January 22, 2014

Chain of Events

Bi-weekly e-newsletter of the latest events, news and activities

So it's winter

The Polar Vortex is back, but with slightly less enthusiasm than last time, and there's a nice dusting of fresh snow around. Before it got cold again, there were a few brave souls out on bicycles, and many more people on the rinks and on the ski trails.

And the Sochi Olympics are just around the corner - GO CANADA!

What else do we have to look forward to?

TBN Cycling Jersey Pub Night

See your TBN friends at a special "Fit Kit" Pub Night where we will unveil the winning design for the new TBN cycling jersey. The event takes place on Tuesday February 11 at 7pm at Pauper's Pub on Bloor St W (near Bathurst). There will be sample jerseys on hand so that you can try on various sizes before ordering.

Please register in advance so we can order the correct amount of snacks, courtesy of TBN.

Cycle TV - Add Your Voice

Did you know that the Canadian Radio-television and Communications Commission is examining a request for a specialty TV channel, Cycle TV? The request, to be discussed next month, would offer "programming devoted to the world of cycling and its associated activities, including purchasing, cycling accessories, clothing options, training techniques and national/international cycling reports." (Does that include the Tour de France, I wonder?) The regulator has set a January 26 deadline for your comments, so speak up now. (Sorry for the short notice, we just learned of this a few days ago.)

Weekend and Overnight Trips

The sold-out success of our two February ski weekends (see the column on the right) shows the strong demand for weekend trips, so we're offering you a chance to help extend the program.  A new TBN Weekend Trips Committee is looking for ideas, and for trip leaders for adventures that could include Quebec, Stratford, Mennonite country, New York state or the Trans Canada Trail. If you think you might like to lead a trip, but have not done so before, you could start by being “mentored” by another leader as an assistant on a trip, where you can see how much fun it can be. We are also looking for an experienced leader to lead the Pelee Wheelie cycling/camping trip around Labour Day. Trip leaders have their fees paid by the TBN. Please contact us at weekendtrips@tbn.ca.

Sign-up systems

To help the busy volunteers who organize events and administer the club, you can now only register for events and trips through the TBN website. No more mailing in of forms, or calling someone to give your name.

Secure and convenient payment is through Visa, MasterCard, your PayPal account or with an e-cheque (by providing banking information to PayPal on a one-time basis). You do not have to be a PayPal member to pay through the PayPal site. As a last resort, you can mail cheques to TBN, but you must send your cheque and a note to the TBN office and not to the organizer directly.

Day ski trips are the only exception: You pay for the bus online in advance, but pay in cash for the trail pass fee on the bus.

Cancellation policy

TBN wants to maximize the number of people who can sign up for trips and events and ensure they get a spot. To help, the club is introducing a nominal cancellation fee for anyone who signs up for a paid event but later cancels. This helps those who truly want to register, but are unable to do so because the event appears to be sold out, and also helps offset administrative costs. The cancellation fee varies by event and will be indicated in the registration process. This policy only applies to paid events, not free events like Education, Spring Kick-off, Picnic and others.

However, If TBN cancels the event, you will receive a full refund and there will be no cancellation fee.

Want more snow?

Starting in February, registration for one-day ski and snowshoe trips will open the Monday before the trip, so you can check the weather and your schedules before you sign up. The deadline to sign up without extra fees is Thursday at midnight -- after that, your registration is considered final, and there will be no refunds. The only exception is when TBN cancels the day trip, in which case registrants will get a full refund.

Check the Ski page of the website for details of the next trips, which take you to ski country by comfortable coach. Let someone else do the driving and face the hassles of busy roads or poor driving conditions, and then enjoy fun, fresh-air exercise on nicely groomed trails. Lessons are available, including an afternoon skate-ski lesson scheduled for Jan 25 at Highlands Nordic.

Upcoming Events

Check the web site for our calendar of events, and remember to check in regularly for updates and new events.

Spinning classes continue on Wednesdays, Skating on Fridays, and Cross Country Ski and Snowshoe trips on weekends. Skating this week is scheduled to be at Cedarena, a very cool open-air rink in Markham, while Highlands Nordic and Wasaga Beach are on the ski trip schedule. Check the web site for updates, and remember that the weather in ski country is always very different from that in the GTA, so don't let a little GTA freezing drizzle get you down.

Education events

How not to become a Wounded Warrior - February 6

This is a special session on how not to get injured, or what to do if you are, and will be of special interest to anyone who is or has been injured, or who wants to be sure they will not be. Please register here.

Bicycle Touring Around The World - February 19

Two of the most experienced TBN cycle-tourists will regale us with their tales of planning and under-taking different types of cycling trips throughout Canada and abroad. Please register here.

Unofficial events

Be sure to check the TBN Forum for unofficial events organized by TBN members.  All members are welcome to organize an unofficial hike, bike ride, ski trip, skate, yoga, pub night or anything at all. You can post details to the Forum and on the TBN Facebook page

Don't forget the discounts

Retailers and services across the GTA offer discounts to TBN members. Participants include local bike shops, and services such as tours, training sessions as well as beautiful cycling artwork, or a subscription to Pedal Magazine. Please support the businesses that support TBN.

Tips and Training

TBN's ever expanding Education Program includes helpful tips about events we sponsor and support, as well as tips and events  on things like travel and staying fit. If you have suggestions for the Education page or ideas for events, please contact education@tbn.ca.


Toronto’s public works committee decided to defer the issue of E-scooters using bicycle lanes until the province refines its definition of E-bikes. The city suggests it be refined to comprise two categories:

  1. Moped-like E-scooters that are primarily motor-powered, with occasional human power to assist
  2. Pedelecs that are mainly people-powered, with a motor assist that only works when the cyclist pedals.

The committee also recommends to council that only kids under 14 may ride on the sidewalk, closing a loophole that allowed adults to ride on sidewalks if they had bikes with 24-inch wheels or smaller. The decisions go before full council February 19.

The take from advocacy director Joey Schwartz, posting on the TBN Facebook page: “A reasonable decision, as no one in TBN should be riding on the side walk. It's been a good day for cyclists in the city.” Contact Joey at advocacy@tbn.ca for further information.

Enjoy the Canadian winter, whatever you do!

Winter trips

Ottawa Winterlude
Jan 30 - Feb 2

Sign up here for a fun-filled weekend during the Ottawa Winterlude Festival. Ski some of the best trails, skate the famous Rideau Canal and participate in Winterlude. Attractions and entertainment includes ice sculptures and outdoor concerts.

Wanakita Snow & Snowshoe Weekend
Feb 21 - 23


Contact Frank Remiz at wanakita@tbn.ca to join the waiting list.

Wolf Den Ski & Snowshoe Weekend
Feb 28 - March 2


Spring Forward

Kentucky Cycling Vacation:
May 17-26.

Carpool from Toronto to Lexington, Kentucky to start this loaded cycle tour for a week in May followed by the Horsey Hundred weekend event with the Bluegrass Cycling Club.

Registration opens January 23.

Contact Jean at weekendtrips@tbn.ca if you have any suggestions for a weekend trip or wish to lead one.

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