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.

Dufferin County Forest Closure

April 6th, 2020 by in Everything

Hi everyone. Please be advised that ALL Dufferin County Forests and the Rail Trail are completely closed to the Public. This includes parking areas and trails.

I urge everyone to show complete respect for this decision and do not use the trails at all until further notice.

Please also avoid engaging in Social Media discussions about this and just understand and appreciate what the County is doing and comply.

As Warden White stated “They (the trails) will wait for you and will be there when the pandemic is over”.

He is exactly correct.

Stay safe and take care of yourselves, your friends and your family.

Please refer to the following notice.

https://www.dufferincounty.ca/news/dufferin-county-forest-rail-trails-are-closed

 

Trail Questions

April 1st, 2020 by in Everything

I’ve had a few people ask about the trails. These tracks from skinny bikes should give you an idea. This is within the first 2km of me hiking…. 🙁

I’d say this should give you the idea….still lots of ice and mud.

 

Group ride announcement

March 21st, 2020 by in Everything

COVID-19 and physical activity considerations:

Moving forward, TVG will not be posting any group rides on our site. We will be posting up trail conditions as they change. If out on the trails please exercise good judgement and follow proper Public Health guidelines.

It has been difficult to find exact guidelines on outdoor exercise. Here is some info from some reliable sources for your own reading. It covers topics such as:

  • Information pertaining to the current COVID-19 situation
  • Things you can do to promote physical and mental health
  • The importance of physical activity including the health benefits and current guidelines
  • The importance of nature during stressful times including information on health benefits
  • The importance of  keeping the community safe  and yourself safe (i.e. being active while following public health recommendations such social distancing recommendations 2 metres apart.)

Have fun, enjoy nature, be safe, respect others and stay in shape!

The following information is for a reference. Please read through the information and formulate your judgement on how to conduct yourselves according to the guidelines and information and your own personal feelings. Please also seek additional Information on your own accord.  

*******************************************************************************************************************************

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health website for general info on Covid-19 and how to stay safe:
https://www.wdgpublichealth.ca/your-health/covid-19-information-public#COVIDGeneral

What is social distancing?
https://www.wdgpublichealth.ca/sites/default/files/file-attachments/HCP/instagram_covid-19_social_distancing_1080_x_1920.jpg

From  a recent Waterloo Article: “Can I go outside?
“If you are healthy and do not need to self-isolate, then yes, you can leave your house…..going for walks, a hike or to the park is fine as well, as long as you observe the two-metre rule.”
Source: https://www.therecord.com/news-story/9911531-public-health-expert-says-going-out-for-walks-is-ok-but-having-friends-over-for-dinner-is-not/

Guidelines and benefits of physical activity for individuals aged 18-64:
https://csepguidelines.ca/adults-18-64/

Public Health Ontario’s information relating to physical activity:
https://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/health-topics/health-promotion/physical-activity

Parks Canada:”Healthy Parks, Healthy People, Why Outdoor Exercise Really is Better For You”
https://www.ontarioparks.com/parksblog/healthy-parks-healthy-people-why-outdoor-exercise-really-is-better-for-you/

Natural Resources Canada outlines how forest can benefit our mental health and well-being:
https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/our-natural-resources/forests-forestry/state-canadas-forests-report/how-do-forests-benefit-canadians/16509

From National Public Radio (in the US) Refer to question and answer, “People who go outside to exercise are sometimes shamed on TV and social media for risky behaviour. Is it okay to go outside for a walk, run or bike ride?”
https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/03/20/819031274/coronavirus-faqs-can-i-go-running-is-food-shopping-too-risky-whats-herd-immunity

 

Sunday Ride 2pm DCF

March 20th, 2020 by in Everything

We are going to hit the trails at 2pm on Sunday. Cold evening before and a high of plus 3 later in the day and Sun! Trails should be great (if you have studs!). Still lots of snow and ice out there. Anytime this weekend will be a great ride.

