Bike Shorts will be published weekly now. You are very welcome to suggest photos, cartoons, stories, events, links, etc. Just send your info to bikeshorts(at)knbc.ca
1. Welcome new members
Debra Smith, Jamie Smith
2. Tour Director News
To be or not to be, that is the question.
We have decided not to schedule rides in April. We were proceeding with the hope that the infection numbers would improve. Instead they were getting worse. From the start, we decided to schedule rides as usual because it is easy to cancel at the eleventh hour, but we can’t schedule at the eleventh hour. We apologize to anyone for whom this has been an inconvenience and we very much appreciate those who have stepped forward and volunteered to lead the rides on April 17. We have already stopped registration on the April 17 rides and we will soon be cancelling them.
We encourage members to submit rides to the calendar for dates beginning with the May 8-9 weekend and thereafter. The executive may decide it is not yet time to open the season, but it is good to schedule them in advance because rides scheduled at the last minute may have few, if any, participants. It is possible that we might have rides on the May 1-2 weekend, but, right now, it is hard to think clearly about that.
Barrie pointed out that, during COVID, it is not a good idea to follow our usual practise of having kickoff rides converge on the same lunch spot. So I am inclined to just skip the traditional kickoff rides as we did last year, and let the members submit rides to the calendar as they will. The kickoff rides are a wonderful tradition. At the start and at lunch and on the road, it’s great to see so many people, many of whom we haven’t seen all winter. Unfortunately, none of this works during COVID. Next year we will have kickoff rides that will make everyone forget the Super Bowl.
The situation this year is dramatically different from when we rode last year. The bad news is that infection rates are much worse now than they were last summer. The good news is that some of us have already been vaccinated and more have been scheduled for vaccination. Currently, everyone over 55 can attempt to book a shot at https://shoppers-drug-mart.c.eforms.loblaw.ca/#/covid/covid-19-vaccine-patient-registration/Welcome/0?lang=en . Come May, we may find that a significant number of us have been vaccinated, and more will be scheduled for their shot.
What does this all mean in terms of KNBC rides? I have no idea. We are flying by the seat of our pants. One thing I do know – I want to keep our COVID measures in place until we are given the green light by the government and the medical authorities. Even if we are vaccinated, we can be vectors of transmission to others and we can get COVID ourselves.
I have received feedback from many tour leaders and would like to hear from all members. Please share your thoughts.
2. 2021 KNBC Roadside Callout Directory
Another year has passed, and with this pandemic, many of us are taking to the roads either by ourselves or with another cyclist. As such, there is a greater possibility that we encounter some unsolvable problem while cycling far away from any help or expertise such as a double flat, broken spoke, minor accident, etc.
To take the stress away from ‘single cycling’, KNBC is continuing its roadside callout directory which will feature an online list of volunteers that other members can call upon for help, or a lift back to civilization. See the Roadside Callout Directory on the KNBC website under “Member Services” - https://knbc.ca/Roadside-Callout
If you would like to be a volunteer, please submit an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
- Your Name
- Consent to have your city of residence listed in the directory. This is so a member can locate the best geographic fit for where they are in trouble.
How this will work
- If you add yourself to the list, you may be called during daylight hours,
- You can politely decline if called, no reason required,
- Repair is at the discretion of the person assisting. It is not a requirement, and
- If you call, the person is under no obligation to respond
This directory is not available on the smartphone apps, only the main website. We suggest you bookmark the directory page on your mobile phone web browser before heading out. Either that or put a few names from the list in your phone’s contact list beforehand. Perhaps some people you already know and aren’t likely to be riding with.
Note that volunteers will need to adhere to the COVID-19 physical distancing rules and wear masks and gloves when picking up.
This is a members-only service and the Roadside Callout Directory is not viewable to the general public. This temporary initiative will stop when Ottawa Public Health declares that it is safe for our members to cycle in groups. Thanks to everyone who volunteers and cycle safely.
(Note: CAA Plus members are entitled to 4 service calls per year, whether for your bike or your car.)
3. Safety tip from Monna - Physical Distancing applies when on the bike
The typical social distancing rule, of between 1–2 meters, applies when you are standing still inside, or outside with low wind. When we go for a walk, run or bike ride we need to be more careful.
Before meeting up for a ride, assess key risk factors such as the level of community spread in your area, if you’ve been exposed to the virus, and could be at risk for asymptomatically spreading it, and what fellow riders have been doing to stay safe. Given the current impact of the variant strains, you may wish to ride with a small consistent group that you know and trust, depending on the precautions you all take (and whether or not you have immune compromised loved ones you have in your life).
Asymptomatic spread is currently of grave concern. This means you may be able to spread the virus to others without knowing you have it, and others may be able to spread it to you. So, PLEASE wear a mask at any rest or snack stops. Be careful , stay safe and stay well!
4. Safety and Education Blog - How to Crash!
Spring is here, and Bill is restarting his regular articles in the Safety and Education Blog, which you can find on our website in the Safety and Education Section at https://knbc.ca/Safety-&-Education-Blog
Bill's new article completes his series on minimizing the risk of crashing while cycling. "How to Crash (Yes There is a Right Way)" discusses the act of crashing and how to train yourself in some simple techniques which will improve your odds of avoiding serious injury if you do crash. You can find it at: https://knbc.ca/Safety-&-Education-Blog/10269437
The article introduces "Sport Imagery Training", (aka Guided Visualization), an important technique you can use to train yourself to instinctively do the right thing in emergency situations that you can't practice for in real life: like crashing your bike, for instance.
Article: Want to make the streets safer for women? Start with cycling
Government website: Canada's First National Active Transportation Strategy (includes cycling!)
Article: Reduced demand is just as important as induced demand
Article: Review - Three of the best entry level GPS cycling computers for 2021
Article: Fun cycling jersey - not endorsed by KNBC
Random Quote of the week:
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘what are you doing for others’”
- Martin Luther King Jr.
Geoffrey Gurd, President, KNBC