Frequently Asked Questions


  1. The event starts at Duncan McIntosh Arena in Churchill Park. Where is that and where do I park?

    The municipal address is 200 Christopher Drive, Cambridge, Ontario, N1S 2X4.

    There is a map on the Tour de Grand brochure and our Parking Information page.

    Parking - There is limited parking available in the parking lot at the Arena, at the upper parking lot off the Water Street entrance and on the grass area accessed off of the driveway to the Arena. Please do not park on the ball diamonds or playing fields. Riders are encouraged to car pool with other riders or ride their bicycles to the Arena.

    More Parking Instructions - Click on the Parking link on the Home Page for detailed parking instructions.

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  2. What do I do when I get to the Arena?

    The driveway to the Arena runs off of Christopher Drive. You will be directed to the parking area. The entrance door to the Arena is on the left side (when facing the Arena building). Once inside the entrance door, turn left, through the double doors to the floor area of the Arena.

    Advance Registration Riders
    On the floor area of the Arena, to your right, are the advance registration riders' registration tables with signs indicating letters of the alphabet. Go to the table with the letter of your last name. At the table you will receive a route map, ID bracelet and T-shirt ticket (if you were one of the first indicated number of registered riders). If you have a T-shirt ticket, pick up your shirt at the T-shirt table on the north side of the floor area of the Arena before your ride to ensure a better selection of sizes. Although we try and order enough of each size, T-shirts are ordered in advance and sizes cannot be guaranteed.

    Note the start time of your ride. Be in the start area at least 15 minutes before the start time.

    Day of Event Registrations
    At the far end of the floor area of the Arena to your left, are the sign up tables for completing the registration form and waiver & release. Complete and sign the form and take the form and money for the fee to the registration tables adjacent to the sign up tables. You will be given a route map and ID bracelet.

    Note the start time of your ride. Be in the start area at least 15 minutes before the start time.

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  3. Where do the rides start and end?

    All rides start in the marked start area in the parking lot of the Duncan McIntosh Arena. You should assemble in the start area, 15 minutes ahead of the start time.

    To ease congestion, faster riders will start in groups first and slower riders will leave in groups every 10 minutes during the half hour start time for each ride.

    All rides end back at the start area.

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  4. Registration Fees.

    Registration fees have increased this year mainly due to the requirement to collect HST on the fees. Increases in costs for policing, portable toilets, and rest stop and lunch food have also contributed to the fee increase. We think you get a good deal with eleven different routes, ride support, rest stops with food and water, nutritious lunch and an event T-shirt for the first indicated number of registered riders. The rate for a family of four is reasonable, but it’s all about getting you out for a great day of cycling.

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  5. Can you explain the registration fees for individuals and families?

    Up until Monday, June 5, 2017, individuals pay $35. A family pays $70. A family can be up to 4 members and not more than 2 adults. If there are more than 4 members in the family, the additional fee is $10 for each additional child age 16 & under. HST is included in the registration fees.

    Children in Trailers or Tag Along Seats are free, but we require the parent or guardian to complete a registration/waiver form including the name of the child or children in the trailer or tag along seat.

    No registrations are accepted after June 5, 2017 except for in person registrations at Duncan McIntosh Arena on Saturday, June 10, 2017 from noon until 2:00 pm. Fees for registrations on Saturday are $35 for individuals and $70 for families.

    Day of event registrations (Sunday) are $40 for individuals and $75 for families. A family can be up to 4 members and not more than 2 adults. If there are more than 4 members in the family, the additional fee is $10 for each additional child age 16 & under.

    Some examples for advance registrations:
       2 adults, 2 children - $70
       1 adult, 3 children - $70
       2 adults, 3 children - $70 + $10 ($80)
       2 adults, 4 children - $70 + $10 + $10 ($90)

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  6. Are the rides on paved or gravel roads?

    The 10 km and 15 km rides are on Cambridge-Paris rail trail. It is a hard pack gravel surface.

    The 25 km ride is mainly on paved roads or trails, but two sections, the Grand Trunk trail and Langdon Drive and Whistlebare Road are on hard pack gravel.

    All the other rides are on paved roads, except for the new 50 & 76 km gravel rides which are mainly on gravel roads and trails, except for paved connector roads.

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  7. Are the roads closed for this event?

    No roads are closed for the Cambridge Tour de Grand. Riders must obey all highway traffic rules including stop signs and stoplights.

