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IT IS AGM TIME! Saturday, October 2

We are hoping to see all or most of your welcome and smiling faces next Saturday, October 2nd at the home of Gail Lupton and Stephen Shine for our Annual General Meeting. Ride starting at 11:00. Lunch around 1:30/2:00 and meeting at 3:00 p.m.

Please plan to come. We have shared an amazing year and a half against all odds. We miss those of you who have been unable to ride or join us AND we have some great plans and ideas to share. Let’s Freewheel together into 2022!

We have strained our brains and scratched our heads for a way to return in most ways to our successful and enjoyable AGMs. Gail has generously offered not only the use of her beautiful barn but has planned a ride and a pizza lunch. The area is beautiful for a ride, the pizza is wood fired and delicious and the barn is large enough for social distancing. We will decide, going in and for everyone’s comfort level, if masks will be worn for the meeting.

Of course we need your help in the next few days. We are still looking for nominations or volunteers to fill the positions of Vice President and Secretary. Please respond with a comment saying:

Ride: Yea or Nay
Lunch: Yea or Nay
Meeting: Yea or Nay

For the lunch and meeting you will need to bring chairs, beverage of choice and, depending on the forecast, warm clothing as the barn is not heated. If you are having pizza, we calculate that $10.00 each is a fair price.

See you there!

Let the 2020 cycling season begin

After much deliberation and research into COVID 19 cycling protocol and practice, your Executive is pleased to announce the opening of the 2020 cycling season.

Our first official ride will be led by Brian Hedney this Friday, July 3 at 5:30 from Kings Field in Port Hope. We’ll send out a separate post with more details, but for now, read on for important start-of-the-season updates.

How we’ll roll in 2020

Safety in 2020 has taken on a whole new meaning. 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.

  1. For the month of July, we’re asking that all rides start from an outdoor public venue, not from members’ homes. We’ll revisit this in August, as opening rules in the province evolve and health outcomes become clear.
  2. All riders must be members – no guests are allowed until further notice.
  3. 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. 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. We’ll keep Ride Leaders apprised week to week of which members still need to sign their waiver.
  4. Happily, we will ride together, but must keep to riding groups of 10 or less – peleton no more, instead, the peletite will be our norm.
  5. 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.
  6. Those not in the same household must adhere to the province’s social distancing guidelines before, during and after the rides.
  7. 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.
  8. Though we can assure you our rides will offer great friendship and fitness, great food will be hit and miss, 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.
  9. 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.

Ride Calendar & Password

Tuesday and Friday rides are now in the 2020 calendar, starting at the same time as always – 10:00 am on Tuesdays and 5:30 on Fridays. Coordinators are lined up and eagerly awaiting your ride lead orders. Rides without a ride lead will default from either Port Hope or Cobourg. We’ll assign a map from the site according to the season plan Brian H. put together a couple years ago.

Your Ride Coordinators for July await your bookings:

  • Brian H. for Fridays
  • Sue for Tuesdays

You can find their email address in the preamble to the 2020 ride calendar. We’re still sorting out who will take on Ride Coordination from August to end October, so will update you as soon as we know.

The 2020 password to the member pages, including the 2020 ride calendar, has just been updated. Please check your email – you should have a message from containing this post as well as the 2020 password. If not, send an email to the above address requesting the password.

We look forward to reuniting with our amazing GFW cycling community.

Your 2020 Executive

  • Barbara Spencer, President
  • Peter Reitknecht, Vice President
  • Jennifer Brady, Treasurer
  • Brenda Smith, Secretary
  • Ruth Louden, Website Administrator

Ganaraska Freewheelers 2020 Cycling Season Update

Your executive has sadly made the decision to cancel the much anticipated Good Friday Ride on April 10th, 2020.  Our cycling season will also be postponed until further notice.

Attempts to ride in a group, however carefully we try to socially distance ourselves, is just not a good practice or example to set right now. The safety and well being of our club friends and our extended community are the primary concerns for all of us.

Some countries have completely banned cycling outside but that has not yet happened here. As Cyclist online magazine states: “By all means, as things stand, if you really want to ride outside, go and ride but keep it short, keep it sweet and do it either alone or, if lucky enough, with somebody that you live with.”

