Annual Rotary Club of Picton Lilac Ride a hit with visiting cyclists

Rotary Lilac Ride


The  cycling circuits with the scents and the sights brought participants from all over Ontario to Prince Edward County on Sunday.

The 9th annual Rotary Club of Picton Lilac ride brought upwards of 200 cyclists from all corners of the province to take part in the annual tour that incorporates a trio of routes that originate from the Prince Edward Community Centre to points north, reaching as far as Big Island and Green Point.

All the beautiful and scenic routes of course featured lilacs bushes throughout.

Thankfully, the late blooming bushes fairly made their appearance just a day or two prior to the ride.

“We had a lot of great comments from the riders and the weather was good, it wasn’t to windy and not to warm,” Jim Barkman, course chair told the Gazette. “There was riders there all the way from Dundas, the Hamilton area and people from all through Ottawa. There were a lot of out of town riders.”

The money raised from the event came from two separate sources, one indirect and the other through rider registration.

Last year local Rotarians raised around $7,000 and organizers believe they’ve raised at least the same amount this year.

The chosen charity for the 2019 Lilac Ride is the local Reaching for Rainbows group, a youth empowerment and self esteem and awareness initiative.

“We are very pleased with the turn out and were very fortunate to support “Reaching for Rainbows” there a great organization,” added Barkman. “As a Rotary member I do this for the cause so to speak, so I guess it’s the satisfaction.”

As mentioned, a post ride barbecue was hosted at ride headquarters at Rotary Hall and famished riders were able to feast after a 25, 50 or 100 km ride.

“We had 41 volunteers including Rotarians and all their friends and neighbours,” Barkman said. “We couldn’t do it without them, they play a big part in this organization both on the road marshalling with the course, food preparation, registration and everything else in between.”