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Bike race west of Olds considered a great success

A bike race held May 14 west of Olds was such a success that organizers plan to hold it next year and to donate $500 to the Mountain View Emergency Shelter Society
MVT Bike Race-1
Bike racers pass by Hainstock Hall during the Hay City Classic Road Race, held May 14 in rural Olds.

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY — A bike race held last weekend west of Olds was such a success that organizers plan to hold it next year. 

They also plan to donate $500 to the Mountain View Emergency Shelter Society’s (MVESS) building fund “so families aren’t pulled apart by situations of domestic violence,” race organizer Jenn Proche says. 

The MVESS hopes to build a facility for people fleeing domestic violence next spring. They hope to raise about $400,000 to cover costs to build the facility and cover operating costs for at least a year. So far they’ve raised more than $200,000. 

Proche described the race, held May 14 around the Hainstock Community Hall as a “great success.” 

“We were very happy with the turnout; especially happy with the weather,” she said. “We were very happy to have such a welcoming from the community.

"The drivers and the local residents were super co-operative and just great to work with. Drivers were super courteous and adjacent residents were super courteous as well and helpful.” 

Organizers met their goal of having 125 racers participate.  

Proche said riders were thrilled with the Hay City Classic Road Race course, which ran in a counter-clockwise direction along Twp. Rd. 332, R.R. 22, Twp. Rd. 234 and Highway 766. Racers rode between 58 and 117 kilometres, depending on the categories they were in.

She said the racers found the course with its many hills to be “very challenging.” 

“They appreciated that, because a lot of the courses in Alberta, as you can imagine, can be pretty flat, except for a few, so it was nice that it had a whole changing dynamic for the racers,” Proche said. 

A couple of local residents participated in the race: Hillie Van't Klooster and Leoni Kelly, both of whom competed in the women’s 4/5 category. 

Van't Klooster finished in sixth place in that category and Leoni Kelly placed 11th . 

The last time a bike race was held in the Olds area was in 2019 when a criterium bike race was held. However, a cycling road race, also planned for that year, fell through, due to poor weather.  

After that, the road race was not held for two years due to COVID-19 restrictions.