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Archive for the ‘TBN’ Category

Ride to Oakville with TBN

Today was an Urban Roller TBN ride out to Oakville. Since I had not been on the Waterfront Trail west of Marie Curtis Park, I decided to ride along.  It was a pretty good turnout at the start point, the south parking lot of Kipling station.

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Chris gives us the low down on the ride. He tells us to be especially cautious on the many sections of the ride that are along multi use trails. Apparently there was a bad accident on a TBN ride yesterday.

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and off we go

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Going south on Kipling, stopped at Queen.

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Port Credit.

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First rest stop somewhere in Mississauga.

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Here we are in beautiful “downtown Oakville”.

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Lunch stop at Tim’s.

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Now riding back. This is what passes for a bike lane in Oakville.

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At least Mississauga has these signs.

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The lead group makes a left from Meadow Wood Rd.

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I elected to pass up the last rest stop, and rode on for the rest of the ride. Most of it retraced our ride along the Waterfront Trail.  Watch out for Coyotes!

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Back in TO.

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End of the line.

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Ride summary:

  • total ride time was just under 5 hours.
  • GPS says 72 km with about 18 kph average moving speed.
  • Cyclemeter says 74 km with 22 kph average speed, which is a bit optimistic.

Thanks to Chris, and everyone else that rode today!

 

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Today was the annual Ride for Heart, a fundraiser for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Once again, I volunteered with TBN to provide rider assistance. Since the forecast was for rain for the entire morning at the very least, I decided to go with full on rain gear. Although during my commutes, my rain gear of choice is a rain cape, since I’d be out in the rain for hours and there would be a lot of getting on and off the bike, I wore a rain jacket and pants, and a helmet cover for good measure.

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Riding by the memorial for.Xavier Morgan.

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There was a bit of confusion since the TBN booth was in a totally different location than was advertised on their website.  Indoors this time, right by the Ricoh Coliseum.

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Apparently an email went out but I didn’t; get it. Although I was on the EX grounds a little before 7:30, it was past 8:00 before I got rolling.

Frank and I dealt with our first flat even before the starting line.

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Once I’m on the Gardiner, all the aggravation of getting up early and dealing with rain slips away.

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Bad picture of a tandem Bikeshare bike.

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Because of the late start, we were mainly mixed in with the 25K riders, which accounted for the very large number of kids on the road.

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Homemade rain cover on this Yuba.

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First stop: just a person low on air. Once you stop and people see you have a floor pump, several of them stop as well. This happened a couple of times.

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John and Bob (and water on the lens).

20,000 participants might have disagreed, but given the choice, I’m glad we had sunny weather yesterday rather than today.

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A woman went over her bars on this downhill, and we talked her into walking back up the hill to a school bus to take a breather.  Sean is talking to her group on the other side of the roadway.

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This gal had a pinch flat, and then punctured her new tube during installation. Fortunately, Sean had a skinny enough tube to fit.

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After the turnoff for the 25K rider, rider numbers went way down. At this point, it looked like we would be dealing with 50K stragglers.

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Made it to the top.  Mostly downhill from here.

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Totally uncrowded DVP.

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This trike rider broke the quick link on his chain.

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One last hill.

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Toronto skyline once again. Every year, there are more condos going up.

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At this late stage, I see walkers and runners in the other lanes.

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Ran into Frank again just past the exit for the 50k riders. Just like last year, I was taking the opportunity to ride home on the Gardiner.

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You don’t get to see this view of the Dowling Ave Bridge every day.

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Didn’t get as many clients as last year, and the weather was worse. Nevertheless, a fulfilling morning spent helping fellow riders.

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Today was TBN’s Burlington to Niagara Falls ride of just over 100K, with the return by GO train. About 25 riders signed up. Here we are at the Burlington GO Station, on the still under construction south side.

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Jimmy is our ride leader.

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Off we go. It was noted that the direction of the wind out of the east indicated that we would have a stiff headwind for most of the ride.

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Approaching the lift bridge.

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It’s been probably more than 40 years since I’ve been on the Beach Strip. Certainly this nice multiuse trail didn’t exist then. From what I could see, the housing has been substantially upgraded from what I remember as a kid, although as we approached the Hamilton side, things looked a bit more run down.  You can get an idea of the wind from the surf.

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A short video to show how windy it was.

First regroup point at the eastern boundary of Confederation Park. It was suggested that the group split into three, according to pace. I spent most of the day somewhere between the fast and the medium group.

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Off we go again. That’s the medium group ahead.

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New subdivision by the lake.

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Second regroup at Victoria Rd. in Vineland.

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I think it’s important to colour match your beverage with your bike, don’t you?

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Back across the highway.

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As it turns out, the regroup point picked by the fast group was just short of a planned stop at a Tim’s.

