August Newsbrief 2019

The Cross Canada Cycle Tour Society        August , 2019 Volume 36, Issue #8



Presidents Report  August 2019  John Pringle


A Little about Nothing


A warm sunny morning. I awoke about 0630h. Looked at my phone. A mistake. George Zorn, Hub & Spoke Director going on about the planning of another Holly Evans /Ken Levine Oceanside, California H&S. The H&S’s continue to roll in, and in my present lethargic frame of mind, so what – its CCCTS business, and reminds me that it is the 28th day of the month and I have a President’s Report to write and submit today. It’s Sunday George! You must have sent the message from your delightful Salmon Arm home on Saturday evening. Don’t you know there’s a popular folk festival in your delightful hamlet, on the shores of Shuswap Lake, the house boat capital of Canada? Could you not have been more creative, maybe romantic even, and pulled a blanket out of storage, and snuggled up to Jeannetta while listening to the next Sylvia Tyson “wanna” be?

Later, sitting on my deck in the warmth of the late morning sun, having just run a few intervals, and done a few calisthenics, I watch a pert middle-aged female cyclist go by on her touring bike. I live on a short cul-de-sac. Where had she come from? Where was she going? She turned and switch-backed up the hill. She further reminded me of my writing task at hand.

I’m not finished my dawdling; a last cup of coffee and then I’ll go downstairs to my study and try to put pen to paper. A final glance to sacred San Juan Island; sacred because it is the home of the famed Friday Harbour Marine Laboratory, and as a marine biologist I have many fond memories of such facilities. Ahh to be on the shore with collecting bucket in hand. I listen to Michael Enright’s comfortable “The Sunday Show”, and the esoteric topic this morn is a discussion of the joys of mathematics. The guest numerist finishes with an anecdote about a group of mathematicians who have become lost on a wilderness trek. They yell to a group of strangers across the water, “Where are we”. About 15 minutes later comes a response, “Get a balloon!” “Huh?” the lost group repeat in unison. And after much cogitation they then decide the folks across the water must be mathematicians: “They didn’t answer without thinking, their answer was precise, and it was of no practical value.”

Very similar to this column. I will attempt to add a little value with the following:

A huge thank you to Chris Hodgson who led a team (one from each Chapter; Alex Laird, Victoria; Paul Hough, Ottawa; and Sherry Long, Comox Valley) of CCCTS jersey creators; and to Rick Borejsza, who joined the team as Board representative. They sought out quotes from three suppliers, ran a democratically designed competition among the chapters, selected a winning design, chose a supplier who could both custom-size and deliver in a timely manner; all this for a reasonable price, a snappy design, and with little fuss or muss.

It was the first inter-Chapter task. It was handled with efficiency and harmony. It bodes well for future inter-Chapter working relations. Well done folks!

Sunday, 28 July 2019



The 2019 Active Transportation Summit

Active Transportation Summit.  How three CCCTS participants (Clark Woodland, John Evanochko and Allan Buium) viewed the B.C. Cycling Coalition’s (BCCC) Conference -June 17th & 18th. (The following comments may appear to be applicable to cyclists in British Columbia, but, upon carefully considering the ideas, we think that all CCCTS members will find that the theme of Active Transportation is applicable to their own community.)

We were treated to two intensive days of presentations and discussions on Active Transportation. It is not as some may say, the “moving of molecules across a membrane…” but rather the moving of people from place to place and not necessarily using the motor vehicle. The BCCC sponsored the event and you would think that the major focus was on the role of the bicycle, but to our surprise it was more than moving by bike or e-bike.  It was simply being a pedestrian, using a wheelchair, riding on an electric scooter or rolling on a skate board or scooter. Active Transportation is the B.C. Government’s new strategy for promoting a cleaner and healthier community in how we move, commute and connect. 2KGaapu  

Speakers were from diverse backgrounds with experiences in both large urban centres — Metro Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Hamilton, Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco — and smaller communities such as Nanaimo, Kamloops and Sechelt. They all had one common theme — remove the “silo syndrome”.

It is imperative that the various departments within a local government must work together to see initiatives come to fruition. Just look at the Active Transportation Strategy: the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure worked very closely with the Provincial Health Officer while the conference had speakers from Fraser Health, Municipal Engineering personnel including members from various groups representing individuals with mobility issues as well as mental health issues.

Active Transportation may be a new concept/strategy to many, but, in reality, it has been with us for quite some time.It is only recently that we have seen an effort being made to have Active Transportation become an integral part of our lives. Yes, the “wheels of progress” move slowly. But, as the keynote speaker,Barbara Chamberlain (Washington State Department of Transportation) said “incremental progress is progress” and we must be cognizant of this as we go for our weekly ride , on a bike tour or just commute.

