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Solo rides and that's about it: Moose Jaw Pavers working around COVID-19

Opening of provincial parks and relaxed restrictions offer more options for cyclists in Saskatchewan
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Spring Classic criterium1
Riders compete in the Moose Jaw Pavers’ Spring Classic criterium last May. The event was cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
At first glance, it would appear that cycling and all its related activities would be immune to the effects of COVID-19 – the very nature of the sport expects and creates social distancing, and it stands to reason that would make road or trail riding a perfect activity.

And while that remains the case, doing so as a club is something else entirely.

Even with some restrictions being lifted as the province moved into Phase Two of the Re-Open Saskatchewan plan this week, the Moose Jaw Pavers cycling club remains in limbo as bans on club activities and gatherings of more than 10 remain in place.

Riders are still out doing their own thing, though, especially with the beautiful spring weather seen around Moose Jaw over the last week.

“It’s nice to be back out and at least having solo-based activities,” said Pavers president Rob Walcer. “As a club we can’t have any group-based activities, like our Tuesday night rides that have been going on forever, we can’t do that. So much of being a club depends on group rides, whether it’s on the road or mountain bike. The social aspect where you get together for a coffee before the ride or stopping for a beverage after, it’s just the social part that’s being missed.

“This is a rapidly changing situation, and we’re looking to see what happens in a six-week window and make a decision in the next period of time.”

Much like every sports organization throughout the country, the Pavers have seen their share of lost events. Their annual Learn to Mountain Bike program for children has been at best postponed for the time being, and their annual Spring Classic slated for early May was outright cancelled. That’s on top of groups like the Prairie Pedals women’s morning ride group that was hoping to expand into evening rides this summer.

It hasn't been all bad, though.

With Phase One came the opening of provincial parks throughout the province, and that means trails at Buffalo Pound were good to go. Walcer reports that things are in exceptional shape for this time of season, and with the nice weather more folks are hitting the trails in Wakamow and going out for solo road rides, as well.

“A few of us have seen each other at Buffalo Pound, it’s been really busy out there since the provincial parks opened,” Walcer said. “That was a blessing, with parks opening up in Phase One, that really provided an opportunity and place for us to go out and enjoy a bike ride.

There have been a lot of riders, a lot of hikers, people who are just happy to be outside.”

The Pavers have also been able to keep in touch through riding apps like Trailforks.com, which can track the trails you’ve ridden while recording your time and other information. Some clubs have even gone further and set up virtual racing sessions from riders’ homes.

One thing that’s for certain is once this is all said and done with, good times will be had.

“I know we’re all looking forward to getting together again and maybe even seeing some new faces,” Walcer said.

For more information on the Moose Jaw Pavers, visit their website at moosejawpavers.ca or find them on Facebook for the most up-to-date club news and events.




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