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That’s a lot of bikes.

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Setting off again, into a strong headwind.

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Crappy picture of the schooner near Jordan Landing.

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Shortly after the lunch break was another stop at Port Dalhousie for ice cream. I decided to ride on without stopping.

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Crossing the Welland Canal. This laker was stopped at Lock 1.

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Niagara on the Lake.

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I elect to take my ice cream break here. In fairness to Picard’s I was mostly finished my cone when I took this picture. Their single scoop serving was generous.

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It didn’t take long for the fast and medium group to catch up to me. Here they are at the McD’s next door.

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At this right turn on Concession Road 1, the headwind finally becomes a crosswind/tailwind.

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Now I’m going 26 kph while barely pedaling.

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I see several large bicycling groups headed the other way, including a wedding party that looked to be doing a wine tour (not the group pictured).

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The lead group taking a corner.

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Approaching Queenston heights. You can see the Brock monument.

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I didn’t realize that we were going to be treated to a traffic free climb of the escarpment.

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Gearing down, nevertheless.

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Regroup near the top of the climb.

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One of the power stations.

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Stopping as we approach the falls. Jimmy tells us that we need to move onto the restaurant and that there is no time for a group picture.

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Selfie just to prove that I’m here. That’s mist from the American Falls in the background.

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More proof that we are here.

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One last climb.

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Waiting for dinner at Zappi’s Pizza.

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A reward for the day.

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At the VIA Rail station, buying tickets.

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This is a bike car.

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It’s a regular double decker, with all the seats on the lower deck stripped out to make room for bike racks. Very nice!

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Thanks to Jimmy for organizing the ride, and to TBN for providing good company.

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Good Friday TBN Ride

Yet another weekend ride with TBN, this time with limited wind and glorious sun. It was a tourist ride out of Finch station. Quite a large turnout at the start.  I saw quite a few familiar faces from the Urban Roller riders.

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A few announcements at the start, and then a raise of hands to see who was going on what route. Large groups were going on the 60 and the 74 km routes, and only Joey was doing the 101K (plus his ride to and from the start, of course.)

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and off we go. Check out that blue sky!

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The pack gets strung out early.

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Here I am at moderate pace, trying to catch up with a group slightly ahead of me.

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Having to go a little faster to catch up with a faster group.  Hey these radar signs are fun!

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On Leslie just before the turn off to the right on 19th Ave for the 60 km route. It turns out that only two of us turned here.

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Not being encouraged by the sign indicating no bikes or pedestrians.  Fortunately, there was only a short construction zone on the bridge going over the 404, and no one was working on Good Friday.

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Just part of the TBN crew at Jake’s on Main.  If you do decided to stop and eat, count on at least 45 minutes to an hour. Good food and good company.

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A and I decide to early a bit early. She told me she is taking it easy today in anticipation of a much longer ride on Sunday.  I’ll be resting on Sunday 😉

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Another great day of riding.

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TBN Tourist Ride

Today was my first longish ride for the year, a tourist ride with TBN north out of Finch Station. Given the weather, a pretty good turnout, although a couple of riders were concerned that it might be cold.IMG_5034

Joey reminds us of safety, including showing us what overlapping wheels means (a no no).

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and we’re off. Stupidly, I take off with the fast group which was tooling along at somewhat better than 25 kph.

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A brief regroup at just past HWY 7.

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Northward, through subdivision after subdivision.

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I spot what I thought was open country, but Joey tempers my excitement by informing me that we’re looking at the Keele St. dump.

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Catching up with the leaders as they wait for a GO train.

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Then we turn north again on Keele, and the bike lane ends.

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The 60 km ride turns left at King Vaughn

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I am getting dropped by the one rider I was with. There were other riders that said they would do the 60K, but they were with a slower group. You can see that they got a lot more snow up here last week than we did in the city.

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Riding solo on the way back, I treat myself to a butter tart at Coffee Culture in Maple. Also got passed by a pack of fast riders, one of whom riding a Gios Torino recognized my bike as a Tamarack.

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Back at Finch.  GPS says 60.7 km in 2:45 at an average speed of 22 kph.  Total elapsed time was about 3:00, including about a 10 minute break. Cyclemeter on my phone says 61 km, but an average speed of 25 kph, which sounds too high.

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In any case, not too bad for me. I’ll do the Good Friday ride, and then I should be OK for the 50 km route for Bike for Mike on Sunday, May 7.

 

 

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Ride for Heart 2016

It’s been a number of years since I did the Ride for Heart. This time, I thought that I’d do it a little differently by being a ride ambassador on behalf of TBN. The idea was to ride around and to assist any riders that need help.  In preparation, I went to our local bike shop and stocked up on the most common sizes of tubes to supplement what I had on hand.

