June 2021 Newsbrief


The Cross Canada Cycle Tour Society        June 2021,  Volume 38, Issue #6

Last month members received an email from the CCCTS Board of Directors recommending vaccinations for the COVID 19 virus to promote safety for all participants when weekly rides, hub & spokes, and tours resume.

The science behind the request for vaccination is clear: in order to reach herd immunity at least 70% of the population needs to be vaccinated. We feel it is our responsibility to support this goal, not only for the safety of participants in club activities, but to do our part to bring an end to the pandemic.

Rigorous protocols developed by Canada’s top doctors and epidemiologists are in place to ensure a high degree of vaccine safety:



Thank you to everyone who commented on the email. All respondents except one were supportive of members becoming fully vaccinated as soon as possible. Some respondents would like the club to require proof of vaccination to participate in club activities; this is a topic for further discussion at the board level. As always, your board will examine all aspects of this issue before making any recommendations to the membership.

The future looks hopeful: both the BC and Ontario governments have recently announced staged plans for lifting restrictions, based upon a continued increase in vaccination rates. Here are the highlights as related to cycling:

  • In BC physical distancing is no longer required for participation in outdoor group sports. This means that it is no longer required to maintain a 3-meter distance between riders. The limit on the number of cyclists in a group has also been lifted. https://cyclingbc.net/news/2021/05/25/bcs-restart-plan-update-may-25th/
  • Travel within BC may be allowed as early as June 15 if 65% of the population is vaccinated. This will enable our June Hub and Spokes to proceed.
  • Ontario will be allowing cycling in groups of up to 10 beginning the week of June 14 if the vaccination rate reaches 60%. https://www.ontario.ca/page/reopening-ontario#section-2

Maureen Weston, Board member (Safety)

A Message From Membership director Jenni Lynnea

529 Garage

Do you know about this bike registration? It’s free, online, and helps protect against bike theft or helps get your bike back. It’s “community watch” for your bike. Started in 2013, it’s the largest bike registry.

Every 30 seconds somewhere a bike is stolen. You don’t want it to be yours!

Register, report, recover. That’s basically the system. You register your bike online for free, with the serial #, photo of the bike and photo of you and the bike. If your bike is stolen, you report it online, and hopefully someone will realize it might be stolen, and you can get it back. Good news story.

Optional, but very helpful is the tamperproof sticker from 529 Garage. This notifies both the potential thief it’s registered, and if stolen, can be a way to return it to the owner. It can also be helpful for police reports, insurance claims or selling your bike, even for posters or social media posts.

Many communities have partnered with 529 Garage to make it available, police, universities, and communities sponsor events to register your bike. Or you can do it individually at your convenience.

I just bought a new bike, and serious lock, but also wanted to register. Previously I’d registered my other bike as part of a police registration event. So I knew I could do it all online, but I also wanted the sticker. Helpfully you can order it online from Amazon, or check the map on the website for other local registration locations. My local bike shop had kits for $12. But I noticed our local police were also a contact. After a quick phone call to them, my sticker was in the mail, free.

And if you sell your bike, registration can be transferred.

If you see a 529 sticker on a bike for sale, be curious. Is it too good to be true? Maybe it legally belongs to someone else. And you can be part of the process of recovering it to the owner. Take a photo, ask questions, don’t take any risks.

Yes, you can register more than one bike! Maybe that’s why it’s called 529 Garage?




For our friends in Ontario who say they cant ride in the winter.

What Happens When Two Strangers Trust the Rides of Their Lives to the Magic of the Universe.

Part 2

After a few hundred miles, Leon and Carsten decided to part. It was for the best. “With Carsten following his GPS and me following Carsten, I’ve effectively stopped thinking,” Leon said. “Whilst progress has been quicker and more efficient, it has effectively ceased to be my adventure.”

A day or two from the Chinese border, Leon’s rear hub began to squeal. Getting to a bike shop 500 miles away took 10 hours on an overcrowded sleeper bus whose driver screamed “Fack you Inglishi!” In the city, the mechanic fixed the problem—no charge. On the bus ride back, he met a young man leaving the university “because I’m always anxious and afraid and my head is sick.” Leon replied, “I know how you feel, mate.”

But the Tao of travel ensured that for every yin moment, there was a yang. No shadow can exist without light.

In Kyrgyzstan, Leon met a mother who was raising four children on a roofless platform that served as living room, dining room table, and family bed. Leon joined them on the bed-thing for a simple meal of melon, bread, and tea. They asked for no payment, but Leon gave them cash, a flashlight, and a few family portraits he had printed in town.

People, Adaptation, Vacation, Leisure, Meal, Recreation, Tree, Picnic, Rural area, Tourism,
In Kyrgyzstan, Leon shared a meal with a family who lived on a roofless platform.

Courtesy Leon Whiteley

While napping by a tranquil lake, Leon was awakened by a drunk man waving a serpent in a bottle. Miming across the language gap, the man conveyed his desire to cook the snake, which he believed to have medicinal qualities that would heal his bad knee. He reconsidered this plan when a waitress, seeing the serpent, screamed and ran away.

In Uzbekistan, a woman with gold teeth gave Leon brand-new socks and lollipops. That same day, after showering in a leaky irrigation channel, he was invited to tea at a local’s house. Four generations welcomed him into a lush courtyard, passed him babies, and fed him grapes growing on the arbor above. Days later, another meal left his body “alternately evacuating itself from both ends.”

Leaving China, Leon traced the border of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, where the Kyzylkum and Karakum deserts meet. One morning he woke up to two flat tires and ended the day with a broken tent zipper, through which he fed the mosquitoes. The next day, British chaps in a battered Mongol Rally racecar gave him one of their tents.

Mode of transport, Bicycle, Cycling, Vehicle, Road, Ecoregion, Landscape, Sky, Recreation, Thoroughfare,
Leon’s bike on a long stretch of road through the desert, a few days before he would meet Noel.

Courtesy Leon Whiteley

On a Sunday morning in August, Leon awoke at dawn in the last oasis of civilization before the longest stretch of emptiness. He loaded up on water and entered the desert, pedaling toward the Caspian.

White, Text, Blue, Line, Font, Logo, Rectangle, Brand, Graphics, Electric blue,

After crossing the Caspian Sea, Noel would not see another major body of water for 5,000 miles. He would stay on the same road through western China for half as long. As the days grew shorter, the nights would grow colder. He would boil bottles of water to put in his sleeping bag. He would wake under veils of ice formed by his frozen exhalations.

He would face his hardest day and his darkest night alone in the Chinese desert. After seeing a rare intersection on his map, he would ride furiously toward the crossroads, which gave him hope for a meal, a warm bed, or at least a peasant selling drinks. His body would be a machine, fueled by a handful of nuts, able to go 80 miles without stopping.

Human, Headgear, Adaptation, Hat,
Noel encountered an eerie fleet of ghost ships on a dried-up stretch of the Aral Sea.

Courtesy Noel Kegel

Racing the setting sun, he would stop only to pee or flag down a truck when he ran out of water. As dusk fell like a curtain on an empty theater, he would crest the final hill before the crossroads, only to arrive at…nothing.

“Just two roads meeting in the desert.”

Vehicle, Landscape, Recreation, Road,
Noel’s bike on a long stretch of empty road.

Courtesy Noel Kegel