Champion cyclist Steve Bauer, next to an entrance to his namesake trail, in Fonthill, on Dec. 24, 2020. MIKE JONES

The winner of the first Canadian Olympic medal for road cycling wants to preserve the Fonthill multipurpose path named in his honour.

Steve Bauer was out walking his namesake trail with his wife, Jossee, on Christmas Eve afternoon, when he spotted a sign posted by the Pelham Tree Conservation Society, according to group organizer Mike Jones, who posted an account of what happened next on the group’s Facebook page.

“When [Bauer] called, he asked if there was a petition to sign. He agreed to have his picture taken signing it.”

Jones says he rushed right over to the Pt. Robinson Road trail entrance to meet the 61-year-old former Canadian National Cycling Team member.

“I showed [him] where all the damage was to be, for the roads and the ditch,” says Jones, who added that Bauer said he would be writing Pelham’s Mayor and council himself.

A request for comment from Bauer was not immediately answered.

Bauer was born in St. Catharines but raised in Fenwick. After retiring from competitive cycling in 1996, he co-founded Steve Bauer Bike Tours, based in St. Catharines, which runs international bicycle tours and events for cycling enthusiasts. In 2005, Bauer was inducted to the Canadian Olympic Sport Hall of Fame and as well the Canadian Sport Hall of Fame.

The Pelham Tree Conservation Society, made up of residents concerned about the pace and type of residential development in Fonthill, particularly adjacent to the Bauer Trail, is lobbying Pelham Town Hall for changes in building plans that the group characterizes as permanently destructive to the area’s natural habitat.