President’s Broadcast June 2018

Hello Trakkers!

Summer may be ramping up slowly, but our off season cross-training opportunities are moving full steam ahead!

On May 29th we had a great hike through the Scottsdale Farm and area with Trakkers and new friends. Thanks Doug Seaborn and Florence de Lannoy for leading a great hike.

On June 9th another hike took us on our first of 3 hikes through the Dufferin Highlands, toward completing the Dufferin End-to- End – one full section of the Bruce Trail.  Thanks to Anita Elash for leading us at a very solid pace! With everyone’s fitness rapidly improving it felt doable despite the terrain being hillier than on our first hike. Yes, that’s how quickly we find our legs, which we hope to keep moving until we can slide again!

 

Here you can see Doug keeping up his poling skills with ski poles and Trakkers and friends having a bite.

The Dufferin E2E hikes will continue on July 7th and August 11th, with details to be found on our website and further information to follow on Facebook.

Jim and Jannette’s bike ride offerings also continue with the 7th Anual Spokes and Spigots Niagara Winery Bike Tour on Sunday, July 15th.  This is a guided bike tour with fellow Trakkers to wineries and a lavender farm near Niagara-on-the-Lake, with an optional supper at restaurant en route. This is a new route with new destinations not visited on previous tours. Further information can be found on our website and by following this link.

Jim and Jannette are also offering Sites and Cycles: the August Bike Tour, a guided bike tour encircling Hamilton and Burlington, with stops at historic sites such as the Hamilton Lift Bridge, the Beach Canal Lighthouse, H.M.C.S. Haida, and Dundurn Castle.  Options also available include driving a Go Kart and a post-tour supper. Further information can be found on our website and by following this link.

Keep on Tracking!

Katja Lutte, President, Trakkers XC Ski Club

 

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Sites & Cycles: The August Bike Tour with Jim & Jannette

Sunday, August 26th* 10:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Event Description

A guided bike tour encircling Hamilton and Burlington, with stops at historic sites such as the Hamilton Lift Bridge, the Beach Canal Lighthouse, H.M.C.S. Haida, and Dundurn Castle. This is a trip designed for Trakker members with at least moderate cycling experience. Options also available include driving a Go Kart and a post-tour supper.

Route

This moderately-paced bike tour will travel on both pavement and hard-packed trails as well as on paved roads and streets, many with designated bike lanes. The total distance is approximately 40 km., broken into 7 segments. Although much of the route is relatively flat, there are 4 uphill grades which can be walked if need be.

What to Bring

  • A multi-speed bicycle (road, touring, mountain, or hybrid style) in good condition,
  • A bike helmet, bike lock, and a pannier or backpack for your food and drink,
  • A picnic lunch,
  • A water bottle and sunscreen are highly recommended.

Start and End Point

The bike shelter in the South Parking Lot of Aldershot GO station.

Getting There

If you don’t have a car, our tour is scheduled around the GO train leaving Toronto’s Union Station† at 9:13 a.m. and a return train departing Aldershot’s GO Station at 6:31 p.m. Most of the train’s coaches have places for two (and sometimes four) bicycles.

Cost

The deadline for registration and payment of the $10 registration fee is August 10th, but if you participate in the tour, that fee is fully refunded to you. On the day of the tour, there are additional fees for those who wish to take the following options:

  • Guided tour of H.M.C.S Haida: $5 ($4 for seniors),
  • Guided tour of Dundurn Castle: $12 ($10 for seniors),
  • Go Kart rental.

Contact & Register

There are fourteen (14) spots currently available. If you are interested in this trip and would like to join us, please e-mail us at jannette_jim@yahoo.ca or phone us at 416 921 7737. We look forward to spending an enjoyable day out in the fresh air with you. Jim & Jannette

Important Notes:

* In case of a heavy rain forecast for Sunday, August 26th, our alternate date is Sunday, September 9th.

† Please note that this is the regularly scheduled train which may be boarded at stations other than Toronto’s Union Station. For full details of train times and station stops, see the schedule and for the cost of the return train fare, see GO Transit’s fare calculator.

Participants will be asked to sign a waiver.

Spokes & Spigots: the 7th Annual Winery Bike Tour with Jim and Jannette

Sunday, July 15th*

Event Description

A guided bike tour with fellow Trakkers to wineries† and a lavender farm near Niagara-on-the-Lake, with an optional supper at restaurant en route. This is a new route and new destinations not visited on our tours.

