Club Riding Apparel On Sale Now!

2022 Club Kit Store is open again!

Back by overwhelming demand, GCC riding apparel is available again! 

New this time around, we have added more affordable, less snug, ‘Club’ jersey and shorts to the list.

The Jakroo ‘Fondo Club Jersey’ is a comfortable and cost-effective option for club riders. With the same features as the premium model jerseys without breaking the bank. And for your bottom half, the CADENCE BIB are the perfect combination of performance fabrics and patterning to create your go-to high performance bib short. As an added bonus, emergency pit-stops are now easy thanks to the open back layout.

Jerseys can be ordered in regular or relaxed fit and bib shorts have chamois options as well. Also new this time around is a cycling cap.

Jakroo’s club shop will be open for ordering from Monday July 4th until Wednesday July 13th. Access the club shop here:  Guelph Cycling Club Kit Store

2022 P2A Race Report

The cork is out of the bottle and the season has begun!

It was the warmest, bluest-sky event we can remember. We came, we saw, we had a nice time (mostly). Despite crashes, rashes, sun burns, cracked helmets, flats, double flats, transport craziness, road crossing delays, shortened courses and DNFs, it was a rather pleasant day to be out on a bike.

There were several first-timer GCC members attending Canada’s Spring Classic this year – welcome to the club! It was so great to see everyone.

Alex Lefebvre (a dual club member of GCC & PCC) was our highest finisher and had a stellar result with 14th overall in the historical 70K event averaging 31.1kph! A huge accomplishment for Alex! Well done sir, well done!

A few GCCers also stepped up their games and on to podiums. Sarah Baert won the Women 20-29 (Women’s 4th s overall!) and Maxine Oleka was “on fire” and book-ended that podium on the third step. Deanna Solomon also took third in Women 50-59. Heather Lylyk just missed the podium taking 4th in her category.

Also of note, a covert operation unfolded utilizing a GCC agent of great repute. Drawing no attention, our mystery man slipped into the second wave under an assumed identity. He used his bicycle to stealthily arrive from Guelph avoiding detection, yet adding another 40kms to his mission. The tall Russian covertly ‘attacked’ every wave in his way, taking out the VIPs and many of the elites. Like every good spy story, this one finished in the mid 60s as well. Yeah baby!

To check out how all your favourite GCC riders performed, see below or have a look here. Congrats to all our competitors, you rock… and roll so very well!

There was some hard luck out on the course as well. So we’ll take the season in front of us to pull the gravel out, lick our wounds, raise our spirits, buy some tubeless tires and possibly forget that we ever vowed to never lay money down for this ridiculous race again. On the coming season of club rides, we’ll have a great time, in good company and in familiar surroundings. So much that come Christmas, when those P2A early-bird emails starting rolling in, and we’re already sick of the trainer in the basement, with our April memories suppressed, we might optimistically start considering the unthinkable.

This has been the earliest start to our season since 2019. Keep pedalling, otherwise… you fall over.

Enjoy the ride (metaphor intended).

