From the President

From The President

Happy Days are Here today!

The 2018 Tour de France started today.

The weather is stellar.

And everybody’s winter base training is really starting to show its roots.

I am taking some time here to break down the Cobourg group ride into easy to learn steps.


One way to build on the hard work of tedious, indoor training of the winter is to get out and jam the pedals in the summer.

Many Cobourg Cycling Club members have been enjoying dipping their toes in the waters of the Thursday night rides.

However, there is some confusion as to how the rides are supposed to work.

So, The BoD  wants to look at bringing some clarity to this great weekly event.

The goal of this note is to help calm the nerves a little and provide you with some insight.


First of all, every Cobourg Cycling Cub member planning to attend any club event must make themselves fully aware of the rules.

The Club has provided very detailed, easy to read language of the regulations and guidelines around organized Ontario club events.

Please visit the Club’s website for the various answers you may be seeking.

Over the years, the Club’s Board of Directors has put together a comprehensive set up that meets the OCA’s requirements.

Any cycling club affiliated with the OCA must meet these requirements in order to have every member covered by insurance.

These rules are determined by many factors though insurance and safety are the main drivers.


Without going into great detail, the use of a bicycle equipped with time trialling bars is not allowed due to safety issues involved.

(The pointy bars are not to be used as spearing tools.)

Also, the Club has stipulated that all riders must be Club members.

The only legal exception for us is a one-time use only rule for first time attendees that may want to become a CCC member.

There are other rules that also get called into question occasionally, but members need to be aware that these are not arbitrary.

Many of the rules adopted by the Cobourg Cycling Club have been implemented because an incident has occurred elsewhere.


Okay, so with the above out of the way, regarding The Thursday Night Bun Run itself, I will move on.

This ride has been fashioned after the Peterborough CC Thursday night Fight Night ride and is NOT meant to be tempo paced.

Let’s refer to this as a spirited, group ride effort.

This ride should stretch your skills, abilities and fitness in order that you can make improvements.

However, the skills and abilities within the CCC are not at the level of the participants in Peterborough, so we use a detuned version.

Peterborough has the luxury of offering three riding levels on a Thursday night and can get upward of 100 riders in mid-summer.

We do not have those numbers to play with here.


As a level 2 cycling coach, ride leader and the Club’s President, I have been well aware of the wide range of skills among members.

Also, keep in mind that the age of the members is wide ranging too.

In order to deal with all of these factors the idea for the Thursday group ride is really quite simple.

Keep in mind that this ride has been developing its own personality over the last three years since it began.


Typically, the CCC Thursday ride is a no drop ride.

We do not sell it that way but is because we are in the development stages of this growing event.

The reality of the term “no drop” varies for each participant.

We have some very fit members that want to go faster than the group.

We have some very new riders and members that are intimidated by the experience of going too fast.

Neither of these situations is negative so let me elaborate.


In order to get better at handling a bike, going fast and learning echeloning techniques, each of us needs a group.

To address the varying skills involved, the ride can be broken into “segments” but has nothing to do with Strava.

Leave that notion where it belongs – on the desktop.

We need a cooperative group effort with everybody on the same page.

Let’s look at the ride in phases.


Phase 1

Meet at the Diamond Head Industrial Mall aka The Coke Plant.

Be on time.

The ride is scheduled for 6:00 PM.

The depart time will be 6:05 PM to allow a grace period when life happens.

Otherwise, you miss the bus and chase like mad or skip the week.

The ride pace on departing should begin easy moving to moderate.

This is a WARM UP effort.

This period, on the ride’s current route, ends at Station Street and Lakeshore (or whatever they call the road in Grafton these days)

Without an accurate time measure my guess is about 20-25 minutes at the group’s pace.

This is ridden in standard two-up fashion.


Two-up means two abreast.

Two riders set pace with pulls ranging from several minutes to 10 minutes or even more depending on weather factors etc.

