Hell Climb 2013

A friend of ours told us about a little race up a little mountain.  It's organized by a bike shop called Tall Tree Cycles in Ottawa.  I know very little about the cycling culture of Ottawa, but through this experience I have learned the following:

Tall Tree Cycles is amazing.

This was not your typical bike race.  It was a stopwatch-timed jaunt up a mountain, in which costumes and fixies are strongly encouraged, all money raised goes to charity, and the real winner is the one who comes in last but has the most spirit.  We thought it might be fun, so I signed up for the arts and crafts part and Shawn volunteered for the actual racing part.  Racing on this day meant towing the kids in the trailer while dressed as a horse.

In case you can't tell from the pictures, Nevin and Scarlett are Spartans in a chariot (with rockin' paper maché-ed golden helmets thankyouverymuch), and Shawn is the self-proclaimed "Trusty Steed".

I do not want to discount the actual race course.  It was only a little over six kilometers, but to give you some insight: at one point, I started positive self-talking, telling myself "you're at least a 1/4 of the way there," only to look down at my computer and find out I had gone 500m.  Ouch.  Shawn chose to do it pulling 80 pounds of pure cheering power.  No exaggeration: the whole way up they cheered, "Go, Daddy, go!  Go, Daddy, go!"

We plan on making this an annual family tradition and were already talking about next year's costumes on the way home (I'm picturing a Rainbow Brite theme - lots of glitter and rainbows).  The whole atmosphere was so great and we want to be a part of it again.  The shop guys even hung out just in front of me to make sure I made it up okay, since I was one of the last people to go and the very last person on the course for most of the race.  They are real community builders, and the charity they chose was a good one - a family who delivered their baby early so the mother could start intensive cancer therapy.  Unbelievable.

It was a definitive highlight of our summer.




(photo credit: Tall Tree Cycles)


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