Gord's message: Spring is here!
Spring is here and the TBN ride calendar is filling up. There are already rides scheduled as you read this, so be sure to check the TBN website calendar for what's on. Please note that we have decided to keep the online registration system (more on that below). Some rides will still have limits for safety and planning reasons so be sure to check and register for any rides before you go. And as the weather is always iffy at this time of year, be sure to confirm the ride is still on before heading out.
Many of our social events will be back this year too, barring more unwanted COVID surprises. Planning is already under way for the Spring Kickoff breakfast (see below), the Toogood Pond picnic and, of course, Cyclon in August. Watch the website for more details.
The Niagara weekend trip has already sold out (but we do have a waitlist), which leads me to believe that we are all anxious to get back out on trips again. More weekend trips would be welcome. If you have any ideas or are willing to lead a trip, please contact Lora at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gord Irish, President
Register for TBN's Spring Kickoff
Register now for TBN's Spring Kickoff, set for May 7 at Étienne Brûlé Park in Etobicoke. We'll have food, rides and prizes at this special event, which is one of the highlights of the TBN annual calendar. The Kickoff is free to TBN members, but we ask people to register so we know how much food to buy. Non-members may also register and participate if they are interested in joining the club.
We are also seeking volunteers to help out, ideally some who worked on this project in prior years. If you are available to help out, contact Marc Giles, social director, at email@example.com.
Details on rides we will be doing after the Kickoff breakfast will be posted on the calendar soon, and we will have separate event registration for those rides. For the kickoff, breakfast and rides we will waive the $10 non-member registration fee.
Event registration process to continue
While the province on Ontario has announced that it will soon remove restrictions on public gatherings, TBN has decided to retain the registration system for our events. This is for ongoing safety reasons, as there are still some events where event leaders need to limit group size. If only some events have registrations, we feel certain that such differences will prove to be inconsistent and confusing.
As well, knowing the size of an event ahead of time helps us manage it better. For example, particularly large rides often need additional sweeps. Registrations also help TBN understand what events are most popular and help us design or modify programs going forward.
Event limits are set by the event leaders and some have limits set so high that they effectively allow for unlimited participation. Where limits are in place, we are asking the Program Coordinators to have a "Registration Window" - typically around 5-7 days - when you can register. This will mitigate the issue where a small group of very eager members reserve all the spots on these rides throughout season, thereby preventing other members from getting a spot on any rides. It is not a perfect solution, but it does help. For events without a limit, registration will be fully open as soon as it is posted on the calendar.
All those rides
TBN's riding season is up and running, despite chilly mornings and some lingering snow and ice. Check the website for details on everything that's coming up, and also check back a couple of hours before a ride to be sure it's still running. We have rides on Saturdays and Sundays, and on several days during the week, and the number of weekly rides will ramp up as the season continues. Non-members are welcome to register for all rides this year. Non-member registration is $10. If you enjoy your experience, and want to join, the full $10 fee can be applied towards a TBN membership.
What sort of rider are you?
While we're on the subject of riding, please check out TBN's ride classifications, so you can find the ride that fits you best. Our Tourist and Sportif rides are the fastest, designed for riders who can keep up with the pack or are happy riding along or in small groups. And the Urban Roller and Leisure Wheeler rides are no-drop rides at a gentler pace. There's something for everybody.
Zwift Meetups Season Completing Soon
As this year's IRL (In Real Life) rides are starting up, the Zwift Meetups Virtual rides are winding down. Thank you to the 34 different TBNers who have, over the season, joined the Zwift Meetups for exercise, advice, encouragement and conversation. By the end of the season we will have held over 60 Meetups, with a total of over 2,000 kms of riding, and untold 1,000s of metres of climbing. Well done everyone! Some ending thoughts as we go back to real-world cycling:
- Layering of clothing is important in 5C weather. Speaking of weather, there is this thing called wind and rain you will have to deal with.
- - Cracks in the pavement, potholes, etc., all hammer your tailbone, over and over and over. In Zwift, the roads are smooth.
- - Remember to steer. And brake. And balance. All skills that have been unused since autumn.
- - Unclip, then come to a stop (not the other way around). There is no trainer there to keep you upright.
- - The other "avatars" are solid: Cars, trucks, people. You don't pass through them. You can crash and it can hurt.
- - There is no Trainer Difficulty in the Real World, there is only 100%.
- - Out of the saddle is far more dynamic in the Real World. You have to control your bike.
- - Traffic lights/stop signs. They should be obeyed.
