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“It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.”
-Babe Ruth

Today's image is of Marie-Eve Chainey, getting the Mayor's City Builder Award. Marie-Eve is the founder and race director for the Alive to Strive Event.

Alex Cullen's note March 26 (G R)
Perspective on staying at home (Don Plenderleith)
For Sale: Bike Pro soft Shell Travel Case (Bill Webber)
For Sale: 700C HED race wheels ca. 1998 (Bill Webber)


 G R   (General Comments)
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Alex, thanks for writing your piece on the Gatineau Park closure. I couldn't agree more.

Closing the Gatineau Park is very short-sighted on behalf of the NCC. Its a case of throwing out the bathtub with the dirty bath water. I am well aware of social distancing rules and all the current considerations around covid19 protective measures. I get it. Unlike most in the community, I actually have a paid job in infectious disease control and prevention. Folks do need to reduce movements as much as possible, and stay at home, for as long as they can. People also need fresh air, exercise, and a connection to nature. This move by the NCC takes a strong swipe at all those stress reduction tools - tools public health and gov officials state are unequivocally necessary to help manage the current scenario. If you're quarantined, by all means, stay at home, don't go past your doorstep. Don't let anyone in. Do you best to have all supplies dropped at your door. Self-isolating is a whole other matter.

I personally go into the Gatineau Park to get away from people. Ive often gone there in for 2-3 hrs without seeing another individual, whether its skiing, cycling, hiking, or swimming. Its a fantastic way to connect with nature, and escape places where people normally congregate. When folks cluster in the Park, i move away from them. I'm just not in there for that.

While there were a lot of people visiting Chelsea in the past few warm wknds (this always happens) and clogging the village, there were still few people on the trails and in the Park. Most people i saw were respecting social distancing rules. Unfortunately, its easy to make an assumption that clusters in the village automatically equal clustering in the parking lots and on the trails. The folks I know who use the Park do so responsibly, and the same goes for social interactions during covid.

While i understand the park's desire to protect its employees from public interaction (yes close the visitor centre, and keep the grooming guys protected in their grooming machines), i don't see how there needs to be interaction between the two. If people cluster, police should fine them. Quebec has recently given additional powers to authorities to fine and detain people if they break quarantine rules or social gathering rules - this is no different. Its actually been happening for a while in Euro and other parts of the world. We shouldn't be any different. There are ways to do it safely as long as police follow protocols.

Some say other National Parks are closing so this should too. This is not a National Park. And if it is, then lets treat it as one year round, not just now.

This is a tough time for all and tensions are high. However, closing an area, a massive outdoor space, where proper distance can be had, while folks are engaging in super healthy activities and hobbies, is just wrong, and poorly conceived. While a few weeks of great xc skiing are lost, its not a big deal. The bigger issue issue is now all the summer activities (which include hiking at 2M apart for all ages) are now in peril as well. Its all going downhill and I'm not talking about a Pink's lake descent at 80kph. I hope the NCC would reconsider this decision.

I know this is a tough scenario and i applaud the NCCs intent, but please reconsider. Fresh air is not cancelled. Hiking isn't either. Not yet anyway. Lets not lose our minds completely.

Peace and stay safe out there.

 Don Plenderleith   (General Comments)
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A friend sent me this which he found written by someone upon coming out of 7 weeks of lockdown in Wuhan, China. It provides some perspective on how we will be changed at the end of it.

"We are just finishing our 7th week of E-Learning, seven weeks of being mainly housebound and seven weeks of uncertainty. We are healthy, we are happy, and we are humbled.

We are allowed to move around freely now with a green QR code that we show when we get our temperature taken. You get your temperature taken everywhere, and it's just become part of the routine. Most restaurants and shopping centres are now open, and life is coming back to our city.

As we watch the rest of the world begin their time at home, and inside, here are some of my reflections on the last seven weeks:

1. Accept that you have no control over the situation. Let go of any thoughts of trying to plan too much for the next month or two. Things change so fast. Don't be angry and annoyed at the system. Anxiety goes down, and you make the best of the situation - whatever that might be for you. Accept that this is what it is and things WILL get easier.

2. Try not to listen to/read/watch too much media. It WILL drive you crazy. There is a thing as too much!

3. The sense of community I have felt during this time is incredible. I could choose who I wanted to spend my energy on - who I wanted to call, message and connect with and found the quality of my relationships has improved.

4. Appreciate this enforced downtime. When have you ever have time like this? Make the best of it. I will miss it when we go back to the fast-paced speed of the 'real world'.

5. Time goes fast. I still haven't picked up the ukelele I planned to learn, and there are box set TV shows I haven't watched yet.

6. As a teacher, the relationships I have built with my students while communicating from lockdown have continued to grow. I have loved seeing how independent they are; filming themselves to respond to tasks while also learning essential life skills such as trying to maintain some balance and problem-solving, that even we as adults are still learning.

7. You will learn to appreciate the little things when its over; sunshine through the window, flowers blossoming and being able to enjoy a coffee in a cafe.

To those just beginning this journey, You will get through it. Listen to what you are told, follow the rules and look out for each other. There is light at the end of the tunnel."

Don Plenderleith

 Jean-Paul Murray   (General Comments)
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Alex Cullen posted a very thoughtful critique of the NCC’s closing of Gatineau Park in yesterday’s newsletter, and a solid argument for keeping it open.

I agree with all his points. But I can’t get my head around why the NCC didn’t close trails and parking lots in the Green Belt, in particular at the Mer Bleue Bog, which were reportedly very busy over the last weekend. What’s sauce for the goose, should be sauce for the gander, no?

I’m convinced the NCC closed Gatineau Park as a result of a pressure campaign by Meech Lake residents. One such resident posted a comment on the Chelsea Folks Facebook page saying he’d called the police, the municipality, the alderman... over all those tourists preventing him from going for a “quiet walk.” Fortunately, the flurry of comments replying to his post roughly said that Gatineau Park is a public facility, not a private club. Two days later, the NCC closed Gatineau Park — but not its trails and parking lots everywhere else.

The NCC always caves to pressure from Meech Lake residents. Just look at the occupation permits the park director gave 60 of 82 lake residents for structures built on park property, including the lake bed, in violation of the master plan, and much more... And wasn’t the NCC supposed to ban all motor boats at Meech Lake by 2010, according to its 2005 master plan? Don’t those motor boats threaten swimmers? And what about skidoos? Isn't the NCC building a skidoo trail along Eardley Road, right in the middle of the park, in breach of its own policy on the matter?

Occupation permits on park property and motorboats for Meech Lake residents... and skidoo trails for special interests; a barricaded park, with “danger: blue-green algae” signs at all the beaches for the rest of us. And brand new, very expensive iron gates at all parking lots, to keep us out of our park.

I hope Mr. Cullen’s proposal meets with the success it deserves.

Jean-Paul Murray

 Bill Webber   (For Sale/Rent)
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Accomodates 2 bicycles
Bill Webber

 Bill Webber   (For Sale/Rent)
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Excellent shape old school disc wheel and deep-V front with cogs and Conti tires
Bill Webber