Understand what half-wheeling is and how to manage your pace as your pace ripples through the group behind.

Riding two abreast keeps things safer and quicker, most noticeably in awkward conditions.

The idea of riding “two-up” is that this reduces the group size and creates a larger profile so that visibility is increased.

On narrower roads automobiles are forced to reduce speed and look ahead before passing.

Riders should be aware of the presence of vehicles, potholes etc through on-going verbal commands and communications.

This is a standard method of club riding across this continent and throughout Europe and the UK.

Contrary to common belief, there is no legal requirement to ride single file in Ontario – read the Highway Traffic Act.

Some areas of the Province may still have antiquated by-laws stating this as preference, but legal precedent for two up riding is set.

The Ottawa Cycling Cub is the largest in Canada and a number of years ago challenged this in court – and won.


The Second Phase

As the ride moves east, the rolling echelon begins.

It does not need to go full throttle.

But it will pick up speed though and that is quite normal.

Do not look at a computer for guidance, pay attention to the road and riders about you.

Wattage, speed and the like matter not here.

Pedal your bike and pay attention to what you are being asked to do – you will find that you soon will get the hang of things.

Smooth and efficient pedalling action is probably one of the greatest lessons to learn here for developing riders.

With weaker fitness and bike handling skills within the group, this may seem somewhat daunting at first.

That is normal.

This is advice from years of development so check your ego.

It is no sin to sit out at the back of the group, watch what is happening ahead and use the group’s pace to break the wind for you.

When you think you can manage a turn, move up to the last wheel and take a place in the line.

You may need to signal or speak to riders around you to make sure that they get your intentions clearly understood.

When you need a break, take one at the back again.

Riding with several buddies at slower paces in order to practice this technique is highly recommended on other days.

And, do not underestimate the usefulness of YouTube as resource and you can always see some great teamwork watching the TdF.


Phase 3

Things may be a bit off for “newbies” here.

Sign sprints.

Every good group ride has one or more sign sprints.

These are for bragging rights only but a fun twist to the group activity.

Coming into Lakeport is a blue sign.

Some riders may want to contest a sprint for the sign, it is like intermediate bragging rights – that is all.

So, don’t get too worked up over it.

That is why sometimes the pace gets harder or faster in what seems like a moment where the whole ride is out of control.

It is not.

It is really like a practice lead out.

Generally, after a sign sprint things slow (and will vary depending on whose ride it is).

This slowing allows for regrouping and recovery as well as manages pace through what are likely congested traffic areas.

Heading up Lakeport’s grassy knoll there is a good location where a nature break can be had.


Phase 4


For our little CCC ride, knowing the fitness of the overall group, the ride up the hill on Durham St. N. is somewhat neutralized.

There is time for a slight regrouping at the Purdy Road intersection.

From there we should roll along in a two up manner to the northeast.

The grade is subtle but uphill here and along Honey Road.

So, returning to Phase 1 style riding suits the group.

At Telephone Road, typically the ride moves east about a kilometre to Trottman Road.

Heading north to County Rd 21 the group should roll the echelon again.

At the church intersection in Dundonald the ride can go east or west, depending on daylight.

East takes us a mile or so to Shiloh Road and west goes toward County Road 25/Turk Road (the newish road to the gravel pit).

Shiloh Road winds around to come out on Dingman Road/Cty. Rd 25/Pipeline Rd.

While Turk Road brings the group to Vernonville and Shelter Valley Road.


Phase 4B


In 2017 we introduced the King Road loop.

The whole ride time can be extended without losing everybody.

Here riders can drop off and spin easy down SVR or loop back to meet group.

Each person needs to make these decisions for themselves based on their fitness or how they feel on the day.

Some attendees have complained about the road surface on King Road.

Think about Paris Roubaix and those beloved gravel rides you like to do.

Bumps are bumps and part of riding, training and racing.

If one cannot ride on bumpy roads in training how can you expect to manage them elsewhere?


