April 2024 Newsbrief






The Cross Canada Cycle Tour Society  April 2024,  Volume 41, Issue #4

Adorable easter bunny cycling through a ...



From the Hub and Spoke Director’s Desk – April 2024


For those of you who love the simplicity of staying in one place … we have three amazing Hub and Spokes planned already for this spring.  We have 27 people from across the county and south of the border signed up for our Ottawa hub and spoke starting May 12.  Your Ottawa hosts are hoping that the tulips will retain their beauty for this event, despite the very early arrival of spring in the nation’s capital this year.  Next up, starting May 19, we have our west coast Hub and Spoke based in Everett, Washington,  where 28 members will enjoy four days of coastal roads, Pacific islands and mountain vistas as they cruise through beautiful rural Snohomish County.  Starting June 9 we have our annual interior BC backroads adventure – this time based out of Merritt, B.C., with daily rides on scenic Nicola Valley Grasslands ranch roads.  The Everett and Nicola Valley rides area already full, with waitlists, but the Ottawa Hub and Spoke has room to welcome 13 more members.  Thank you to our organizers for putting these trips together!


And if you want to hang out with your CCCTS friends for a cross-country ski adventure, stay tuned for a posting of a one-week ski trip at Silver Star, in the B.C. Interior, just outside Vernon; dates are Dec. 3-10 and you should see more details very soon, as this lottery will open on April 10. 


We are already starting to see plans develop for 2025 and beyond, with chapter-organized Hub and Spokes possible next year in Vancouver, Chiliwack and Comox, as well as a possible March 2025 Hub and Spoke in Palm Springs, organized by one of our new members from Edmonton who knows the area well.  Stay tuned for more adventures in 2026 – we already have 2 back-to-back events under consideration in Texas in the spring – tours and/or Hub and Spokes – one in the wildflower region around Austin and the other in and around Big Bend National Park.


Calendars are filling up, but you can put a proposal in any time!  Six to twelve months advance notice gives you ample time to choose your accommodation and routes, structure your proposal, conduct the lottery and confirm arrangements.  Hotels in prime locations tend to be filling up well in advance as more people than ever have got the travel bug, so the earlier the better, especially when you are booking for a large group.   If you’re looking for a simple Hub and Spoke with tried and true routes, you may wish to look at the Sorrento Centre,  https://sorrentocentre.ca, located on the beautiful Shuswap Lake in the North Okanagan – the club has hosted many events from this location so the routes and set-up are well-known and offer an amazing restful experience for club members.   Or how about a Hub and Spoke in Europe?  Some of our members have raved about unique hotels in Italy that cater to cyclists with great food and guided cycling options each day and we’ve just heard about a new one located right on the ocean in Portugal.  I am happy to provide more information on these and to discuss other Hub and Spoke ideas you may have.  Feel free to contact me to discuss what you have in mind.


Linda Graupner

Hub and Spoke Director



This month we are recognizing a long-time CCCTS member and leader, Eric O’Higgins.  Eric is known as a strong and caring leader who takes care of all of his riders and always takes the extra time and effort to scout out his tours.   CCCTS members have especially fond memories of the many tours he led to New Zealand…at least 7 tours starting in 2007.  He had already been there a few times and so it made sense to scope out routes and facilities and offer tours for the club.    His trips showed off the beautiful scenery of this country, often using rural backpackers lodging and remote roads.   Eric shared a few of the challenges and adventures he encountered along the way:

Keeping the finances was always a challenge.  For the 2007 trip, on the South Island, Lynn Stewart offered to do the finances for the trip which, according to Eric “utterly ruined the trip for her, calculating endlessly every loaf of bread from Kiwi dollars to Canadian dollars!”.    Subsequent trips were led by Eric on the understanding that he would buy Kiwi dollars and record expenses without translation. 

Given the remoteness of the routes, there were few amenities or grocery stores along the way.  For example, he recalls five days between grocery stores in Wanaka and Hokitika on the west coast of the South Island. 