Rusty

PlacePlateNameTownTeamCategoryCat PlaceGender PlaceTimeGapSpeedWave
14822LEFEBVRE, AlexGUELPHPCC/GCCMM30-397/21414/10831h 49′ 18″0h 06′ 00″31.1E
651331FEDOSOV, JamesGUELPHGUELPH CYCLING CLUBMM30-3924/21464/10831h 58′ 06″0h 14′ 47″28.8M2
1161109HARVEY, PhilipGUELPHGUELPH CYCLING CLUBMM40-4940/319115/10832h 04′ 37″0h 21′ 19″27.3M1
1271193CALCAGNO, LorenzGUELPHGUELPH CYCLING CLUBMM50-5923/291126/10832h 05′ 38″0h 22′ 20″27M1
1391010BROGDEN, JimGUELPHGUELPH CYCLING CLUBMM50-5930/291137/10832h 06′ 34″0h 23′ 16″26.8M1
1451050BAERT, SarahGUELPHGUELPH CYCLING CLUBMF20-291/114/1352h 06′ 55″0h 23′ 37″26.8M1
1581916MCDONALD, ScottGUELPHGUELPH CYCLING CLUBMM40-4951/319153/10832h 07′ 54″0h 24′ 36″26.6M3
2081132BODBYL, KevinGUELPHGUELPH CYCLING CLUBMM30-3959/214200/10832h 10′ 37″0h 27′ 19″26M1
3161397FERWERDA, RonaldGUELPHSPEED RIVER CYCLING CLMXMSS4/7298/10832h 17′ 46″0h 34′ 27″24.7M2
3691928ATKINSON, BryanGUELPHGUELPH CYCLING CLUBMM40-49116/319347/10832h 20′ 53″0h 37′ 34″24.1M3
3831071LYLYK, HeatherGUELPHGUELPH CYCLING CLUBMF40-494/3126/1352h 21′ 29″0h 38′ 10″24M1
4062271OLEKA, MaxineGUELPHHELLOMF20-2903/1129/1352h 23′ 15″0h 39′ 56″23.7M4
4461488WAYNE, AndrewGUELPHGUELPH CYCLING CLUBMM50-59100/291417/10832h 26′ 09″0h 42′ 50″23.2M2
4501067MAXWELL, JmeGUELPHINDEPENDENTMM40-49145/319421/10832h 26′ 15″0h 42′ 57″23.2M1
4642251MAHON, CameronGUELPHGUELPH CYCLING CLUBMM60-6932/103435/10832h 27′ 12″0h 43′ 54″23.1M4
4691641SOLOMON, DeannaGUELPHGUELPH CYCLING CLUBMF50-593/2930/1352h 27′ 44″0h 44′ 26″23M2
5011159DREWITT, SheldonGUELPHMILTON REVOLUTION CYCLMM11-1506/11469/10832h 30′ 45″0h 47′ 26″22.5M1
5021160DREWITT, GordonGUELPHGUELPH CYCLING CLUBMM50-59115/291470/10832h 30′ 45″0h 47′ 27″22.5M1
6951503BENNETT, RobinGUELPHGUELPH CYCLING CLUBMM60-6952/103647/10832h 43′ 20″1h 00′ 01″20.8M2
7761514COLLINS, RobinGUELPHGUELPH CYCLING CLUBMM40-49225/319721/10832h 49′ 28″1h 06′ 10″20M2
8061704ZGRAJA, AdamGUELPHINDEPENDENTMM30-39155/214747/10832h 51′ 49″1h 08′ 31″19.8M3

2022 Junior Canadian Track National Championships

Two of GCC’s finest young rising talents were repeatedly on the podium this past weekend at the Junior Canadian Track National Championships in Milton, ON.

Kiara Lylyk was on the top step multiple times winning 3 individual gold medals, 1 silver, and 3 team golds. In the Madison race (team of two), Kiara made a huge attack and lapped the entire field giving her team an extra 20 points, an absolutely astonishing accomplishment!

Mackenzie Watson, another incredible GCC athlete, took home an impressive trove of medals from her efforts on the track. She took silver in team pursuit with a team assembled as a last minute entry and silver in the 80 Lap Madison race with team mate Madeline LeBreton. Topping Mackenzie’s hardware haul, she put in a stunning performance to take gold in the team sprint on Team Ontario will fellow GCC member Kiara Lylyk, see below.

We cannot express enough the pride we have in watching these young athletes reap the rewards of their hard work and dedication. Be sure to heap praise upon them when next you meet.

Many kudos also to their coaches, friends and family without whose support their ascension would be far more difficult, if not impossible. Do let Heather and Russ know that their commitment and sacrifice for their children is also appreciated when you see them on our weekly GCC rides.

