The KW Classic is back, with cyclists taking over the roads in Wellesley Township.
On June 5, more than 400 bike racers will be gathering in Hawkesville for the 29th annual KW Classic race, just one event in the 2016 Ontario Cup Road series.
The race, organized by Malcolm Steven and Blake Ellis through Cycle Waterloo, will be held in partnership with the Hawkesville Community Centre with volunteers on hand, raising money for the community, selling sandwiches, baked goods and hosting a barbecue.
This year’s race has a new course, which Steven says will only improve the experience for riders and spectators alike.
“We have actually changed the course this year and we think that it will actually add another layer of excitement because the racers are going to be going to the start/finish line on Broadway Street, right in front of the Hawkesville Community Centre,” he shared. “That will be part of the laps the whole race through. We are pretty excited too this year because we think that we are going to be getting around 400-plus people that are going to come out to race all day.”
Riders will start and finish on Broadway Street, which will be closed in Hawkesville for the event. They will take Broadway to Geddes Street, go south on Geddes to Ament Line, ride to Boomer Line, head west on Boomer, then north on Herrgott Road, then back to Broadway Street.
The entire course is a 10.4-kilometre circuit, with a climb up the Hawkesville hill, and then back down, where riders can reach a speed of 70 kilometres per hour. Steven says it is an exciting race that also acts as a qualifier for bigger races down the road.
“It is a series of events and our event is the last of the series,” he said. “They get points based on their category, all the way from the Elite male and female racers in the afternoon to the Masters categories and we have other racers as well. It is a way for them to get put on provincial teams, and all kinds of things.”
There are nine racing categories at the Sunday event, and the races will be staggered throughout the day to ensure that there isn’t a bunch up of 400 racers on public roads.
Steven says he encourages everyone, not just bike race fans, to come on out, enjoy the sunshine, support the Hawkesville Community Centre and have some barbecue, but also, cheer on the racers as they bike with everything they have.
“It would be great to get spectators to come out and watch the racers and see some of the best racers in Ontario toil for points for the Ontario Cup,” he said with a laugh. “We get lots of people that come out and sit at the corners, and we are hoping for more, especially this year, with Broadway being closed, and the corner of Broadway and Geddes would be a great spot to watch them all go by. You will see lots of racing.”
He also hopes that the event will inspire people to get their own bikes and hit the road.
“Our group is very much about putting on high quality events, and helping young racers and other people to have the opportunity to race within their own community. We are a not-for-profit as well, and the other part is that we believe that when there are more cycling events throughout the region, or high quality cycling events, it just encourages people to get on their bikes and ride. Ride to work, maybe, or just ride for fitness and health. It’s just another way to uplift cycling in the community, and we are just passionate cyclists.”
The races start at 8 a.m. on June 5, with the barbecue and fundraising efforts underway throughout the day.
“If you do come out, bring cash. There is no ATM out there,” Steven laughed.
For more information on the race and the categories, see www.cyclewaterloo.com.