Organizing at long distance in New Zealand also came with challenges.  Eric insisted on a site visit before booking anything.   On one occasion when a backpack operator wanted a full deposit months ahead, Eric got suspicious and fortunately rearranged the route to go to other towns.  When the group passed this backpack operator, they discovered the place was nothing but a hole in the ground!  Eric would usually book by phone and then confirm by e-mail, but even that wasn’t foolproof.  One time in Middleton, they discovered the owner had fired his manager and said he had never heard of Eric and his group.  So Eric borrowed his computer and found his sent mail confirming the reservation.  According to Eric “Mike Young got into that town first and found us other quarters.  Blessing on you Mike!”

And of course, the cycling itself was also an adventure.  According to Eric, “Every day was memorable but I can date the ride up the Cardrona Road near Queenstown, the highest road in New Zealand.  Sixty-seven minutes up 1100metres in 26  kilometres when I was 67 years foolish. Followed by 55 klicks downhill to Wanaka without turning a pedal.  Cardrona was a high point and it has been downhill ever since!”

In addition to New Zealand,  Eric has led tours in Hawaii and in Haida Gwaii, where he lived for 20 years.  This year he is returning down under – without his bike – on a cruise ship and by train, visiting Australia and then Christchurch, Picton, Wellington, and Auckland with his wife Nancy, in celebration of their 60th anniversary.  Thank you Eric for your leadership and Happy 60th Anniversary!

Eric and Nancy O’Higgins riding the Queenstown gondola  with Dan McGuire. 


  • 2024 Grand Coulee Dam Loop
    Status: Ride is full, wait list only.
    Dates: Mon, 10 Jun 2024 ‐‐ Sat, 22 Jun 2024

    The Grand Coulee Dam has been called “man’s greatest creation” that turned the mighty Columbia River “into a slave of man.” A book published five years later called it “the eighth wonder of the world.” It first opened it’s spillway June 1, 1942 to a crowd of 10,000 onlookers. Beautiful little lakes of various shades of blue lie throughout Washington as we travel south. Our journey gives us the opportunity to cycle the Great Coeur D’Alene Trail and the Centennial Trail before completing our loop and returning to Grand Coulee Dam

  • Rideau Canal Pannier Tour 2024
    Status: Ride is full, wait list only.
    Dates: Mon, 20 May 2024 ‐‐ Sun, 26 May 2024

    The Ottawa chapter of CCCTS invites you to join us for a self-supported “pannier tour” following the Rideau Canal from Ottawa to Kingston and back.

  • 2024 Slovenia – On The Sunny Side of The Alps
    Status: Ride is full, wait list only.
    Dates: Tue, 10 Sep 2024 ‐‐ Tue, 24 Sep 2024

    Join us in September, a perfect time to discover this special little country of Slovenia, a green jem squeezed between Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia! On a bike is a great way to do it! Turquoise lakes, the Adriatic Sea, the Julian Alps, alpine and medieval villages, the capital Ljubljana guarded over by its castle, turquoise rivers, mountain valleys, terraced vineyards….. We will have two weeks to sample it all, especially Slovenia’s native wines and wonderful cuisine!

  • 2024 Trail of the Coeur D’Alene’s including Route of the Hiawatha
    Status: Registration closed
    Dates: Tue, 3 Sep 2024 ‐‐ Thu, 12 Sep 2024

    This tour involves three cycling segments. It begins in Harrison Idaho with two days of cycling, then moves on to Wallace, Idaho for two more day rides, including the Hiawatha trail, and ends in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho with a two-night pannier ride on the Centennial trail to Spokane, Washington. The scenery will be lovely all along the way.

  • 2024 Portugal – Alentejo and the Algarve
    Status: Registration closed
    Dates: Wed, 17 Apr 2024 ‐‐ Thu, 2 May 2024


  • Dolomites cross-country ski tour 2024
    Status: Completed

    Swap out your cycling gear for cross-country skis and join us for our first CCCTS cross-country ski trip – in the Dolomites region of Italy! We will ski through the gorgeous valleys of the Dolomites, on well-groomed trails, with the mountains as our backdrop, staying 2 nights in each pretty Tyrolean ski village. Come for the beauty of the area and the Tyrolean culture…and a chance to ski with your cycling friends.

