hilly Hundred Bancroft October 1
MTB Ganny Enduro Ganaraska October 2
MTB XCM Race #3 @ Turkey Point Turkey Point October 22

If you see a mistake, or think a race should be added, lemme know.


The Races by Discipline
MTB

MTB is my real love on a bike (followed so very closely by gravel).  Between the regional COVID closures, the relentless crush of working through a pandemic, it was tough to hit my MTB as often as I wanted last year.  Worse, after a crash at Scrappy Badger, I missed the entire MTB race season.  Ugh.  Well that ain’t gonna happen this year.

Check it out.  A bunch of new stuff, some old favourites, and even the triumphant return of a few (Btw, this list does not include O-Cups.  Check under gravel for those):

Ontario Open Beach Race Championships
(Substance Projects)
Turkey Point April 9
Spring Epic 8
(Superfly Racing)
Mansfield May 28
Women’s 4 Hour MTB Relay
(Pulse Racing)
Hardwood June 4
24hrs of Summer Solstice
(Chico Racing)
Albion June 25-26
Sea Otter at Blue Mountain
(Sea Otter Canada)
Collingwood July 8-10
Summer Epic 8 Hour MTB Relay
(Pulse Racing)
Hardwood July 9
Crank the Shield
(Superfly Racing)
Sault Ste. Marie July 30-August 1
Mountainview Nine Lives Enduro
(Mountainview Midland)
Mountainview August 7
Cannondale XCM Race #1 @ Mansfield
(Substance Projects )
Mansfield August 14
Cannondale XCM Race #2 @ Kingston
(Substance Projects )
Kingston September 10
Great Albion Enduro
(Superfly Racing)
Albion September 17
Fall Epic 8 Hour MTB Relay
(Pulse Racing)
Hardwood September 24
Crushing the 12 MTB Race
(Energy Crusher Mountain Bike Race)
Niagara September 25
Ganny Enduro
(9point8)
Ganaraska October 2
Cannondale XCM Race #3 @ Turkey Point
(Substance Projects )
Turkey Point October 22

Wait, what’s an Open Beach Race?

Well, from what I can tell, it’s a race… it’s on a beach.  Other than that, Dan Marshall of Substance Projects has been a little mum on details.  Apparently they are big in the states.  I’m still split between my fatbike and my hardtail. 

Team-Colin-Epic-8-Hour.jpg

Want a bit more info on some of these races?

Gravel

Oof.  So many races!

Gravel riding and racing is my other real love.  Seriously, don’t make me chose between MTB and gravel…

I hammered my gravel bike during COVID.  I have a sweet loop that starts around my home in the middle of Scarborough (the South Scarborough Loop, boom), and I tried to nail it a few times a week.  The freedom of gravel, and the fact that a true gravel ride can start anywhere (um, no driving to a trail head), are the main draws for me.  Plus, on a proper gravel whip, you can hammer so much fun stuff, so basically you’re getting MTB and gravel and grass and dirt and everything else.

Check out the wickedly cool gravel calendar (not too many free weekends, eh):

Gravel Eastern Gravel Cup Series Race #1 Ottawa April 9
Gravel Hell of the North Balantrae April 17
Gravel Paris to Ancaster Paris April 24
Gravel ON Gravel Race #1: Scrappy Badger 40/80 Baltimore May 7
Gravel Tour of Kincardine Kincardine May 15
Gravel Eastern Gravel Cup Series Race #2 Ottawa May 28
Gravel ON Gravel Race #2: Screaming Squirrel 35/70) Mono June 11
Gravel Sea Otter at Blue Mountain Collingwood July 8-10
Gravel Reggie Ramble Warkworth July 9-10
Gravel Eastern Gravel Cup Series Race #3 Ottawa August 6
Gravel Scary Fast 200 Emsdale August 6-7
Gravel ON Gravel Race #3: Eager Beaver 40/100/200 Mansfield August 13
Gravel Dusty Nostril Milverton August 21
Gravel Eastern Gravel Cup Series Race #4 Ottawa September 10
Gravel Roady Groady Shedden September 17
Gravel John Hunter Memorial Ride Peterborough September 17
Gravel 8 Hours of Hurtin’ in Haliburton Haliburton September 17
Gravel Rockin’ Raccoon Trail Hub September 25

Btw, there are some wicked Ontario Crit Series Races, and others like the Kawartha Lakes Classic, and the Hastings Hilly Hundred, but I didn’t include them in this tab for clarity (they are on the first calendar).  You can find all the info with a quick Google search.

O-Cups

I’ve done a bunch of O-Cups (although not nearly as many as I’d like), and the races are wickedly cool.  Better than that, the vibe is super chill, and they’re usually a who’s who of the community.  Plus, Sean at Superfly, Glenn from Pulse, and (Un)Angry Johnny give racers the pro experience, whether you’re a Citizen rider or Expert.  And if that’s not enough, some of the venues are closed for open riding the rest of the year (I’m talking to you, Woodnewton).

If you’re free on an O-Cup weekend, register.  Period.

