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Fitness

The Spring 2013 Bike Show in Toronto on the CNE Grounds

(Added March 1, 2014): A year after the original post: the Toronto International Bicycle Show 2014 runs from Feb. 28-Mar.2. Just scroll down to the official site near the end of this article, with my apologies for not writing a new article. The rest of this post is from 2013.

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More formally, the 2013 Toronto International Bicycle Show runs in the Better Living Centre on the CNE grounds from March 1-3, 2013.

Yes, there’s a link to the official site near the end of this article.

Why Attend the Toronto Bike Show?

"Bicycle Shop in Gurgaon, India" image by comprock (Michael Cannon)
"Bicycle Shop in Gurgaon, India" image by comprock (Michael Cannon)

Now in its 27th year, the spring Toronto Bicycle Show will feature 150 exhibitors, several bike riding competitions, hands-on experiences and the chance to connect with cycling clubs and tour organizers.

Become inspired because cycling is a great fitness activity for your weekends. It’s also an environmentally-friendly way to commute to work. The Toronto Bicycle Show will have the personnel to help you find that inspiration.

Remember that cycling is a healthy exercise that can contribute to weight control and cardiovascular fitness. Those improvements can lead to a longer and happier life.

Some people turn to bicycling rather than running because it’s easier on their knees, ankles or feet.

If you need new gear, anything from the bicycle, through bike accessories and on to cycling clothing, the bike show will supply it.

When and Where is the 2013 Toronto International Bicycle Show?

"Better Living Centre at the Toronto CNE" image by Mike DeHaan via Google Maps
"Better Living Centre at the Toronto CNE" image by Mike DeHaan via Google Maps

The Toronto Bike Show starts Friday March 1st and ends Sunday March 3rd. The times are:

  • Friday from noon to 9pm;
  • Saturday from 10am to 7pm;
  • Sunday from 10am to 6pm.

The Better Living Centre is in the south-west quarter of the CNE grounds (the Canadian National Exhibition property). The CNE is bounded by Lake Shore Blvd West on the south, Dufferin on the west, the Gardiner Expressway on the north, and Strachan Avenue to the east.

Cycling Competitions at the 2013 International Bicycle Show in Toronto

The International Bicycle Show hosts several different cycling competitions during their March 2013 weekend:

  • Yakima Canada sponsors a mountain bike race and stunts competition;
  • BMX racing and tricks competition;
  • Competitions on ramps and around obstacles;
  • Bike polo tournament.

Sorry if I’ve under-stated what’s going on; I’m much less of a BMX or competitive cyclist than a leisurely touring rider, myself. Let me know what more to say: add a comment (sorry about the CAPCHA); or use my contact information from the right-hand column.

Other Attractions of the Spring 2013 Bicycle Show in Toronto

Check out new biking technology at this bike show. Perhaps e-bikes will be the cutting edge for the 2013 bicycle show at the CNE. Exhibitors will showcase the newest product innovations in electric bicycles.

You can enter a draw to win a free bike, or test-drive a bicycle in the test ride zone.

The children will have play area, although one parent or guardian has to stay with the tyke.

Learn what cycling clubs and tour organizers can offer to enhance your cycling experience this coming season.

Just see if you can resist buying a new bike, accessories and cycling clothing.

Getting to the Toronto International Bicycle Show

Three good options come to mind for getting to the Toronto International Bicycle Show:

  • If you’re from out of town, take the GO Train to the CNE.
  • From within Toronto, ride the TTC. Take the 29D Dufferin South bus from the Bloor line’s Dufferin subway station.
  • Bike to the CNE! Feel the envy of car drivers since the bicycles get free parking.

Admission Costs for the 2013 Bike Show in Toronto

The admission costs are in line with many other annual Toronto events that I’ve recommended. Do check the official link below for exact family, multi-day and discount ticket prices. I assume HST will add tax to the quoted prices.

  • Adult single day admission is $13.
  • Children under 5 years of ages are free.
  • Seniors and youngsters enjoy a discount.
  • There’s a family discout for up to 4 persons.
  • Get a bargain for a 2-day or 3-day pass.

Four Final Notes about the Toronto Bike Show 2013

Here are three small notes about the 2013 bike show in Toronto.

If You Can Defer Buying a New Bike

If you can defer buying a new bicycle until late autumn, put an entry into your calendar to come back on Sat. Oct. 19, 2013 for the one-day bicycle sales blitz when exhibitors compete to clear out their inventory before the holiday shopping rush.

Online Comparison Shopping for Bikes and Bike Accessories, such as Bicycle Carrier Racks

Do your online comparison shopping before you attend the Toronto Bike Show, so you know how much of a bargain you’re getting.

Here’s a couple of examples via Amazon.com. Let’s pretend you’re looking for a bike rack sale.

Cyclists look for two kinds of “bike rack”: a bicycle accessory to carry luggage; or bicycle carrier racks.

