Mini Vacations All Winter Long

By Gillian Kranias (Trakkers member since Dec 2018)

I keep checking the website, almost every day, in anticipation of seeing this winter’s Sunday trips begin. Summer vacations are over. Yes, fall is a beautiful season. But I am yearning for the mini vacations I can now get any Sunday in winter!

We joined Trakkers last year. It was all that I thought it could be … and more:

More long days outside….

 

More quiet trails to enjoy, at resorts I had never known of….

 

More friends who love the outdoors….

Morning ski lessons, free for members and our guests….

And more time with our feet up after a good day’s skiing – because Trakkers’ leadership always knew where to enjoy the best skiing (even when snow conditions looked poor or non-existent from Toronto).

As November finally arrives, and with Trakkers annual fall open house this evening, I will reminisce and dream with others who may be as hungry for snow and skiing as I am!

November 2019 President’s Broadcast

Hello Trakkers!

It looks like we may be in for an early season, given some pics friends have shared from north of the city.

Trakkers Open House

To kick off the season, come join us at our Trakkers Open House, this coming Friday, November 15th from 7 – 9 p.m. , Rousseau Room, Swansea Town Hall, 95 Lavinia Avenue.

You will have a chance to win a door prize from your favourite resort, including trail passes and ski rentals. This is your chance to join the club, learn about our ski school and Sunday trips. It’s also the time when registration for our  weekend trips begins.

Consider bringing someone new to XC Skiing or even new to Canada to introduce them to our wonderful winter activity!

Winter’s Not Far Off Pub Night

We had a fun time at our recent Winter’s Not Far Off pub night.  Thanks to all who came out!

Bus Captain Training

A reminder to all bus captains, new volunteers and those who will return as bus captains, Bus Captain training takes place on Saturday, November 23, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  We will be at Swansea Town Hall  for this as well.  Take the stairs up to the second floor and find us in the first room on your left.  There will be food and beverages.

Membership

For insurance purposes, a member of Trakkers must be of age of majority.  We would like to clarify our membership age, participation requirements and corresponding fares for the upcoming season:

  • To become a member, you must be 18 years of age or older (age of majority in Ontario)
  • Those under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult at all times and present a waiver signed by a parent or guardian
  • In addition to membership fees, anyone 18 years of age or older will pay the adult member Sunday trip bus fare
  • Those under the age of 18 (17 and under) pay the child bus trip fare

Do stay tuned for notifications about our first trip by checking on our website and following us on Facebook and Twitter.

Webmaster Assistant

Do you have some technical ability or interest in web development or maintenance? Our Webmaster, Pascal Ethier, is looking for help with simple tasks, such as updating content on our website. If you have these skills and are interested or willing to learn, please contact Pascal at webmaster@trakkers.ca.

We very much look forward to seeing you at the Open House and out on the trails!

Katja Lutte

President, Trakkers XC Ski Club

 

October 2019 President’s Broadcasti

Hello Trakkers!

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Even though we are LOVING the fall, we are now well into planning for the season to come!  A few things to look forward to, as we reconnect and get excited about winter …

Winter’s Not Far Off Pub Night

Thursday, October 24, 2019; 7 p.m., The Wicket, 1671 Bloor Street West www.thewicket.ca

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Reconnect with fellow Trakkers! No need to reserve in advance. Just show up to join us!

November 15, 2019 Trakkers Open House

Come join us at our annual Trakkers Open House on Friday, November 15 from 7-9 pm at Swansea Town Hall, 95 Lavinia Ave.

Meet up with old friends and, better yet, make new friends.  Think about bringing a someone you know, especially someone new to skiing or even new to Canadian winter.  Remember our tag line: Love Winter ….  Let’s share it!!!

If you would like to volunteer with set-up and related tasks for the Open House, please contact Gina Ang at social@trakkers.ca.

Bus Captain Boot Camp – Saturday, November 23, 2019

Our bus captain boot camp is scheduled for November 23, 2019. Existing bus captains, please come to polish up your skills.  This is a great opportunity to meet our new Director of Bus Captains, Lindsay Royston.

If you are not already a bus captain, consider joining our fabulous crew. The perks are significant, from free bus fair, half-price trail passes (for most places) to getting to know  Trakkers by name before the end of the season!  If you are interested in becoming a bus captain please contact Lindsay at buscaptains@trakkers.ca.