Route

Starting from St. Catharines GO train station, this moderately-paced bike tour will be on flat terrain, mainly on paved roads and streets, many with designated bike routes and lanes. We will be visiting 4 wineries and a lavender farm, before returning to our starting point. The total distance is approximately 40 km broken into 6 easy segments.

What to Bring

  • A multi-speed bicycle (road, touring, mountain, or hybrid style) in good condition,
  • A bike helmet, bike lock, and a pannier or backpack for your food, drink and any purchases that you may make,
  • A picnic lunch,
  • A water bottle and sunscreen are highly recommended.

Start and End Point

The bike shelter at the south end of the St. Catharines train station.

Getting There

If you don’t have a car, our tour is scheduled around the GO Bike train leaving Toronto’s Union Station‡ at 9:00 a.m. and a return train departing St. Catharine’s train station at 7:41 p.m. This special excursion train has at least two dedicated coaches with bike racks on the lower level. Most of the train’s other coaches have places for two (and sometimes four) bicycles.

Cost

The deadline for registration and payment of the $10 registration fee is July 6th for the bicycle tour itself, but if you participate in the tour, that fee is fully refunded to you. And, of course, if you want to indulge in any winery tours or tastings, each winery levies its own charge. The fee for the optional lavender farm tour is $5 per person.

Contact & Register

There are fourteen (14) spots currently available. If you are interested in this trip and would like to join us, please e-mail us at jannette_jim@yahoo.ca or phone us at 416 921 7737. We look forward to spending an enjoyable day out in the fresh air with you.

Jim & Jannette

 

Important Notes:

* In case of a heavy rain forecast for Sunday, July 15th, our alternate date is Sunday, July 22nd.

† Some wineries on route: Small Talk Vineyards, Palatine Hills Estate Winery, Strewn Winery, and Southbrook Vineyards.

‡ Please note that this is a special excursion train, so it does not stop at all stations along its route. If you wish to use a station other than Toronto’s Union Station, please confirm that it is a station serviced by this train. For full details of train times and station stops, see the schedule and for the cost of the return train fare, see GO Transit’s fare calculator.

Participants will be asked to sign a waiver.

Petals & Pedals: a bike tour with Jim & Jannette

Sunday, June 17th* at 10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Jim & Jannette offer a guided bike tour to 3 Royal Botanical Gardens sites in Burlington and the gardens of Dundurn Castle in Hamilton with fellow Trakkers. Landscape designer/gardener, Jannette Porter, will provide garden commentary.

Route

Starting from Aldershot GO train station, this moderately-paced bike tour will travel mainly on paved roads and streets with bike lanes. We will be visiting 3 R.B.G. sites (Hendrie Park, the Rock Garden and the Laking Garden) and the Dundurn Castle kitchen garden. The total distance is 18 km, broken into 5 primarily flat, easy segments, but does include one longish uphill slope (this can be walked if need be).

What to Bring

  • A multi-speed bicycle (road, touring, mountain, or hybrid style) in good condition,
  • A bike helmet, bike lock, and a pannier or backpack for your food and drink,
  • A picnic lunch,
  • A water bottle and sunscreen are highly recommended.

Start and End Point

The bike shelter in the South Parking Lot of Aldershot GO station

Getting There

If you don’t have a car, our tour is scheduled around the GO train leaving Toronto’s Union Station† at 9:13 a.m. and a return train departing Aldershot’s GO Station at 5:31 p.m. Most of the train’s coaches have places for two (and sometimes four) bicycles.

Cost

The deadline for registration and payment of the $10 registration fee is June 9th, but if you participate in the tour, that fee is fully refunded to you. On the day of the tour, there is a $16 ($13 for seniors) R.B.G. entrance fee which grants you admission to all three RBG garden locations. Entrance to the Dundurn Castle garden is free.

Contact

There are fourteen (14) spots currently available. If you are interested in this trip and would like to join us, please e-mail us at jannette_jim@yahoo.ca or phone us at 416 921 7737. We look forward to spending an enjoyable day out in the fresh air with you.

Jim & Jannette

 

Important Notes:

* In case of a heavy rain forecast for Sunday, June 17th, our alternate date is Sunday, June 24th.

† Please note that this is the regularly scheduled train which may be boarded at stations other than Toronto’s Union Station. For full details of train times and station stops, see the schedule and for the cost of the return train fare, see GO Transit’s fare calculator.

Participants will be asked to sign a waiver.

May 2018 President’s Broadcast

Hello Fellow Trakkers!

With the skiing season now well behind us, here’s an update on our activities, both past and coming up during the off-season.

