Community Rides for 2018

REGISTER FOR THE FINAL 2018 RIDE:  Halloween Nighttime Ride  Friday, October 26, 2018 @ 7:00 pm

SCHEDULE:  All Rides are listed and described on the Schedule webpage, including registration links and GPS data.

Basic Information for Community Riders

Community Rides are a FREE series of casual cycling tours in all corners of Mississauga from May through October (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!

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.

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 is to be returned at the end of the Ride to receive ice cream.  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.

CANCELLATION POLICY:  If warranted by the weather forecast, rides will be cancelled ahead of the Ride day.  Cancellation decisions will be made by 4:00 pm on the last business day prior to the Ride, i.e. Friday afternoon @ 4:00 pm for Saturday or Sunday rides; Wednesday afternoon @ 4:00 pm for Thursday rides.  Any cancellation will be communicated to all registered riders by e-mail, and posted to the MCAC website and related social media accounts.  If 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 be Ride organizers at the meeting place to ensure that 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.

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.