  • 2024 Cycling South Korea – Seoul to Jeju
    Status: 7 slots are available.
    Dates: Mon, 22 Apr 2024 ‐‐ Mon, 6 May 2024

    This 15 day cycling tour is the ultimate exploration of South Korea – discovering both the old and the new – as we traverse 615 km of varied terrain from the vibrant capital, Seoul, to peaceful Jeju Island.

  • 2024 Sri Lanka Tour – Negombo to Columbo
    Status: 14 slots are available.
    Dates: Tue, 15 Oct 2024 ‐‐ Wed, 6 Nov 2024

    This adventure is the final word in Sri Lanka cycling tours! Over the course of 23 exhilarating days we explore the island’s pristine beaches, ancient rock fortresses, temple-studded cities, lush national parks, and tea field-covered mountains. We leave no stone unturned as we delve deep into Sri Lanka’s rich heritage and natural beauty. We will also spend 1-2 days dedicated to a service project for a local Sri Lankan community.

  • 2023 Columbia River Loop
    Status: Completed

    Cycle in beautiful inland Washington and Oregon – through mountain, desert, and high-plateau farmland areas. Ride along the mighty Columbia River and through Washington wine country. Stay in the scenic towns of Hood River and The Dalles, Oregon. Weather is normally sunny and warm this time of year.

  • 2024 Ireland Mizen to Malin
    Status: Ride is full, wait list only.
    Dates: Fri, 6 Sep 2024 ‐‐ Fri, 20 Sep 2024

    The west coast of Ireland is rich in awe-inspiring landscapes, fascinating characters, and foot-tapping music. Cycling Ireland End to End from the most southerly point to the most northerly will leave you with rich memories, new friends, and a thirst for more!

Hub and Spokes

  • Silver Star Cross-country Ski 2024
    Status: Registration opens Wed, 10 Apr 2024 6:00 AM
    Dates: Tue, 3 Dec 2024 ‐‐ Tue, 10 Dec 2024

    Get an early start to the ski season with our 2nd CCCTS cross-country ski event! Silver Star is known for its early snow and its excellent network of groomed trails winding through the hills. Join us for an “east meets west” chapter-wide event which will include plenty of opportunity for apres-ski socializing with your CCCTS friends from across the country.

  • 2024 Everett H&S
    Status: Registration closed
    Dates: Sun, 19 May 2024 ‐‐ Thu, 23 May 2024

    Four days of cycling in beautiful rural Snohomish County based out of Everett. Enjoy a lovely variety of rides in north Puget Sound, including Whidbey Island, Snohomish, Monroe, Mount Vernon, Arlington, and Index. Farmlands, coastal scenery, and the foothills of the Cascade mountains. Don’t miss it.

  • Ottawa 2024 Hub and Spoke
    Status: 13 slots are available.
    Dates: Sun, 12 May 2024 ‐‐ Sat, 18 May 2024


  • 2024 B.C.’s Nicola Valley Grasslands Gravel Roads Hub and Spoke
    Status: Registration closed
    Dates: Sun, 9 Jun 2024 ‐‐ Sun, 16 Jun 2024

    Based from Merritt, B.C., we’ll explore six scenic, Nicola Valley Grasslands ranch roads. These are mostly gravel road routes on the dry side of B.C.’s Coast Mountains, between Kamloops and Princeton. Bring your camera and binoculars for a series of BC backroads cycling adventures!


