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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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