Team Ontario Takes Gold! Kiara Lylyk (GCC), Vanessa Montrichard, Mackenzie Watson (GCC) Photo

2022 Club Kit Store is now closed

If you were hoping to order new Guelph Cycling Club riding apparel for 2022 and haven’t already, we are sorry to say that you have missed the April 20th, 2022 deadline. We did our best to communicate to members past and present and the public through our email newsletters, website postings and social media feeds about the ordering window. We still like you regardless of what your wear and won’t turn you away from joining the club. We’ll be doing this again in early 2023. Hopefully we will see you long before then.

2022 Club Kit Order – April 6th-20th

The kit ordering window is open. Jakroo’s club shop will be open for ordering from Wednesday April 6th until Wednesday April 20th. You can access the club shop here: 

Guelph Cycling Club Kit Store

Please note: This will be the ONLY kit ordering window this season!

This year, club kit includes jerseys, bib shorts, and vests. All items are available in men’s and women’s cuts. The Nova Pro jersey is offered in two different fits, regular fit (a “club fit” style) and slim fit (a “race fit” style).

The navy jersey will be our main jersey, but the jersey is also available in high vis, black, and white versions – choose your own colour adventure this year!

A note about Jakroo’s pricing structure:
Jakroo has a tiered pricing structure based on the quantity ordered. You will not be charged for your order until the shop closes after April 20th. At that time, the final item price will be determined based on the quantity of each item ordered.

For example, after 2 pieces of an item are ordered, the price drops 20%. Once 6 are ordered, the discount goes up to 35%. Once 25 are ordered, the discount increases to 40%. And finally, once more than 50 pieces are ordered, everyone saves 50% on that item!

The order price will be updated on the shop website as orders are placed. And don’t worry – if you’re the first to order, you still get in on final price with the discount once the shop closes!

Shipping:
Jakroo will ship the items directly to you, and their current turnaround is 3 weeks from the shop closing. So we should all have our fancy new kit by early May!

Sizing:
Due to COVID, there is no fit kit available for sampling. Please use Jakroo’s size chart found here to determine your size.

If you’re still unsure of your size, Jakroo offers a ‘Guaranteed Size Recommendation’ service. Prior to placing your order, fill out the Google Form found here and Jakroo will recommend a size to you. If they get it wrong, they will replace it for free!

If you have any questions about the kit ordering process, please contact rich@guelphcyclingclub.ca

2022 Update

Greetings and welcome former SRCC club members!

Why former, you ask? 

In the last few years, the club has grown in many ways. We have added annual signature events; expanded our ride offerings; added Gravel rides; created a more welcoming entry for new club members; maintained our commitment to high level cycling athleticism; been a presence around the province at cycling events; and we have become a recognized voice within Guelph & at City Hall. The time has come to acknowledge our achievements and put on a fitting title. A title that captures all our activities, one that immediately lets people know who and what we are and where we’re from. Something with great simplicity that we can identify with, and be proud of. So after 18 good years as the Speed River Cycling Club, a resolution was passed at our December 2021 AGM to change our name to the Guelph Cycling Club. 

And to go with that, we have a brand-new website: guelphcyclingclub.ca Please remember to update your bookmarks!

It mostly looks like the old one, but way faster (finally)! We haven’t closed down the SRCC site yet, the old squirrel just won’t get out of the cage. Everything you need should be on the new one. If something is missing or needs updating, please let us know. And did we mention it’s way, way faster? Praise be to the Lasko! We’ll have all of our new board member email addresses sorted out soon, until then, you can reach us at the old SRCC ones.

Please click here to join GCC for 2022!

Hopefully 2022 will be a more ‘normal’ year. We are not making any predictions about the pandemic just yet, however, we do have our fingers crossed for a mid-April start to club rides. This depends on both provincial and OCA COVID regulations.  As soon as we hear something, we will let you know – you will receive a newsletter update as the season approaches. Announcements will also be on the new GCC website.

We are very excited to announce our 2022 weeknight ride schedule which has a few changes and some extra bonuses. The very popular Tuesday All Members (TAM) Ride will remain basically as it was in 2021, with speed groups for everyone with one new speed group near the top end for a little extra spice on your Taco Tuesday.