Posting of Trips on the Trakkers Website

This season you will see a change in posting of weekly destinations. We know that with unpredictable weather over the last few years, more than 60% of our trips have been rescheduled to different destinations from those originally scheduled.  This has been due to our search for better conditions. This year, rather than posting the actual schedule, we will post a list of the various destinations and an update on the actual destination chosen closer to the date of the trip.  The exception to this will be pre-scheduled trips to farther destinations, such as Arrowhead and Georgian Nordic. As always, keep an eye on the website and on our communications via Facebook. If you follow us on Facebook, you will receive notifications.

Upcoming Ski Swap Events

Ski swap events provide an opportunity for the sale of used equipment and the purchase of gently used or unsold (i.e. from last season) new items at reduced prices.

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Hardwood Ski and Bike is holding their annual Ski Swap on Saturday October 19th and Sunday October 20th.  For more information, go to this link.

Highlands Nordic’s Dust Em Off Ski Swap is on Saturday October 26th and Sunday October 27th.  For more information, go to this link.

 

A Note on the September Broadcast

Due to a technical challenge you may not have received our September broadcast. We do apologize for this.  Do scroll down to read the September broadcast after you have read this one.  If you follow this broadcast, you will always receive notifications.

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend One & All! thxgvg

Katja Lutte

President, Trakkers XC Ski Club

 

September 2019 President’s Broadcast

Hello Trakkers, One & All!

September means back to school, and soon to skiing. After a nice hiatus, your Trakkers board is feeling energized to get the ball moving for the new 2019-2020 XC skiing season!

Welcoming New Board Members

We are pleased to welcome two new Board members and let you know about some role changes. Sylvia Crowhurst is the new Director of Ski School. Lindsay Royston has assumed the very front-facing portfolio of Director of Bus Captains. Jen Liptrot is now in charge of Communications and Laure Sabatier took the position Vice-President. We are in good hands indeed!

Off-Season Events

Bonds between Trakkers go beyond the tracks. It also happens when wheels hit the roads, especially around Niagara. Jim Girling & Jannette Porter organized the 8th annual Spokes & Spigots tour of the Niagara wine region; a bike ride enjoyed by all participants. Big thanks to Jim & Jannette for their contribution to Trakkers’ spirits! 🍷🍹

Membership Renewal

It’s that time again! Registration is now open. Take advantage of our early bird renewal rate! Here are the 2019 – 2020 Membership fees:

Until September 30 (early bird) $70
Until November 30 $75
From December 1st $80
After February 15 $50

Save the Date: November 15, 2019, Trakkers Open House

We will be holding our annual Open House on Friday, November 15th from 7-9 pm at Swansea Town Hall, 95 Lavinia Avenue.  Reconnect with your fellow Trakkers and bring friends to discover our club.  This year, we encourage you to reach out to people within your community who may know little about cross country skiing, or even about the joy of Canadian winter altogether!

Volunteers Bus Captain Needed

Why would you want to be a bus captain?

  • A fantastic opportunity to meet pretty much each and every Trakkers member.
  • Free transportation to the resort and pay only half the trail fee once there.

If you like meeting people and are somewhat comfortable with electronic check-in – training and support provided – email our Director of Bus Captains, Lindsay Royston at buscaptains@trakkers.ca

Interested in being a Ski Instructor?

Trakkers has a long history of ski school. We are always interested in recruiting experienced skiers to become potential instructors. Come and see us November 15 at our Open House or email Sylvia at lessons@trakkers.ca.

Weekend Trips

As weekend trip planning is well underway, those interested in carpooling will be using a dedicated app this year. Stay tuned for details in future communications.

 

Katja Lutte, President

May 2019 President’s Broadcast

Hello Trakkers!

Well, folks, it’s a wrap!  After an amazing skiing season we had the opportunity to connect one more time at our AGM and Year-End Event and to wrap up the operations of the club for the 2018-2019 season.

AGM and Year End Event

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Pascal & Gina

This year AGM and Year End Event marked a special occasion 40 Years of Trakkers!!! The events were, once again, held at the Madison Pub.  Turn out was healthy.  We were able to get through the business at hand, specifically presenting our Annual Report and finances, as well as take questions from the floor relating to both.  Most importantly, we confirmed our board slate for the upcoming  season.

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Most Board Members. Thanks to Claude, our photographer!

