By Sheila Ascroft
Ever since the very first odometers appeared on high-wheeled bicycles in the 1880s, cyclists have been keeping tabs on elapsed distance. And this, as much as speed, has been the measure of the capabilities of both the bicycle and rider.
If you like ticking off the kilometres and want some extra motivation to keep riding, then CKAP is just for you. The Canadian Kilometre Achiever Program (CKAP) is an incentive program to inspire all cyclists in Canada, U.S. and U. K. to ride and improve their health and lifestyle.
This is not a big club group (256 active members) and it is strictly run on an honour system, you honestly log in your weekly kilometres and at the end of each year submit it to the co-ordinator for recording. Your accumulative total over the years yields small but triumphant rewards. Reach your first 1,000 km and get a commemorative certificate bronze badge; 2,500 a silver and 5,000 a gold. At 10,000, 15,000 and 25,000 km there are medals. There’s a small fee for each since CKAP has no annual fees.
Beyond these distances, CKAP awards a free plaque, certificate and put the rider’s name on the respective trophy for reaching 50,000, 100,000 and 200,000 km levels. Thirteen cyclists are now over the 200,000 km lifetime mark!
Total member since CKAP began in 1976 is 1,279. A registration fee of $30 guarantees lifetime membership. The only other requirement is a cycling computer to keep tabs on your mileage. Bonus: if you are 50 years or older, you are allowed to count an extra two years, if you have personal cycling log for those years.
You can download the Excel cycling log from www.ckap.ca. The website also lists the top 100 riders’ distances for that year. I joined in 1998 and my 25,000 km are part of the 20 million registered kilometres.
James D. Wilson is the current CKAP co-ordinator (the one you send your annual log to). He’d planned on putting in extra kilometres during 2008 in a determined attempt to reach the 100,000 km mark – he needed another 9,619 to do it. Unfortunately, life got in the way after 3,000, although he did “manage to complete my first official Ontario Randonneurs 200 km brevet in September.” Still ‘Sir James’ (as he is known to most Ottawa cyclists) is undaunted and says he will pass the 100,000 level and his 72nd birthday this year. After all, his motto is “I cycle for life” and he means it. He’s been pedaling in CKAP since 1991.
His mileage numbers are good, certainly way better than mine, but no one has outdone Valerie Copeland of Grimsby, Ontario. She holds the female CKAP all-time annual km International and Canadian record with 35,026 km in 1999.
There are a handful of original riders who took part in biking to Montreal for the Olympics and started the charting of miles. Notable is U.S.-based ‘Woody’ A. Graham, whose to-date total is 756,867 km – or an annual 22,524 kilometres a year for 30 years! Ken Bonner of Victoria, BC set the all-time annual km record of 50,934 km for 2006 when he was 64.
If you want to join, you can find more details at www.ckap.ca.
I’m an Ottawa writer/editor who has been road cycling for 20 years. I’m not fast or thin, but I ride 3000 km every year and have completed two 100-mile solo rides. For me, every bike ride is a joy ride. [www.sheilaascroft.com]
© Sheila Ascroft