Do we ever ask ourselves the questions:

— Do I live in a friendly walk-able/livable community?

— What is my group or local/regional government doing to people or for people?

— Are safe spaces being created for cyclists — that is, separated bike paths?

— Do we consider speed management, as an objective, for cyclists and other users of the road?

— How do we minimize injuries?

By creating separated /protected bike lanes, sidewalks become much safer for those with ability issues and the average pedestrian; thereby creating a more respectful environment for all. When talking about the move, commute and connect theme, along with the implementation of separated/protected bike lanes, an important question is  how do you get the diverse groups of users , scooters, skate boarders, wheelchair users, bicycles, e-bikes, e-scooters and bikes for those with mobility issues to respect each other?

How is the “equity” objective to be achieved? Are senior cyclists willing to change their attitudes toward other/new users of the bike routes, separated or otherwise or do we have to wait for the younger generations to bring about an important change in attitude? Maybe all members of the community have to learn from the “safe routes to schools” advocates as well as those involved in cycling education in schools, such as Washington State’s Cascade Cycling Club, HUB and the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition.

Another item worthy of consideration is that we, as active cyclists, should know that we have an opportunity to provide feedback to fellow cyclists and hopefully transportation engineers, who should be encouraged to occasionally check the website, regarding hazardous conditions we find on our rides, through the services of . This is a cycling incident reporting system that can help make streets and paths safer for cycling. Take that a step further and become a voice for
vulnerable-users-of-the-road safety in your community, through interaction with your local traffic engineers and councilors. 

“Inclusivity” was a central idea of the Conference and to achieve the many aspects of this theme one may say that political will and its counterpart, political pressure, are the routes to take. When the ”silo syndrome” is removed cooperation with the various stakeholders becomes the modus operandi for all Active Transportation advocates. Tax dollars should be readily available to both construct and improve safe connective routes for all users. Vision Zero becomes the ultimate objective — dollars are saved through improved health and fewer accidents. Careful attention must be paid to the importance of “connectivity” be it in densely populated urban areas, suburban areas and rural areas.

CCCTS is proud to be a major supporter of a BCCC campaign that will require motorists to give cyclists 1.5 meters clearance when passing.

GIVE US 1.5!



These are the world’s best cities for cycling

When it comes to urban cycling, which cities get it right?

A couple cycle in Copenhagen
Copenhagen took the top spot in most cycle-friendly cities in the world for 2019. Image by Robin Skjoldborg/Getty Images

Navigating a city on two wheels can be a pleasurable experience, something you might take for granted because your city’s cycle infrastructure works so well. Obviously that’s not the case in all cities. In some places it’s an incredibly frustrating or even dangerous experience where cyclists have to accept impossibly narrow bike lanes that run into traffic or half-finished cycle networks that go absolutely nowhere. Not to mention politicians who don’t seem to consider cycling a feasible form of transport.

If you want to know which cities are doing it right, take a look at the Copenhagenize Index, a biannual report that evaluates 115 cities worldwide to track global progress in urban cycling. The report takes a number of factors into consideration such as biking infrastructure, bike-sharing programs, cycling safety and gender balance to figure out the most bike-friendly cities.

A woman cycling a cargo bike with children in Amsterdam.
A woman cycling a cargo bike with children in Amsterdam. Image by kavalenkau/Shutterstock

Unsurprisingly Copenhagen came out on top in the latest report. Cycling is a way of life in the Danish capital and most residents (62%) prefer to commute by bike rather than car. That’s because it boasts a great network of cycle paths and bridges that make it safe and speedy for cyclists to zip through the city. And they never put the brakes on planning, officials are continuously striving to improve the urban bicycling experience.

Amsterdam came in second place thanks to the city’s commitment to better accommodate the growing number of cyclists by widening bike lanes, building more low-speed cycle streets and redesigning intersections to make them safer. It also has an ambitious plan to remove 11,000 car parking spots by 2025 to make room for more trees, bikes and sidewalks.

Cycling is very popular in Utrecht, which came 3rd in the report. Image by JTB Photo/UIG via Getty Images

Amsterdam was followed by another Dutch city, Utrecht, which is known for its world-class cycling infrastructure. But what really makes Utrecht stand out is innovation and political will. Report authors say politicians in Utrecht pursue cycling as a mode of transportation to the fullest potential, prioritizing bicycles over cars. So much so that they aim to double the use of bicycle commuting traffic by 2030.

Antwerp in Belgium came fourth, scoring points for its commitment to improving cycle networks, as well as its aim to lower speed limits to 30 km/hr (18.6 mph) on 95% of all streets. Strasbourg in France completed the top five, thanks to its plan to expand its cycle networks from the city and into the suburbs.

