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Doug grew up on a farm in Woodstock, Ontario. Eventually he became a Chartered Accountant. He applied that financial management perspective as the club’s Treasurer (2000 – 2006), and even for a few years as Cyclon Treasurer (2001 – 2002). His thoughtful counsel was much appreciated by all.
For several years, Doug worked for a gas pipeline company, which entailed business travel to Alberta; on those occasions he would hike and ski in the Rockies. Later, he worked for a few Ontario government ministries, as an Auditor.
Cycling was his favourite sport. He particularly liked the club’s Country Cruises, leading several of them. For several years, he was a member of the Wednesday Wheelies group, and helped run that as well. More recently, he did picturesque rides on his own, whether at Cyclon or elsewhere. His drink of choice: chocolate milk!
He carried out a lot of his own bike repairs & maintenance. Sometimes his bike stand would be in the middle of his living-room for a few days. He shared his knowledge with others on multiple occasions, not only informally but also by making presentations to the Cyclon attendees.
Over the last 15 years, Doug’s biggest contribution to the TBN was in the area of cartography … principally with Cyclon. He helped research prospective areas, and identified suitable routes. He then hunched over a computer to create maps, using GIMP software that was novel and hard to use at the time. The challenge for any good map-maker (like Doug) is to remove from a given base map all extraneous or non-relevant information, provide a sufficiently high-level perspective for a rider to make mid-trip adjustments, as well as sufficient detail in potentially-confusing areas, … and then, for those that don’t use the map, to re-express all of that information as a cue-sheet, i.e. a sequence of directions. In addition to his route maps from across Ontario (including Calabogie/Renfrew and Woodstock/Delhi), he accumulated others, … and thought of publishing the whole set. The TBN recognized, several years ago, that someone would eventually need to fill Doug’s shoes, but no one ever came forward or assisted for any length of time.
One of Doug’s other notable legacies is the TBN’s retailer (and service) discount program, which he virtually single-handedly established in 1999. By 2001 there were 23 offering discounts to TBN members; in 2003 (and coincidentally in 2017) the number was 34.
Doug was independent and self-reliant, throughout his life, right till the bitter end. He was diagnosed in October with massive bladder cancer, had surgery to remove the bladder, then convalesced in a hospital for a month. Faced with a choice to either move to a rehab centre for a few weeks, or go home, he chose the latter. Sadly, he died a week later.
Doug was very caring, always a gentleman, kind-hearted, and a very good friend. When it was time to donate blood, he was there (a hundred times). When he heard that someone wanted to swim or wanted good fish ‘n chips, he would quickly come up with lists of the best places. When someone had to visit a medical clinic, he didn’t hesitate. As an uncle and grand-uncle, he was very generous. Every July 1st weekend, without fail, he would arrive at his brother and sister-in-law’s cottage on Georgian Bay to help install their boat lift. A couple of years ago, when he discovered the Ontario Popcorn Company on the north shore of Lake Erie, Doug sent his brother’s family a five-year supply!
Though unmarried, Doug was never lonely, and always cheerful. He was somewhat stoic, and occasionally stubborn.
He had a wry, and dry, sense of humour, which sometimes expressed itself in poems laced with political satire, or in the quirky names of Cyclon rides, e.g. George’s Gorgeous Gambol.
Doug followed politics closely, and had a nose for sniffing out and exposing government mismanagement, deceit & corruption … regardless of the political stripes. He ferreted out information, stitched it together, and then hung out the dirty laundry on his website for all the world to see. In one instance, it caught the attention of CSIS, who approached him for more information to help their investigation.
Another crusade of his was to expose the shoddy science and rash conclusions of some early climatologists like Michael Mann who exaggerated and/or misrepresented things.
He was fond of sports cars, and for many years drove a Corvette. He was also a member of the Etobicoke Yacht Club, and loved to sail his 17’ boat in Lake Ontario.
Snooker was one of Doug’s favourite hobbies; he approached it with dedication & passion. For a while, he received private instruction from Canadian & world champion Cliff Thorburn. He regularly played at his condo (sometimes marathon matches till the wee hours of the morning). When it became necessary to do renovations to that room, he joined a committee that explored different options; after 3 years, he was looking forward to resuming play there. Was he a good player – yes, indeed! Did he also play on 12’ tables – yes.
As far as professional sports are concerned, Doug enjoyed two: major snooker tournaments (through the pirate capture of live-streaming), …. and multi-day bike road races, like the ‘Tour de France’ (on the TV and the Web).
Doug liked contemporary aboriginal art, and owned some original pieces. He also liked traditional folk music (particularly live), and painstakingly converted his vinyl albums into a digital format for use in his car. Who can forget Peterborough Cyclon’s ‘Two Wheel Tango?’
He will be missed by many people.
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