The Clarington Cycling Club was formed in the fall of 2013. It was granted a licence as a not-for-profit corporation in March of 2014. The club is centered in the Municipality of Clarington but draws its members from various parts of the Region of Durham. Membership is limited to seniors 55 years of age or older who reside in the Durham Region.
The purpose of the club is to offer seniors the opportunity to cycle safely together in groups. Each group follows a planned route that varies from ride to ride. Each group has a leader and a sweeper so that no one is left behind. The emphasis is on safe riding following the rules laid out in the Highway Traffic Act. The hope is that as the riders develop their cycling skills and increase their strength and confidence, riding a bicycle will become part of their regular fitness routine.
Many of our members are at or near retirement. The club offers them an opportunity to socialize with others who are in a similar situation. The emphasis is on enjoying the ride, not on getting anywhere quickly.
The club is an advocate for the use of cycling as an alternative form of transportation. Several members of the club have made presentations to the local government on matters related to cycling. The club also assists the Municipality in helping to maintain and improve the section of the Waterfront Trail that passes through Clarington.
The club has a group liability insurance policy that applies to all club members on any club sponsored ride. The policy requires that club members wear a helmet on all rides. The insurance policy applies to club members only. It does not apply to visitors and hence no visitors are allowed on any club sponsored ride. Individual members are still required to have their own health and accident insurance policies.
Club rides take place every Tuesday and Saturday from late April until early October. They are for club members only. The Saturday rides start from one of several centres in Clarington. They are meant to be between 20 and 30 kilometres and last about 2 hours. All riders follow the same route. The club rides from the same centre for a month of Saturdays before switching locations.
The Tuesday rides are longer and the starting locations more varied. Some start from locations in Durham Region and others from locations in central and eastern Ontario. Tuesday rides build in length and difficulty as the season progresses. There are always 2 rides provided from each location so that members have an easier and a more difficult ride to choose from.
You may ask, “At what speed and distance do our members ride?” The ride leader indicates which ride is being taken in terms of the approximate distance and speed.
The long group usually ride at an average of 22 to 25 km an hour, covering a distance of approximately 45-65 km. They may take 1-2 short 5 minute breaks.
The medium group ride at an average speed of 17-20 km an hour, covering a distance of approximately 35-50 km, and may take a short 5 minute break every 10-15 km.
The short group usually ride at an average speed of 14-17 km an hour, covering a distance of 25-35 km, and may take a short 5 minute break every 10 km.
For each Tuesday ride, members are asked to make a voluntary donation of a loonie. The money is collected over the course of the riding season. At the fall annual meeting, the members decide which local charities will receive the accumulated money. So far, about $3635 has been donated to local charities.