The Wednesday Intermediate A, B & C rides now move to Thursday and they will keep doing what they have always done, just with a day off after Tuesday. This will be great if you are an Intermediate club rider who wants to ride two nights a week with a break in between. This also increases ride chances in case of foul weather.

The Thursday Advanced A, B & C rides stay right where they were and keep doing what they’ve always done so well. 

This leaves Wednesday open for some new and flexible programming.  We’re already planning to offer two Wednesday evening gravel rides per month, as well as one or two monthly women’s rides.  We want to hear from you about new ideas. If we can find leaders and enough interest, we’ll offer them!  Want to lead a ‘Tech night’? Or maybe you have other ideas?  Get down on one knee, send us an email and make us a proposal!

And lastly but not least, we’re excitedly finalizing our 2022 riding kit. We will have both a club standard and a high-vis option for jerseys. New for this year will be a couple of really cool colour options for those members who like to mix it up a bit! We anticipate that this apparel will be available for purchase sometime in March through our new supplier, Jakroo. Full details will be sent out once the ordering window is open.

That’s it for now.  We’re looking forward to seeing you, hopefully sooner rather than later! In the meanwhile, please stay safe, happy and well.

Your GCC Board

Grand Opening for the James Street Trail Bridge Saturday November 20th, 1 PM

The SRCC Board and members made substantial commitments to make this community-led project a reality. Now that it’s complete, SRCC members are invited to attend the official opening and naming of the bridge on Saturday November 20th at 1 PM.

The board donated $2500 in the club’s name helping kick-off the project’s fundraising and the members collectively donated an additional and impressive $8275. A special thanks to all who donated!

Many club members donated their time and expertise as well. Will Teron (Tacoma Engineers) did the initial engineering on the project. Meg Thorburn wrote many of the grant applications garnering the lion’s share of funding. And Lorenz Calcagno managed the project and was even seen to have tools in his hands on occasion.

This bridge had been crying to be built for decades. An earlier construction by a few visionary mountain bikers lasted several years, but was eventually undone. A more permanent solution was needed – one that would facilitate further improvements down the trail. SRCC was critical in making that happen. We hope it will be enjoyed and appreciated by all users for many years to come.

Come out on Saturday November 20th at 1 PM and be part of the opening ceremony and celebrate in a substantial gain for the community.

See you there,

Rusty K

KWCX Race Report Oct 24, 2021

It has been quite some time since most of us have participated in mass start bicycle events. Fortunately for a group of our club members, they didn’t have to go far to try it out again. Waterloo Cycling Club put on a stellar cyclocross event this past weekend and the weather cooperated nicely. The KWCX wrapped up Sunday afternoon with a good contingent of SRCC racers having tested themselves and their bikes against a classic cyclocross course and some hearty challengers from across the province.

On a scale of zero to ten, the day’s temperatures progressed… in that order. The morning began under thick fog with frost on the ground as the Men’s M3 category hit the course (on occasion and unintentionally) to beat the grass into a slippery ribbon the rest of the day’s racers would follow.

First up, under frosty conditions, Lorenz Calcagno started back of the grid in M3 (masters – read olde) Men’s race to finish middle of the pack and third in his aged category. Pedal harder next time buddy!

By half past noon, the track was fully exposed to blue sky and sunshine when SRCC rider Erik Holbik took to the course placing 23rd in a competitive field of young men. Track conditions turned muddier as his race progressed, making for some increasingly challenging sections. Sand in the drivetrain was problematic all ‘round. I hope he has a good connection for parts!

Next up was the women’s race where SRCC was well represented with five competitors, two of them brand new to the club this year. In a stunning accomplishment, natural talent Sarah Baert topped the Women’s E3 podium winning her first cyclocross ever… EVER – unheard of! New member Riley Claire Sato found her rev limiter at the end of the race and placed eighth on a hybrid bike, whoa!! She was directly followed by another new member, Maxine Oleka, who finished well on file treads putting her awesome bike handling skills to the test in the mucky conditions (talk to your local bike shop owners for a tire sponsorship Max!). A strong effort in master’s Women B category was delivered by famed and longtime SRCC racer Heather (so many trophies) Lylyk as she took third place in her group. And finally, board member, recent birthday girl and SRCC ride lead coordinator Meg (sand bagger) Thorburn took 14th and won the 67+ age category. I mean seriously.

