I have never participated previously. I am not certain why. The start & finish for the ride is just a few short blocks from the house. The BC Randonneur Cycling Club have been organizing the event since 1986, about the time I moved into the neighborhood.
A populaire is not a race. It is an organized ride with check points along the way and is intended to introduce riders to randonneuring – longer distance rides starting at 200 km up to 1200 km. If you would like to learn more about the sport, visit the BC Randonneurs CC.
Despite the cool, wet weather, I enjoyed the ride. 581 riders registered for the event. They assembled on Ontario Street and were escorted by police north to King Edward Drive, west to MacDonald Avenue and then west along 4th heading to UBC. Riders of all ages and skill levels. Some finished the 100 KM route in 3 hours. Others, took almost 7 hours. I was in the middle of the pack at 4 just over hours.
If you enjoy cycling distances, I would encourage you to try a Populaire. It is a great way to learn new routes and meet fellow cyclists.