Category Archives: Member Dispatches

B!KES to Peterborough

This is the second year that fellow bike riders from the Clarington Cycling Club, Seniors On Spokes, and Durham Outdoors Club cleaned out their garages of unused bikes.  Many members collected bikes from friends and neighbours as well. Bob Astley has been a great help delivering the bikes to the Not For Profit Community Bike Shop in Peterborough.
The bikes are reconditioned by volunteers and placed on sale to support the program.
Through the generosity of members, I delivered 40 bikes in 2018, and 82 bikes this year for a combined total of 122 used bicycles. 
Dan Shetler also arranged for several parts donations. 
For more information about the Community Bike, please look at
Roy Crooks

2019 – My first Great Waterfront Trail Adventure (GWTA)

By Elinor Major

In the fall of 2018, Margot (a WFT veteran) mentioned that the Waterfront Trail in 2019 wasn’t going to be along Lake Ontario’s shores. It was to be along the North channel of Lake Huron! Sault Ste Marie to Sudbury, ‘Cycle the North’! I quickly googled it. My father always said “you have to see the north”. What better way to see the north but on a bike! I was hooked.
December 2018: I was so excited – I had booked my accommodation at the three stops on the route (Bruce Mines, Blind River and Espanola) with my good friends Glenna and Roy and Diane and then we registered for the GWTA in January 2019. Margot’s preference is the tenting option, used by the majority of riders. All five ‘3C’ members are really committed now!
During June and July, with the biking season in full swing, I kept thinking of the 400 km ride up north – I better get out and do some training, and do some really long and hilly rides to train for the WFT ride. Later in July, we got an email about how much gravel there would be. Eee gods…and the kms which would be ridden on busy Hwy 17! Yikes! I was a bit apprehensive – can I do it? Yes, I can and I did!
Day 1 – was a bit wet but it didn’t stop anyone. We cycled past 7 riders dealing with flat tires. Luckily Roy, Diane, Margot, Glenna and I were ok. We cycled by such beautiful scenery, the lake, the shield rock, a farm with buffalo, a Mennonite farm with wagon and horse. The lunch stop was in a community/arena centre in the town of Desbarats. They had a fiddle group playing while we ate lunch! How great was that! Onward we went by shuttle back to St Joseph Island, a huge cycling destination we all wanted to try out. What wasn’t shown on the cycling routes though, were the hills. We got around the island, hills and all and it was lovely, as was the patio at the end of the route at Hilton Beach. We were glad to have a shuttle from there to our first night, in Bruce Bay. The four of us had opted to stay at Bruce Bay cottages rather than the camping option. The cabins were so quaint and the sunrise on the lake in the morning was pristine.

Click here to read the full dispatch

3C Bike Clinic

By Elinor Major

I just wanted to say a huge thank you and let you know what a fantastic Bike Clinic the 3C club held this past Saturday.  It was awesome.  So well organized and well thought out.  Nothing was overlooked when it comes to changing a tire or keeping your bike in good working order.  I like to think I’m a fairly seasoned rider but attending this clinic showed me I could still learn more and a review was even better.  The set-up was great, everyone was able to participate and do their own bike, by changing a tire and a good cleaning of the chain.

Thank you to Roy and Diane, Glenna and Mary, Michael, Nelson and George and to all the others who helped behind the scenes.  And a special thank you to the hosts, George and Carol.

It really shows what a great club this is as we strive for safe and better biking.

See you all on the next ride!

Web editor: A three-page handout was provided, and this was followed by a hands-on bike cleaning session lead by Glenna Christensen with help from Art Lee and Mary Perkins.

The Bike Clinic was well attended again this year with 11 members completing the 3 hour clinic. The topics included:

a review of proper bike clothing for comfort and safety.
mechanical inspection of your bike prior to a ride.
Ontario Traffic Act requirements, eg. for lights and bell.

Each Graduate was presented with a certificate created by Bob Astley’s grand-daughter Carly.

Clarington Sport & Leisure Fair

3C and Active Transportation – at the Clarington ‘Sport & Leisure Fair’ on March 3, 2019

The ‘Sport & Leisure Fair’ was held at the Garnet B Rickard Complex  from 1-4 p.m.  Earlier this year, we had been invited to represent our group at this opportunity to showcase the many community activities available to people of all ages in the area.

Both the Clarington Cycling Club (3C) and the Clarington Active Transportation & Safe Roads Committee (ATSR) were represented.  Roy, Margot and Diane were at the 3C table, and Angela Bramley was at the Active Transportation table, next to ours.