Safety Update – Maureen Weston

Although the pandemic has officially been declared over for almost a year
now, the board of directors would like to remind our membership of the
ongoing possibility of contracting a communicable disease when
participating in club activities, especially those that include travel. Most club
members are seniors and some have compromised health. The latest
version of the CCCTS Communicable Illnesses Policy and Procedures
posted on the website outlines how we can minimize the risk of members
becoming ill while participating in club tours and Hub and Spoke events.
Key to our approach is the support of the science behind vaccinations,
including COVID, flu, shingles, and pneumonia. We encourage all members
to be up to date on all vaccinations, and follow health directives from their
local governing agency.

Masking in crowded public places, especially while traveling, is also highly
recommended. It may mean the difference between enjoying a healthy tour
or being sick for the entire time due to exposure while getting to your
destination. Even if you are sick for only a few days of the activity, there is a
high risk that you may pass along the virus to other members of the group.
Unexpected financial costs may also occur if you must suddenly book a
single room or remain behind while the group travels to the next

Being up to date on vaccinations and masking while in crowded public
places are behaviours that align nicely with the first two statements in our
club code of conduct:

● Every member has a role in treating others with respect, courtesy,
fairness and equality.

● Every member contributes to the well-being and functioning of the
group as a whole; on and off the bike.

Let’s work together to keep everyone healthy!


Swing Low Sweet Chariot part 2

by Dave Charles

Choosing a recumbent trike.

Thinking about switching “down” to a recumbent trike? The internet abounds with manufacturer’s websites and YouTube videos, to help potential buyers. Test riding is essential, once the buyer has narrowed the field down, and is talking with the bike shop dealer(s). However, there are a few points that should be factored into which model/make is most likely to satisfy the rider’s needs.

Configuration: Tadpole or Delta? – (Triker nerd speak). The Key here is rider comfort. This video is a good primer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRi9ScmrWTc

Dealer location: Not all bike shops handle trikes. Local shops are good for simple repairs, but with extra-long chain lengths and other trike specific features, trikers need to plan how to get the trike to the dealer, for major servicing.

Folding vs rigid: Folders transport more easily. Otherwise borrowing or renting a van or half-ton may be the only option to getting it to the dealer

Shock absorbers: Trikes ride more roughly. They are less manoeuvre able and can’t always easily avoid pot holes and bumps. Standing is not an option to soak up shocks, so the spine bears the brunt. Some manufacturers now make models with shocks, a good bet for long trips and rough trails. Larger wheels and tire sizes also help.

Bag mounting capacity: Short frame heights and rear rack configurations may limit mounting standard panniers. Some manufacturers make custom bags to fit specific frames, but they tend to be smaller than standard panniers.

If you are still wanting more information check out the internet. You can spend hours down that rabbit hole enough to make your head spin. I’d rather be riding on the trail.

Next time: Trike extra options – need to have and nice to have.




Women’s Fi’Zi:k Terra Atlas Cycling Shoes Size: US 8 1/4/European 41 

The shoes are brand new, never worn, currently listed on the internet at one site for $200, I’m selling for $100 and I’m open to offers.

I have her bike, but her shoes are too big for me –I’ve advertised them on used Victoria but no luck.  I just want to pass them on at a good price for someone who can use them and donate the money to Anawim Companions Society.


Helen Pedneault

778678 2151

In the Victoria area.


Still some seats available on the upcoming Sri Lanka Tour.  This video gives you an idea of how amazing this country is.


New Members


first_name last_name city province
Alison Bullock Comox BC
Peter Jakubowski Comox BC
Casey Dorin Vancouver BC
Hugh Seaton Vernon BC
Lauren Wilson Victoria BC
kim Middlestadt Aldergrove  BC
Brian Murchison Chilliwack BC
Willie Woo Surrey BC
Margarita Citron Victoria BC
Robert McCulloch Ottawa ON
Cathy Cotter Surrey 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. 

Items for the NEWSBRIEF must be received by the 28th of the month. The Editor reserves the right to edit for clarity, brevity and suitability of publication. The views expressed in the “NEWSBRIEF” are not necessarily those of the CCCTS or the Editor.

Submissions for NEWSBRIEF should be emailed to alaird212@gmail.com