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December President’s Broadcast

Hello Trakkers,

First Trip!!!

Well, it’s that time again! We are very excited for our first Sunday ski trip planned for this Sunday, December 16th to Highlands Nordic! Please register early for the bus, so we know you are planning to come. Advance registration always opens on Mondays and closes Thursdays at 9pm. Please review the Sunday Trips policy on the website to refresh your memory the procedures. If you wish to join a lesson, please sign up when you register for the trip.  Please remember to check our website and facebook  for regular updates on trip status, including any destination change.  Better yet, follow us on facebook for the latest updates.

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Lessons

Speaking of lessons, Trakkers offers various types of lessons for skiers at all levels: Junior Trakkers (for kids), Beginners (both Absolute Beginners and Experienced Beginners); Intermediate; Advanced; Skating and Hills lessons (for new and experienced skiers).

Hesitant to make the leap or unsure of your technique? Try our new Advanced Lessons in both classic and skate technique, offered by Xavier Lambert and Sylvia Crowhurst, both CANSI certified level 2 instructors. These lessons are for skiers who have mastered their intermediate skill and want to up their game, or who are thinking about teaching. Students will receive on-snow video feedback throughout the lesson.

For more information about our lessons, go to this link on our website and keep your eye out for more updates to come.

Ski Lessons

Saturday December 15 – CANSI Level 1 Instructor Preparation Course

The CANSI Level 1 Instructor Preparation Course takes place this Saturday, December 15th at  Highlands Nordic ski resort, near Collingwood

If you’d like to share your skills with others, becoming a ski instructor is a great way to do it. This course will prepare you become an assistant ski instructor, and to pass the exams required to become a CANSI certified Level 1 instructor.

Trakkers pays the tuition in return for your teaching. Instructors and assistants also get free bus fare and trail fees on the days they teach. (See our Poster for more info)

Trakkers Open House

We had a great turn out at our Open House on November 16th, where we met many new people interested in the club.  It was also wonderful to see many of our members.  Thanks to everyone who came out, especially the many volunteers who helped with set up!

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MEC Snowfest

On November 18th a few Trakkers represented the club at MEC’s Annual Snowfest.  Again, thanks to all who came out!

Calling all Volunteers

If you have a skill that might be of use in the running of a not for profit, entirely volunteer-run club, please speak to our bus captains or one of the board members on an upcoming trip about how you might be able to help.  At the moment, we could use the help of a graphic designer to assist with updating some of our promotional display materials.  If you have the skills and desire to help out, please let us know!

Ok, folks, the countdown is on!  Conditions look promising and our Sunday Trips Coordinator, Liane MacGregor, is all over the weather reports.  Here’s to shaking our snow globes between now and Sunday!

Katja Lutte, President

 

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September President’s Broadcast

Hello Trakkers!

The end of summer is bitter-sweet and all the more sweet because we know we have skiing to look forward to!

We have had a busy summer as many Trakkers were able to join in our off-season outings.  The enthusiasm surrounding these outings made it clear to all of us that Trakkers is a club where friends are made around our common love for being active and  enjoying nature!

This summer we had three interesting and scenic bike tours, organized by Jannette Porter and Jim Girling.  Many thanks for your generous offerings!

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We also managed to hike an entire section of the Bruce Trail in 3 fantastic hikes, with many thanks to Doug Seaborne, Florence DeLannoy, Anita Elash and all who came out to make these hikes so much fun!

 

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Important Events, Dates & Times

We have now held our first board meeting of the 2018-2019 season and are well on our way to planning for another fantastic season.

Membership Renewal

Remember to renew your membership as soon as possible and before September 30th to benefit from our early-bird rate:

Before September 30th – $70

After September 30th – $75

Winter’s Not Far Off Pub Night

Thursday, October 18 from 7 pm to 9 pm at The Mugshot Tavern, 1729 Bloor St W. (Bloor & Keele)

Get together with your fellow Trakkers for a fun and friendly time.  Come for the whole time or stop in. If you are a card or game player, bring your toys and let’s enjoy!

Trakkers Annual Open House

Friday, November 16th, from 7-9 pm at Swansea Town Hall.

