Trail info…face smackers!

June 4th, 2020 by in Everything

We have all been getting out a fair bit now and the trails are in great shape. This has been a crazy spring. Cold and wet for the longest time then warm and rain every few days. This has made for some great trail conditions. It has also made great vegetation growing conditions. The trails are closing in and there are lots of places where the “face smackers” are starting. So it’s time for the spring pruning. We are ok to clear growth back from the trail to increase visibility both on the Cycling trails and to open up the intersections at the equestrian trails a lot for better visibility. I’ve consulted and some good pruning is actually a good thing for the Forest. As we are not able to do any group work, it’s time for individuals to take a bit on at a time. The wheel hill has already been done by an avid TVG’er and is awesome! Feel free to take a pair of pruners or loppers out on one of your rides and do a section. Again, there is no issue with opening things up in the corners a lot to create better sight lines. Don’t be conservative. It is ironic, but the more you cut back, the more that it grows.

If you need a set of loppers, I have purchased a few of these beauties. They are super light and can cut everything from a tiny branch to a 1.25 inch sapling. They are only 15″ long so the fit perfectly in a hydration pack. Amazing! If you wish to borrow a TVG set, let me know. If you want your own, they are available at Home Hardware and are $28. They are awesome.

https://www.homehardware.ca/en/15-powergear-anvil-lopper/p/5067376.

So off we go, time to do some “trailscaping”. Have fun out there, take care at the intersections as our Equestrian friends are out there enjoying the trails as well.

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Hello all!

May 29th, 2020 by in Everything

Hey everyone. Well it’s really great to be back. It’s not likely news to anyone that DCF has reopened a week and a bit ago. As Covid-19 is still very much in the present we will not be posting any group rides for a bit for obvious reasons. If you wish to have a riding partner best to contact each other and arrange yourselves accordingly. When out in DCF please continue to follow the most up to date C-19 guidelines.

The trails are in great shape. We got out in small groups over various days and times and collectively put in over 50 hours into the clean up. One day was two of us for around 3 hours to work on the big oak on the Lolli that came down last fall. Then three of us spend 4 hours leaf blowing the “south section” and cleaning up another big mess of a downed oak on the Lolli. Finally a group of 5 of us got out and spent over 6 hours again chainsawing on the rest of the network and with 4 determined leaf blowers, cleaned up the remaining entire network in one 6 hour plus effort. Whew! Then the best thing happened…after everything was completely cleared it rained. Then it got ridden…then it rained again. Repeat. So now even the trails that were build last year and the Ken’s rebuild last fall are all set in perfectly. Beautiful ribbons of trail through the lush green forest. Awesome.

 

A huge thank you to those who got out to help out as we could not do a big “clean up day” due to Covid-19 regulations.

There are also new signs going up at every intersection to indicate a trail crossing ahead. They are fairly discrete yellow signs so please keep and eye out for then and exercise caution at trail intersections. As cyclists we are to yield to every other user group that uses the Forest. Please remember that there is often others out there on other trails and they deserve our complete respect. I’m going to yet again advise everyone that rides in DCF have a bell and use it to notify others as you cross trails that may not have the best visibility. Its simple and very effective.

So there is your update…please remember those pesky waivers and we have now paid our 2020-2021 insurance premiums which allow us to exist. Any contribution of  any amount goes a long way with helping us fund all of what we do.

So please enjoy, stay safe, respect the regulations and we’ll see each other out in the woods. Cheers!

 

Team Van Go…insurance and waiver time. 2019 recap

May 8th, 2020 by in Everything

Hi everyone.

I hope everyone is staying well and finding ways to responsibility enjoy the outdoors during these times. I realize it seems like a strange thing to discuss insurance and waiver requirements as all our “local trails” are still closed but May is still May and our insurance fees are due.

As with every year Team Van Go renews it’s insurance policy which provides us with the insurance we require to hold Land Use Agreements and cover the Club for liability.

The annual donation funds (as we don’t mandate a membership fee and our local trails are all free to ride) we receive help pay for that insurance, purchase any “trail tools” we may need, provide fuel for our equipment, and most importantly feed volunteers. Last year alone TVG ordered over 30 pizza’s for the major trail build days! We have no paid members or “administrative fees”. Everything goes back into the trails.

What did 2019 bring? It was a very busy year. During the beginning of 2019 our ambitious Fat Bike crew continued to snowshoe and pull tires around to keep 15km’s of single track open for Fat Biking. In the early Spring we constructed “Ralph’s Trail”…Over 50 people volunteered that day to take on the very ambitious project of constructing Ralph’s Trail in one day. Unbelievable! This trail is unlike anything else in DCF. Next, a small crew of us worked away and added in the “Max Connector” and the “Max Extension” trails. These trails were added with the intent of having an “easier” loop and set of trails to encourage newer riders. Summer went by with only normal on going trail maintenance being done. Then the logging in the Fall happened on Ken’s/Steve’s trail. The complete section of trail on the NE corner was gone and not passable and in most places, not recognizable. We designed a new trail then over 30 people came out (TVG-ers, local residents, our equestrian friends) on a cold November day and worked incredibly hard for their pizza and completed an awesome one day reconstruction. Again, amazing.