Now, here is an interesting thing to learn and to keep in mind.

Lake Ontario is the southern edge of the ride and from there all roads either go north or east/west.

Not a new idea is it?

There have been rumblings that another group is needed.

Not yet please.

WE need more consistent numbers of participants to really make that wish viable.

However, what is very useful for those wanting a reduced effort ride is to use shortcuts.


This is supposed to be a no drop-drop –training ride.

There is nothing wrong with cutting out one section to meet the faster group when it loops around elsewhere.

You need to know the loops though in order to do this, so look at a map before heading out.

Also, be aware of the time of year – long days vs short days.

Look to see where you are relative to starting etc and plan your ride for skills and abilities.

The hardest part of the ride has been the last 4-5 km on Shelter Valley Road ending at the time trial finish sign.

At The Deuce, another regrouping occurs and everybody should “piano” ride back to town or home or wherever.


Now for another twist to put into your training cap.

There are often times when a large group will split.

That is perfect.

What should happen is that the two groups should now be two echelons.

Or more!

Look how pro racers manage events with lots of heavy cross winds.

Nowhere does it say we are a racing club but racing techniques are used quite regularly in all sorts of group rides and club activities.

Those looking for a second group have found it without effort.

It has been there all along.

With members of your own ability, you can form chase groups.

Each group can  collectively decide how to best carry on.

There are several viable options at this point.

They may include rejoining at an alternate spot or turning off to go home.

For really fit riders, they may even, in some cases, take a longer route to complete more intense training.

You can always modify a club ride for your own needs.


What happens when people peel off at different times though?

So, that goes back to what I have always told you.

Know where you are on the road at all times.

Be aware who is around you.

Understand the road and/or wind conditions.

Know whose wheel you want to follow if the pace gets harder.

These are little tricks of the riding trade.

Everybody can use these.

If you get dropped and your buddy is barely hanging on, just wait.

Eventually that person will soon follow.

Then you can both begin to roll an echelon.

Two riders should always move faster than one …..when tired legs are gathering!


There is a lot of information in these words.

Take some time to review it all before next Thursday night.

Give some of these suggestions a try once or twice or even three times.

Let’s see what the group consensus is once you have all these tools in place.

Earlier this season, even stretching back over the last two years, Club members were not ready for all this.

The time has come now where more information will be useful.

I hope that this helps and that renewed interest develops in a growing, fun club activity.


I have one ask of all Club members at this point.

Do not let your one bad experience at a Thursday night ride or elsewhere reflect on what the ride has to offer.

Regardless of what may have left a bad taste for you in the past, we all are human and share the same experiences and emotions.

There is not one strong rider in the Club that at some point did not suffer at the hands of other stronger riders.

If they say otherwise, consider the source.


Happy trails.

Oh and on that note, if you are heading to the woods somewhere, bring extra water, watch out for the ivy and have some fun!






About the Bun Run (From the president)

Hi Everybody


Tonight’s Bun Run was a blast.

We changed the loop a little bit so the new roads gave the ride great little twist.

I think all nine of us had a very good workout.

The group is getting better with keeping things smooth while rotating.

However, both our fitness and bicycling management skills still need some polish.


Moving on from the technical side of things, if you have not been in out in a while, you must come out next Thursday.

It’s the summer solstice!

It will be the longest night of the year and best suited for our needs on the Thursday Night Bun Run.

So, to commemorate this event we will also add in The Brent Aquino Loop.

Maybe even twice depending on the sunset.

For those that came last year, you will remember that we go off SVR and around King Road and Pipeline to Broomfield.


For those of you that want to know where we are going – it is as follows:

To Colborne on the Waterfront Trail.

To Durham St. N up to Kevin’s Road – Honey Road (just over the 401).

Then we whittle our way to Dundonald where we make a right onto Northumberland Cty Rd 21.

We head east to Shiloh Road and make a left going north.

The ride tonight then meandered its way back to Cty Rd 25 just south of Castleton.

