News Release Archive

Picture it: It's 1892 in Windsor and the dark-haired, moustached
gentleman atop an almost modern-looking bicycle looks determined
as he focuses himself for the race. He hears the cry: "Mount your
wheels and ride on. . . ."

Now picture Sunday, Aug. 24, 1997: Just as champion cyclist
Clifford Shand did in his home town of Windsor in the late-1800s,
cyclists will hear the town crier call them to take to the roads
of the Annapolis Valley for the Shand Challenge 1997.

The "century" race, a 162-kilometre/100-mile individual time
trial, is back after an eight-year absence. At the same time,
bike tourists can join in a "century" 100-kilometre/100-mile
recreational tour, the Robin Howells Memorial Bike Ride. And
spectators of all ages can enjoy a Shand Challenge day of fun
activities at Shand House Museum in Windsor. 

The Shand Challenge race and Robin Howells Memorial Bike Ride,
organized through a partnership between Shand House Museum and
the Centennial Cycling Club of Hantsport, revive and celebrate
the Windsor tradition of bicycle racing and touring in the
Annapolis Valley. 

The race is named for Clifford Shand, a champion cyclist from the
1880s until the early 1900s. Shand, whose family home is now part
of the Nova Scotia Museum, was a founding member of the Avonian
Cycling Club. The club's navy and scarlet uniform was a familiar
sight on the roads of Windsor a century ago. 

In the beginning of his cycling career, Shand rode a high-wheel
bicycle, winning races and touring despite the machine's
discomfort and danger. By the early 1890s, Shand had moved to a 
pneumatic-tired safety bicycle, which looked much like a modern
bicycle. Shand's 100-mile record ride from Windsor to Kingston
and back to Windsor in 1900 was accomplished in seven hours, nine

In 1997, the roads, the quality of bicycles and the time records
for a race similar to Shand's have much improved. The modern-day
record for the Shand Challenge, last organized in the late 1980s
by the Town of Windsor, is held by Daniel Atkins of Baddeck, who
cycled the course in four hours, 17 minutes and 42 seconds.

Shand Challenge 1997 is sanctioned by Bicycle Nova Scotia.
Canadian Cycling Association rules apply. The route takes
competitors from Windsor to Auburn and back to Windsor. All
racers must wear helmets. Competitors must have a Bicycle Nova
Scotia licence. One-day licenses can be bought at registration,
which takes place at Shand House Museum from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30
a.m., Aug. 24. Fee is $25 for licence holders; $36 for those
requiring a one-day licence.

Participants in the Robin Howells Memorial Bike Ride, named for a
late member of the Centennial Cycling Club, can register from 7
a.m. to 8 a.m. for the 100-mile tour and from 7 a.m. to 10:30
a.m. for the 100-kilometre tour. Fee is $25. Riders must wear

Racers and riders will receive a welcome package that includes a
route map, water bottle, pin, pool pass for the Windsor swimming
pool and a ticket to the buffet dinner following the race and
ride. Presentations will be made in all classes at about 5 p.m.
at Shand House Museum.

Those not participating in the race or ride can join in a day of
fun for the whole family. Under the canopy at Shand House Museum,
visitors can examine an 1869 velocipede, an 1888 high wheel and a
1912 safety bicycle, and view a display of photos of early
cycling in Nova Scotia.

Visitors can have their photos taken on the penny farthing
high-wheel bicycle. Clowns, face painting, games of chance,
Victorian visitors from Mermaid Theatre, a fish pond, and a
mountain bike raffle are all part of the day's activities. A
barbecue and refreshments will be available.

Shand House Museum was built in 1890 and home to only one family
--Clifford Shand, his wife Henrie and their two children.
Overlooking Lake Pisiquid and the Avon River, the museum is a
fine example of a late-Victorian home, featuring handsome wood
panelling produced by the Windsor Furniture Factory and
decorative ceramic and wood tiles. Some of Shand's cycling awards
and memorabilia are on display.


Contact: Glenna Rehberg
         Shand House Museum, Windsor

         Gary Spicer
         Centennial Cycling Club, Hantsport

         Judith Shiers Milne 
         Nova Scotia Museum, Halifax

ngr                August 19, 1997 - 12:20 pm