Ganaraska Freewheelers Cycling Club

Riding from King’s Field – Friday, July 3

Join us for our first official ride of the 2020 season, with Brian H. leading us at 5:30 from King’s Field in Port Hope on the Go Fourth route. Though a 48-kilometre route, there are plenty of options to cut out earlier!

Please comment if you plan to ride. If more than 10 ride, we’ll send some of us off in the opposite direction. Remember to print out, sign and bring with you your signed COVID-19 Waiver and read the GFW’s response to COVID-19 in the same document. Execs will be there to collect your paperwork! For those who do not have access to a printer, we will make sure to have plenty on hand. Try to remember to bring your own pen!!!

After the ride, we’ll enjoy a socially-distanced social where Brian plans to bring his beer, his toilet tent and his camping loo. Not sure that he’ll want to share, any of the above, but he invites you to join him and offer up any other suggestions to make this season opener one to remember.

Last Friday, we noticed it got chilly, as we’re close to the lake, so in addition to chairs, your own snacks and beverages, make sure to bring jackets, long pants and a blanket. Heck, Jen P., our resident Girl Guide, was so prepared last week, she even had her mosquito coil with her.

We hope you enjoyed today a lovely Canada Day celebration! Hopefully we’ll see you real soon!

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.

Join the NHCC on Monday, January 13 and Monday, January 27

Happy New Year to members and followers of the Ganaraska Freewheelers Cycling Club.

On behalf of our sister club, the Northumberland Hills Cycling Club (NHCC), Randy and Anita invite GFW members to attend two special events coming up soon!

Space is limited. Please confirm your attendance by sending an email to or commenting on the NHCC posting provided in the links below.

Additional details about both events are provided in the links below – both evenings start at 6:30 and a $5 donation is suggested. The first event is tomorrow, so sign up NOW! At the January 27 event, the spotlight will be on our very own Liz and Bob and their fabulous summer cycling adventure. So sign up soon.

Race Across America, Monday January 13

The Great Divide Cycling Adventure, Monday January 27

Will you attend GFW’s AGM on Saturday, November 9, 2019?


This email has five reminders for our upcoming AGM that will be hosted this Saturday at the home of Barb & John in Cobourg commencing at 5:00 p.m.

  1. If you plan to be there, please confirm by posting a comment. Remember you are welcome to bring your spouse or significant other, however do let Barb know so that she can order sufficient food. Recall as well that all those attending will pay $10 to cover the cost of food.
  2. If you participate in any pre-AGM activity and need to change, you’re welcome to do so at Barb & John’s.
  3. Take a half hour and read a few important documents, all of which you can link to from the item:
    1. Attached agenda for the AGM
    2. Minutes from 2018 AGM
    3. Safety reminder email sent to members in late September 2019
    4. Summary notes from a meeting with the insurance company in October 2019
  4. We will be collecting your member form and waiver for 2020. You can download and complete the form in advance, making sure to use the 2020 form. Alternatively, we will have blank copies available that you can complete at the AGM. The fee has not changed from last year: $50 for members; $25 for social members. Cash or cheque are accepted.
  5. If you would like to contribute photos for this year’s cycling season, please send Ruth an email at She will either post your pictures on your behalf to the Gmail photo account or if you prefer, share with you a temporary password to the Gmail photo account so that you can add them yourself.

Looking forward the seeing everyone for one last GFW gathering before the deep freeze!

Cycling from Port Hope – Tuesday, October 29

Lilianne and Barry are hosting the Tuesday October 29th ride, starting from Port Hope at 10 am.

Meet at Kingsfield park, on Victoria Street at Sullivan. The route map is Pretty and Easy, with options of 51 and 31 kilometres.

Lunch will be at Nookies Soul Kitchen, on Ontario Street across from the LCBO. Hope for sun, no wind or rain.

Cycling from Cobourg – Saturday, October 26

Brian and Jacquie are hosting our last weekend ride of the season. Their invitation is below.

Meet at Jacquie & Brian’s house at 2pm. It will be Brian’s Favourite ride of about 50km with possible short cuts.

We have included a short section of quite rideable dirt road between StationRoad & Hwy 2 at Shelter Valley Road, for a change of pace and a return to our touring roots. Route maps will be available.

This will be followed by our traditional potluck supper at around 5pm. Bring your own plates, cutlery & drinks. Don’t forget your LIGHTS, it can get quite dark on a dull day at this time of year. See you Saturday!

Cycling from Cobourg – Tuesday, October 22

Harold W. is our host for Tuesday’s ride starting at 10:00 am from the Mill in Cobourg.

We will follow the Northumberland Hills route with 60/48/35 km options. Please print your map.

Join us for our second last Tuesday ride of the season!

Cycling from Perrytown – Sunday, October 20

Ruth and Pete are hosting Sunday’s ride. Alas, we made a valiant but unsuccessful attempt to create a safe route from Southpond Farms to the Buddhist temple North of Bethany. We had to conclude (as Doug’s grimace suggsted at Katherine’s on Friday) that it was not possible.

Instead, we’re hosting from our home a ride starting at 10 am with three hilly options (34, 39 and 44 km), all of which will offer views of splendid fall colours. We’ll provide maps – but essentially the route takes you south as far as Concession Road 4 (long route), north to Thertell and Oakhill, then back south to our place from Dean’s Hill and Mill Street. If you need more than 44 km, we can suggest add-ons.

Can’t ride? Bring your spouse and join us anyway for a potluck afterwards – likely @ 1. We’ll have two chili options (beef and turkey/mango) and whatever you bring by way of appetizer, salad or dessert.

Weather looks promising – 16 high and mostly sunny!

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