- - Use the brakes. Especially when descending.... and turning on descents. In real life it is impossible to take 180 degree hairpin turns at 75 kph, so slow down!
- - Rain and puddles mean you need to clean your real-world bike.
- - Adjust your expectations... In Zwift we average around 30 kph. With real-world hills, stop signs, traffic lights and other obstacles, that will be much lower. And your virtual bike is probably much lighter than your real bike.
- - The Real World has real Butter Tarts and Cappuccino. We are looking forward to seeing you all (putting faces to names) on the roads!
Niagara Bike & Hike 2022: Join the Waitlist
After a two-year absence, this is a chance to get the 2022 cycling season off to a great start by joining one of TBN’s most popular rides along the quiet roads and off-road paved trails of the Niagara Region. This year we have 40 spots for the Niagara Bike & Hike weekend, running May 20-23. This trip is already sold out but, if you are hoping to join us, please consider joining the waitlist.
Throughout the four days, we will be observing safety protocols set by the TBN Board based on provincial health guidelines. Please note that all participants will be asked to show proof of being fully vaccinated. As well, in the event that there is a resurgence of COVID cases, there is a possibility that the number of participants could be reduced or the event could be cancelled.
Be sure to watch the TBN calendar for announcements of other overnight trips during the season.
TBN at Bike for Brain Health
TBN has been invited to assist with Bike for Brain Health, a new event set for June 5. Similar to the Ride for Heart event in past years, this charity ride is taking place on the Don Valley Parkway and the Gardiner Expressway, both of which will be closed to traffic. We are looking for 60 marshals and ambassadors for this event. Mark your calendar and email Alice at Experience@tbn.ca or Todd at Publicity@tbn.ca if you would like to volunteer or have any questions.
Weekend Trip to Simcoe, Ont.
Dennis and Chris Szilvasy are organizing a weekend cycling trip to Simcoe, Ont., for the weekend of July 16 and 17, with guests staying at the Comfort Inn in town on the Saturday night. Dennis (TBN's Touring Director) and Chris Szilvasy have cycled through the area many times.
The group will ride Saturday along the coast of Lake Erie from Port Dover to Port Rowan. The area is very historic and there are lots of places to stop off and explore. Sunday's ride heads northeast of Simcoe, exploring some rail trails.
Cost of the trip will be approximately $90 per person. This fee is for a one-night stay in a room with two double beds, continental breakfast at the hotel and researched maps.
Registration will open in early May. Watch the TBN calendar for details. The final day of registration will be June 15. This is a small tour and there only 20 spots available.
Ride Ambassador Program Update
We are pleased to announce that the following programs will be participating in our Ride Ambassador initiative: Sunday Urban Rollers, Sunday Leisure Wheelers, Sunday Country Cruise and Sunday Tourist. Sincere thanks to those members who responded to our search for Ride Ambassadors. With your support, we hope to cover the rides for the above listed programs on Sundays throughout May.
We will soon announce a Zoom Meeting in April to provide training, offer Q&A, and arrange for the distribution of ambassadorial armbands. At that time we will also gauge interest and discuss logistics for running the program during the remainder of the year.
If you have not signed up yet but would like to help, or if you have any questions, please email Alice at Experience@tbn.ca or Dennis at Touring@tbn.ca.
TBN's Ride With GPS
Did you know that TBN has a club account with Ride With GPS, so you can enjoy the full features of the service, without paying for an account? All you need to do is click on this link, and follow the instructions. (Note: This link is available only to TBN members, so you must be logged in on the TBN website for access.) If you already have a RWGPS account, you're good to go. If you do not have an account, it takes about a minute to set-up a free account.
As long as the ride is listed in the TBN Club section, you will get:
1) The ability to load the route to your GPS device.
2) The ability to customize your cue sheet PDF.
3) Turn-by-turn directions from the mobile app on your smartphone, or from your GPS device.
Ride Leaders Take Note
Ride leaders are reminded that they need to list all ride assistants on their ride leader reports. If the names do not appear on the reports then those volunteers will not receive any volunteer credits for the work they do on the ride. Likewise, it may be helpful for anyone assisting on a ride to remind the ride leader to include their name in the ride report.
TBN Retail Partners
Check the TBN website for for an updated list of cycling shops in the GTA that offer discounts to TBN members on merchandise, generous offers that ease the pain of buying new cycling gear. You might be asked to show your membership card to qualify for that discount. To access your card, log into the tbn.ca website and click on your name in the upper right corner of the page to view your profile. You can download the card to your smartphone or print it as a PDF.