The clouds rolled in for the afternoon and conditions cooled over a well muddied course for the grueling 60 minute Men’s Elite race. Club president James (rainbow jersey) Fedosov put in a solid effort. His hill sprints were something to behold as his massive frame bore down on lesser opponents.  James took 11th (7th Elite 1&2 Men) in the highly competitive event… also on file treads(?) (apply same editor’s note for Max here)

And the hard luck trophy goes out to SRCC member, Alex (teflon) Lefebvre (wearing a Peterborough Cycling Club jersey – ptui!) for riding the wheels off his bike in 5th place for most of the race… until he actually rode a tire right off the rim. He ran half the course carrying his unshod bicycle to switch for a spare (recumbent) bike in pit lane. Alex finished a respectable (and fittingly unlucky) 13th (8th Elite 1&2 Men) at the end of the race. But in a surprising turn of events, he did top the podium in the 5K run. In a post-race press conference he stated he will be cutting ties with sponsor ‘Elmer’s Glue’.

Kudos to WCC for putting on an excellent event and to all the SRCC members who competed. And a special thanks to other SRCC members, friends and family who came out to cheer on our stalwart competitors.

Until next time!

Rusty Knutts

 

KWCX Sunday October 24th

Lady’s and Gentlemen,

We have decided not to run a gravel ride on Sunday October 24th and instead encourage our SRCC gravel enthusiasts to join in the Cyclocross fun in Kitchener with our good friends and hosts Waterloo Cycling Club at the KWCX held at Bingeman Park.

All you need is a OCA citizen’s permit (most of you will have that when signing up with SRCC) and…

Any bicycle can be used in any race with the exception of the M1/E1/E2 race where a UCI legal CX bicycle is required. The Single speed race requires a single speed bike. Full details in Event Rules.

This is an Ontario Cup, please remember to bring your series numbers (if you have been issued them). If you haven’t already received your numbers this year they will be provided to you at the race. If you lose your numbers you will have to pay a fee of $20 to obtain new series numbers.

Register here.

Entry is $50

There is no day of registration this year as per COVID regulations.

More info here.

Hope to see you there!

RK

The James Street Trail BUILD A BRIDGE Campaign

Speed River Cycling Club is partnering with the Guelph Hiking Trail Club in a fundraising campaign to BUILD A BRIDGE over the storm water crossing on the James Street Trail. SRCC members designed and engineered this bridge. Please support by contributing to the campaign. It will help make a vital accessibility improvement to this well-used, natural forest trail in Guelph. This trail is an important link for many of our members getting in and out of town on their gravel bikes or on their MTBs going out to the Arkell Spring Ground trails and back.

DONATE NOW

The James Street Trail is special! If you don’t know it, it’s a naturalized path along the south side of the Eramosa River, with a central access point one block from Gordon Street. It runs over two kilometres from there to Victoria Road on land owned by the University of Guelph. Keeping the trail accessible to a larger community is significant in preserving the land from sale to developers. It also increases access to the trails along the ridge behind the Turf Grass lands that will be developed in the foreseeable future.

But there’s a serious impediment within the first kilometer of the trail, a storm water crossing that makes it inaccessible to many people and dangerous for all users. It urgently needs a safe crossing.

The Guelph Hiking Trail Club signed a 20-year agreement with the university to manage, improve and insure the James Street Trail for all users. They have negotiated permits from the Grand River Conservation Authority. Our own SRCC members are integral to the fundraising campaign, have successfully secured grants and done the engineering and design. The bridge is a steel beam and wood deck construction with concrete abutments that will last for generations! This is a great opportunity for us to make a contribution in the heart of the city of which we can all be proud. Contribute what you can and we’ll secure a lasting legacy that’s long overdue.

