THANK YOU for registering for the 14th Annual Friends for Life Bike Rally!
You are about to embark on an incredible journey, make new friends, reconnect with old ones, get fit, and most importantly raise money in support of the essential services and programs offered by the Toronto People With AIDS Foundation.
We would like to bring you up to speed on how the first couple of months unfold. If you're a first-year rider there may be a million questions circling around in your head and at first the whole idea might seem rather daunting. But don't worry. You aren't in this alone! Team Leaders receive their team lists and will contact you shortly. You'll be connected with a team - your teammates for 2012!
We know that everyone is anxious to get training. There are many things you can do to get yourself ready:
- The best 1st step! Personalize your pledge page. Compose an engaging personal message, upload a compelling picture that tells your story, and set your fundraising goal.
- Start fundraising. Think about a plan and strategy and set your goal high.
- Get to know the Toronto People With AIDS Foundation. Your fundraising will have much more conviction and be more successful.
- Ensure you have subscribed to the bi-weekly e-News. It's an invaluable source of information for upcoming seminars, socials and many other important details. Just submit your email address in the box in the right column.
- Recruit a friend. What’s better than riding to Montreal with a friend?!
- Spend some time browsing the site. It is constantly being updated with a wealth of information such as:
- The Calendar of events to incorporate into your own schedule;
- Articles on cycling, hydration, nutrition, buying a bike, and more;
- Fundraising tips
- Training ride information and maps;
- What to expect the week of the ride;
- An idea of the clinics offered covering things like Hill Climbing, Nutrition, Rules of the Road, Flat Fix and more.
- Pictures and videos of years past
- Start training. Join your gym's spin classes; jump on a treadmill; lift some weights. Cross-training is a great way to wake up those winter-weary muscles. You'll be surprised by how much that will help you on your first training ride!
- Check your cycling equipment now!
- Does your helmet need replacing? Does it have a crack? The foam lining is susceptible to degradation from the sun and sweat.
- Are your cleats worn down?
- Can those shorts last one more season of rubbing?
- Does your bike need a tune up? Turnaround time in shops is usually fairly quick this time of year.
- Talk it up! Tell everyone what you’re doing! Ask questions then ask some more. Invite questions on your Facebook page, share links on Twitter, tell your supports, friends, family and potential donors about your progress.
Each team is led by a pair of Team Leaders who will be your primary points of contact in the months leading up to departure day and through the week of the actual ride. Through them, and your fellow team members, you will be able to ask questions, find information, seek guidance and support from now until we proudly ride into Montreal on August 3, 2012.
How teams are formed:
- Team registration was opened shortly after the launch of the bike rally (e-News: January 24, 2012).
- For a limited time up to 10 people register for a team.
- Then the Team Leader Committee assigns the remaining riders to teams.
- Every effort is made to balance teams between new and returning riders, men and women.
- We try to meet requests from riders asking to join a specific team provided we can still maintain balanced teams.
Again this year we are very fortunate to have a group of returning Team Leaders and experienced participants who will dedicate their time to lead you on this amazing journey.
- Provide a supportive environment for all team members, particularly new riders.
- Communicate at least once a month (telephone or e-mail) with their team members.
- Organize at least two team socials to meet and get to know each other. Take the opportunity to ask questions. Organizing a social for 20-plus people takes a bit of doing so please respond promptly when asked for input regarding the dates and venues.
- Encourage, support and motivate the fundraising and training progress of their team mates and report progress to the Team Leader Committee.
- Ensure that any questions and concerns raised by their team are addressed or passed to the appropriate individual.
- Make you aware of the resources available to you. But it is up to you to use them to your advantage.
Team Leaders are NOT responsible for:
- Ensuring you meet your minimum fundraising requirement of $2,200. They are a resource for ideas, They may choose to take a more active role in your fundraising but ultimately each rider is responsible for meeting the minimum goal.
- Your training. Team leaders will make you aware of and encourage you to participate in as many of the upcoming training rides and seminars as possible but they are not responsible for making sure you are road ready.
- Riding with you on training rides or during the ride to Montreal.
During the ride, each team will be assigned a day to help the Food Crew serve a meal, and on another day, to sweep the route by cycling behind the other riders.
The key to enjoying the ride to Montreal is training as much as possible and gaining as much knowledge as possible.
The teams are comprised of riders at every level of ability. During training you will get to know other riders at your level. But don't worry. The more experienced riders are always happy to answer questions and give you a few pointers regardless if they're on your team or not. All you have to do is ask!
VERY IMPORTANT TO NOTE! Our first training ride: Saturday April 14 at 10 a.m., departing from the Finch subway station. Our meeting spot is on the west side of Yonge just north of the passenger drop-off.
The subsequent training rides: Sunday April 22, Saturday April 28 and Sunday May 6.
Saturday training rides after May 6 start at 9 a.m. and as we get further along into the longer training rides we start at 8 a.m. Because of the subway schedule, all Sunday rides start at 10 a.m.
We continue to assess all training rides to see if they fit our needs, delete them if they don't, modify them if necessary and possibly add new training rides.
We felt that leaving from the Kennedy station posed some hazards due to road conditions, especially around the GO station, coupled with the high traffic. Therefore all rides formerly leaving from Kennedy will leave from Warden.
New for this year! We will be posting ride cancellations on the Bike Rally Facebook page and Twitter. The Team Leaders responsible for that day's ride will still go to the starting point to ensure that all riders are aware that a ride is cancelled. If nothing is posted, assume the ride will proceed as scheduled.
Rides will be cancelled due to lightning, heavy downpours that last more than 10 minutes or hail.
Seminars and Clinics
Training & Support puts together a number of seminars and clinics to help you get ready to ride and they are already underway! Some are required, some are suggested and some are strongly recommended. They cover everything you'll need to know from how to change a flat, how to reach and surpass your fundraising goals to how to make it up that hill and still keep going!
First-year riders are required to attend:
- Welcome to the Ride: New Participant Orientation & Information Session;
- Mechanical! The Hands-On Flat-Fix & Roadside Repair Clinic; and,
- Cycling 101 Clinic which will introduce you to etiquette, safety & rules of the road.
Check the Calendar regularly for the schedule for the full slate offered. New seminars and clinics for both riders and crew will be added on an ongoing basis until our date of departure.
"As long as there's a reason ... there's a ride."
Thank you from your Team Leader Committee Co-chairs
Last Updated on Saturday, 21 April 2012 17:58