Connect with Your RA Friends
With the good weather this month, we have all been hoping to get on out and see our RA friends! While organized activities have been allowed as of June 8, all activities must follow the other COVID guidelines on social distancing, on limits to the size of gatherings, and on staying within the region. At this stage, the guidelines preclude the friendly gatherings, carpooling and busing to our favorite destinations outside the Montreal area. None the less, there is lots of good news.
With regular activities on hold, the club is extending all paid memberships by six months. With the new RA registration system, this is an easy adjustment. Big thanks go to the invisible warriors behind this very successful upgrade: Alex Benjamin (our Webmaster) and Annice Polacsik (our Registrar), with John Smith’s key support. Further free extension will be evaluated if Covid-19 continues to prevent club activities, although we’d rather hike, cycle, ski and snowshoe!
While RA will not be offering regular social events, Saturday rides or hikes until restrictions are further relaxed, we do encourage you to get out with your RA friends and acquaintances! We are preparing two separate lists of email addresses that will be available to all RA members who say they want to be on them. One will be for cyclists and the other for hikers. You may choose to be on both lists. The lists can be used to connect with members you have cycled with or hiked with in recent years, or to suggest an outing to a specific destination on a particular day, or to report on routes or hikes that others might find interesting. Please let us know before July 6 whether you wish your name and email address to be on the list of RA cyclists by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and or on the list of hikers by sending your email to email@example.com. You can also keep in touch via our Facebook group where you can connect with others, and share your photos and the great activities you’ve done so far this season: https://www.facebook.com/groups/randonneeaventure/
Important guidance and ideas follow below for safe CYCLING and HIKING.
Anyone who proposes a ride should respect the guidelines that have been established to protect each other and the wider community during the pandemic. Vélo Québec has prepared a Code de Conduite des cyclistes en temps de pandémie that you may find useful: https://www.velo.qc.ca/boite-a-outils/code-de-conduite-des-cyclistes-en-temps-de-pandemie/ (in French only). The main points are:
- You can ride in small groups while maintaining a distance of 2 metres between cyclists (even between cyclists from the same household).
- Cyclists should respect the restrictions on movement between regions, generally keeping to your own region (for maps of our region, see: http://observatoire.cmm.qc.ca/observatoire-grand-montreal/portraits-territoriaux/portraits-des-mrc/;
The same site also includes an interactive map of the cycling routes within that area: http://observatoire.cmm.qc.ca/observatoire-grand-montreal/produits-cartographiques/cartes-interactives/plan-directeur-du-reseau-velo-metropolitain/
- You should prepare to be autonomous on cycling outings, so that you will not need to handle anything belonging to others (tools, water, food, snacks, etc.), and also bring your COVID-kit (sanitizer, mask, gloves).
- Keep in mind that access to water and toilets as well as parks will be limited.
We hope you are well and look forward to seeing you soon. The club will continue to follow government announcements and will update you as soon as the guidelines allow us to do more as individual cyclists or together as a club.
In the meantime, safe cycling!
Rando Québec recently presented a Code of Conduct For Hikers in the time of COVID-19 (links below). Please read these guidelines before you head out on any hike. They will help ensure that your hike is enjoyable and that you and others remain safe. In short:
- Rando Québec asked that everyone help to circulate these documents and are asking for everyone’s feedback. Topics include masks, gel sanitizers, rental and sharing of equipment, summits, oncoming hikers, passing hikers, distances, etc.
- Please be patient. Not all parks and/or trails are open. Some trails may be directional and some parks may have a maximum limit of hikers. Be prepared and be flexible.
- Hike within your capability (10 km versus 20 km). Complications or injuries put local rescuers and medical facilities at risk.
- Where to hike? The current recommendation is to hike within your region. Most RA members live in the CMM region (Communauté Métropolitaine de Montréal)
- RA members hiking together do so independently of the Club.
- Be respectful. Over 80% of the COVID-19 cases in Quebec are in the CMM. If travelling outside your area, take everything with you including gas, water, food, etc. Do not stop for ice cream, beer, toilets, etc.
- All hikers are asked to do their part. If hikers and park officials report non-compliance, Rando Québec will recommend that the government close the parks and trails. We all have a civic responsibility for ourselves, our fellow hikers, and our communities.
For the latest updates, visit Rando Québec: https://www.randoquebec.ca/info-covid-19/
Rando Quebec’s guidelines for hiking in groups: Measures de Déconfinement https://www.randoquebec.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/MesuresDeconfinement_EncadrementRando_v04_VF.pdf
To find a hike: Rando Quebec has an inter-active tool Balise Quebec to help find hikes within your region. https://baliseqc.ca/3S/
Use the hiking email list (consented members only) to find a partner to hike with. Use the RA Facebook group to share your adventures, stay connected and or find partners to hike with: https://www.facebook.com/groups/randonneeaventure/
RA will provide updates whenever we can. Until then, keep well and hike safely.