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The Ganaraska Freewheelers is an organization that exists to promote safe recreational cycling in Northumberland and Durham Counties. Ganaraska Freewheelers enjoy the social aspects of cycling with other people in a non-competitive environment.

We ride Tuesday mornings, Friday evenings or mornings and occasional weekend mornings. Our members take turns hosting rides, which means we enjoy a variety of scenery and start locations from Courtice to Presquile and from the Lake Ontario waterfront to Peterborough. We generally ride 30 to 60 kilometres at a moderate pace (shorter options are always available) and reward ourselves with an after-ride social at a restaurant, member home or park.

Our history began one sunny winter day in 2001, when the Hopes (Celia & Tim) and Brian Hedney independently decided to go cross country skiing at Silent Lake Provincial Park. Brian arrived at the park office just as Tim was explaining to the young lady behind the counter how she should be doing her job! Energized by the terrific skiing conditions, and by the beauty of the surroundings, these three ‘distinguished’ Port Hope residents agreed to work towards the formation of a non-competitive, recreational cycling club for Northumberland County. Several meetings were held during February and March and, as a consequence, the Ganaraska Freewheelers became a reality. It was decided to include the word ‘Ganaraska’ in the Club’s name as most of our rides occur in the Ganaraska Watershed. Ganaraska is thought to originate from “Ganaraske”, the name of the Cayuga village which was located at the current site of the Town of Port Hope.

The inaugural ride of the Ganaraska Freewheelers in 2001

The inaugural ride of the Ganaraska Freewheelers in 2001

Our season traditionally starts on Easter Friday with a ride and pot luck to share our cooking skills and winter stories and talk about the cycling to come. Here are just a few of our special events planned for the 2020 season:

  • The Port Hope Blossom ride that winds through the area’s most fragrant apple and lilac blossom trees at their peak
  • The Newcastle/Bowmanville bike paths ride along the fabulous new bike paths.
  • The Veggie Race Ride with a ride followed by designing and building your own racing car out of vegetables and running them down a fast and furious ramp.
  • The Good, The Bad and the Waffle ride, followed by homemade savoury and sweet waffles and local maple syrup
  • The Wobbly Tour of wineries in the Picton area, followed by lunch at Casa Dea Estates Winery
  • Annual Thanksgiving Potluck with an unforgettable smorgasbord of traditional and trendy delights
  • Weekend cycling tours – most recently to Welland (2017), Ottawa (2018), and St. Jacobs (2019). 2020 we’re heading back to Welland. 2023 will see a multi day tour in Merrickville.

If you’ve never ridden with the Ganaraska Freewheelers, we encourage you to join us in 2020 for a Tuesday morning or Friday evening group ride. Especially if you:
• Live in or near the Port Hope/Cobourg/Bowmanville/Courtice/Millbrook/Brighton areas
• Think that a 2-3 hour recreational road bike ride a couple times a week is a fine way to stay fit and enjoy the great outdoors
• Want to discover some of the best cycling routes Southern Ontario has to offer
• Enjoy sharing the sweet taste of cycling with other like-minded cyclists
• Appreciate the chance to exchange those hard-earned calories burned for an apres-ride food and drink social

At the 2015 Ganaraska Freewheelers AGM, the membership voted to cap the  membership number at around 50. This was done primarily to ensure the integrity of the Club’s valued social and cycling programmes. We currently can welcome new members.

For insurance liability reasons, participants in Ganaraska Freewheelers rides and events must:

  • either be members of the Ganaraska Freewheelers recreational cycling club, or
  • sign the club waiver.

Participants who are not members of the Ganaraska Freewheelers are generally invited to the event by a Freewheelers member and will be limited to a maximum of three rides per season.

Want to know more about becoming a Ganaraska Freewheeler Member? Visit our new member page to fill in our contact form and start the conversation or email ganaraskafreewheelers@gmail.com.

Already a member? Download our brochure and share it with a friend!

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