This is a great time to reconnect with your fellow Trakkers, meet some potential new members and share with them your love for skiing.  This is also a great time to register for weekend trips, which are wonderful, popular and can sell out quickly.  You can also talk to us about various volunteer opportunities, be it to help with events, to become a bus captain or ski instructor.  We will be serving snacks and refreshments, including some nice wine.  Bring your friends and spread the word!

Speaking of Weekend Trips …

Hold these dates for affordable two-night (Friday, Saturday night) winter getaways.

  • January 26-27, 2019 – The Woolner House, Highlands Nordic, Duntroon
  • February 9-10, 2019 – Blue Spruce Resort, Algonquin Park area

More information about these weekend trips can be found at this link: http://www.trakkers.ca/weekend.html

Bus Captain Boot Camp – Calling all Trakkers Ski Club Bus Captains! 

Date: Saturday, December 15th – 10 am to 1 pm at Swansea Town Hall

Want to meet more people in the club and get a free Sunday bus fare?  Why not consider becoming a Trakkers bus captain?

Our bus captains are responsible for registering all skiers as they board the bus, purchasing and distributing the club’s trail passes when we arrive at the resort, and acting as all-around ambassadors on each trip.  It’s a lot of fun, the club provides full training, and as an extra incentive, if you volunteer as a captain the cost of your Sunday bus fare is covered by the club.  We require two bus captains per bus for each of our Sunday trips.

The club is holding our annual Bus Captain Training Boot Camp for all returning and potential new bus captains on Saturday, December 15th.

If you are interested in volunteering as a bus captain, please contact Sam Tosaria, the club’s Lead Bus Captain, at buscaptains@trakkers.ca for more details.

Very much looking forward to seeing you all soon!

Katja

 

 

 

 

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

 

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.

Off-season training using the TTC

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It started with deciding to take public transportation instead of driving to work last fall.  First, I was just sprinting to the bus stop so I wouldn’t miss the bus and I did the usual walking up the escalator on the left instead of standing on the right in the subway [but did you know that TTC removed signs saying stand on the right in 2007 for safety reasons and that a study done on the London tube in 2015 suggested it may be more efficient use of the escalator if everybody stood on both sides?]

Since not everyone follows that (now) unwritten rule, I started walking up the stairs, which evolved into running, and then sprinting up the stairs. The good thing is that hardly anyone takes the stairs up so there’s minimal traffic.  Just because I can be a little competitive, I started pushing myself and now I can get to the top faster than people walking up the escalator. The amazing thing was realizing that this was helping me tackle the uphills in cross-country skiing.  Instead of doing that awkward Herringbone, I found I could just bound up the hills fast enough that I didn’t slide backwards.

If you take the subway during rush hour, you’ll be familiar with the no seats left, must stand thing, where you have to find a spot so you can grab a pole or lean against something so you don’t go flying (or sometimes it’s so jam-packed, you can do the sleep stand). The problem is that you can’t always find that spot and sometimes you still go flying even when you’re hanging on. It’s also hard to turn the pages of a book when the other hand is grabbing a pole.  So recently I started to try to balance myself on the subway without hanging on and I realized it was a lot like trying to stay upright when going downhill on skis, especially if you’re being rocked back and forth. It’s also kind of fun because it feels like you’re surfing or snowboarding on the subway train.

I thought I had stumbled onto something pretty brilliant but if you google “balancing on the subway”, the idea of getting a balance workout while standing on the subway has been written about here. And here. For the less adventurous, you can get a core workout sitting down.  And best strategies to stay upright on the subway has actually been discussed.  The next challenge for me is staying upright while walking towards the exit as the train pulls into the station while not hanging onto anything.  There are other positives – it’s more fun to ride the subway, I no longer have to pull out the smartphone to keep occupied, and I don’ t have to do that mad rush to grab a seat [by the way, it’s much worse on the Beijing subway where people don’t even pretend they’re rushing to grab a seat – they RUN and they push and shove even small children if needed].

So without a whole lot of snow or additional time needed, you can do a bit of off-season training while riding the TTC.