Ganaraska Freewheelers Cycling Club

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Let the 2021 Ganaraska Freewheelers Season Begin!

group shot during covid

Welcome Freewheelers to the 2021 cycling season.  Your Ganaraska Freewheelers Executive team (Barb, Brenda, Jennifer, Peter and Ruth) is pleased to announce that Wayne & Brenda will kick off our rides as usual on Easter Friday, April 2 at 2:00 p.m. More details will follow in a post that will arrive in your inbox very soon!

This season opener post contains important information, but mostly refreshers from last year. It reminds you of:

  1. Ride Coordinators for 2021
  2. Ride Calendar & Member Directory for 2021
  3. How we’ll roll in 2021
  4. Reminders about COVID-19 Practices

Last year’s season was shorter than usual – the picture above is from our second ride of the season along the Lake Ontario waterfront on Tuesday, July 7. See how good we were being? And how it took a pandemic to have us pose for a picture that wasn’t in a straight line?

That day was memorable because we enjoyed a delightful socially distanced après-ride picnic in the park ending with a hilarious attempt to fold a change station that Barb had brought along with her. Unfortunately she had left John at home, and we were not too sure how to fold it. There exists a couple videos of our efforts, but prudence prevents us from sharing them here. Freewheelers can change a tire in a jiffy, but invite them to put a tent back in its little pizza-pie holder? It took several jiffies (or at least 7 minutes if we can trust the video footage), a few members, several backseat drivers, a google search for instructions and oh . . . so . . . many . . . laughs.

These same guffaws characterized our season last year, when, despite our missing potlucks in the comfort of members’ homes, we discovered an alternative reward: enjoying our own snacks, no sharing allowed, putting our chairs in a big circle, and socializing with our dear friends who regaled us with stories of the past, making us laugh until our sides hurt.

So don’t be strangers this year! Join us – we miss you and look forward to seeing you all soon, even if we can’t yet exchange a hug.

Oh yes, while the après-ride circles were memorable, the during-rides were outstanding last year – we enjoyed splendid weather and tested several new and glorious routes – our thanks go to the Coordinators who did an awesome job ensuring our ride calendar was full. Speaking of Ride Coordinators . . .

From your Friday Ride Coordinators – Brian H. & Katherine

Brian is fortunate enough to be looking after the Friday rides until Katherie takes over in August 🙂 As mentioned above, the first ride will be on April 2, hosted by Wayne & Brenda.

As April is always iffy for Friday rides, we won’t look for hosts until May. Brian is prepared to look after any April rides that are not rained /snowed/frozen out. He has a number of easy early-season routes that we can use. 

From your Tuesday Ride Coordinators – Sue & Marshall

The Tuesday rides will start on the 6th of April, after the official Good Friday season opener. Sue and Marshall will take care of ensuring April is covered off; Sue will let us know soon where and when the April 6th ride will take place. Let her know if you want to organize any of the others starting in May. As Brian says, April is iffy with the weather. 

Sue will be your contact for the first half of the season. Marshall will be looking after the second half of the season’s Tuesday rides, from August forward. He’s hoping that this year, he won’t be alone for the Lilac Ride which he plans to lead.

2021 Ride Calendar & Membership Directory

The ride calendar is up and the intro has been updated with information about the 2021 season. In the notes section of each ride is the email address for the respective Ride Coordinator. 

The password right now is the same as last year’s. If you do not remember it, email ganaraskafreewheelers@gmail.com or Barb.

Re: the new password, we will let everyone know what it is at the first ride and be sure to send an email to everyone afterwards so that you have it in writing to refer to when you forget. Ruth will aim to change it by Monday, April 5, 2021. 

The Membership Directory and Emergency Contact list have also been updated, but it is possible that a tiny detail can be wrong! So please, please, visit the member directory and the emergency contact directory and check your details, clicking on anything that links. Send any corrections to ganaraskafreewheers@gmail.com

Note that if ever you need to contact Ruth, our Web Administrator, please use this club email address. There are challenges with her other email addresses – she visits yahoo very infrequently and her personal gmail account is the subject of many lost emails because it has a double “l” in it which often gets dropped if someone is writing it from memory. 

How we’ll roll in 2021

Safety in 2021 continues to be a priority. In addition to reminding members to read up on cycling safety and club risk management expectations, we need to emphasize with you a number of COVID-19 related cautions, precautions and realities.

