Training

Training For The Ride

We will make sure you are Bike Rally ready with a full offering of seminars, clinics, indoor winter training, outdoor training rides, and resources that will help you build your endurance and learn skills such as how to conquer hills, change a flat tire, injury prevention, staying well fueled and hydrated, proper cycling etiquette, and rules of the road. Check the Bike Rally calendar for confirmed dates, including the training ride schedule.

On this page you can access information on training tips, seminars, training ride route maps and more. When our outdoor training rides begin in April, the final training ride cue sheets and Ride With GPS files (for uploading to your bike GPS, if you have one), will be available on the Wednesday prior to each weekend’s ride. Please print your cue sheet and/or upload the route to your GPS so you know your way while riding.

Winter Training

We have been fortunate over the years to have a strong partnership with the downtown Metro Central YMCA and the uptown North York YMCA, and are proud to have them as our winter training sponsors. Spin classes are provided to registered Bike Rally participants three times weekly. Check out the Bike Rally Calendar for training dates. You don’t need to be a member of the YMCA to participate, you just need to be a registered Bike Rally rider. Space is limited so you need to reserve a spot via Eventbrite. (At the North York YMCA, registration is in person 15 minutes before the class.) If you reserve a spin bike and are unable to attend, please cancel your order on Eventbrite to free up your bike for someone else.

Training Rides

Training rides are developed and organized for you to:

  • tap into a training schedule to get in shape for the ride;
  • meet fellow riders and make new friends;
  • learn and practice safe and efficient riding;
  • help other riders by sharing your knowledge; and
  • support and encourage all riders, especially new riders.

More than half of the riders at training rides are new riders, so please don’t worry if you don’t know anyone or if you’re brand new to riding. Come out to the first few training rides and meet new riders like yourself and take advantage of the knowledge and support of returning riders.

If you are not (yet!) registered for the Bike Rally, you are still welcome to join us provided you follow the rules outlined on this page.

Routes

The first training ride starts small and then we gradually work up the distance from there. Each weekend’s ride is surveyed in advance and the final cue sheet and Ride With GPS file is saved below, under “Training Ride Routes & Map Links.” You’ll know the ride is confirmed by checking the “route verified” column. Please print the cue sheet and/or download the file to your GPS so you know your way while riding. Training rides leave from Kipling, Finch, Warden, or Highway 407 subway stations. Check the calendar for the training ride schedule.

Qualifying Rides

All riders must finish the following qualifying rides to ensure that they progress their training appropriately, and to identify and work with riders in need of support.

  • 50km training ride by mid-May;
  • 90km training ride by early June; and
  • 2 back-to-back 90km rides (i.e., on 2 consecutive days) by early July.

Consult the Bike Rally calendar for this year’s specific deadlines.

What to Bring

It is mandatory that you wear a helmet on all training rides. Bring appropriate fuel/nutrition on any ride longer than approximately 90 minutes, as there will be long stretches of country roads where there are no convenience stores.

Unless you really need to secure your bike somewhere, we don’t recommend bringing a lock – they weigh a lot and will just slow you down. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen – even a short time in the saddle can expose you to a lot of UV rays.

Essential

  • helmet (mandatory)
  • portable tire pump or CO2 cartridges
  • spare tubes or patch kit
  • tire levers (plastic)
  • multitool
  • cell phone
  • water bottles and/or a Camelback hydration system – 1 with water and 1 with an electrolyte replacement drink
  • banana, energy bars, energy gels or other snacks
  • money, credit card, identification
  • sunglasses

Optional

  • cycling gloves
  • lightweight waterproof jacket if there is any chance of rain
  • sunscreen to reapply on hot days

The Role of the Sweeps

The very last riders on any training ride and on the Bike Rally itself are two Team Leaders, referred to as the Sweeps. A Sweep is the final fall-back person and is there to assist and encourage those riding at the back of the pack. Please be aware that having Sweeps on the rides is a courtesy – they will do their best to help you with technical and physical difficulties but they are not mechanics or doctors. They are volunteering their time to assist you with your training. Ultimately, we want to foster an environment where all riders can learn to take care of themselves on the road.

