Season: April to October
Day & Time: Sunday - 10 am
Class: Urban Roller
Ride Length: 30-50 km early season
50-70 km mid to late season
Avg speed: 18-24 km/hr early season
20-28 km/hr mid to late season
TBN membership card - or $5
Coordinator: David Middleton
Welcome to the Urban Roller section. We pride ourselves on being one of the most welcoming and accessible parts of TBN. Here's a bit of information about the group.
About the Urban Roller Program
The Urban Roller category attracts the broadest range of riders, from people who have never ridden in a group before, to some of the clubs' extra-capable riders who find it a pleasant change from riding fast in small groups. Urban Roller rides are quite social by nature and design. We probably talk as much as we ride. For the most part we try to keep to quieter streets and paths so that riders can socialise if they want to. An effort is made to keep the group together, with regroup points to let people catch up.
About the Rides
Rides typically start at 10 am, within Toronto boundaries close to a subway station or transit and they return to the start point. There is usually a lunch stop at an affordable location, Tim Hortons more often than not.
Typically, Sunday Urban Roller rides stick together as a group. Normally rides will have several regroup points during the ride to help keep the group together.
Most rides have a sweep, someone who rides near the back of the group to try to make sure that we stay together as much as possible. However, if a rider cannot match the pace of the group even with the regroup stops, the sweep may need to rejoin the main group instead. Please be realistic in assessing your abilities, especially if it is your first time riding with TBN. The info in the next section should help.
How Easy (or Hard) is it?
The length and pace of Urban Roller rides can vary a bit. Early in the season when everyone is shaking off the winter cobwebs, rides are shorter in length (35-40 km), and they tend to move at about 18 to 24 km/hr on the flat and level. By the middle or latter part of the season people are hopefully in better shape. The rides have increased in length (50-70 km) and the speeds have increased to 22 to 28 km/hr. This is all leading up to the 100 km Alan Gordon century ride in mid-September. Many people have surprised themselves at being able to accomplish this goal after having started with TBN at the beginning of the season. After that the rides start to get shorter as the days get colder, but the pace tends to stay the same.
It should be noted that the Urban Roller rides aren't always easy. We don't go out of our way to find hills, but sometimes they find us, and the later season pace can be a bit daunting if you aren't in at least moderate shape. If you are not certain about your ability level, try a few Leisure Wheeler rides first. If you find yourself wanting more of a challenge, move up to Urban Roller. This way, you won't be exhausted and end up dropping off the back of the Urban Roller group on your first ride. If you aren't enjoying yourself you won't want to return, and we want everyone to have fun and stay with TBN! Of course, if you find us too slow please check out the TBN Tourist rides.
Before the Ride
Here are a few tips for new riders, and some of our regular ones too. Please make sure that your bike is in good mechanical condition. It doesn't have to be the latest all-carbon-fibre model, but the tires should be pumped up, the chain oiled, and the brakes in working order. It is a very good idea to carry a patch kit or spare tube and a small pump in case you get a flat. Everyone gets a flat sooner or later. On a similar note, carrying a cell phone is also a good idea in case of a mechanical problem that can't be fixed on the road, or an actual emergency. Bring a water bottle and a small snack if you get hungry before lunch. Of course, you will need to have and wear a helmet to participate in any TBN ride.
You can find a printable "cue sheet" with the turn-by-turn description of the route on the website page for the ride. Please print it out and bring it along with you. There's also a link to a downloadable Ride with GPS map if you're so inclined.
At the Start
It is a good idea to arrive at the departure point at least 15 minutes before the 10 o'clock departure time. This gives you a chance to meet the ride leader and assemble your bike if it was packed in the car. If you are not a TBN member you will need to sign the waiver and pay the five dollar non-member fee. You can also take the opportunity to introduce yourself and chat with the other riders. After all, we ride in groups to meet other people!
Sometimes rides are cancelled
Rides are scheduled in advance on the TBN website. If there are any changes to the schedule they will only be noted on the website, so always check to confirm that a ride is happening. In the event of bad weather, check the website after 8 am on the morning of the ride to see if it has been cancelled.
Now that you have a better idea of what the Urban Roller rides are all about, we hope to see you out there!
For more information, please contact David Middleton, Urban Roller Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org