On September 16th, 2018, the City of Laval will host its fourth annual edition of Laval à Vélo. This year, the event promises some exciting new changes, like new courses for the whole family.

“It’s really a celebration of biking,” explains Caroline Jodoin, Communications and Marketing Advisor for the Ville de Laval. “We promote a healthy lifestyle, physical activity, and we want to enjoy the beautiful weather. It’s a family event. It’s welcoming and it’s a great way to spend time with your family,” she continues. People of all ages can participate in the upcoming event, though children younger than 14 years of age need to be accompanied by an adult.

The Laval à Vélo event is an extension of the Ville de Laval’s 50th anniversary party, which was held back in September of 2015. Ever since, the event has taken place every year thanks to the City of Laval, along with the Vélo Québec organization.

“The people at Vélo Québec help us define the routes, find volunteers,” explains Jodoin. “It’s our event, but we work together with the experts on the matter.” Laval à Vélo is the only biking activity spearheaded by the Ville de Laval.

As in past years, the event will include routes from 20 km to 40 km long. The 20 km route will follow along the river and will give participants the opportunity to pass through the beautiful historical sites in the city like the Église Saint-Vincentde-Paul, and the old Soeurs de la Providence convent. The 40 km route will bring riders around Île Jésus and will follow along the Mille Îles River and Rivière-de-la-Prairie. There will also be a 40 km express route where seasoned riders can take off before their families. All three routes will be on a closed circuit.

The big news this year is the addition of a 60 km route. At the request of past participants, Laval à Vélo has decided to offer the longer circuit, this year. The entirety of the route will not be on a closed circuit but will include many roads with designated bicycle paths.

“Each route has its beauty. The new routes really go throughout the city from the west to the east,” explains Jodoin. “Keep in mind that Laval has become synonymous with urban life – malls. We’re really pushing the nature side of it. It’s an unknown part of the city. The fresh air, the big green space…”

There will be refreshment stops along the way for riders to refuel, as well as people who can administer first aid or help with bicycle repairs. After the event is completed, riders will be able to relax or even visit local merchants. Plus, all participants will have the chance to meet the event’s spokesperson, entrepreneur and Olympic gold medalist, Bruny Surin.

“We were looking for someone who promotes a healthy lifestyle, who is from Laval, and someone who has families at heart,” explains Jodoin. “He’s a very warm person who has a family spirit. He’s very involved in the event and has been riding for the last four years.”

The event will start and finish at Centre de la Nature. You can register online, by telephone, or in person at the Maison des Cyclistes, located on Rachel Street in Plateau Mont-Royal in Montreal. Participants can register until the morning of the event from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

Translated by Maria Barillaro