Until we all get through this and we will, ride your rollers or wind trainers, hike or ride safely outside. Until we ride together again, please don’t forget to share with other Freewheelers how you are and what you are doing through comments on this post or on our private Facebook page. We are exploring creative means of keeping in touch so any suggestions are very welcome.

Barb Spencer, President

Peter Reitknecht, Vice President

Jennifer Brady, Treasurer

Brenda Smith, Secretary

Ruth Louden, Web Administrator

A message from the GFW Executive – Spring 2020

As fellow GFW members, we are all dealing with COVID-19 and hope that you, your friends and family are safe and well.

In view of the current developments regarding the virus we want you to know our current thoughts about how to manage our activities.  Our members’ safety is very important and the situation is evolving constantly. 

Detailed recommendations are set out below, but we believe that we can still enjoy Great Fitness and Great FriendsGreat Food is sadly suspended for now.  Rides will not include social gatherings, pot lucks or lunches before, during or after our rides. 

Unless the current situation changes, we believe that we can do what we all love to do: ride our bikes, even in groups, so long as we follow the advice of public health officials.  It goes without saying that you should definitely not attend a GFW function if you are supposed to be self-isolating at home. Of course, the decision whether or not to participate in group rides, however socially distanced, is up to each and every one of you and we respect whatever decision you make in that regard.

Therefore, according to time honoured tradition, Ganaraska Freewheelers rides will commence on GOOD FRIDAY APRIL 10th.  Wayne has already volunteered to prepare maps and be the ride leader on April 10th, the exact details of which will be posted as usual to our web page.

All rides until further notice will be treated as what we have always called ‘town hall’ rides but they can start from various locations where members can park and prepare for rides in spaces that allow for the two metre social distancing for pre- and after-ride preparations.  Members will continue to be asked to host rides by selecting a route and start location.  The usual request to print and bring your own maps continues.

We are taking the liberty of sharing the recommendations of the Oshawa Cycling Club created by their member Toni Moran, Senior Public Health Inspector, Durham Regional Health Department and we wish to thank the Club and Toni Moran for their consent to post the following:

Further details of the April 10th Season Opener ride and reminders about our Tuesday and Friday Coordinators will be posted to our website very soon.   

Barbara Spencer, President + your Execs

  • Peter Reitknecht, Vice President
  • Brenda Smith, Secretary
  • Jennifer Brady, Treasurer
  • Ruth Louden, Webmaster

Recommendations of the Oshawa Cycling Club

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.

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.

Volunteer Hosts Needed for Tuesday Rides!

Who’s going to host our Tuesday rides in September & October?

I’m sharing a friendly invitation from Pete, your Tuesday Ride Coordinator.

It’s been a great season of cycling with lots of interesting and sometimes challenging routes, hosted at numerous restaurants and member homes with fabulous potluck feasts. Although the days are starting to get a little shorter, there’s lots of cycling season left. To keep the good times rolling, we need volunteers to host upcoming rides.

The remainder of August is covered off, but the majority of September and October Tuesday rides need a host. Please refer to the GFW ride calendar.  It can be as easy as picking one of the tried and true routes that are in the GFW library and choosing one of your favourite restaurants for après-ride rewards – or if you’re more adventurous, why not pick a new location and develop your own route?

Please contact me at if you want to sign up for one of the remaining Tuesday dates or if you have any questions. 

Thanks very much / Peter

Friday Rides Need You!

Sent from my iPhone
On Jul 20, 2019, at 8:40 AM, Katherine Smith <> wrote:

Katherine invites you to choose your Friday ride!

This is a reminder that there will not be a Friday ride today. Also, your new Friday Ride Coordinator, Katherine, is calling on your support in her invitation below.

Calling all wonderful Freewheelers, all of the hostesses and hosts with the mostest.  All of you who wish the opportunity to plan a potentially unforgettable event for your fellow Freewheelers . . .  and of course, to have my undying respect and appreciation!

I am taking over the Friday night hosting duties. My goal is 100 percent covered – no Town Hall rides, no little note says “ride has no host”.

If we can achieve this, I am willing to host a Thanksgiving Palooza at mine on the Friday night of Thanksgiving. Wait. Heck. Right, I do that every year.  Ok, if you can all help, undying love and support, and turkey still happens.

