Alan Gordon 

1930 - 2002

The TBN community was shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Professor Alan Gordon at the age of 71 on Friday, January 11, 2002.

Alan had been a member of TBN for almost ten years, Leisure Wheeler coordinator for seven years and membership secretary for the past six. Alan was one of our most valued volunteers, a man who made an extensive and lasting contribution to the club on a variety of levels.

In 1995, sensing a gap in the club's program offerings, Alan approached the TBN Board with an idea for a new ride category, eventually named the Leisure Wheelers. Determined to make the new ride program a success, Alan led or co-led almost all of the rides over the first two seasons, researched and/or adapted all of the routes and drew the maps, as well. Over the ensuing years Alan trained a whole cadre of Leisure Wheeler ride leaders, involved them in the scheduling and planning process and was able to take a back seat and enjoy the program he created as a participant. Alan was already looking forward to and preparing for the 2002 Leisure Wheeler season having just recently attended the ride coordinator's meeting.

In the spring of 1996, TBN found itself in dire need of a new membership secretary. A call was put out for volunteers and Alan, recently retired, with some computer experience and a schedule that put him in the vicinity of the club mailbox twice a week, was the perfect fit. In the early nineties, TBN promised to turn around a membership application in four to six weeks. After Alan arrived on the scene, new and renewing members could expect to receive their membership package in a matter of days!

Alan was also a greater booster of TBN, always available for duty at the annual bike show and other promotional events. He contributed book reviews to the newsletter, was a frequent attendee of our Education Nights, managed registration for our annual Basic Riding Skills Clinic and enjoyed participating in our City Walks program.

Outside of his TBN activities Alan was a devoted father and grandfather, active at Hart House, and had a long-running involvement as an official in competitive markmanship, the highlight of which was likely supervising the shooting events at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal.

Alan was a truly extraordinary human being--humble, kind, compassionate, caring, and generous--I know we'll all miss him greatly.

The TBN Board extends its condolences to Alan's family during this difficult time. As should be expected, we are discussing ways to remember Alan in a fitting and more permanent way. Plans will be announced in the March/April edition of Quick Release.


Article Comments:
Alan's Leisure Wheeler adventures really helped me to develop my riding confidence when I first joined the club. He was a nice person, always friendly and welcoming. I will miss seeing him on the rides.
  Posted by: ChristineChow on 15-Jan-2002 at 5:33 pm
I am very saddened to learn of Alan's passing. While I cannot pretend to have known him well, I did have the pleasure of working with him during my time as President on the TBN board. Thinking back, Membership was probably the one area that I never heard a complaint about. Alan did a wonderful job.

As far as I am concerned, Alan did wonders with the Leisure Wheelers program. I only rode with them once but it was a very important ride; the first Leisure Wheeler Century in the fall of 2000 (at least I think it was the first). I was very impressed with the turn out and the determination of the riders. Most of them had never tackled a ride of this length but Alan's encouragement and enthusiasm inspired all of the particpants. The Leisure Wheelers will miss him greatly.

One personal memory that I have of Alan is the two of us sneaking out of dinner at various Cyclons to have a quick smoke. Alan with his pipe and myself with a cigarette (I know, I know....shame on us). I think that we both felt a bit like naughty school boys. I always enjoyed our conversations while we were indulging.

My heart goes out to all of Alan's family and friends. He will be missed by all whose lives he touched.
  Posted by: jcorbett on 15-Jan-2002 at 9:59 pm

Julian and I (Nora) are tremendously saddened by Alan's death. He was the focal point of the Leisure Wheelers and he will always be in our memory. We were discussing Alan on the weekend and if Alan had not created the Leisure Wheelers we would not have met. Thanks to Alan, we are going to be married this summer and we are gong to get married in a location along one of the TBN routes. Love always to you Alan
Julian and Nora
  Posted by: donovan/ward on 17-Jan-2002 at 10:22 am
Very often, if I rode with Leisure Wheelers, I took up my spot with Alan at the back, providing me with an opportunity to have a lively chat. He was a giving and lovely person. Being around him, you always felt his energy, wit and his keeness and love for cycling! As a new member, I thought of him as a very central figure to the TBN's organization and philosophy. It will be very sad not to see him on the trails...but I am certain if I hear "CAR BEHIND" in that familiar accent...I'll have a quick glance to see if he's there keeping an eye on us!! My sincerest condolences to his family.
Joan Santiago
  Posted by: joan on 18-Jan-2002 at 2:53 pm
I remember Alan at the conception of the Leisure Wheeler class of rides. As an on-again / off-again tour leader & TBN member for many years, I had the opportunity to lead & ride with Alan. It was okay to hang back with him. It was his easy going nature that allowed new & first time riders to ride comfortably along with the group. He always had his trail-mix to offer to everyone, on every ride.
  Posted by: Markthetruth on 18-Jan-2002 at 11:21 pm
One of the very first club members I ever met was Alan. Three things about him that have stood out for me was that he was a truly likable person and that he genuinely cared about people and their well-being. Last but not least, he always had a passionate enthusiasm for riding and always tried to encourage others to stick to it or expand their abilities.
I recall on one occasion, we were on the return leg of the annual club barbeque. A rider had gotten a flat and we all stopped in the shade while I repaired it. Alan had seized on this as an opportunity to make it an instructional experience. While I worked on the bike, he gave every one a "play by play" of the steps. He will be truly missed by all of us who knew, and were inspired by him.
God bless, Alan. And godspeed.
  Posted by: daveraine on 21-Jan-2002 at 10:19 pm
One of my last memories of Alan was at Cyclon this past summer. The day that I volunteered on the Sag Wagon we passed by Alan towards the end of the ride. It was a scorching hot day and we wanted to make sure that he was alright. He responed in a way as if to say that he is just as capable of doing a long ride on a hot day as the rest of us and there was no need to single him out as someone who might need help. He pushed himself to the limits of his ability and was a role model for any class of cyclist. I aspire to having his enthusiasm throughout all my cycling days.
  Posted by: GalitM on 29-Jan-2002 at 7:50 pm
My first introduction to Alan was at the Beginner's Cycling Skills course at Seneca College (instructor: Aubrey Bryce)back in 1996 or '97. I was brand new to cycling and extremely nervous about the ride (in traffic!!) scheduled for later on that day. After all, I took my bike on a TTC bus just to get to the course! Alan was totally understanding and did his best to reassure me that I would do just fine. I remember Alan as a very thoughtful, caring, man and an enthusiastic cyclist. I am totally shocked and saddened by his sudden passing. My deepest sympathy goes out to his family and his many, many friends.
  Posted by: Lindah on 13-Feb-2002 at 12:54 pm

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