Your Board of Directors for 2019-2020 is:

President-Katja Lutte; Vice-President-Laure Sabatier; Treasurer-Gleb Jegaline; Secretary-Brigitte Balle; Director responsible for Membership-Florence de Lannoy; Director responsible for Communications-Jen Liptrot; Director responsible for Ski School-Sylvia Crowhurst;Director responsible for Sunday Trips-Liane MacGregor; Director responsible for Bus Captains-Lindsay Royston; Director responsible for Web Site-Pascal Ethier; Director responsible for Weekend Trips-Henry Furlott; Director responsible for Social Events-Gina Ang.

Much gratitude to outgoing board members, Anita Elash and Sam Tosaria for their huge contributions to our club.

Many thanks to Karen Olsen for being an excellent Chair! All materials relating to the AGM can be found at the Club Operations tab of the Trakkers website (accessible once you have logged in).

For all materials relevant to the AGM, such as the Annual Report, year-end financials, and draft minutes, please log into your Trakkers account and visit our “Operations” page.

After the meeting, long time member John Webb presented awards and anniversary recognition to Trakkers members.

The Bernie Award was presented to Henry Furlott, who was honoured for his

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Henry

organization of our weekend trips. It is on these trips where we relax, we socialize, and we tell all those war stories about the hills, the bends and the successes. Usually over a bottle of wine and with somebody’s family recipe cooking in the background.  The Broken Ski Award was presented to yours truly, for my role as President.  These awards will be retired as of this year, with Swansea Town Hall having agreed to showcase the trophies in one of their display cases.

 

These Trakkers received Membership Anniversary Awards:

 

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John, Ursula, Bogna & Hanna

35 Years Lawrence Rennie

25 Years Hanna Balakier, Sylvia Crowhurst, Ursula Nocon, and Bogna Pinkowska.

10 Years Alison Naughty and John Van Nostran

5 Years Nadia  Chenier-Yacoub, Huw Sangster, Patricia Jarosz, Julie Anderson, Sonya Bourgeois, Doug Seaborn and Jennifer Leavitt.

Thank-you, John, for your contribution to member recognition.  Thank you, also, to John and Xavier Lambert for offering to work with the club during the next season to create a historical archive of club members’ contribution.

Off Season Event – Save the Date!!!

winery

Annual Winery Bike Tour on Saturday, June 22, 2019

Join fellow Trakkers for a guided bike tour of 4 Niagara wineries and a chocolate factory. All you need is a multi-speed bicycle, a bike helmet, bike lock, and a pannier or backpack, and you are ready to go!

We start cycling from the Niagara Falls train station which may be reached by either car or by GO Transit’s special bike train. We will travel down to the vineyards below the Escarpment and will spend the afternoon visiting select wineries before returning to Niagara Falls for an optional after-tour supper.

The registration fee is just $10 in advance which is refundable on the day of the tour (wine tasting and winery tour fees cost of the supper are extra).

For more information or to register, please e-mail Jim and Jannette at jannette_jim@yahoo.ca or phone us at 416 921 7737.

For more details of the tour, visit the Trakkers website

For an overview of how these tours operate, click on https://vimeo.com/335345966 (Password: Pedalfun).

 

Have a great summer, One and All!

Katja Lutte (President, Trakkers XC Ski Club)

 

 

 

 

 

Teaching Beginner skiers balance, weight transfer and timing in the first lesson

Steve is a longtime Trakkers member and a dedicated ski instructor for many years. He shares his advices based on observing and teaching beginner skiers. Cross-country skiing is an accessible winter sport and a few tricks makes a big difference to enjoy the glide.

When I teach beginner skiers the diagonal stride with poles, a common problem is that students tend to be too upright such that there is little balance over the glide ski, and the timing of the pole action with the skis is off. Many isolated exercises can be used to try to correct this, but the best method I find that makes a big difference early on is to emphasize putting the poles on correctly and gripping the pole handle between the thumb and forefinger. Then it is possible to fully extend the pole backward in a straight line with the arm by opening the hand and pushing on the strap. The action can be demonstrated statically with the student by grasping the student’s pole and moving it through the extension and recovery cycle. The straight back extension does these things:

  1. The opposing force on the upper body naturally projects it forward over the glide ski.
  2. Weight transfer is more complete.
  3. Timing of the pole action with the skis is smoother and rhythmic.
  4. Correct poling action, timing, balance and posture are learned at the beginning and committed to motor muscle memory. It is much more difficult to modify motor muscle memory later if the student develops bad habits.