We had a hybrid bike with flashing lights, which attracted many visitors to our table.  They expressed genuine interest in finding out about our ‘over 55 years of age’ club.

It was impressive to see the variety of activities offered within the community of Clarington, there really was a sense of ‘community’ in that room!

Roy & Diane Crooks with Margo Dixon

DRCC 2018 Year End Review

By Jim Boate

Hello to the Executive and Members of the Clarington Cycling Club. First let us say how much we appreciate your monetary contributions. Although we don’t have a lot of expenses, we do have to purchase yearly insurance and create and pay for a social media presence. Please find below some of the many projects we are involved in either by lobbying with partner groups or on your behalf.

Introduction to the DRCC:    The Durham Region Cycling Coalition (DRCC) was formed in the spring of 2015 by the five major bicycle clubs within Durham Region to give a greater voice to the cycling community so as to effect improvements to cycling infrastructure and the inherent benefit of safer roads. DRCC is actively working with all levels of government to bring about an awareness of the needs of all cyclists whether they be commuters, casual riders, are a mountain rider or avid road cyclists. We need safer roads and better cycling
infrastructure. We all have responsibilities while using our roads.

To read the full DRCC report please click here

Second Annual ‘Uxcycle’ Event

By Diane Crooks, reviewed by Margot Dixon

The 3C Executives were approached by the organizers of ‘Uxcycle 2018’, and asked to promote this new local cycling event. Promote it they did, and twelve members of the Clarington Cycling Club registered. The fee was a nominal $20 per person, plus tax.

Two road loops were offered which started and finished in Elgin Park, Uxbridge: a 25 km ride, and a 55 km ride. Most of us elected to do the 55 km loop. (There were also mountain biking loops, family-friendly opportunities, and information tents on many topics.)

We were fortunate to have great September weather for the day. The event was well organized, and started with a welcoming talk, and an outline of how the rides would be started. Maps were provided, the turns along the route were well marked, and volunteers manned several road intersections. There were two refreshment stops with water, bananas and energy bars provided.

Photo Credits: Bob Astley

Click here to read the complete Dispatch


By Roy Crooks   (July 29 – Aug 3, 2018)

Four 3C members cycled the 2018 Waterfront Trail ride, and what an adventure it was!
Of the 179 riders registered, the foursome included Roy and Diane Crooks, Margot Dixon and Jeanne Winters. We thought it was worth submitting some notes as an update to Margot’s earlier Dispatch of February 9, 2018. It was her report that prompted us to consider the ride this year.
Margot tented in the parks, as most riders did. We elected to go with the motel option for
three nights. The other two nights were with the group at Queens University in Kingston, and the NAV Centre in Cornwall.
Many sections of the route were familiar to us, and the six days of continuous riding “stitched” the trail together into one amazing route. Much of eastern Ontario is known to many only by way of highway 401, whereas our route took us along quieter, historic, scenic and smaller communities.

The highlights?

  • Doing our ‘personal best’ in cycling the 511 km, including 114 km on the second day. We didn’t use a shuttle option except for the recommended transfer from Bath to Kingston due to road construction. We were taken to the Kingston ferry which goes to Wolfe Island. No cost for cyclists and we had a pleasant ferry ride and cycling on the island instead. Total kilometers? 511 km, with 114 km on one day.
  • Meeting fellow riders from other parts of Canada and even the U.S. We felt fortunate in starting out from nearby Ajax Rotary Park. It would be a long day to get home for those who were from Brockville and beyond.
  • The overwhelming reception when the four of us got to Wesleyville on day 1, for the
    afternoon refreshment stop. Yes, it was the best refreshment stop of the tour! After the long hills earlier in the day, we were ready to stop. It felt as if we were crossing the finish line at the Olympics, given the welcoming: cheering, bells ringing, photo ops and all. Thanks, Pete for providing ‘valet parking’ of my bike. Thanks to Jim Boate and the many contributors and to the 3C members who came out on July 29th. (See the details in the earlier Dispatch of August 12, 2018). Then, back on our bikes and on to Cobourg for our first overnight stop to finish day 1.
  • The many reasons to revisit and recommend stops, such as the Brockville Rail Tunnel.
  • No rain, no flat tires, and a general good feeling and appreciation for all the ‘behind the
    scenes’ work done by the staff and volunteers for the 2018 tour.

Other comments?

We got home on August 3rd, and the Tuesday ride on August 7th started from Ajax Rotary Park. It felt like ‘déjà vu’ to once again ride out from Ajax.
Margot was really pleased to once again ride through the Upper Canada Village area, and meet with former workmates at the site where she had worked for 29 years. She said… “Although I have been saying that this would probably be my last full GWTA…I am making a note to reserve that week for cycling.”
Jeanne said that she missed the daily routine of getting up and jumping on a bike. “A great
ride…wonderful company…lots of memories…and who knows…as they say…never say never.”