O-Cup #1 Woodnewton Uxbridge April 30-May 1
O-Cup #2 Hardwood Hills Oro May 14-15
O-Cup #3 Sir Sam’s Eagle Lake June 12
O-Cup #4 Niagara Niagara July 1-3
O-Cup #5 Horseshoe Valley Barrie July 16-17
O-Cup #6 Hardwood Hills:  Cdn. Championships Oro July 22-24
O-Cup #7 MTB Provincial Championship Mountainview August 27-28

cropped-o-cup-hill-e14944434268741.jpg

Substance Projects Rips

Substance Projects have two separate race series:  MTB and gravel.  Both are wickedly awesome, and all 6 races are going to be as fun as heck.  I thought I’d include them here.  If you have a keen eye, you’ll see the gravel series ends on the same weekend as the MTB series starts.  I asked Dan about it, and he told me he’s planning an epic weekend of gravel and MTBout of MOC (Mansfield Outdoor Centre).  Btw, if you haven’t been to MOC lately, you need to get out there.

Cannondale ONGravel Race Series
Cannondale ONGravel Race #1: Scrappy Badger 40/80 (Baltimore) May 7
Cannondale ONGravel Race #2: Screaming Squirrel 35/60 (Orangeville) June 11
Cannondale ONGravel Race #3: Eager Beaver 40/100/200 (Mansfield) August 13
XCMarathon Race Series
XCM #1 @ Mansfield Outdoor Centre (Mansfleid Madness?) August 14
XCM #2 @ MTB Kingston (Kingston Trophy) September 10
XCM #3 @ Turkey Point October 22

Epic 8 Hour Races

An Epic 8 Hour is an awesome thing.  Glenn at Pulse and Sean at Superfly (or Adam at Chico in a regular year), give racers the pro experience, and the races are a day long festival of everything bikes.  Team or solo…BOOM)

Mansfield Spring Epic 8 Hour p/b Superfly Racing May 28
Summer Epic 8 Hour p/b Pulse Racing (@ Hardwood Hills) July 9
Fall Epic 8 Hour p/b Pulse Racing (@ Hardwood Hills) September 24

Mid-Week Series

Wait, did I mention weekly series races?  If you haven’t tried a weekly series race, do it.  These races are fun and awesome, and super chill.  My weekly series is the King Race Series, at Centennial Park in King City.

The benefit of a weekly series race is that you get all the fun of a race experience, with a shorter course, in a casual atmosphere…for a midweek workout.  I cannot say enough about midweek series races.  The organizers are awesome, the courses are hella fun, and you won’t regret doing one.  Monday to Friday, take your pick (and yeah, my bucket list includes doing four consecutive days of racing…maybe this year).

Here’s a tentative, kinda unconfirmed, list of local races.  They usually start in May, and end in the Fall:


“But I’m Not Ready to Race”

Um, yes you are.  Seriously, if you think you’re not ready to race, you’re wrong.  There is much more to be said about that, but I’ll leave it for another post.  In the meantime, you only need to know that I weigh a COVID 250 (which is to say that I weighed 250 pre-COVID…and packed on about a pound a month), and I’m racing.  If I can do it, is there anyone among us who can’t?

I’ve raced with little or no sleep and not enough training, and with a teeny bit more sleep and still not enough training.  I’ve raced through rain and wind and snow (so much wind), mud and gravel and grass.  I’ve raced when it’s so cold your fingers go blue, and so hot that your helmet feels like it’ll melt.  I’ve raced because there was a race (even though I didn’t want to), and I’ve counted the days until a favourite race.  team-colin-blog.jpg

Seriously, if I can do it, you have to trust me when I say you can too.

But like I said, “Why YOU Need to Race” is Blog #126 (unpublished).


Some Links and Other Stuff

I tried my best to include all of the races I that are currently scheduled.  Since everything is still a bit fluid right now, race organizers and the OCA are working to put it all together.  These lists are incomplete, and in progress, and probably hugely inaccurate, so I’ll try to update as necessary (and again if you know of a race or an error, lemme know and I’ll amend).

Here is a totally incomplete list of some important links (I tried to include as many as possible):


Pure Magic

Whenever we play bikes, we make magic.  Whether it’s a race or a ride, or just a visit to a bike shop.  I can’t wait to see new and old friends this year.

Ride.

PS
Here are my top picks of races you gotta do.  Really, you should do every one (and so should I), but it’s tough to carve the time for all of them.  Each one has an awesomeness factor that’s off the charts.

Races You Gotta Do

APRIL
MTB Ontario Open Beach Race Championships Turkey Point April 9
Gravel Paris to Ancaster Paris April 24
O-Cup O-Cup #1 (Woodnewton) Uxbridge April 30-May 1
MAY
Gravel Cannondale ONGravel Scrappy Badger Baltimore May 7
MTB Superfly Spring Epic 8 Mansfield May 28
JUNE
Gravel Bateman’s Toronto Crit Toronto June 5
MTB 24hrs of Summer Solstice Albion June 25-26
JULY
ALL Sea Otter at Blue Mountain Collingwood July 8-10
MTB Summer Epic 8 Hour MTB Relay Hardwood July 9
Gravel Reggie Ramble Warkworth July 9-10
AUGUST
MTB Cannondale XCMarathon Mansfield Madness Mansfield August 14
SEPTEMBER
MTB Great Albion Enduro Albion September 17
MTB Fall Epic 8 Hour MTB Relay Hardwood September 24
Gravel Rockin’ Raccoon (Daily Bread Food Bank) Trail Hub September 25

One thought on “125. The 2022 Bike Race Calendar Spectacular

  1. Always love your blog posts and I even made it in this one 🙂 Honoured and can’t wait to ride with you this year!

    Like

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