Prairie State Canoeists
A Northeast Illinois Canoe and Kayak Club
I like being a member——have been one for years but rarely go on club trips. Canoeing solo or with a friend or dog affords better appreciation of the setting and better chances to see wildlife. Downstream on rivers can be done by paddling back up with a double paddle when current is significant. Shuttling by bicycle if solo works when the canoe can be hidden. I have shown many people the Rock River from Oregon to Grand Detour, Il 4 people in the car with my 20 ft. Voyageur canoe. Bike shuttle worked well each time.
Reply to Meg:
I guess I would be willing to offer a "matchmaker" service to people who want to come on my trips but don't have a ready-made partner with whom to shuttle. But when I tell them to arrange their own shuttle, that's what I mean. Our previous shuttle practice was a little like going on vacation with your father - you just show up at the right time and your father has made all the arrangements for you. That was very convenient, but the Covid pandemic requires a better plan.
Taking personal responsibility for someone who didn't take it for themselves means that I will have to shift a stranger in my vehicle - which I don't want to do - or that I will have to ask someone else to do it. If a paddler's shift partner had an accident or a medical emergency on the way to the put-in I would probably shift him, but that's not what's likely to happen. It's far more likely that someone will show up at the put-in without having made any arrangements for the shuttle, and will expect me to rescue him from any inconvenient consequences. I don't think that's reasonable.
I suspect that some people will avoid my trips because they don't like my car shift policy. Some of them may be my friends, and I will miss their company. When this is over I will enjoy getting together with them to paddle. In the meantime, I will be managing the car shift risk, just as I do the other risks we encounter on our trips. If someone showed up at the put-in without a PFD, I would tell him that he couldn't paddle with us. For the time being, I'm going to have the same policy for people who arrive without a car shift plan.
In the center of all the deliberations by the PSC Board of Directors over the last few months has been the issue of the car shift. By all reports and recommendations of this nation’s health organizations, the basic precaution against acquiring the novel coronavirus has been wearing an adequate face mask and maintaining a “social” distance of at least six feet. Difficult if not impossible inside the average vehicle. Your usual car partners are probably family members or friends so close that you know their social habits. However, a stranger or casual friend brings the accumulated peril of all of their contacts over the past two weeks into your space. That is why the PSC leadership cannot endorse the car shift until this coronavirus threat is behind us.
Again, agreed. I think Steve's got the formula down pat. Requiring potential participants to figure out their own shuttles seems like a whole lot less stress on the trip leader...
For club trips, leaving the shuttle up to the participants is fine, but I think it's important that the Trip Leader know upfront (during signup) who is set for their own shuttle and who is ok with shuttling with other people or is looking for someone to shuttle with. That way, no one is left without a ride when they actually show up. I guess that has happened, due to misunderstanding or some unforeseen circumstance. In other words, I'm advocating having it planned out before people even make the trip out to the put in.
I agree... it's just that, being past 60, with underlying respiratory issues, I need to minimize the risk. Short shuttles with a small number of people on a river trip, wearing masks on the shuttle, I'm okay with that. But I'm happy to paddle lakes, too...
Where is my agree button? I don't do lakes unless I'm in the BWCA or there just isn't anything else to paddle for miles around.
I think Steve's solution is pretty sound. Putting it out there that there is no expectation of the leader facilitating the shuttle prior to the trip is just good sense. Keeping the group small and to known entities, reduces the risk factor. I realize this does not fall into the ideals of the club per se, it does help keep us as safe as we can be for the time being.
I want to paddle this year, but I’m concerned about the risk that our usual car shuttles present. Limiting the number of people in a car, requiring masks and leaving the windows open certainly reduce the risk, but the risk is still present. My age puts me at higher risk if I contract Covid, so prudence demands that I take better precautions.
I have been leading trips for the past few weeks. I don’t care for lake/pond/lagoon paddling, I much prefer rivers. My solution to the dilemma is to leave car shifts to the people on my trips. Couples have been bringing both cars and shifting themselves. Some people have been shifting themselves with bicycles. A few have “buddied up” and shifted themselves. I am fine with all of that, because it gives everyone the opportunity to decide for themselves how much risk they want to assume, and gives everyone the opportunity to paddle.
I look forward to getting back to “normal”, but that’s going to take immunity – a vaccine, herd immunity or recovering from the disease. In the meantime, I’ll be satisfied as long as I have a way to arrange my trips.