We came out on Dingman Road (for longest time not paved until one Derek Harnden initiated me)

We crossed there to Pipeline Road and had the usual finish at the end of Shelter Valley Road.


I would like to take a moment to thank everybody that has been taking part.

You are making me fitter and I appreciate it more that you know.

These group rides make us all faster.


Oh, and somebody asked me about doing some training this weekend.
I think I could be talked into some hill repeats if anybody is interested.

The options I am proposing are Alnwick Hill coupled with a few twists getting there and back.

Or, the always delightful Port Hope Hills Challenge (since you like names for things).


I have said too much already, but I wish you safe riding, sunshine and tailwinds.



A Gentle reminder from our President

Regarding sharing the road:

In Northumberland County, where we live and do most of our cycling, we are blessed with a plethora of good roads to explore on the bike.

As a coach, I have often repeated the concept of knowing where you are on the road or in a group at all times.

When we prepare for an outing, take a moment to remind one another that part of being safe and sharing the road is being predictable.

I have made moves on the bike on occasion that probably do not represent what drivers expect.

Remember that drivers cannot see the potholes or glass.

The also are not fearful of rogue animals.

As cyclists we all must work at being fair to those around us.

Personally, I do not like sounding like the ordinary message or repetitive for that matter.

So in the essence of happy cycling and safe road use – be aware of where you are while riding at all times.

Enjoy the nice weather.


Bruce’s Big Ride. (From the President)

Wow. On June 5th, Bruce Raymur beat the 24 year old Cobourg
Cycling Club 15 km Individual Time Trial record.
Having chased that elusive mark myself closely for a few
years, it is awesome to see somebody I have mentored meet
the challenge.
In fact, Bruce showed his talent for suffering and was 30
seconds faster than the previous mark set by David Martin.
If you are as curious as I am, let’s see what Bruce can do
For my money, there is more in the tank!
On another note, if there is local interest, you may want to
look at a trip to the Hamilton area for a 40 km ITT with the
These usually start early on a Saturday at 9 AM so it you
must leave here extra early.
Check the Hamilton Cycling Club website for their calendar.
I suggest purchasing an Alternate Club Membership (it is $5
or $10) in order to ride.
These time trials are excellent training and a real test of
your mental fortitude.
They hold these once a month through the summer.
Have a great week on the bike!

HoHoHo Cobourg Cycling Club Members

Well, have you been good cyclists this year?
I hope so.
Santa is coming in 3 more sleeps!
There are some among us who may see this time as an
opportunity for 3 more rides!
Whatever your plans, be happy and healthy for Christmas and
the New Year.
As our friend Peter says, “May your hills all be down and
the wind be always at your back!”


Please, if you are like me and like to ride outdoors when
possible in winter, just remember that we are in Canada.
Motorists are still not programmed to accept bicycles very
well and less so in the winter.
Be aware of where you are and what you are doing at all
Do not put yourself in harm’s way if possible.
Think about your route and limit time on busy roads.
Think about black ice patches and snow-covered routes.
Make sure you have lights for the short days and overcast
Over many years of winter riding, I have learned the hard
way that your fuel needs will be varied in the cold.
Always have extra food with you.
Dress in layers for the weather with reflective clothing for
increased visibility.

Winter is the time for base building.
Prepare your legs for hard work with proper preparation.
Build your leg strength with weights.
Like riding outdoors?
Go slowly but with load so that it builds stamina.
This training will get your muscles ready for the harder
training efforts later in the season.
If you are nursing any injuries, take the time now to get
back to full strength.
Work on bike agility/handling skills and pedaling

Remember that you must mix and vary your riding loads.
The human body is incredibly adaptable.
Listen to what your body tells you.
Give it a chance to recover.
There is no glory in being a trainer champ.
Make a plan to peak.
My acronym for workload applications is: OAR
You need all three – no matter what time of year it is.

Best wishes to all,