Among bicycle accessories, Amazon’s top rated bike rack is the “Axiom Journey Tubular Alloy Rack in Black“. Think about it: this bike rack can carry 150 pounds (68 Kg). Have you ever wished you could load that much gear on your bike? Even if you haven’t, now you won’t have to worry about your bike carrier being the weak link. Of the 20 reviews, the only serious complaint about this bicycle rack was the need to tighten some nuts about once a month.

For a bike carrier for cars, Amazon’s top rating goes to the “HR1400 Sport Rider SE 4-Bike … Hitch Mount Rack“. Despite the long name, it seems like a really good car hitch bike rack. This hitch-mounted bicycle rack carries two or four bikes, and folds flat behind your car when it’s not needed. Hollywood Racks earned the full 5 stars in 49 of 56 reviews for this bicycle hitch carrier; the other 7 gave “only” 4 stars. One of those few complaints was that the hitch lock didn’t fit the customer’s hitch; once he bought another lock he seemed satisfied with this bicycle hitch rack.

Previous Articles about Cycling in Toronto

Although I covered winter cycling with “Bike in Toronto a Week after Robbie Burns Day 2013“, this is my first article for the spring 2013 cycling season. After all, this is an annual spring Toronto event.

Other annual spring cycling events in Toronto were noted in last year’s “Great Reasons to Bicycle in Spring 2012” and “Toronto Bike Month 2012 for Fitness and Events“. I’m sure that most or all of these events will return, particularly the Becel Ride for Heart.

The Official Site of the 2013 Toronto International Bicycle Show

As thanks for reading so far: here’s the official Toronto International Bicycle Show site.

Looking for More Annual Toronto Events?

This blog tracks all the annual Toronto events that I find interesting, and provides ideas for fascinating, free or frugal events in Toronto.

Disclaimer: DeHaan Services has no relationship to the organizer(s); they do not reimburse me for writing this article. However, DeHaan Services does write web site or advertising copy for clients. Our skills are demonstrated in online articles in Decoded Science, for example. That’s why DeHaan Services highlights these online articles on this site.

Thanks for reading about the 2013 Toronto International Bicycle Show.

Bike in Toronto a Week after Robbie Burns Day 2013

January 25, 2013 does double duty.

It’s Robbie Burns Day, when true Scots celebrate the Scottish poet’s birthday by addressing the haggis at the Burns Supper.

Today is also the final day to reserve a free Bixi bike for “The Coldest Day of the Year Ride” in Toronto.

Celebrate Robbie Burns Day in Toronto

"Robbie Burns painted by Alexander Nasmyth" image owned by Scottish National Portrait Gallery
“Robbie Burns painted by Alexander Nasmyth” image owned by Scottish National Portrait Gallery

The Burns Supper (or Burns Dinner) commemorates the life and work of poet Robert Burns. His poem, “Address to a Haggis”, speaks to the main dish served at this meal.

People ask, “What is haggis?”, but they only ask once. Haggis is a pudding, but “savoury” rather than sweet. It contains some internal organs, typically sheep heart, liver and lungs; fat; soup stock; as well as oatmeal, onions and spices. The mixture is steamed inside a sheep’s stomach for several hours.

While officially Robbie Burns Day is his birthday, Jan. 25, some may celebrate the happy event on the following Saturday.

Robbie Burns Celebrations in Toronto

Mackenzie House, the City of Toronto museum at 82 Bond St., hosts an official “Robbie Burns Day Celebration” from noon to 4pm on January 27, 2013. Admission is under $10, and includes a taste of haggis. Bond Street is east of Yonge St., west of Church St. and just south of Dundas St. East.

“The Caledonian” claims to be the only Scottish pub in Toronto, so you could head to 856 College Street for their Robbie Burns Week festival. They have a second Burns Supper on Saturday, but call ahead since their Wednesday supper was sold out.

On the other hand, many other pubs and restaurants jump onto the Rabbie Burns bandwagon near the end of January, so you should be able to find a Burns supper in Toronto this weekend.

Did Robbie Burns Ride Bicycles?

Robbie Burns lived from 1759 to 1796. Since bicycles were first introduced sometime between 1817 and 1839, he would not have had the opportunity to ride one or to write poems about their virtues.

The Coldest Biking Event in Toronto

Toronto cyclists will celebrate the “Coldest Day of the Year Ride” on January 30, 2013. Thank the Cycle Toronto team for organizing one of the annual winter events in Toronto devoted to fitness; and one of the few to feature the sport of bicycling in cold weather.

The “Coldest Day” ride starts behind Toronto City Hall, at Armoury and Chestnut streets, at high noon.

The tie-in to Robbie Burns Day is that Bixi, the bicycle rental company, offers free rentals if you make the special reservation by Jan. 25, 2013. Oops, that’s today, but I just learned about it this morning! Check the Cycle Toronto web page (linked above) for the contact information.

