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.
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.
By 7:30, we had a bunch more people and were ready to roll.
At the start. You can see Adam and Sean in the foreground. I spent most of the uphill part of the ride with them.
and we’re off. The radio announcer thought my bike was for carrying pizzas in front.
I wish this picture was in focus.
Adam and Jimmy.
First mechanical of the day: adjusting the seat angle on this boy’s green bike. He is all smiles after the adjustment.
It was nice to see drive times adjusted to bike speeds. Or maybe these were just the usual numbers for rush hour?
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.
These people needed an Allen wrench.
Cloudy all day, but the rain held off except for some minor sprinkles.
Sean fixing a flat. It was nice to have the full size floor pump. It saved a lot of time.
More pictures on the Gardiner.
Headed over to the DVP.
Jimmy’s crew was already working on this bike by the time we rode by.
This gal got her saddle adjusted.
Slow uphill climb.
Another flat, this time on the other side of the median.
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!
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.
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).
Dad giving an assist on the climb up to York Mills.
Lots of people were taking selfies at the top, so I joined in.
Sean and Adam peel off down the hill. The pavement in the special lane was pretty smooth in this section.
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.
Heading down the hill, you’d think it was all downhill, but it’s not true as this climb demonstrates.
One of the elephants has a PV panel now.
Another highway sign.
Climbing up the Gardiner Extension. Last hill of the day.
Getting close to downtown.
Note the lovely quality of pavement you get on the Gardiner.
On the other hand, you don’t get this view of Fort York everyday.
Stragglers coming in.
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.
Sunnyside bike park as seen from the westbound Gardiner. They really shouldn’t be riding when the ground is this wet.
Turn off for the South Kingsway. The 75 km route turned back at this point back to the EX.
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.