    Police do stop traffic on Water Street (Highway 24) at the adjacent entrance to Churchill Park to allow cyclists to cross to and from the Cambridge-Paris rail trail. Police also assist riders in navigating the left turn at the corner of Ainslie Street and Concession Street. Police are also at other key intersections and crossing points.

    Traffic marshals are posted at some other intersections in the City of Cambridge to assist riders.

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  8. Are there signs on the roads for the rides?

    Yes, all rides are marked with route signs. Riders will also receive a route map with written instructions, at the time of registration.

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  9. Are there rest stops with food, water and toilets on the rides?

    Yes, all routes have full rest stops with food, water and toilets.

    Water jugs will be available inside the Arena to allow you to refill your own water bottles. There will be no individual bottles of water available.

    Washrooms are located in the Arena and portable toilets will be outside near the start area.

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  10. What do I do if I need assistance?

    If you have a serious medical emergency, call emergency personnel at 911.

    If you have a minor medical emergency, or are having difficulty cycling or a mechanical problem with your bicycle, call the number on your route map 519-240-5325. That is the number for event headquarters.

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  11. Are there time limits to complete the ride?

    Yes, there are generous time limits for persons to complete their ride. The time limits are set out on your route map. If you are not back at the Arena by the time set out on your route map, you should consider not starting out on the second part or consider reducing the balance of your ride. The purpose of the time limits is to ensure that all riders are back at the Arena safely and no later than 4:00 p.m.

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  12. Can you describe the rides?

    For more information on the eleven routes, including an overview, a full description, rest stops, required skill level and a map of each route, click here to go to the Routes section.

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  13. What do you have to eat?

    After you have had a nutritious breakfast at home, you should have full water bottles before starting your ride. All rest stops have water, cookies and fruit. There will be coffee, tea, hot chocolate, fruit drinks and snacks available at the Arena during the event.

    A free lunch will be available for all riders at the Arena starting at 11 a.m. Lunch consists of a variety of breads, cold sliced meat, tomatoes, sliced cheese, lettuce, cucumbers and similar fixings. Vegetarian options are available. In addition, there are juice boxes, fruit, cookies and potato chips. Food will be available until 3:00 p.m. after which time, volunteers will begin cleanup.

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  14. Do you need volunteers to help?

    The Cambridge Tour de Grand attracts almost 3,000 riders and the more volunteers we have helping, the more successful the event. We welcome you, your family, your friends to volunteer. High school students will receive credit for their volunteer hours.

    Check our Volunteer page for volunteer job descriptions and how to volunteer. You can also contact our volunteer coordinator at [email protected] for further information.

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  15. Is the Cambridge Tour de Grand a bicycle race?

    This is not a race. All riders must adhere to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act including stopping for stop signs and stoplights and riding not more than two abreast on all roads and in single file on busier roads. The purpose of the event is to provide a safe enjoyable day of cycling through Cambridge and the surrounding countryside for a wide range of cyclists. Novice riders and small children with their families can ride on the safety of the rail trail and more experienced but less active riders can try the 25 km, 40 km or 50 km rides. If you want to push the distances you can go for the 60 km and 72 km rides.

    If you are more fit and experienced, you can set out on the 100 km and 160 km routes. All the rides will allow you to see Cambridge and the surrounding area in a way only possible from the seat of bicycle.

    Serious trail riders can enjoy the 50 km or 76 km gravel and trail routes.

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  16. Can I register for one ride and switch to another ride?

    Yes you can switch rides. When you arrive at the Arena, go to the registration table with the letter of your last name and ask for a route map for the ride you wish to do. You will also get an ID bracelet and T-shirt ticket. (if you are one of the first indicated number of registered riders).

    Note the time for the start of the ride you are doing.

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  17. Is the Cambridge Tour de Grand held if it is raining?

    Yes the Tour goes rain or shine. If there is a major downpour we will delay the start of the ride until the weather improves. If there is severe lighting, the start will be delayed until the weather clears. The Tour has been held every year since 1998 and some of those have had some rain so dress for the weather and come out for a good time.

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  18. I See there are Event T-shirts, Cycling Jerseys and Gloves. Describe.

