Raising money for Cycling Canada’s HopOn Program

Raising money for Cycling Canada’s HopOn Program 1600 1150 CommonEmpire

Ottawa – Timmins

6 Days • 1273km • 5400M Elevation

Up North

A Ride For The Kids

We’re raising funds to help get kids on bikes in partnership with Cycling Canada’s HopOn program.

For us, bikes are life.

It’s simple: two wheels, a few pals, and pure joy. Bikes can open the door to adventure, exposing our weaknesses and revealing our strengths. They build memories and spark friendships. They are the compass to our happiness.

What we believe in

Bicycles have the power to change lives, build communities, motivate us to become better people, and help us see what the world has to offer. We believe that by introducing cycling at an early age, fundamental skills can be learned and carried through a lifetime, having a long-term impact for better. Common Empire is committed to breaking down barriers so that all children have access to bicycles and safe places to ride, and we are supporting initiatives that make this possible. Cycling is the path to a brighter future for everyone and we’re here to make a difference.

What we're doing

On June 25th, 2021, a group of friends will head north on a 6-day, 1,273 km ride with little more than the spandex on our backs, some food in our pockets, and the need to find out: “How far can we go?”

Aside from creating the experience of a lifetime, we’re capturing our journey to showcase the opportunities that cycling offers but also to share the landscapes and possibilities of Northern Ontario. Our film crew will create an epic film of adventure, travel, diversity and inclusivity.

Why are we doing it?

The Cycling Canada HopOn Program

We believe that community power comes from connection and opportunity. We believe in the power of cycling to bring people together and change the world. With those foundations, we’ve partnered with the Cycling Canada HopOn program which helps provide youth with the opportunity to learn new skills, meet friends and build fundamental skills that will last a lifetime.

This is the foundation to a bright future!

The mission: Get more kinds on bikes

HopOn is a games-based cycling program that teaches school aged kids across Canada the joy of cycling-safely

In School

In general, HopOn is a 3 Day in-school program for grades 3-6. Running 45-60 minutes. Teaching basic cycling skills and safety awareness. Bikes & helmets can be provided. Sessions stay within the safety of school grounds.


2-6 week programs in communities across Canada. For kids aged 6-16. Teaching basic to intermediate cycling skills, building confidence and connecting youth together through the challenges of cycling.


HopOn instructors are trained by the National Coaches Certification Program (NCCP), undergo background screening, and subscribe to the Responsible Coaches Movement. HopOn provides coach education nationwide.

What kids learn


Riding features or in a group. Wheel lifts and hops. Dismounting & remounting at speed. Bumping & buzzing.

Multiple levels

Depending on your region HopOn programs are delivered with 1-5 levels, so kids can have fun learning to ride progressively.

Basic skills

Operational control – like pedaling and braking. Direction control – riding straight, turning safely, dismounting & mounting. Terrain awareness – slow speed with group games.

The Ride, Route & Adventure

For many of us, an adventure of this nature is beyond what we’ve done before, Big bike days, back to back, are not an easy feat. Some will make it, others may not, but we know that we’re up for: one heck of a ride.

We’ll be documenting our adventure with our film and support crew who will be there to capture our moments of success, failures and everything in between to make an epic movie of why we ride.

Ride details

Day 1: Ottawa-Deep River.
209km, 800m elevation gain.
Sleeping Arrangements: Deep River Motel.

Day 2: Deep River to campsite near Hunters Point, QC.
189km, 1570m elevation gain
Sleeping Arrangements: Camping near Hunters Point QC or the Wolf Lake First Nations. 

Day 3: Campsite near Hunters point Point QC to Elk Lake ON.
186km, 950m elevation gain
Sleeping Arrangements: Moosehorn Motel in Elk Lake or Mattachewan First Nations. 

Day 4: Elk Lake to Laidlaw Lake.
239km, 930m elevation gain
Sleeping arrangements: Camping at Laidlaw Lake

Day 5: Laidlaw Lake to Abitibi Canyon (Fraserdale ON).
218km, 480m elevation gain.
Sleeping arrangements: Camping at Fraserdale ON. 

Day 6: Abitibi Canyon to Timmins.
232km, 630m elevation gain.
Sleeping arrangements: Somewhere in Timmins ON.


  • Singletrack: 6.77 km
  • Path: 32.7 km
  • Access Road: 136 m
  • Cycleway: 30.0 km
  • Street: 357 km
  • Road: 629 km
  • Provincial Road: 166 km
  • Off-grid (unknown): 12.4 km


  • Unpaved: 693 km
  • Compacted Gravel: 121 m
  • Paved: 199 km
  • Asphalt: 329 km
  • Unknown: 12.6 km

Other stats

  • Water consumed: 1354 bottles
  • Bugs eaten: 121
  • Fun had: 100%
  • Chamois cream applied: 4 bottles
  • High fives: too many to count

The Crew

We are Common Empire. A cycling community connected by two wheels. We race, ride and adventure on bikes and have the desire to see how deep we can push and how far we can go.

Mark Manners

Jamie Blades

Richard Persaud

Erik von Boltenstern

John Corpuz

Connor Boyd

Katrina Follis

Fraser Ridout

George Cairns

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