Updated: Mar 21
The COVID-19 pandemic has been full of lessons. Top of the heap?
- A renewed certainty about how riding together is elemental to social solidarity and for our mental and physical wellbeing as individuals.
The Gastown Board of Directors has taken the delayed season's start as an opportunity to set some specific intentions about how to maximize our time together on two wheels. We are working to ensure that:
1. All riders have the skills and confidence to safely navigate in a group
2. All Club rides are both inclusive and challenging
3. Our repertoire of routes will be varied and fun, celebrating the diversity of
terrain and destinations available in the Lower Mainland, drawing inspiration from the
Classics and the Grand Tours.
Here’s what’s new + what it means for you...
SKILLS, CONFIDENCE, and SAFE NAVIGATION
Safety is incredibly important to all of us, which means that one of our club’s most important
roles is to maintain and enhance our skills, so we can all be confident on the road whether riding solo or in a group. We have three things planned to get us there: ride leader training,
required early season skills rides, and advance route testing and scheduling.
To ensure we have plenty of well-equipped leaders for every ride, ten Gastown members completed Cycling BC's Ride Leader Training in February.
To set a common baseline for club riders, and improve the confidence each of us can have in the abilities of fellow riders, we'll be running 2 Wednesday and 2 Saturday ‘skills & drills’ sessions during the month of April. To get us all riding as safely as possible, all club members are required to participate in 1 of these rides. Think you’re already a skillful group rider with a gazillion miles under your tires? Great! We’d love your help as a co-lead of one of these sessions.
To help familiarize riders with routes well in advance of each ride, we've added a ride calendar to our website. For each date in the line-up, you'll find a visual map of the route, its detailed text description, and a video narrative. You are encouraged to preview the material and download the route to your cycling computer and/or phone, to know where we are and where we are going next.
INCLUSIVE, CHALLENGING and ENJOYABLE RIDE EXPERIENCE
Riding with a club should be a fantastic experience for all members.
Gastown Cycling Club (GCC) rides aim to be compelling enough to keep us all here year after year, attracting our friends as well as new riders. Achieving this means being attentive to the needs of our diverse members by providing weekly local rides on safe, proven routes and incorporating new routes and regional rides to keep things interesting.
Rides should both offer a challenge to more competitive cyclists and be super fun for those who are out for fitness and camaraderie.
For this reason, when RSVP-ing for a club ride, riders will notice two separate ride options on Team Snap: a Group A and a Group B ride.
Riders must self-select into one group or the other, as moving between groups midway through a ride will not be permitted unless escorted by a GCC Ride Leader.
The primary differences between Groups A and B are speed and total distance.
Group A may also stop to collect riders less frequently than Group B.
As a rule:
Group A will average 26-32 kph, completing 80-160 kms, terrain dependent
Group B will average 22-26 kph, completing 60-120 kms, terrain dependent
Both groups will follow a strict no drop ride protocol. Start and end points will be identical, but
café stops and mid-ride rendezvous points may differ.
VARIED ROUTES THAT CELEBRATE OUR REGION'S DIVERSITY
We will feature a safe, diverse and fun schedule of regular routes. Classic GCC rides such as Kelley’s North Shore route and the SFU-Belcarra route will remain the core of our calendar, but we will also broaden our horizons, taking some inspiration from the Classics and the Grand Tours and generally making an attempt to diversify and spice things up in 2021!
Wherever possible, we will take advantage of the expanding cycling infrastructure throughout
the region to make our rides safer and more enjoyable. We will:
Ensure that all (new) routes have been pre-ridden and QC'd by experienced cyclists
Seek to avoid motor traffic wherever possible
Ensure that ride information is thorough and published well in advance of the scheduled day
Please note that the Ride Calendar is still a work in progress! We do however, intend to launch with the first couple of months planned out and stay ahead by a couple of months as we progress through the year. Out-of-town and/or special event rides will be published well in
advance of the date for those members wishing to plan ahead and take advantage of the
abundance of regional offerings.
The GCC Board of Directors sincerely appreciates the efforts of everyone who
has helped with the Ride Calendar planning process, and to all Ride Leaders. As the 2021 season gets underway and you begin to feel the effect of these new initiatives, we invite you to share any suggestions you have that will help enhance the rider experience.