A Brief History Of The
"Lap Of the Lake"

Also Known As
"One Lap Of The Lake"

The Lap Of the Lake ride goes back to a time before LOL meant "Laugh Out Loud"!

Many people have ridden around Lake Ontario over the years, and I frequently meet people circling "The Lake" as it's known here, when I'm out on training rides on the Seaway Trail. Although not 1000k, and not ridden as a brevet, we can trace it's use as a randonneuring event back to an event run in 1991, and that event can be traced back further to 1984.

The 1991 running had four riders:

All but Dennis went on to ride PBP 1991, and Mark completed it. Rose and Andrew celebrated their honeymoon at PBP '91. Was LOL the secret sauce? Well, it certainly didn't hurt!
Sheri is Dennis DeLong's wife, she drove and provided support for the riders.

Here, in Mark Frank's words:

"That ride was May 1991 over three days of the Memorial Day Weekend. It was training for PBP 1991, the 100th anniversary. Rose Costin, Andrew Spiller, Dennis DeLong and I road to Kingston the first day. Sheri was crewing for us. Second day to Toronto downtown. Boy, they were not happy with having to negotiate TO traffic to get to our hotel downtown.
Rose adds: "YES we did want to kill Mark on day 2 because the last 30 miles (more or less) was like riding on West Henrietta Rd, ....during rush hour... in the rain! LOL!"
The third day we were all tired (except Dennis) and I tried without success to draft a hay-filled tractor on Rte 104. Dennis has never let me live that one down :-) . That trip was inspired by a 10 day, loaded trip I took with my girlfriend Chris in about 1984. We went anti-clockwise for that trip and had rain many days. I remember we stayed in a small town on the north shore of Lake Ontario where they rolled up the sidewalks at about 7pm. We decided on a movie (Revenge of the Nerds) since that was the only thing open. Before the movie they played the Canadian national anthem and everyone in the movie studio stood up so we did too :-) . The original cues were typed up at Kodak and printed to a dot-matrix printer so no electronic copy exists."
The original cue sheet and maps are here:
Cue Sheet and ride description.

I ride regularly with Mark, and have participated in all but a few of his Quadzilla events. Sometime around 1999 LOL came up in a discussion with him. He gave me a copy of the cue sheet and I proposed to the Randonneurs Ontario that they run LOL with a Toronto start as a 1000k brevet. At the time, RUSA was not well established, and there were few 1000ks available. Several members of the Randonneurs Ontario took this up, and in 2002 held the first running. A report of that ride may be found here. Since then the route has been re-worked a bit, run clockwise, run counter clockwise, crossed at Cape Vincent, crossed at Lewiston, crossed extra kms on the escarpment behind Hamilton, well you get the idea!

In 2007 Ken Dobb and I did a major rework, moving the start out of downtown Toronto, eliminating the excursion up the Niagara Escarpment, and moving the eastern border crossing to the Thousand Island's Bridge, eliminating a time bottleneck for the Cape Vincent/Kingston ferries. We also moved the western crossing to the Rainbow Bridge, in site of Niagara Falls. A 1000k ride will be 1000k, so you may as spend those kms on scenery you can enjoy! I've always helped to maintain the cue sheet for the US side, and when able, my wife and I run a controle at our home and provide the first overnight stop for Toronto starts. It gives us a nice, although brief, chance to visit with our friends from across the back yard.

2010 will be the first running with a start in the Rochester area since 1991. The informal intention is to alternate the start between Toronto and Rochester. Randonneurs Ontario also runs TOT, Toronto Ottawa Toronto 1000k, and the Ottawa chapter of Randonneurs Ontario runs the OTO 1000k at the same time, both on an annual basis.

From the records I have, the Toronto Randonneurs has held LOL in these years:

For history, here are the older cue sheets I have:
The 2006 cue sheet is here: 2006 Cue Sheet
The 2007 cue sheet is here: 2007 Cue Sheet
The 2009 cue sheet is here: 2009 Cue Sheet

If you have a cue sheet I'm missing, please let me know, I'd like to add it to this page.
If you see an error or inaccuracy, please let me know that too.
Contact me.

Pete Dusel, March 10, 2010

Last change March 16, 2010, initial posting.