So let me know your date and choice. August has only one little date planned.  Here’s to part 2 of the cycling season (already).  Looking forward to seeing those of you signed up for our St Jacobs weekend.  Remember, there is no ride today, unless, you want to get it out of your system and do a final “ride needs host” from a town hall.

Welcome from your Friday Ride Coordinators

Introducing your Friday Ride Coordinators:

  • From April through July: Brian H.
  • From August through October: Katherine

Here are your Ride Coordinators’ thoughts on how we’ll roll this season on Fridays:

Friday evening rides typically start at 5:30 PM.

The routes vary slightly in length but are usually around 50 km. There will always be a shorter, usually less hilly option of around 30 km.

We strongly encourage you to host one, or more, of these rides. Either you can host the ride from your home or from any other location in our riding area. Either way you need to decide upon a route (which could simply be one of the many routes available on our Wonderful Website!) and either provide (paper) maps or ask folks to download them.

Most members who host rides from their homes also host a pot-luck supper afterwards, but this is not essential. Alternatively, you may elect to host a ride from a location other than your home and simply arrange for somewhere for folks to eat (restaurant, pub, picnic, etc.).

Approximately once a month, we switch the Friday evening ride to a Saturday or Sunday morning ride, so you may wish to consider that as a hosting option.

The Calendar on the Website will inform you as to which rides have hosts. If it says “Ride Needs Host” then why not consider volunteering for it? Simply email the Ride Coordinator whose name and email address for that date will be provided in the calendar entry’s notes.

If by the Tuesday before the ride no-one has volunteered as host, then Plan B will kick in. In that case, the Calendar will say that the “Ride has No Host”. However, the Calendar and Website post will announce a starting location for the 5:30 PM ride and post a route map. It will be up to the participants to figure out where to eat after the ride. One of the Friday Coordinators may, or may not, be there.  It is a testament to the quality of our wonderful Club that “PlanB” was rarely used last year.

Hosting a Friday ride can be quite painless – all you have to do is email your Ride Coordinator and say something like “I would like to host the ride on……”. Either include the starting location, route details and apres-ride eating arrangements in your email, or simply say something like “details to follow”. 

As a reminder, here is the list of the Friday / Saturday hosts for the first half of last year. You may wish to volunteer to do something similar this year. Good Friday is later, so our traditional first ride will not be until Friday April 19th.

Friday March 31st (Good Friday): Brenda and Wayne
Friday April 6th: Jen P. (ride postponed until Friday April 20th)
Friday April 13th: Debra
Friday April 20th: Jen P.
Saturday April 28th: Brian H.
Friday May 4th: Ride cancelled due to wind!
Friday May 11th: Brenda & Wayne
Saturday May 19th: Jennifer & Andy
Friday May 25th: Anita & Randy
Friday June 1st: Barb & John
Friday June 8th: Debra P.
Friday June 15th: “Plan B”
Friday June 22nd: Marianne
Friday June 29th: M & M
Friday July 6th: Harold D.
Sunday July 15th: Willy
Friday July 20th: Katherine
Friday July 27th: Bess

So, check out the Calendar on this site, then step right up and volunteer to host one, or more, of our Friday / Saturday / Sunday rides!

Welcome from your Tuesday Ride Coordinators

Sue and Peter, your Ride Coordinators for Tuesday, welcome you below to the 2019 riding season.

Temperatures are warming up, snow is pretty well gone, roads are clearing up and the beautiful Northumberland hills are calling out to the Freewheelers. It’s time to start scheduling our 2019 Tuesday rides.

Your Tuesday Ride Coordinators (Sue P. – until the end of July and Peter R. – for remainder of season) invite you to jump in now and help get this season planned and on its way.

Thanks Vivian for signing up to host our first Tuesday ride of the season on April 23rd. Check out the calendar to get all the details of this ride. While you are there, put your claim on a date, or maybe 2 if you are so inclined. You can find the email address of the Ride Coordinator to contact in the notes of each date’s entry in the calendar, along with a handy list of host/ride lead reminders.

  • Do you have a favourite local riding route on our website? Then put a date on it now before someone else picks the route.
  • Do you have a preferred date or time of year when you would like to host a Club ride? Then grab that date now before someone else does.
  • Do you have a favourite restaurant/pub for an après-ride food and drink social? Then pick a date and get it booked before you become the 3rd host this year to use the same venue.
  • Do you have a neat theme ride in mind that you always wanted the club to do? Then get planning, grab a date and put that idea in motion.
  • Are you that procrastinator who always waits until season end to host a ride and finds that all the good routes have already been done 3 times? Then jump in early, pick an early date and get your club obligation out of the way. Now with that done, you might also consider hosting another ride in the Fall.

