Canadian Cyclist


April 4/09 9:19 am - Ontario's Hell of the North Ready to Ride

Posted by Editoress on 04/4/09

The Hell Of The North course is marked and ready for pre-riding!!

La Bici Squadra's Hell of the North will be held Sunday, April 12, starting and ending at Cedar Beach Resort on the shores of Musselman Lake.

It's the same day as the pros tackle Paris-Roubaix and organizers are trying to make this Canadian version of the Hell of the North as nasty as its namesake.

Your early season fitness will be put to the test on an epic 95-km route that includes rail trails, dirt roads, some of the area's nicest climbs and our own version of Roubaix's terrifying Arenberg "trench".

The entry fee - $50 before April 1st (has been extended) and $60 day of - comes with a fully catered lunch.

There is a 200-rider limit on the event that is proudly sponsored by Rapha, which will donate some of its high-end clothing as prizes.

Please pre-register, it helps with us ordering food and not having to delay the start. Starting time is 8.30 a.m.

This is the first year La Bici Squadra has organized the Hell of the North but the history of this wonderfully horrible ride goes back to 1988 and its first organizers, Mike Barry Sr. and Sam Watson.

Originally called Toronto's Paris-Robauix Challenge. it ran from the Toronto Zoo to the Irish House in Sutton over 70km of paved and dirt roads.

Barry ran the event up to 2002 and the race has had a great palmares of distinguished victors.

After 2002 several versions of the ride were staged, notably by Cervelo and the Midweek Cycling Club.

There was even a December spinoff called "Hell and Back", that went to Lake Simcoe and back, sometimes in snow storms, and took from five to eight hours to complete.

It's important to stress April's event is not a race, it is a tour. The roads are open and riders must obey all traffic laws.

You don't need a racing licence to take part but the event is sanctioned by the Ontario Cycling Association and you can pre-register by visiting

A cyclocross bike is probably the best choice. Road bikes will do, too, there's nothing that requires a mountain bike, but they are allowed and welcome.

Team Columbia pro Michael Barry is providing a team jersey signed by him and some of his teammates that will be auctioned off with proceeds going to the Ontario Youth Cup Series.

Please visit for all the details or email Ed Veal @

See you in HELL! :)


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