SASKATCHEWAN

REGINA-TO-LUMSDEN

Pedal Magazine - - Test Gear - BY BILL KI­NASH

The Regina-to-Lumsden and re­turn route is an iconic ride in the his­tory of Saskatchewan cy­cling, and a favourite of lo­cal cy­clists for more than 40 years. Out­siders think of Regina and the Prairies as be­ing noth­ing but flat with wheat fields as far as the eye can see. While that’s largely true, the prov­ince has some scenic river val­leys that in­ter­rupt the hori­zon, carved out of the ground when the glaciers melted.

The Qu’Ap­pelle River Valley is ap­prox­i­mately 35 kilo­me­tres from Regina via a four-lane high­way named #11. This high­way crosses the Valley with slopes of 5-7% grade that rise 250 feet. The Regina-to-Lumsden ride in­cludes a fig­ure-eight loop with two climbs. This route in­cludes its most fa­mous hill – “old Lumsden Hill,” or just “the Old Hill.” This hill is aptly named be­cause it’s a sec­tion of the old #11 High­way, now closed to au­to­mo­tive traf­fic. An ad­ja­cent ex­ca­va­tion firm keeps the top of the road closed by dump­ing a load of sand across the road ev­ery few years. How­ever, we just bunny-hop the dirt pile to keep this loop in use on Tues­day night races.

In its hey­day, the Old Hill was often in­cor­po­rated into Tues­day-night club races, as well as for many road races and provin­cial Cham­pi­onships. The Old Hill even re­ceived a makeover when used for the 2005 Canada Sum­mer Games. The Games helped pave the way for im­prove­ments that will ex­tend the life of this de­serted road for many years.

Re­cently, the pop­u­lar­ity of my favourite route has waned, as the shoul­ders de­te­ri­o­rate due to con­ges­tion from con­struc­tion ac­tiv­ity on the new Regina By­pass. But once that work is com­plete and with some new shoul­ders added, I’m hop­ing for a re­turn to this route’s glory days!

The iconic Regina-to-Lumsden and re­turn route is a lo­cal favourite and an iconic ride in the his­tory

of Saskatchewan cy­cling.

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