Mopntreal brothers make stunning time-lapse video
Montreal came in joint 18th with Vancouver Photo by: iVideoMaking

The only cities in North America to make the top 20 list were Montréal and Vancouver, who were both placed in joint 18th as they continue to work to expand their urban cycle networks. Bogotá, Colombia came in 12th, thanks to its Ciclovía, a weekly Sunday activity that sees over a 60 miles of city streets closed to cars for citizens to navigate by bike or foot. While the only other non-European cities in the list were Tokyo, Japan (16th), followed by Taipei, Taiwan (17th), who were both noted for their great bike-sharing schemes and safe and orderly cycle networks.

1. Copenhagen, Denmark
2. Amsterdam, Netherlands
3. Utrecht, Netherlands
4. Antwerp, Belgium
5. Strasbourg, France
6. Bordeaux, France
7. Oslo, Norway
8. Paris, France
9. Vienna, Austria
10. Helsinki, Finland
11. Bremen, Germany
12. Bogotá, Colombia
13. Barcelona, Spain
14. Ljubljana, Slovenia
15. Berlin, Germany
16. Tokyo, Japan
17. Taipei, Taiwan
18. Montréal, Canada, and Vancouver, Canada
20. Hamburg, Germany

Video Corner

How did we ever get along without You Tube?

Here are a few videos I thought you might find interesting.

First up.  Peter Sagan demonstrating some boss parking skills

Something I would like to think everyone is good at but experience tells me otherwise.

How to fix a flat tire

Local Chapter News

A new feature.  Everyone likes to see a little news from home.

Victoria Chapter.

Howl at the Moon Summer Barbecue and Games Get-Together was held on July 16 at the Elk Lake picnic shelter near the Rowing Club. There were some very adept barbecue chefs showing their talents, and lots of lovely dishes brought along for nibbles and desserts. Bocce teams delivered precision shots on the field, much to the delight of the cheering gallery. Happy to report no balls lost in the lake! It was a great occasion to chat with friends new and old, and we encourage all members to come out next summer and enjoy the afternoon. Thank you, Rolf and Sharlane, for all your efforts in organizing Howl at the Moon 2019!



Upcoming Tours

For those wishing to follow the adventures of the Gaspe Tour a blog has been set up.

Gaspe Tour 2019

  • 2019 Southwest Ireland
    Status: Registration closed
    Dates: Fri, 6 Sep 2019 ‐‐ Thu, 19 Sep 2019
  • 2019 Southern Van. Isle
    Status: Registration closed
    Dates: Thu, 22 Aug 2019 ‐‐ Wed, 28 Aug 2019
  • 2019 Gaspe
    Status: Registration closed
    Dates: Tue, 6 Aug 2019 ‐‐ Thu, 29 Aug 2019

Upcoming Hub and spokes

Registration closes this week I believe for the Vancouver Hub and Spoke.  Still lots of room.


Vancouver Hub & Spoke
Status: No registration limit
Dates: Thu, 8 Aug 2019 ‐‐ Mon, 12 Aug 2019

We will tour along the many bicycle routes of the Lower Mainland and enjoy both the natural beauty of the area as well as many areas of interest – both historical and contemporary. In your “non-ride” time slot, the UBC campus has activities and programs that may be of interest. We will be using designated bike routes whenever possible. Most all rides will be on urban streets with some traffic. This is not a challenging event so the emphasis is on the leisurely side of riding.

2019 Duncan Hub & Spoke
Status: Registration closed
Dates: Sun, 18 Aug 2019 ‐‐ Wed, 21 Aug 2019

Both Duncan and the Cowichan Valley are renowned cycling centres, with both the Cowichan Valley Regional District and Cycle Cowichan developing and promoting cycling routes and trails. In part, this is due to the beautiful views and vistas presented throughout the Valley.

2019 Chemainus Hub & Spoke
Status: Registration closed
Dates: Wed, 4 Sep 2019 ‐‐ Sat, 7 Sep 2019

Chemainus (the little town that could) once was a bustling saw milling community. Now a world famous town of past historical murals and one of the best live theatres in Canada. It is visited by tourists from all over the world. Chemainus is in the District of North Cowichan 18 km north of Duncan. The rides will consist mostly of country back roads and trails, past many picturesque rural farms. Come and enjoy a late summer ride in an easy paced community between Victoria and Nanaimo.


New Members

first_name last_name city province
Steve Bower Salt Spring Island BC
Susan Bonnyman Victoria BC
wayne mccormick Ottawa ON
Denise Webster Richmond BC
Cam Greene Nanoose Bay BC

Published at least ten times a year by The Cross Canada Cycle Tour Society, a non – profit organization for retired people and others who enjoy recreational cycling. 

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