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The downside to doing this was that I had to be at the start point at 7 am. Here are all who were there at the appointed time.

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By 7:30, we had a bunch more people and were ready to roll.

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At the start. You can see Adam and Sean in the foreground. I spent most of the uphill part of the ride with them.

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and we’re off. The radio announcer thought my bike was for carrying pizzas in front.

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I wish this picture was in focus.

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Adam and Jimmy.

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First mechanical of the day: adjusting the seat angle on this boy’s green bike. He is all smiles after the adjustment.

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It was nice to see drive times adjusted to bike speeds. Or maybe these were just the usual numbers for rush hour?

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I didn’t get pictures of the woman who when down after hitting a bump and hurt her shoulder. Fortunately: 1) a school bus sag wagon was a few minutes behind her, and 2) she was riding a Brompton so it was no problem folding it and stowing it on a seat in the bus.

Jimmy.

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These people needed an Allen wrench.

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Cloudy all day, but the rain held off except for some minor sprinkles.

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Sean fixing a flat. It was nice to have the full size floor pump. It saved a lot of time.

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More pictures on the Gardiner.

Headed over to the DVP.

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Jimmy’s crew was already working on this bike by the time we rode by.

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This gal got her saddle adjusted.

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Slow uphill climb.

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Another flat, this time on the other side of the median.

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Sean.

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This was the trickiest flat of the day. The rider’s spare tube had a leaking valve, so we had to patch the original one. Also, this was one of the sizes I didn’t have on hand. 650B in about a 2″ width. Not necessary what you would expect on a bike with a Lefty carbon fork!

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One of these boys thought he had a flat, but we couldn’t find a leak. It turns out he never checked his tires were inflated before he left.

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This is also the point where we had the most interesting repair of the day: a tire blowout on a vintage Miyata tandem with what looked like the original tires. We booted the tire with some pieces of rubber road markings (!) which ended up buying them about a kilometer or so before it blew again. Happily, I saw them later in the day, riding along with a brand new rear tire.  Just hoping that they remember to replace the front one as well before next year.  (Sadly, it appears I got no pictures of this one as well).

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Dad giving an assist on the climb up to York Mills.

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Lots of people were taking selfies at the top, so I joined in.

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Sean and Adam peel off down the hill. The pavement in the special lane was pretty smooth in this section.

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Just after they left me in the dust, I heard an accident and I circled back to help a dad and his son who got a bit tangled up. All smiles after cleaning up a bit of road rash and doing a brake adjustment.

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Heading down the hill, you’d think it was all downhill, but it’s not true as this climb demonstrates.

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One of the elephants has a PV panel now.

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Another highway sign.

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Climbing up the Gardiner Extension. Last hill of the day.

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Getting close to downtown.

 

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Note the lovely quality of pavement you get on the Gardiner.

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On the other hand, you don’t get this view of Fort York everyday.

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Stragglers coming in.

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At Jameson Ave, I had the choice of finishing and hanging out for free snacks with thousands of riders I didn’t know, or taking the Gardiner most of the way back home. I elected to ride home.

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Sunnyside bike park as seen from the westbound Gardiner. They really shouldn’t be riding when the ground is this wet.

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Turn off for the South Kingsway. The 75 km route turned back at this point back to the EX.

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All in all a good day’s work, with lots of riding. I left out a couple of other flats and minor mechanical fixes in the account above. I think I used up three new tubes, two patches, and some first aid supplies. In collaboration with Adam, Sean and others, I think we took care of eight flats and at least six or so minor mechanicals.

I highly recommend the experience of being a ride ambassador. When else can you ride the Gardiner and DVP on a bike for free, and to help people out who themselves are riding for a good cause. Thanks to TBN for organizing this, and to my fellow TBNer’s for working together at all the little stops today.

Update: according to the Star, 20,000 riders and walkers took part this year.

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It was a perfect Friday evening for a leisurely ride out to the Leslie St. spit with TBN. Here we are at the start. Dave is talking about safety while Chris is taking pictures. We had a few new riders and non members with us.

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and we’re off. First we cross the river and take some stairs down to the Lower Don trail.

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First regrouping point.

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Dave says “turn left”.

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We are trapped on this island with several cyclists from other groups. Something really needs to be done to make this intersection (Lakeshore and Cherry St.) more pedestrian and bike friendly.

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Heading out on the Leslie St. spit. Most of these people don’t know me so they are amused that I try to take pictures on the move.

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nice shadows from the evening sun.

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DSC08519Sometimes biking feels like flying.

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(sometimes biking really is flying)

My trusty pink bike.

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Only three of us bother to bike up to the lighthouse to get the best view of the day.

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Obligatory group shot.

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Another regroup as we leave the peace and quiet of the park to reenter the city streets.

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Thanks to Dave and Chris for organizing the ride!

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