Cancellation Policy

The safety of our participants will always be our first priority and there may be times when a training ride will have to be cancelled. This will be at the discretion of the Team Leaders leading that day’s ride. If a training ride is cancelled it will be posted to the Bike Rally Facebook page and Twitter. The Team Leaders will also go to the starting point to ensure that all riders are aware that the ride is cancelled. Rides can be cancelled based on the following criteria:

  • lightning;
  • heavy downpours that last more than 10 minutes; and/or
  • hail.

Last But Not Least

All riders need to know how to fix their own flat tires. Please check the Bike Rally calendar for dates on this year’s Flat Fix Seminar, and review and practice those instructions before hitting the road. Always perform a safety check on your bike, ensure your chain is well lubed and pump up your tires before riding. New riders must attend one of the bike repair seminars before we leave for Montréal.

You must follow the rules of Safety and Cycling Etiquette on all training rides and on the ride to Montréal. Riders who don’t may be removed from the ride, for their own safety as well as that of other riders.

We encourage riders to set up additional group training rides to further build their fitness. Crew members and the general public are welcome to bring their bikes and helmets and join us!

Training Ride Routes & Map Links

Training Ride Routes

You need to train for this event, so if you can, why not do it with other Bike Rally riders? To build your stamina, training rides start small and progressively get longer throughout the season.

We recommend riders study each map and cue sheet before heading out for a ride. This will allow you to focus on cycling safely, rather than attempting to interpret the map as you ride.

IMPORTANT: Each weekend’s ride is surveyed in advance and the final cue sheet and Ride With GPS file is saved below by the Wednesday before that weekend’s ride. You’ll know the ride is confirmed by checking the “route verified” column. Please print the cue sheet and/or download the file to your GPS so you know your way while riding.

Check the “Training Rides” section above for our cancellation policy and qualifying ride requirements.

Visit the Bike Rally calendar for the 2019 training ride schedule.

 

2018 Bike Rally Training Rides

Below you will find the Ride With GPS and pdf Map & Cue Sheets for the 2018 Bike Rally Training Rides.


NOTE: In the Route Verified column, "Not yet" means the route has not been scouted by the Team Leads. If you choose to do this route unverified, keep in mind you may encounter construction, road repair, or other unsafe obstacles. Ride at your own risk. Once the route has been scouted, we will update the status.



TRAINING RIDERide With GPSPDF Map & Cue SheetRoute Verified
Kipling - Courtney Park - 35 kmRide With GPS linkpdf Map & Cue SheetVerified
Warden - Zoo Loop - 40 kmRide With GPS linkpdf Map & Cue SheetVerified
Kipling - Meadowvale - 46 kmRide With GPS linkpdf Map & Cue SheetVerified
Finch - Lake Wilcox - 55 kmRide With GPS linkpdf Map & Cue SheetVerified
Keating Channel - David Linton Memorial Ride - 54 kmRide With GPS linkpdf Map & Cue SheetVerified
NEW SHORT David Linton Memorial Ride - 22 kmRide With GPS linkpdf Map & Cue SheetVerified
Kipling - Oakville - 68 kmRide With GPS linkpdf Map & Cue SheetVerified
NEW Hwy 407 - Hammertown - 78 kmRide With GPS linkpdf Map & Cue SheetVerified
Finch - Kleinburg - 83 kmRide With GPS linkpdf Map & Cue SheetVerified
NEW Warden - Musselman Lake - June 10 2018-99 kmRide With GPS linkpdf Map & Cue SheetVerified
NEW SHORT Warden/Musselman: Warden - Roddick Rd. June 10 2018 - 57 kmRide With GPS linkpdf Map & Cue SheetVerified
Kipling - Terra Cotta - 97 kmRide With GPS linkpdf Map & Cue SheetVerified
Finch - Holland Canal - 94 kmRide With GPS linkpdf Map & Cue SheetVerified
NEW SHORT Finch/Holland: Finch - Jane/17th - 65 kmRide With GPS linkpdf Map & Cue SheetVerified
Kipling - Burlington - 106 km Ride With GPS linkpdf Map & Cue SheetVerified
NEW SHORT Kipling/Burlington: Kipling - Mississauga St - 73 kmRide With GPS linkpdf Map & Cue SheetVerified
NEW Hwy 407 to Goodwood - 114 kmRide With GPS linkpdf Map & Cue SheetVerified
NEW SHORT Hwy 407/Goodwood: Hwy 407 - Hwy 48 - 90 kmRide With GPS linkpdf Map & Cue SheetVerified
Kipling - Campbellville - 117 km Ride With GPS linkpdf Map & Cue SheetVerified
NEW Hwy 407 - Keswick - 129 kmRide With GPS linkpdf Map & Cue SheetNot yet