Let’s get this season up and running and the calendar filled up.

See you on the road!

Ride Calendar is Up! Claim your Rides.

Attention all Ganaraska Freewheelers!

The 2019 Ride Calendar is up.

Summer is coming!  

The clock is ticking on our home page and very soon we’ll be riding together again.  The hearty among us are out for training rides.  Bikes are being tuned up.  The sound of bicycle pumps and spinning chains is in the air.  Cookbook pages are riffling with Friday pot luck recipes.  Apres ride cafes are preparing lunch menus and frosting beer glasses. 

Your Ride Coordinators are sitting, fingers poised above their keyboards awaiting your ride host bookings.  For the season’s first 3.5 months they are: Brian for Fridays and Sue for Tuesdays. You can find their email address in the notes at the bottom of each date’s entry in the calendar. More details about hosting will follow in separate posts.

Reserve your ride early before that date gets snapped up.  We are already receiving notice of special events including the annual spring kick-off ride, joint club rides, the blossom ride, the club weekend tour, veggie ride, Thanksgiving ride, and the final end-of-season ride.  Avoid the last minute need to switch with others hosts for coveted spots and preferred Fridays, Saturdays and Tuesdays.

Most important (and exciting!), hold the date for Wayne & Brenda’s inaugural season ride on Easter Friday, April 19 starting at 1:00. And add the St. Jacob’s weekend tour to your calendar for the last weekend in July (July 26-27-28). More details on both to follow in separate posts.

Note: Password has not changed yet – it will be updated in late April – watch for an email.

A Message from your new President

Outgoing Tuesday Ride Coordinator Marshall, Incoming President Barb

I am pleased and honoured to have been elected President of the Ganaraska Freewheelers at the 2018 Annual General Meeting.  I know that all of the Freewheelers will join me in expressing appreciation and thanks for the substantial creative contributions made by the outgoing executives and volunteers. We also welcome back those continuing in their roles and are pleased to have input from new executives and volunteers.

Our Past President Willy Elzner is retiring after making much appreciated and substantial contributions to the club during his term. Early into his term, he enlisted support from the Exec team, Social Committee and Ride Coordinators to conduct a club survey, renewing members’ interest in organizing an annual tour, which led to our very successful Welland and Ottawa tours. Among other leadership initiatives sparked by the survey, Willy organized great joint rides with the Northumberland Hills Cycling Club and spearheaded getting the word out that we were welcoming new members with great results. Under his leadership, the club now has new by-laws and a stronger emphasis on safety.

We thank Harold Wontorra for his very capable past service as Vice President and Ruth Louden who is handing over her position as Secretary after capably managing two labour intensive jobs as Secretary and Webmaster. We are thankful that she is continuing as our Superwoman of Webmasters. Marshall Johnstone is taking a break from his Ride Coordinator position and we thank him for his great work rounding up and keeping track of ride hosts.  We continue to appreciate his creativity in originating what are now popular and traditional annual club rides. Vivian Vandenhazel is stepping down as  Membership Coordinator after a long term of welcoming guests and new riders.  Thank you Vivian.

Filling vacancies and continuing on are the following Executive members:

President:  Barbara Spencer

Vice President:  Peter Reitknecht

Treasurer: Richard Pike

Secretary: Brenda Smith

Webmaster: Ruth Louden


Tuesday Ride Coordinators:  Sue Pott, Peter Reitknecht

Friday Ride Coordinators:  Brian Hedney, Katherine Smith

Membership Coordinators:  Brenda Smith, Barbara Spencer

The Minutes of the AGM, amended By-Laws and changes to the Incident Report may now be found in the Members Only portion of the website.

We have a great club.  Every member of the Ganaraska Freewheelers Cycling Club is a volunteer.  It takes work and effort by each member to host and organize rides, social gatherings and events but the rewards are a hundred times any effort expended.  2018 was a superb year and 2019 will be even better with new members, new volunteers and beautiful routes to travel with friends.

Barbara Spencer


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