    The first indicated number of registered riders will receive an event T-shirt made from a high end wicking material (not cotton). To celebrate our 20th anniversary and Canada’s 150th birthday, special Cambridge Tour de Grand cycling jerseys and gloves, manufactured by Louis Garneau, are available for sale. To see the jersey and glove design and order form, go on our website and click on the Gear icon on the Home Page.

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  19. Are there any special “rules of the road” when riding the Tour de Grand?

    All riders must obey the Ontario Highway Traffic Act. Under that legislation, bicycles are considered vehicles and so the Act applies. This means that riders must stop at stop signs and stoplights. A rolling stop is not permitted. Failure to do so could result in a set fine of $85.00 and a $20.00 Victim Surcharge fine.

    Because bicycles usually travel at a lower speed than a car or truck, there are two rules of the road to which cyclists must pay special attention:
       1. slower traffic stays right
       2. slower traffic must give way to faster traffic when safe and practical.

    In Ontario there is not a specific section which prohibits riding two abreast but the provision dealing with slower traffic giving way to faster traffic would require a cyclist in a situation with traffic in both directions on a two lane road, to move to the right, preferably in single file, so as to allow the faster traffic to pass safely.

    When passing other cyclists, always pass on the left and verbalize your intentions. (e.g. “Passing on your left” or “On your left”).

    Inform other riders of potential road hazards such as potholes, gravel, and debris.

    Bike bell - all bicycles are required to have a bell or horn in good working order.

    Helmets - every cyclist under age 18 must wear an approved bicycle helmet. The Cambridge Tour de Grand requires all cyclists, adults and children, to wear an approved helmet.

    Ontario has a great guide to safe cycling. Go to www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/pubs/cycling-guide

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  20. What is our Helmets for Kids Program?

    Although the Cambridge Tour de Grand bicycle ride operates as a not for profit event, any proceeds are used to fund our Helmets for Kids Program. We work with the Cambridge Neighbourhood Associations by supplying at no cost, children's bicycle helmets. To date, we have supplied over 1,750 helmets and have participated in several bicycle rodeos where the helmets are distributed after proper sizing and children are taught bicycle safety with the assistance of the Waterloo Regional Police Services.

    The program is made possible with the assistance of Mike Hetherington of Grand River Cycle, one of our major sponsors, who is able to acquire helmets for the program at very low prices from various helmet suppliers. If you wish to know more about the Helmets for Kids Program, the Neighbourhood Associations or how to make a donation to this Program, contact Val Millen at [email protected] or Don Pavey at [email protected].

    The Kiwanis Club of Cambridge and the City of Cambridge have generously donated funds to enable the Neighbourhood Associations to acquire Bike Rodeo Kits which are used to stage Bike Rodeos.

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  21. Weekend in Cambridge. What Else Can We Do?

    Visit our Cambridge Information page to see suggestions on how you can have a whole weekend of activities in the beautiful City of Cambridge. IT'S ALL RIGHT HERE.

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  22. Rider Safety Handbook, Group Riding & Helmet Fitting Instructions.

    To help you have a safe day of cycling at the Cambridge Tour de Grand, we have prepared a Rider Safety Handbook with hints on what you need to remember to be safe . The Handbook deals with topics such as hydration, eating, sun exposure, weather, illness, safety requirements, group ride safety and handling injuries. The Handbook can be found on our Safety page. The same page also has a link to a video from Can-Bike Manitoba on Helmet Fitting.

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  23. Where can I get additional information?

    Questions on registration can be sent to our Registrar at [email protected]

    Questions on volunteering can be sent to our Volunteer Coordinator at [email protected]

    Questions on any other matters can be sent to Don Pavey, Chairperson of the Organizing Committee at [email protected] or call 519-240-5325.

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  24. Do I need a bike lock?

    You should bring a secure bike lock to lock your bike while you are in the Arena for registration or having lunch. There are long chain link fences to which you can lock your bike. While you are out riding, you can leave the lock on the fence. You can also place your bicycle inside your vehicle after your ride. Please do not bring your bicycle into the Arena.

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  25. Does the Tour accommodate all types of cyclists?

    The Tour accommodates cyclists of all ages and abilities by providing routes of various distances and routes away from vehicle traffic. We also welcome cyclists with trailers for young children and persons with special needs. We can also provide portable toilet facilities at rest stops and the Arena for persons with special needs. If you would like to participate in the Cambridge Tour de Grand and have questions as to accommodation, please contact Don Pavey at [email protected] or call 519-240-5325.

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