Routes From Previous Years

2017 Bike Rally Training Rides

Below you will find the Ride With GPS and pdf Map & Cue Sheets for the 2017 Bike Rally Training Rides.
TRAINING RIDERide With GPSPDF
Kipling - Courtney Park - 34.9 kmRide With GPS linkpdf Map & Cue Sheet
Warden - Zoo Loop - 40 kmRide With GPS linkpdf Map & Cue Sheet
Kipling - Meadowvale - 46 kmRide With GPS linkpdf Map & Cue Sheet
Finch - Lake Wilcox - 50 kmRide With GPS linkpdf Map & Cue Sheet
NEW Kipling - Meadowvale - Out and Back - 51 kmRide With GPS linkpdf Map & Cue Sheet
NEW Warden - Steeles/Taunton - Out and Back - 55 kmRide With GPS linkpdf Map & Cue Sheet
Keating Channel - David Linton Memorial Ride - 62 kmRide With GPS linkpdf Map & Cue Sheet
Warden - Pickering - 63 kmRide With GPS linkpdf Map & Cue Sheet
NEW Finch -Jane/17th Side Road (Holland Canal short) 65 kmRide With GPS linkpdf Map & Cue Sheet
Kipling - Oakville - 68 kmRide With GPS linkpdf Map & Cue Sheet
NEW St. Clair – North Road (Goodwood short) 73 kmRide With GPS linkpdf Map & Cue Sheet
NEW Kipling – Appleby (Burlington July 9) 80 kmRide With GPS linkpdf Map & Cue Sheet
Finch - Kleinburg - 82 kmRide With GPS linkpdf Map & Cue Sheet
NEW Kipling – Guelph Line (Burlington short July 15) 90 kmRide With GPS linkpdf Map & Cue Sheet
Warden - Musselman Lake - 91 km *REVISED ROUTE MAY 31*Ride With GPS link pdf Map & Cue Sheet
Kipling - Terra Cotta - 97 kmRide With GPS linkpdf Map & Cue Sheet
Finch - Holland Canal - 93.8 kmRide With GPS linkpdf Map & Cue Sheet
Warden - Ashburn - 111 kmRide With GPS linkpdf Map & Cue Sheet
Warden - Goodwood - 112.5 kmRide With GPS linkpdf Map & Cue Sheet
Kipling - Burlington - 102.9 kmRide With GPS linkpdf Map & Cue Sheet
Seminars

There are a number of seminars and clinics that will ensure you are properly equipped for the Bike Rally.

All First Year riders are required to attend:

  • First Year Orientation seminar;
  • Flat Fix and Bike Maintenance clinic; and
  • a Ride Safe Clinic, which introduces you to road etiquette and road safety.

Please see the Calendar for the seminar schedule. New seminars and clinics will be added on an ongoing basis until our date of departure, so please be sure you are checking back regularly for updates.

BIKE RALLY EXPO

Have a hectic schedule? Can’t make it to weekday evening seminars? Here’s the solution.

As we prepare for our exciting journey, training and knowledge are the keys to a successful ride. The Bike Rally Expo is a day of clinics and seminars designed to help you understand your bike and learn how to fix a flat, learn basic bike maintenance, nutrition and hydration, and to ask your fundraising questions. Try on a jersey to get the proper fit, and fill out any outstanding forms.