AGM and Year-End Party

Thanks to the many of you who joined us for this year’s AGM at the Madison Pub in the Annex. We heard from Jen Liptrot, who presented our annual report, and Gleb Jegaline, who provided an update on our financial statements. A new board slate was confirmed. Special thanks to our outgoing board members, especially Hanna Balakier, Vice President, who volunteered on the board for seven seasons! A huge thank you also to Ina Puchala, Secretary, Carolyn Sitler, Director responsible for Social Events and Mark Soubry, Director responsible for Membership. To be sure, the contributions of these folks are too many to detail, but suffice it to say that this is what makes it all happen!

These special awards were given to our fellow Trakkers:

Ski School Award (for enthusiasm and dedication to achievement) – Preeti Gandhi and Pramod Gopalakrishna

Special Recognition Award (to our fabulous blogger) – Linda Mah

Longevity Awards (30 year members!!!) – Diana Fancher, Christine Hughes, Steve Parfitt

5 Years Awards – Andy Bognar, Anita Elash, Pascal Ethier, Katja Lutte, Christina Mills

Bernie Award (for outstanding contribution to Trakkers) – Sylvia Crowhurst and Xavier Lambert

Broken Ski Award (President’s Award) – Jen Liptrot

AGM - 5-year members.jpg

Andy, Christine, Pascal, Katja, John & Anita

AGM - Bernie Award.jpg

Sylvia, John & Xavier

Thank you to John Webb for his thoughtful organization of the Trakkers Awards. A big thank you also to Karen Olsen for so capably chairing the AGM.

The AGM was followed by eating and drinking in very fine company. Thanks again for joining us for a wonderful evening!

Both the annual report and year-end financial report are now posted in the Club Operations section of our website.

2018-2019 Membership Fees

We are pleased to tell you that our membership fees will remain the same for another season. It may seem eons away, but remember to mark September in your calendar for early-bird renewal (by September 30th).

2018 Open House

And while you’re in your calendar, save the date for November 16th, 7-9 pm, for our annual Trakkers Open House at Swansea Town Hall.

Off Season Events:

Ready for some off-season training and fun? Here’s what’s on.

 Hiking: 

Saturday, May 26th:

On offer is an 18.5 km loop hike in and around Scotsdale Farm and the Silvercreek Conservation Area (just north of Georgetown). You will see beautiful views, cedar forests, bridges and boardwalks, and mossy terrain. Pace will be brisk. Offered by Doug Seaborn, Florence deLannoy and Katja Lutte.

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 Saturdays, June 9th, July 7th and August 11th – Dufferin E2E Hike:

These are a series of hikes (each between 18-19 kms long), offered by various Trakkers hikers, adding up to hiking the Dufferin section of the Bruce Trail end-to-end.

Feel free to participate in any or all of the hikes. Friends welcome.

 Biking:

These rides are very generously facilitated by Jim Girling and Janette Porter.

Sunday, June 17th – Petals & Pedals – a guided bike tour to 3 Royal Botanical Garden sites and to the kitchen garden of Dundurn Castle

Sunday, July 15th – Spokes & Spigots – our annual guided bike tour of wineries in the Niagara region

Sunday, August 26th – Sites & Cycles – a guided bike tour of historic sites in Hamilton and Burlington

Further details about these rides will be posted shortly.

Participants in off season activities will be asked to sign release of liability waivers. 

There’s no better way to stay in touch than by following us on Facebook and Twitter and checking our website periodically for updates. This is also where you find details and updates on any of the above activities.

Wishing everyone a great spring!

Katja Lutte

President

Trakkers – LOVE Winter

 

It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over

As we head into this evening’s AGM and year-end social — and with Highlands Nordic reopening their orange trail for skiing this weekend (no, the club isn’t going) — one more post to reflect back on a fantastic (and long season).

This guest travel blog comes from John Webb, who took part in the Val David trip led by the Bruce Trail Club, along with a number of Trakkers members in March:

With promises of 20 cms of new snow at our destination, it was to be a long-weekend trip, so the departure from York Mills was rather early, but that allowed an extra afternoon of activity at the destination. The forecast was correct and new snow and newly tracked trails greeted us at our two interconnected destinations, Chalet Anne-Piche and Chalet Far Hills.  Our accommodation was at the Auberge du Vieux Foyer which was located directly on the trail system.

During our next two and a half days on the trails, it was quickly obvious that the Quebec grading of Green, Blue and Black was one notch more challenging than similar grading in Ontario, for both ski and snow shoe trails.  But with the new snow every night, it was quite manageable and exhilarating. Perhaps not surprisingly, snow shoeing was the preferred activity for the majority of the Bruce Trail club members, and they were guided through some interesting walks throughout the more than 30 kms of trails available.  