We’re over half-way with the funding for the bridge — please help us get the rest of the way by April 30.

DONATE NOW

Thanks for you generous support!

In collaboration with the Guelph Hiking Trail Club

A Special Thanks for 2020 SRCC Members

We want to take a moment to thank everyone who joined the Club for the 2020 season despite the uncertainty of the pandemic.

Congratulations are in order for everyone. We followed the rules, we kept safe and made the best of a very different season. And a special thanks to those who chose to do their own rides and still support the club – we respect your decisions and appreciate your commitment.

Together we made the best of it.

In recognition of your support, your board of directors want to show appreciation for everyone’s commitment with a special treat. So, we designed the very first SRCC water bottle!  These high quality anti-fungal bottles were custom made for us by Specialized.  They come in two sizes: Road Bike 769 ml (26 oz) or the smaller MTB 650 ml (22 oz). We have one for every 2020 member and two for every 2020 ride leader.

If you were a paid member in 2020 you should have received a detailed email with instructions on how to safely receive your SRCC water bottle. Check your spam folder if you haven’t.

Please contact board member Meg if you have any questions.

Looking forward to seeing you all… when we can.
Your SRCC Board

Notice of SRCC 2020 AGM

To be held Monday, December 14, 7 PM via Google Meet.

You must be a current (2020) SRCC member to attend the AGM. 

If you wish to attend, please indicate your intention by December 12 by signing up here.  A link to the meeting, the agenda, 2019 AGM minutes, and 2020 financial statement will be emailed on December 13 to everyone who signs up.

Board of Directors Election: There were no nominations received by the nomination deadline. Therefore there will not be an election during the 2020 AGM. The 2021 Board of Directors will be comprised of the existing Board members.

For those unable to attend the AGM but still wanting to cast a vote, proxy forms are available upon request after December 7. Proxy forms must be returned by Friday December 11. Please see the AGM email dated November 29 for further details.

Sunday Nov 15th Gravel Ride

According to the forecast there most likely will not be a club gravel ride this Sunday. If for some miraculous reason the weather completely turns around, we will quickly post a ride. Check back if that should happen.

It should also be noted that we will keep trying to hold gravel rides until we can’t anymore. Limiting factors will be snow, rain, or temperatures below 5 degrees. After that you’re on your own out in the cold or on the road to Watopia.

Hope to see you soon, Rusty K.

A Doctor of Epidemiology Rides a Bike During a Pandemic – An Update

Meg Thorburn BSc, DVM, MPVM, PhD

The times they are a changing and what a long strange trip it’s been – Bob & Jerry

Epidemiology: The study of how diseases arise and spread within populations; the identification and quantification of risk factors that increase the frequency and severity of a disease in the population; the evaluation of preventive and mitigation factors.

Epidemiologist: A medical professional who investigates patterns and causes of disease and injury in humans and animals. Epidemiologists seek to reduce the occurrence and consequences of negative health outcomes through research, community education and health policy.

With regard to the novel coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2), we are now at a place of better understanding of a good number of things, some of them scientific and medical, others more a commentary on the social anthropology of how society reacts in circumstances with limited, varying, and at times, conflicting information – so what was the toilet paper thing really about?

It’s great to be in such intelligent company, however, knowledge and understanding evolves, hopefully for the better. Some things I have written below you already know, but I will state them anyway for clarity without assumptions.

For example, we now know that surfaces and objects are not as significant a mode of transmission as we originally thought – earlier suggestions on the risk of surface contamination were laboratory examples and greatly exaggerated by comparison to real world measurements and examples.

The novel coronavirus is not “cooties” – you won’t be infected simply by being within two metres of an infected person, or just by sitting in a chair they were in. There are many pathways of transmission that have to be navigated by the virus before you actually get infected, all of which combine to reduce your likelihood of infection. While being two metres apart in the outside world almost guarantees no transmission of the virus, it is however, not true that simply being less than two meters guarantees infection. The virus still has to leave someone’s mucus membranes and get to yours in a viable enough state to colonize and reproduce.

