Community Rides for 2018

NEXT RIDE:  The Port Credit Waterfront Trail Family Ride on Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 10:00 am is designed for novice riders, and families with children who are new to riding.  Includes activities and giveaways.  A CanBike instructor will help riders gain confidence, with a 5km ride to try out new skills.  *Online Registration is OPEN*

SCHEDULE:  All Rides are listed and described, with Registration links and GPS data, on the Schedule webpage for quick reference.

► See BASIC INFORMATION for Community Riders (below).

PRESS RELEASE - City of Mississauga (May 2, 2018): Community Rides Begin May 5: Pump Up your Bike Tires and Come Ride with Us.

► Details of the proposed 2018 Bike Challenge are in the 3-page Report at Mississauga Council's General Committee (Agenda, Item 8.3) on May 2, 2018.

FREE Community Rides T-Shirts

April 2018:  Thanks to Toronto Pearson, our exclusive Community Rides Sponsor, we have been able to produce a FREE souvenir T-shirt for all the communities we have toured in Mississauga (the list is on the back).  The 25 bicycles on the front (in Toronto Pearson logo colours) represent the 24 rides plus the Tour de Mississauga which were conducted in 2017.

The familiar Toronto Pearson logo features red, green and turquoise shades we have chosen to use on our Rides posters as well as the T-shirts.

HOW TO GET YOUR T-SHIRTS:  *FREE* T-shirts will be available to Community Riders once the 2018 Rides series gets underway (while supplies last).  Here's how the T-shirts look (at the Cycling Open House in November 2017).  SIZES: unisex adult S - XXLT-shirts are first come, first serve -- we have quite a few!

Basic Information for Community Riders

Community Rides are a FREE series of casual cycling tours in all corners of Mississauga from May through September (Schedule).  Led by volunteer citizen members of the Mississauga Cycling Advisory Committee (MCAC), these group rides are an opportunity for residents to explore Mississauga on their bikes.  The 2018 series is exclusively sponsored by Toronto Pearson for a fifth year!

*NEW* REGISTRATION POLICY:  Cut-off time for Online Registration is 4:00 pm on Friday (for Saturday or Sunday rides), and 4:00 pm on Wednesday (for Thursday rides).  Registered riders should arrive at least 15 minutes early to sign-in at the meeting place prior to the Ride, and receive their coloured armband.  The armband must be clearly visible during the ride to identify participants, and must be returned at the end of the Ride to receive an ice cream ticket.  Participants can also register in person at the Ride, however this is limited to space available.  If registering in person, arrive at least 30 minutes early.  NOTE:  A Waiver must be accepted by every participant.

*NEW* CANCELLATION POLICY:  If warranted by the weather forecast, rides will be cancelled ahead of the ride day.  Cancellation decisions will be made by the end of business on the day prior to the ride, and be communicated to all registered riders by e-mail, and posted to the MCAC website and social media platforms:  Facebook and TwitterIf a Ride must be cancelled on the ride day itself (most likely because of unexpected  inclement weather), every effort will be made to post this information, but there will always be Ride organizers at the meeting place to ensure any riders who do show up are informed.  NOTE: There will be NO Rain Dates or rescheduling for cancelled Rides.

BIKE HELMETS:  By provincial law, all minors are required to wear a bicycle helmet in Ontario.  MCAC has a Mandatory Bike Helmet policy for ALL riders participating in our cycling events, including adults aged 18 and over.

MECHANICAL ISSUES:  Minimize the chance of a mechanical issue or flat tire by properly maintaining and checking your bike before each ride.  Check the condition of tires (including proper air pressure), brakes, cables, chain, and shifting gears.  Know your A-B-C's: see the Region of Peel's Walk+Roll Bicycle Maintenance webpage.  NOTE:  The rides are 'Guided', but not 'Supported' -- riders are responsible for arranging their own transportation if they are unable to complete a Community Ride due to mechanical breakdown or any other reason.

ALL RIDERS ARE WELCOME including from outside Mississauga.  We have volunteer Marshals to help us ride in 2-3 separate groups according to your comfort riding level.  Come and learn about cycling in Mississauga.

MINORS:  All minors aged 17** years and under must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.  **Minors aged 14-17 may ride on Community Rides unaccompanied, only if their parent/guardian gives online Permission.

CHILDREN:  Children aged 7+ may ride on their own if their parent feels they are capable.  All children must be registered separately.  Children may ride on the sidewalk where their parent deems it appropriate.

YOUNG CHILDREN:  Children aged 6 years and under may participate if  'attached'  to a parent/guardian's bike via child trailer, bike-mounted child seat or tandem-tow.  NOTE: Even infants must be registered separately.

2018 Community Rides Survey - Summary Report

April 2018:  We recently closed our first Community Rides satisfaction survey.  Thank you to the 122 people who took the time to respond.  A few were not even active cyclists!  We had roughly equal responses from frequent riders and occasional participants in the Rides series.  One third of responses came from those who joined in for the first time last year, during the 2017 series.

Overall, almost 95% rated their experience as Good or Excellent, with over 50% calling it Excellent.  When asked their opinions on aspects of the 2017 rides, most were happy with the registration process, the marshalling, the safety of a group ride, and the welcome they received.

Participants also found the Rides educational, both in terms of learning about the cycling infrastructure in the City, and learning about safe cycling.  General opinion was that the routes were a nice challenge, and kept the riders from unsafe situations.  Many felt that we could promote the Rides better.  Almost everyone agreed that they would plan on participating in future Rides.

In the free-form section, most who gave more detailed answers felt that we should work hard to leave at the scheduled time, but that the safety briefing was important.  Many comments suggested that post-ride conversations and socializing were nearly as satisfying as the Rides.  No one felt that we should stop offering treats.

Further comments offered support to the change to self-catering (i.e. not ending up at an ice cream shop).  There were frequent calls for more varied routes, longer rides, and more rides in general.  The "Destination Rides" added in 2017 were singled out for praise.  Dividing riders into groups was considered a positive aspect, but there were calls for improvements in how this is done.

Again, we thank those who took the time to respond, and we are taking each comment into account as we work to evolve the Community Rides program.  We cannot satisfy everyone, but we hope that changes we make are in keeping with the spirit of community that has been enjoyed thus far.