  • Until further notice, we’re asking that all rides start from an outdoor public venue, not from members’ homes. We’ll revisit this month to month, as opening rules in the province evolve.
  • If you’re hosting a ride, keep in mind that some areas will be less COVID-challenged than others and this will evolve week to week. Visit this link to find out if your start/end location is in the grey, red, yellow or green zone, and if in the red or grey zone, consider a safer start location:  https://covid-19.ontario.ca/zones-and-restrictions
  • Last season, we decided that all riders must be members. We’re relaxing a little on this, but with discretion. Family members and former members are welcome to join a ride.  If you would like to invite a friend for a ride who might be a prospective member, contact Barb or Brenda to check with them on how best to proceed.
  • As mentioned above, all riders must before their first ride sign the GFW COVID 19 Waiver and agree to follow the rules set out in the GFW Response to COVID 19 that you can download from our member forms page. Most of you have have signed and submitted this form. We’ll keep Ride Leaders apprised from week to week if any members still need to sign their waiver. If you have not done so, please bring your signed copy to the first ride and give it to one of the Execs or the Ride Leader. We’ll also have paper copies available.
  • Happily, we will ride together, but let’s aim to keep to riding groups of 10 or less – peleton no more, instead, the peletite will be our norm. Note that this is also good practice for riding safety.
  • We can have more than one peletite. If more than 10 riders show up, you’ll need to decide amongst yourselves how best to divide up the group.
  • Those not in the same household must adhere to the province’s social distancing guidelines before, during and after the rides. This includes maintaining at all times a distance of 6 feet from each other and wearing masks indoors and if unable to maintain this distance.
  • For insurance compliance reasons, we also must maintain a log of riders for each ride and will rely on the Ride Leader to confirm this in writing through the comment feature after each ride. To help Ride Leaders better anticipate group needs, and prepare their log after each ride, we need everyone to make it a habit of commenting on each ride’s post their intention to join. Keep in mind that the limit for yellow zone outdoor (non public) events is 25 people. That limit varies depending on the zone we are in.
  • Though we can assure you our rides will offer great friendship and fitness, great food will be hit and miss, and entirely up to you, as the restriction on indoor potlucks is still in force. Outdoor patios are allowed, if they’re willing and able to accommodate us. And we strongly encourage a socially distanced Bring-Your-Own-Picnic (BYOP) event following the ride, if the weather allows. Some of our members who didn’t feel like preparing snacks took advantage of local pizza parlours and take-out restaurants.
  • Toilets are tricky. For each ride, we’re asking members to use their ingenuity and resourcefulness to take care of their basic needs, before, during and after! And of course, please share any insider information you have about open facilities near the ride start. 

Reminders about COVID practices

1) Stay at home and do not ride or attend club events if you feel unwell even if symptoms seem mild. Symptoms related to COVID-19 can be:

  • headache / runny nose
  • fever
  • cough
  • difficulty breathing
  • pneumonia in both lungs
  • chest pain or pressure

2) Avoid all physical contact before during and after rides and maintain a 2-metre distance from other riders – no handshakes or hugs. Remember to bring a mask and be prepared to wear it if entering a public space or supporting riders to change a tire, make a bike repair or fold a change tent to put it inside its holder.

3) Practice good respiratory etiquette and cough or sneeze into your elbow well away from other riders.

4) Refrain from spitting and/or blowing your nose while riding if possible. If you must clear your nose or throat, fall well back behind all other riders to do so. Wash your hands or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer as soon as possible after. 

5) Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. 

6) Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 15 seconds after riding, before eating, and after using the bathroom. If there is no hand-wash basin available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing 70% alcohol and use enough to allow hands to remain wet for 15 seconds. Consider carrying a small container of hand sanitizer in your jersey pocket or bike bag on all rides. 

7) Launder riding gloves between each ride along with jerseys, shorts, riding sleeves, skull caps, etc. 

8) Wash, rinse and sanitize water bottles after each ride – sanitize using a mild bleach solution containing 1/2 teaspoon regular household bleach in 1 litre of water.

Here’s Hoping for a Safe & Memorable 2021 Riding Season

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, don’t hesitate to comment.

Aim to join us on April 2 at 2:00 for our first ride of the season. Even if you can’t ride, consider swinging by, at the beginning or end of the ride, to say hello.

From your 2021 Exec Team & Ride Coordinators

  • Executive Team: Barb, Brenda, Jennifer, Peter and Ruth
  • Friday Ride Coordinators: Brian & Katherine
  • Tuesday Ride Coordinators: Sue & Marshall


2 Comments

  1. bradyperkin says:

    Very creative Ruth…….thanks again for refreshing our memory on last years successful season too.

    Jennifer

    brady.perkin@gmail.com

    Sent from my IPAD

    >

    Like

  2. BrianH says:

    Great post, Ruth- that must have been a lot of work – much appreciated!

    Like

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