Winter came and an incentive to up our Fat Bike game was initiated. We had a Groomer fund raiser and raised enough funds from the generous contributions of many, to purchased a groomer for the Fat Bike trails. With the help of an amazing volunteer groomer crew we kept 18km’s of pure single track open for Fat Biking. This changed everything…the trails where absolutely amazingly packed and winter rides became an absolute single track experience. We also kept 2-4 km’s of groomed “walking trails” open for hikers and dog walkers. We co-hosted a “Fat Bike Day” at Mansfield Outer Centre and had over 65 people enjoying the trails of MOC, a fireplace and Rob’s great chilli. Hopefully some neat stuff coming next winter…stay tuned for that.

All the mentioned news above could only of happened with the wonderful co-operation of Dufferin County and County Staff. We can’t thank them enough for the privilege of being able to enjoy this Forest and the great formation of “The Friends of Dufferin County Forests” (FDCF) as a work and maintenance group.

So having said all that, we’ll see what 2020 brings. There are some great things in the works!! If you feel like supporting all our efforts we would appreciate any donations of any amount. Every little bit helps.

If you wish to contribute please hit the “Donate Tab” in the right column—–> that will direct you to PayPal where you can help support us.

For anyone who wishes to join in on group rides you do require an insurance waiver. You only are required to do this once a year. Please fill one out and pass it on to me in person or by e-mail (teamvango@rogers.com).  Here is a link to the form:

https://imbacanada.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/imba_canada_insurance-program-generalliability.pdf

Thank you to everyone who has supported us in the past and has believed in and appreciated what we do. We definitely have a wonderful group of people and a fantastic local place to enjoy. I hope to see you all soon!

Please feel free to share this post on other community sites that you may know of.

 

 

Light at the end of the Tunnel

April 30th, 2020 by in Everything

Good afternoon everyone, hope everyone is surviving!!

Its been a while since I have done a post on the TVG site.  To answer some questions, yes I am still alive!  Like many, it has been a different winter/spring time.  For myself, a new bike trainer has given me a new motivation over the winter, and prior to Covid-19 coming in, a training plan for the Spring 8hr solo was in full swing.  Oh how things change… No more spring 8hr, no more 24hr at Albion, pulling the chute on the 24hr in New York, Sausage Suit ITT which was suppose to be in the coming weeks is postponed.  Bike trips that were planned for the spring time, cancelled or postponed.

 

 

I’d say it is becoming depressing, everything we looked forward to all weekend is being pulled out from underneath us.   But there is light at the end of the tunnel (see what I did there, referenced the title of the post….), plus many things to look forward to.  Use the coming weekend for example!  Beautiful weather, with warmer temperatures.  Now I know that Dufferin Forest is still off limits, and personally I am abiding by that.  But what we can do is make sure the bikes are in tip top shape!  Most if not all Local Bike shops are open for tune ups, and over the course of the last year, bikes have been ridden, abused, and put away.  As soon as we can hit the trails running…. I mean spinning… you want to be able to.

 

 

With all the races being postponed/cancelled, I change my focus to other riding endeavors.  Instead of focusing on races, I am moving focus onto adventure riding / bike packing.  There are many rides that can be done in Ontario which takes you and your bike off the beaten path, and just to lose yourself in the beauty of the province we live in.  There are rides such as the Simcoe loop, and 160km single day or multi day ride from Barrie and around, there is the COLT (Central Ontario Loop Trail) which is a 450+km multiday trip situated around Bancroft, Haliburton, Peterborough etc.  and there is also the BT700, which is a 700km ride starting and finishing in St. Jacobs.

Now, like everyone I have hope that through the summer months we have the opportunity to race the 8hr, or have larger group rides again.  At the end of the day we will all be able to ride our bikes together in the forest soon.  This whole Covid-19 is just a blip in the road, a proverbial log on the trail, the rocks in a rock garden.

Now is a time to ride and focus on what is around us, take it all in, enjoy the ride.  I will try and become more active on posts, many many many many many beer have been consumed over the winter with many writeups to contribute.

 

 

 

Cheers all, stay safe and see you out there eventually.

 

 

 

 

Team Van Go Local Food Bank Fund Raiser

April 8th, 2020 by in Everything

Hi everyone. During my quite times my hamster is still normally spinning and I get ideas in my head.

I was thinking about what we as a cycling community could do during these times. We live in an awesome area and community that gives us so much variety of everything we could possibility want. Trails, Forests, rivers, restaurants and local friendly businesses and well as a host of fantastic people I get to call my friends. Many people from outside our area also are able to share our experiences.

I started to think about how we had such an incredible winter Fat Bike season and how amazing and generous our cycling community was with the fund raising for the groomer. That groomer completely changed our winter experience. That fund raiser gave me an idea.

We are set up well to easily receive donations through our “Donate” button on the right —->>>. I need to give some credit here…this idea was sort of inspired by Dan Marshal from Substance Projects (cycling event organizer) as years ago at his races he encouraged everyone to bring something for a Food Bank donation bin he had set up at the venue. He would then donate the proceeds to the local food bank in the community where the race was being held. Amazing idea! So I thought why not as a cycling community give something back to the area that brings us so much joy, happiness and personal solace?

I thought I’d give this a go in hope and see what happens. Every little bit counts and donations of any amount will all go directly to the Orangeville Food Bank that services our area.

If you would like to provide support just click the DONATE button and you will be directed to Pay Pal. Please put in a note that this is for the food bank.

Please share this post on various social media pages and if you have any comments that may help please send them my way as I’m open to suggestions.

Our Community thanks you. Stay safe and healthy.

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