Winter weather couldn't cool down a group of cycling enthusiasts on Sunday morning.
In the parking lot of Summerside's Rotary Friendship Park, 27 fat-tire bikers geared up for the second annual Rotary Park Rundown, along a marked 4.5 km loop in the snow-covered park at 10:30 a.m.
"Last year we had 18 cyclists, so this is a fun growing sport. We have some competitors here, but this is a social event that's working out (to be) fantastic," said Albert Flavell of Parks P.E.I.
The race, hosted by the City of Summerside, included both men and women's class with Expert, Intermediate, and Beginner categories, as well as a determined set of loops for each.
Erika Hogan was on the sidelines, cheering on her 10-year-old son, Jack, the youngest participant.
"Santa Claus brought Jack a fat-tire bike for Christmas, and since then, he cycles every day after school. We have groomed trails near our home, so it's great to see him outside and active, and it gets the whole family outside, too," said Hogan while staying warm by the crackling bonfire.
"Anyone can do this sport. There's no limit on age or skill level," added Trent Williams, the park's manager.
"People travel across the Island here and comment on the groomed trails, thanks to Albert (Flavell). He puts in an incredible effort, working tirelessly since December to maintain the trails for everyone to enjoy – from cyclists to walkers," he said.
After the race, prizes were awarded at Evermoore Brewery to each of the top three finishers in their categories. Cash Prizes were awarded to the 'Expert Class' for the top three finishers (first $100, second $50, and third $25).
Jack Hogan was recognized for the Youth category. He said, "While parts of the trail were hard to pedal through, and some of us even had to walk, I think I did well. And seeing those on the sidelines supporting us, gave me the extra adrenaline to keep going," said the young cycler.
Sponsors for the event included Cycle P.E.I., Summerside Auto Parts, Evermoore Brewery, Outer Limit Sports, McQueen's Bike Shop, and Island Tours.
In June, the Rotary Friendship Park will have a similar event with mountain bikes, but the day and time are still to be determined.