As most of us know, Canada’s two metre rule is about a physical distance limitation of how far virulent droplets can be projected when a person sneezes or coughs or speaks (sings) ‘moistly’. This distance has been established in controlled conditions and does not cover all the possible variations of temperature, UV, wind and humidity or the variable force of a cough or a sneeze. It is worth noting that most developed countries are having equal or better success with less than two-metre Social Distancing, and that the WHO recommends a minimum of only one metre.

Outdoor Transmission: After more than a half year of this pandemic and over 14 million cases, there are very few documented examples of the virus having been transmitted outdoors, and those that have occurred have involved prolonged close proximity and/or physical contact with an infected individual.

The likelihood of being in the proximity of an infected person is currently extremely low in Guelph (twelve known cases at the time of this writing). If all the known infected people chose not to obey their order to self-isolate, the chance of coming within range of one of them would be 12 in 135,474 or a 0.009% chance. Even if we use the most extreme assumption that there are four asymptomatic cases to every one known case, the likelihood would be 0.04%. I hate to use this comparison, but as a cyclist, your chances of being hit by a car are most likely higher.

Masks outside of the healthcare system: Very simply in the words of the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, doctor Theresa Tam, “You wear a mask to protect me and I wear a mask to protect you”.

Ontario is now entering Stage Three of Phase 2 in it’s Framework for Reopening our Province in responding to COVID-19 and here are three key elements that are relevant to group cycling:

“Limiting outdoor gatherings to a maximum of 100 people, or less, to maintain physical distancing.”

“Physical distancing must be maintained, except if playing a team sport or as needed for personal training.”

“Amateur and recreational sports leagues may resume so long as they do not allow prolonged or deliberate physical contact between players or if they have modifications to avoid physical contact between players.”

It is always important to understand the risk factors. There are examples of people taking measures to protect against the virus that pose a higher risk than the virus itself. In protecting our health, we must ensure that we don’t endanger our health with bad precautions. Be smart, be safe.

Riding a bicycle on public roads is almost a perfect metaphor for this pandemic. Like a virus, cars are a risk factor for cyclists. The fewer there are and the further they pass from us, the safer we are. If there are more of them and they pass closer to us, the risk to our health increases. Neither of those factors guarantee injury, but the risk of injury increases.

We know there is inherent risk in cycling. To mitigate that risk, we take precautions. We choose quieter roads for our routes, we ride in double pace-line typically keeping cars further away from us and we train and practice our group riding. When members don’t follow the rules, we teach them better practices, expect compliance or refuse their participation in order to keep the group safe. We do all this to be safe and healthy… and happy.

Ontario has struck a similar balance in their approach to sports and other outdoor activities in the Stage Three opening by allowing flexibility in physical distancing for team sports, personal training, outdoor playgrounds, etc, and allowing sports leagues such as soccer to resume while avoiding prolonged physical contact. Inevitably, we will phase in more and more activities. The City of Guelph is also opening up its pools, wading pools and splash pads.

Am I ok with that as a professional in the field? Yes. Am I going to return to my sport of group cycling? Yes. My opinion is that the risk is now low enough. Should everyone return to their sporting activity? No. Individuals have to gauge their own risk, and in some cases, consider other factors – and ultimately, they must feel comfortable with their decision.

To some degree, we are all living in a giant experiment that’s being tweaked along the way. Are we ever going to be perfectly safe? Will the world be rid of this coronavirus? We don’t know. Will the world go back to being the same as it was before? I hope not. I am hoping we can be better than before. Let’s quit allowing people to go to work when they’re sick and let’s get them paid when they need to stay home – it’s cheaper for employers and society in the long run. The pandemic exposed a long list of social weaknesses that need improvement. It’s time to right some wrongs. We’re in this together. Safer together.

Working towards better days,

See you on your bike,

Meg Thorburn