The Auberge was perfectly equipped to meet the needs of hungry and exhausted guests.  A hot tub or swim, followed by a four course meal restored the body, and yoga was available before breakfast every morning.

Many thanks to our executive for arranging this joint club event.  For long-time Trakkers, it was a return to a regular destination from the 1980’s.  Sadly, the Hotel Far Hills has closed, shortly to become a time-share condo. But the memories of spending those late afternoon sipping B-52’s in the bar while gazing through the picture window at the sun setting on the Laurentian hills remain.

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March President’s Broadcast

Hello Trakkers!

Well, it’s turned out to be a very interesting ski season in terms of the weather! “The big thaw” the last two weeks of February meant that most resorts closed for some time in an effort to protect the snow base. And now that we’re back to normal cold temperatures there hasn’t been much snow, so many resorts are offering somewhat limited trail access.

But the season’s not quite over yet! Tomorrow we are headed to Georgian Nordic near Parry Sound, which is reporting decent conditions with new snow the last few days and freshly groomed trails. We have quite a number of standby seats available so if you’re hemming and hawing about coming standby there’s lot of room available — bring a friend! Reminder: because Georgian is one of our more northern destinations, we leave an hour earlier at 8:00 a.m. (Tonight is also Daylight Savings Time, so don’t forget to set your clock one hour forward before going to bed! Yes, it’ll feel like a double-whammy, but this could be one of our last trips so it’s going to be worth it!)

Hold the Date: AGM and Year-End Social — Thursday, April 19

Thanks to everyone who filled out the survey with respect to plans for the club’s Annual General Meeting and year-end social activity. The board had the opportunity to consider all the responses this past week and are pleased to confirm details for the AGM and social:

Thursday, April 19
Madison Avenue Pub
14 Madison Avenue (near Bloor Street West and Spadina Road)

6:30 p.m. — Annual General Meeting business
7:00 p.m. — Food and drinks

All Trakkers members are invited to attend the AGM, at which the board will present an update on club activities and financials, and the volunteer board to support next year’s ski season will be elected. For those who wish to stay for the year-end social portion of the AGM, tickets will be $20, which includes appetizers and two drink tickets.

Tickets must be purchased ahead of time through the Trakkers web site similar to the way you register for a Sunday trip. Simply log in to your member account, scroll to the bottom of the page where it says “Events”.  Look for “AGM / Year-End Social Tickets” and click the “Register” link beneath that.

A formal invitation and notice of AGM business will be sent out to the members in the coming days.

We’re Recruiting for a Volunteer Communications Board Director!

Heading into the Annual General Meeting and nomination of next year’s board, the club has one board vacancy for which we are recruiting, specifically for Communications.

We’re looking for a social media-savvy club member who is looking to give something back to the club! The Communications director position is responsible for managing the club’s Facebook and Twitter account, posting updates for each of our Sunday trips throughout the week. The Communications director also supports content development for the blog and participates in 2-hour monthly board meetings (Sept through May). Average time commitment through fall, summer and spring is 6-8 hours per month (including the board meeting).

If you think you might be interested please contact myself or Hanna Balakier for details.

Congratulations to Sylvia and Xavier on Level 2 Certification!

A huge shout-out to Sylvia Crowhurst and Xavier Lambert — two of Trakkers’ awesome ski instructors — for recently obtaining their Level 2 certification with the Canadian Association of Nordic Ski Instructors (CANSI). Congratulations, Xavier and Sylvia — we are so proud of you and look forward to taking advantage of your amazing teaching skills next season 🙂

CANSI Level 2 certification

Sylvia Crowhurst and Xavier Lambert, 2nd and 3rd from left

Photo Contest Winners — And One More Week Left!

Despite the dicey conditions, our photo contest is still going strong. Winners for Week 2 and 3 of the contest were Celine Lamarre and Steve Favell, and each received a $50 gift card from Mountain Equipment Co-op.

Wild Life Photo

Wild Life theme: “I think I’ll turn left!” by Celine Lamarre

Wipe-Out Photo

Spectacular Wipe-Out by Steve Favell

And the photo contest has one more week to go! Because our last two trips were cancelled, tomorrow’s trip to Georgian Nordic will be the last week for the contest.

The theme for this week’s photo contest is “Winter Patterns in Nature”. Contest will close noon, Saturday, March 17.

Keep on trakkin’,

Jen Liptrot
Volunteer President
Trakkers Cross-Country Ski Club — LOVE Winter!