The Flat Fix Clinic is hands-on, so be sure to bring your bike – or at least one wheel.

FUNDRAISING ESSENTIALS

Designed for both Riders and Crew, we will cover all the basics of fundraising for the Bike Rally. Reaching your fundraising goal may seem daunting, but with the right tools you will find it less challenging and even fun to not only hit your goal but to surpass it! Hear tips and techniques designed for both new Riders and Crew.

We will cover all the basics of fundraising for the Bike Rally including:

  • Tips on how to plan your fundraising campaign;
  • How to ask for support which many first-time fundraisers find intimidating;
  • How to maximize your pledge from each donor;
  • How to make the most of email, Facebook, and Twitter;
  • Some resources and tools to turn to if you need help; and
  • How to ensure you will be successful in your fundraising endeavors.

A Q&A and discussion will follow so bring your questions, comments and ideas, or send them in advance to Fundraising.

HILLS & SKILLS

While the phrase “as easy as riding a bike” might lead you to believe that cycling is as simple as turning the pedals while staying upright, most riders suffer from poor cycling form without even realizing it. Learning the essential skills of efficient pedaling technique and proper gearing will not only allow you to climb hills with more ease, but it will also help you to ride faster with less effort! It will also aid in preventing injuries and will increase your general enjoyment of cycling.

In this clinic, we will discuss proper cycling form, ascending and descending techniques, and provide on-the-bike instruction at one of our favourite downtown hill training locations. The clinic is geared to riders at all levels of cycling experience.

There is a component of the clinic that is stationary, and as such, participants should dress according to weather conditions.

This is a hands-on clinic so please bring your bike and come ready to ride.

FLAT FIX & BIKE MAINTENANCE CLINIC

Do you know how to replace a flat tire? What if your chain were to come off its gears? You will learn how to fix a flat by actually doing it yourself. Fixing your own flat is one of the most essential repairs a cyclist needs to know. You will also learn how to put your chain back on, minor repairs that you may need to perform on the road, as well as general bike maintenance and things to pay attention to as you add mileage to your bike.

This is a hands-on clinic so please bring your bike, tire levers, and any other tools you might need to remove your rear wheel (e.g., wrench or Allen key), as well as some rags.

Flat-Fix and Roadside Repair (1 MB)

This seminar is  required for first year Riders.

FIRST YEAR ORIENTATION

Are you new to the Bike Rally? Are you a returning rider but haven’t ridden in a while? This is the seminar for you.

This is a required seminar for first year riders.

This information seminar is a great way for new and prospective participants to get more information about all aspects of this incredible event. Learn what has been put in place to support and enhance your experience and why the Bike Rally is so important to the Toronto People With AIDS Foundation and their clients.

During this seminar you will learn all about PWA, the Steering Committee, how to train for the ride, fundraising, camping, and pre-ride logistics. We will also cover what to do in the months leading up to the ride and the resources available to you.

For more information contact Training & Support.

Check the Calendar for dates.

RIDE SAFE CLINIC

Etiquette, Safety and the Rules of the Road

Learn safe riding techniques, proper riding etiquette, what to expect on the road, rules of the road, hand signals and traffic laws, how to read a cue sheet and route markings. You will also get some light cycling under your belt before hitting the road. Highly recommended!

PLEASE NOTE: Clinics are subject to cancellation in the event of poor weather conditions. The decision to cancel will be posted on the Bike Rally Facebook page.

There is a component of the clinic that is stationary, and as such, participants should dress according to weather conditions.

This is a hands-on clinic so please bring your bike and come ready to ride.

THE BIG MEETING

The Big Meeting is a Friends For Life Bike Rally tradition and is mandatory!

This meeting gives all riders and crew a great overview of our adventure to Port Hope and then onward to Montréal. Learn all about the final ride details, including daily events, theme days, tips and advice from Crew Leads, and other logistics from Packing Day and Departure, to our arrival in Port Hope and Montréal, accommodations, and return to Toronto.

Meet your Co-Chairs and Steering Committee members. Pick up the official handbook and get answers to all your Bike Rally questions.

Thank You 2018 Sponsors: