Meet the Club – Director at Large, Jeff Coutu

Meet Jeff! Jeff joined the SCC Executive this year and is passionate about promoting bicyclists safety. We’re glad to have him as part of the team!
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Name: Jeffrey Coutu
Position: Director at Large

I am a very recent member of the Sault Cycling Club Executive although I’ve been bicycling all my life. I am primarily a hard surface rider. I like to advocate for bicycling infrastructure as I’ve seen the benefits to communities that have good bicycling infrastructure.

I am nearing my retirement and hope to stay healthy by bicycling.

New Cycling Infrastructure in Our Community

The Sault Cycling Club and the cycling community are very happy and excited with the flurry of new cycling infrastructure that is happening in the city this summer.  It’s by far the most significant development since the opening of the Hub Trail!

Club members should take pride that these projects were greatly influenced by our advocacy efforts which began in 1989. The club appeared before city council to ask, amongst other things, for the creation of a bike advisory committee which included city planners, engineers, police and cycling club members including John Santana, David Ellis and Andre Riopel.

The first task of this committee was to create a cycling master plan identifying the best cycling corridors in the city, which would be earmarked for cycling infrastructure as streets were upgraded.  Our first major win was the addition of paved shoulders on Black Road when Joe Fratesi was mayor.  This bike route has improved this year with the extension of the paved shoulders to Third Line, and with a plan of ultimately connecting to the Hub Trail near the hospital when Third Line is redone in the next few years.

The process was slow and not without its share of drama.  For instance in early 2000, the city decided to widen Black Road between Trunk and McNabb from 3 to 5 lanes.  Black Road had been identified in the approved master plan as a bike route and as such would have to include or improve cycling infrastructure. As presented, the “improvements” removed the existing paved shoulders contrary to the commitment the city had made in the master plan.  Andre Riopel (our current Advocacy Director), was president at the time and strongly objected to the project with a huge public fight with the then mayor, Rowswell. A compromise was reached which ultimately led to the current location of the Hub Trail circumventing the area.

This summer, we will see bike lanes created on Willow, Pine, Queen Street East, Northern Avenue and  a multi use path on Bay Street.  A Hub Trail spoke is also planned connecting Fort Creek to Goulais Avenue north of Second Line. These very visible projects will result in an increase in the number of people who cycle, similar to what happened when the Hub Trail opened. 

The Sault Cycling Club has been instrumental in all of these projects and is very grateful to the city and the province for making our city more bicycle friendly. 

❗️We will be hosting a celebratory Bike Lane Ride this coming Fall to show our gratitude. Stay tuned for details.

Trail Upgrade Approvals

We all ride the trails for the same reasons. We share a passion for mountain biking and being in the outdoors.

As guests of the trails, we need to respect the work that has gone into building a positive relationship with the landowners who allow us the privilege of building and riding trails on their property. The Sault Cycling Club works with the landowners of the various properties at Hiawatha Highlands ensuring that the proper process of making upgrades to the trails is followed to allow for continued access and safety for users.

The below picture is an example of what NOT to do on the trails. A rider(s) took parts of an old bridge that had been removed and placed it over a downed tree. It was not secured or installed properly and posed a safety risk to other riders. We ask that you please do not take it upon yourself to make changes to the trails without approval.

*️⃣ THE GOOD NEWS IS, WE CAN GET APPROVAL FOR TRAIL UPGRADES!! *️⃣ We are always looking for ways to improve our trails! If you have an idea and want to help turn it into reality, contact Peter or another member of the SCC Executive to discuss it. A great example of this in action are the new Bert and Ernie sections connecting Sesame Street and Stickman Drive. Gord had an idea, we asked for landowner permission, and now we’re riding! 😃

If you’d like to get involved in trail maintenance or building, please reach out to our Trail Director, Peter Henry. Peter@saultcyclingclub.ca

DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES??

Do you have what it takes to complete the challenge? Run or Ride 50 or 100 miles on Saturday, September 19 at the Hiawatha Bike Trails.

Event is open to SCC members.
Don’t miss out on your chance to prove you can do it!!! Become a member today by visiting our website. https://saultcyclingclub.ca/about-sault-cycling/join-our-club/

MORE DETAILS WILL FOLLOW AS WE FINALIZE THEM 🙌🏻😊

Meet the Club! Director at Large – Ben Davey

Meet Benny Davey! He’s a Director at Large for the SCC with his focus set on trail maintenance and development. His goal is to make Bellevue Valley safe and accessible to riders of all skill levels.

Name: Ben Davey
Position: Director at Large

I have lived in Sault Ste Marie my whole life. I am happiest when doing something in the great outdoors and hanging with my amazing wife Sarah and our Son Wesley. I work as an Account Manager for an industrial water management company.

Interests: Mountain Biking, split-boarding, Trail Building, kayaking, hiking or camping.

I got formally involved with the Sault Cycling Club because I want to continue to see the growth of cycling in our community.

I am hoping to work predominantly in trail maintenance and development. We have a great opportunity for growth of the trail systems in the area. I have a specific focus on the Bellevue trail system as I have been working and riding for many years. I would like to see the trails officially adopted by the cycling club so we can continue to improve access and safety for all users.