The B!ke Program

By Roy Crooks

During the summer of 2018, members of the Clarington Cycling Club, the Durham Outdoors Club, and friends and neighbours responded to my request for bikes no longer in use.
I had explained that these bikes would be taken to “B!ke”, the non-profit community bike shop located in Peterborough.  This community resource has a downtown workshop where they teach youth and adults in bike maintenance and repair.  They gladly accept donations of used bikes and parts.
Such donations help to fund their programs, including Youth Earn-a-bike, Adult Earn-a-bike, School Programming and more.  See their website
The photograph shows one of the bike deliveries (of the total delivery of 34 bikes), and the Clarington Cycling Club Executive for 2018.
From left to right: Art Lee, Bob Astley, Glenna Christensen and Roy Crooks.
(Note: Clicking on any picture will enlarge it)

GWTA 2018

By Jim & Mary Boate

Hi 3C,

First let me say thanks to all the volunteers that made the GWTA 2018 first day afternoon break the success that it was.  Every time we get involved with putting on a lunch or water break I am blown away by the amount of volunteers and organizations that step up to make this the best stop the riders will have while on their adventure journey to the QC border.  Without you this would not happen. Your enthusiasm while at directional turns or manning the break location means so much to the riders as they make their way across our community and I know each and every one of them sends their praise for a great break.

The GWTA organizers also say that when the cycling community of Clarington says they will host a break, they know it will be a 10+ they give a sigh of relief and move on to the next challenge.

Take a look at the list of organizations the helped make this break the success it was

  • Courtice Flea Market                          Ice Cream
  • Enniskillen Gen Store                         Ice Cream
  • Wilmot  Orchards                                 Fresh Blue Berries
  • Algoma  Orchards                                Fresh Apples
  • Archibald  Orchard                              Rider day gifts
  • Brimacombe Ski Club                         Dry Ice
  • Clarington Active 55+                          Sandwich making and site volunteers
  • The Food Bank                                       25 Loaves of Bread
  • Costco Cda                                               Sandwich fillings and Drinking Water
  • OPG-Darlington                                      Power Bars and GatorAid, cans of pop
  • Telecom/Bell                                           Orange safety cones and signs
  • Oshawa Cycling Club                           GatorAid Water Jugs, Caution Cycling event signs
  • OPG-Darlington                                      Sun awning tents
  • Friends of Wesleyville                          Site Location tables chairs table cloths
  • Port Hope Operations                         Port-a-potties Hand-washing station, bike parking
  • Port Hope Tourism                               Port Hope information booth
  • Clarington Tourism                              Water bottles and tote bags maps
  • Clarington Operations                         Direction arrows and signs
  • Share the Road                                        Frog Lites red and white
  • Clarington Cycling Cub                        Volunteers
  • Clarington AT&SRC                                Volunteers
  • Swim Drink Fish                                      Booth

So Thanks again,  Jim & Mary Boate


CAA and your bike

CAA and help with your bike

On the Napanee trip  I ran over something that cut my tire and called CAA. I discovered that my basic coverage (which I have had for years) now only allows for a 10 K ‘tow’ (couldn’t orient the dispatcher or driver to the fact that I wanted the bike carried, not towed). After that it is $3 per kilometre plus tax. I have been a member for many years and not made much use of CAA at all but am sure in the past that the tow was about 50 K. When I got my new car it came with roadside assistance and I would have dropped my CAA membership except for the cycling coverage. (They don’t have anything just for cycling.) Unless I am just riding around town my coverage isn’t very useful for a serious problem.

Rest of the story: Fortunately one of the group had a higher level of membership (thank you Elinor!) and as long as she was there when the truck arrived, I did not have to pay. I was able to get back to the motel with my bike. A trip into Kingston (Thank you Heather!) got me set up to ride the next day.

Things learned:

  • I can change a tube but if it is a tire problem that’s a whole new ball game.
  • You need to have a good idea of exactly where you are, where you need to be taken, and, how you will get back from there without a car.
  • Be sure to tell them it is a bike needing a ‘carry’ not a tow. In my case the driver thought there was a typo as he had never had a bike call before. The firm only had a tow truck so the driver was sent home to get his own pick-up as they were not sure how they would attach the bike to the tow truck.
  • Have CAA Plus ($114, 200 K vs. $70, 10K) or better–or cycle with someone else who does.

Mary Perkins