 

Friends of the Dufferin County Forest meeting cancelled

March 15th, 2020 by in Everything

Yup. The meeting has been cancelled for now. C-19 (thanks BFB!). No new date proposed yet.

So Wednesday night ride is back on. We had and awesome ride today & the trails are awesome if you have studs. We will find something to ride as the snowmobile trails and old groomed skis trails where also awesome. Lots of damage free riding still ahead…if you have a Fat Bike….just saying….

So see you Wednesday night!

 

 

******Sunday ride Update****** time change***

March 14th, 2020 by in Everything

Hi gang, I’m really sorry to do this with short notice. Something has come up and K&I will not be able to make the 2pm time on Sunday. We will be moving our time to 10:30am. Hopefully some folks can make the change and if not we understand. Feel free to check in with others and if 2pm works better then TVG will have 2 rides!

Sunday Ride 2pm DCF-Weds ride update

March 12th, 2020 by in Everything

Looks like sun, sun and more sun on Sunday with a high of minus 1. Should be a beautiful day in the Woods. 2pm start.

I would say based on the Weds ride that at this point on it’s going to a really tough go if you do not have studded tires. We rode on hard snow, soft snow, dirt and ice (quite a bit of ice).  You are free to give it a go but I’d be very careful as the ice sneaks up on you.

The base is still quite hard packed and there still is a fair bit of snow left out there so it will still be awhile for skinny tires.

Just a reminder that there will not be a Weds ride this week as we are going to attend the Friends of Dufferin County Forest meeting. Sometimes you ride the trails, sometimes you support the trails. The support is very important if you wish to ride.

We may plan a ride Tues or Thursday based on the weather and trail conditions. Enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday Ride 6pm DCF

March 9th, 2020 by in Everything

Hi everyone, the weather is actually lining up quite well for our Weds night ride. Rain tomorrow, then below zero Tues night, not too warm Weds then cooling off in the evening. Sill lots of snow out there and studs may come in handy on the ridge!

Should be a fun night with now only needing lights at the very end.

See you there.

Forest news….

March 7th, 2020 by in Everything

Logging will likely begin on Ken’s/Steve’s Trail next week. It is a further along (west) of where the last logging happened in the fall. At least it is not as long of a section of trail affected. I will be marking the section for the loggers tomorrow and our County Forest Manager is attempting to arrange a walk through with the harvesters. Fingers crossed!

The Friends of Dufferin County Forest (FDCF) is having a meeting Weds March 18th, 7pm at the Dufferin Museum. Please plan on attending as everyone being there is important. If you can make it please RSVP as the County Forest Manager has requested. These meetings are very important as they help demonstrate our dedication to the trails, the Forest and the hard work we are willing to do. As well it shows our commitment to each other and other user groups, demonstrating the level of co-operation that we strive for between all user groups. Our normal Wednesday ride will be held on Tuesday or Thursday depending on trail conditions.

That’s it for now…see everyone out there and on the 18th!

If you wish to join the FDCF here you go…the more the merrier! Join up and show your support for the trails and the Forest!

https://www.dufferincounty.ca/sites/default/files/forest/Friends%20of%20the%20Forest%20Terms%20of%20Reference.pdf

https://www.dufferincounty.ca/sites/default/files/forest/fdcfapplication.pdf

Sat Ride 12pm DCF

March 6th, 2020 by in Everything

Hi all, we will be heading out at 12 noon tomorrow for a ride. This should get us off the trails before it starts to warm up too much. As always, please be very aware of trail conditions moving forward. Lots of plus temp days ahead.

Trail Update

February 28th, 2020 by in Everything

Our groomer crew got out yesterday and regroomed all 18km of the single track. As I’m away I can’t speak as to if they are set up yet or their conditions. I just heard it snowed again so I’m not sure what that will bring but I guess it was another big snow dump. It’s great the grooming got done to pack this fresh snow in but it may require another round. I’ll update as I hear things…