That page also links to Cycle Toronto’s winter cycling tips page. Their first item is to choose the right bicycle for winter conditions. While there are many bike stores in Toronto, you should contact them to check for their winter hours. You want a cheap bicycle, rather than the fanciest multi-geared road bike, to get through the salty slush of a Toronto winter. They recommend adding fenders; check with bicycle shops that carry accessories for your bike.

You have just enough time to find a bike shop for a winter tune up, if you haven’t ridden since early autumn. At least lubricate your chain.

Whether for snow or rain, in my view it’s better to stash your cell phone in a waterproof bag than to drop it from your pants pocket while cycling. Online retailer New Egg has bike accessories, such as Insten brand waterproof cell phone holders. I’d search for “waterproof case” in New Egg Canada, or New Egg USA for American shopping and shipping.

"A Bicycle in Winter Snow in Arlington, Virginia" image by *Sally M* (Sally Mahoney)
“A Bicycle in Winter Snow in Arlington, Virginia” image by *Sally M* (Sally Mahoney)

This inspirational photograph of a bicycle in a snowstorm was taken in Arlington, Virginia. Let’s not pity ourselves too much about winter cycling in Toronto!

Cycling in snow is a serious fitness activity. It takes more work to get through the snow; and there’s less traction so you put more effort in than you normally gain in the way of speed.

Cycle Toronto’s tips include what to wear for warmth, but warn against dressing too warmly. After you read their tips, check my “Four Sports Clothing Tips for Winter Running Gear” for a runner’s view, then add a wind-proofing layer but be ready to peel down a bit once you warm up.

It’s also more tricky, especially getting across hidden streetcar tracks or sewer grates. I’d want to stay on routes that I already know well, rather than exploring new streets.

However, the Coldest Day ride will be led by experienced Toronto cyclists. It should be a great group experience.

Record-Setting Warm Temperatures for the “Coldest Day Bike Ride”

(Added Jan. 30, 2013): According to Metro News (Torstar), “Cyclists take their ‘coldest day of the year’ ride on record-warm Jan. 30“. Congrats to the 75 cyclists who faced the 14C temperatures today. We’re supposed to drop below freezing overnight, so cycling in Toronto winters will become more of a challenge again.

Every winter I’m bemused by the bicycle tracks in the fresh morning snow when I’m out for an early Saturday run. Somebody gets their fitness session started before I do. And congrats to that person.

Looking for More Annual Toronto Events?

Check the “annual events” or “Toronto events” categories toward the end of the left-hand menu for other fascinating, free or frugal annual events in Toronto.

Toronto Winterlicious 2013

The 2013 Winterlicious kick-off is today, Jan. 25; but I’ve already covered the basics for this annual winter dining event in “Prepare to Savour 2013 Winterlicious in Toronto“.

Disclaimer: DeHaan Services has no relationship to the organizer(s); I am not reimbursed for writing this article. However, DeHaan Services does write web site or advertising copy for clients. Our skills are demonstrated in online articles in Decoded Science and other online sites. That’s why DeHaan Services highlight these online articles on this blog page.

Thanks for reading about Robbie Burns Day and Toronto’s annual Coldest Day of the Year Bike Ride.

Sports Clothing as Important Winter Running Gear

Now that we actually face cold weather running in Toronto, my DeHaan Fitness site’s latest article is “Four Sports Clothing Tips for Winter Running Gear“.

Sports Clothing for Running in Winter

"Winter Running Shirt and Gloves" image by Mike DeHaan
“Winter Running Shirt and Gloves” image by Mike DeHaan

My article’s four tips for winter running apparel cover: to check three facets of winter weather conditions; to dress in several light layers; to wear “technical” fabrics that wick perspiration away from your skin; and how I choose running gear for winter depending on local conditions.

This picture shows a long-sleeve technical T-shirt and a pair of very cheap work gloves. The gloves are not very warm at all; but they keep out the wind, and even get too warm to wear before the half-way point of most of my training runs. Those gloves have also seen duty as work gloves, so that’s some real dirt and not just a trick of the light.

I like a long-sleeve shirt under the wind jacket; otherwise my arms get cold even if my torso is fine. The wicking fabric helps keep the skin dry, and therefore warm.

You should get winter running gear from retailers specializing in athletics. The exception is my toque; but you’ll have to read the DeHaan Fitness article to learn its type of sports clothing. The toque does, however, wick away perspiration so it works very well for running in the winter.

Online retailer Champion carries complete lines of winter sports clothing for men and women. Find sports clothing for cold weather running through the Champion web site; they carry men’s and women’s sports clothing, including what you need for running in cold weather.

Professional Writing by DeHaan Services

DeHaan Services helps clients with fitness and weight control goals, and also writes web site or advertising copy for commercial clients. Our skills are demonstrated in online articles in Decoded Science and other online sites such as my DeHaan Fitness… blog.

To only see our Toronto events or fitness articles, please click on the appropriate category in the “Categories” section at the bottom of the right-hand margin.

Thank you for reading about selecting the right sports clothing for winter running under cold weather conditions.