St. George to Ancaster 45k

"Not The P2A" Rides - Something New So You Can Get On The Bike!

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The "Not The P2A" rides are happening around Ontario with the wonderful assistance of event organizers and pros including Mike Garrigan (3X P2A winner), Sean Rupple (Superfly Racing), Kurt Gwisdek (the SQUEEZER), Rob Holmgren (Dad of 4x winner Gunnar), and Siobhan Kelly (Pro CycloCross racer). They have developed unique "Not The P2A" routes. The mandate we gave our partners was to develop a route in their own local area which represented the gravel movement which Paris To Ancaster pioneered.

Some early P2A participants may remember we originally billed our event as "not the Paris-Roubaix"; now we’re bringing that idea back and inviting riders to explore ‘Not The P2A’ routes around the province - Ottawa, Toronto, Simcoe, Muskoka, Parry Sound, London, St Catharines,, Brant County (and more route announcements to come!)

On April 25, we encourage you to ride a GPS-mapped ‘Not The P2A’ route near you. Or design a P2A-inspired gravel route in your own local area. Ride alone, ride with a group (subject to COVID guidelines), but ride. And then post your pictures, experiences, and trash talk on social media using our hashtags #P2A21 & #notP2A.. We will have a celebration of cycling on our website and social media, updated live with your content, sharing pictures and highlights from "Not The P2A" rides across the province.

If you can't ride your local route on the 25th, do it any other day. Keep sharing your experiences with us. You’ll get to keep the GPS files and can plan to ride the other routes, all across the province, all throughout the summer.

"Not The P2A" Ride Overviews - More info to come soon!

Siobhan Kelly

LONDON

My history with this race started back in the 90s - my dad raced P2A while I was still in a stroller, and I have raced it myself beginning as a young teenager. Flash forward, and P2A is still keeping the gravel racing spirit alive amidst the pandemic, and I'm so excited to help bring it to my home town of London, Ontario with a "Not The P2A Ride". Bike racing first began for me in 2003, with the Gary Fisher Enduro Series - since then I have always raced.

I started out as a mountain bike racer, but racing cyclocross is really where I feel that I belong. I have focused on it now, but my love for all forms of racing is still strong. I race for Black Dog Racing (https://bikeblackdogracing.weebly.com/) which I started in 2018 - happy that the team is still going strong! I've raced cyclocross in Europe for a few years now and finished a season of racing amidst the pandemic in Belgium at the end of February. Since my cyclocross race season is over, I've been wondering "what's next" - I'm so excited for it to be P2A!

   
Gravel Cup

OTTAWA

The Ottawa Valley area is home to some of the best gravel in Canada. Gravel Cup Committee members Jennifer Stephenson and Brendan Gorman ride many recon miles looking for new and exciting roads that could be incorporated into events. The area that best represents the P2A course would be where the Gravel Cup got its start; West Carleton, in the west rural end of the City of Ottawa. Starting from Carp the route will be an 80km loop of the 2019 KIN Vineyards Spring Runoff. The route has a mixture of open farm field gravel, moderate elevation, a few treed sections and great views of the Gatineau Hills across the Ottawa River in Quebec.

   
Superfly Racing

MUSKOKA

Muskoka 65km Gravel Grind - The vacationland of the rich and famous also abounds in gorgeous secondary roadways, never far from a stunning view of a lake, river, or mounds of Canadian Shield rock jetting out of the ground. A very quiet area outside the busy summer months, the Muskoka 65km enjoys a mix of approx.. 50% Gravel, 40% paved/secondary roads, and a super fun 15% summer access road to various seasonal cottages and hunt camps – a backwoods smorgasboard that is a true highlight of the route. This is the same route featured in this summer’s newly expanded Northern Pass Road/Gravel ride for the Princess Margaret Hospital – a series of routes brought to you in part by Superfly Racing. For information on Northern Pass and it’s new gravel ride, please go to https://thepmcf.ca/our-events/northernpass/


   
Liberty! Bicycles

NIAGARA

Niagara has a deep connection to the legendary P2A. P2A race directors used the area as a base for races that evolved into the Squeezer, the Lake to Lake, and Tour of Pelham, among others. With that history, and the help of local legend and Ascent Team member,Adam Millar, we've put together a fantastic P2A Niagara course that brings out the best of the Region. Stealing segments from each of Niagara's classic citizen's events, the route weaves and winds fromDowntown St. Catharines and into the paths, trails, and gravel by-ways of the Short Hills and Welland Canal lands. It's an area filled with surface diversity and extraordinary history. It's going to be fun! Mountain bike, cross bike, or gravel bike... You will have to choose wisely, as there are sections ideal for each discipline!

The route takes the rider from the heart of St.Catharines, south along the 12-Mile Creek valley, up a challenging climb of the Niagara Escarpment, into and around the Short Hills glacial moraine, along the Old Welland Canal, and over a 100 year-old NS&T trolley line that cuts through farmland. There is lots of varied terrain on this 59km loop which snakes its way back to Downtown St.Catharines.

The good people at De La Terre bakery https://delaterre.ca/ open from 10am to 4pm on P2A Sunday (and just around the corner from Liberty! Bicycles https://libertybicycles.com) are ready to welcome cyclists who have completed their own P2A Niagara local event ride. We hope to see you there on Sunday 25 April 2021.

   
Dan Marshall

NORTHHUMBERLAND

"Scrappy Badger Reverse" Dan Marshall sold his soul to off-tarmac cycling 30 years ago and never looked back. As the principal of Substance Projects, he lives out his passion for designing awesome courses, inducting newcomers to the sport, and generally proselytizing about the wonders of life on two wheels. Dan's favourite P2A memory is sure to resonate with some of you: It's the late 90s. Cross the finish line in Ancaster. Find somewhere to buy a submarine sandwich. Ride that long, cold road back to Paris to find the car and head home. The good ol' days.

Coming up from Substance Projects in 2021: Gravel events around Ontario in the late summer/early fall. A condensed XCMarathon series in October. The usual inclusive vibe and shenanigans. C'mon out!