Art Spin Bike Ride Thursday June 30th

Art Spin is a multi-disciplinary art crawl style bicycle tour of galleries (commercial, artist run & public), art performances and visits to artist’s studios throughout various downtown Toronto neighbourhoods. Each Art Spin tour will feature a new itinerary featuring some of the city’s most exciting artists. Much of the programing includes interactive events that directly involve our audiences, calling upon their creative participation. Art Spin works closely with different community partners to help capture and share the pulse of this city’s vibrant art scene.

This year’s Art Spin will take place on the last Thursday of the month from June until August 2011.The meeting point is the gate to Trinity Bellwoods Park at Queen St. & Strachan, between 6:30 – 7 pm and ending around 9 pm. Art Spin is a free event, and anyone regardless of age or cycling ability is welcome.

Dates for 2011 season include…
June 30th
July 28th
August 25th

MAYDAY! MAYDAY! @Bike Pirates

The Toronto Bike Messenger Association is holding the 2nd annual BMEF fundraiser on May 7th! Saturday:

Fundraiser Party 9pm@ Bike Pirates 1292 Bloor St W (Lansdowne/Bloor) $20
pre register here for Sunday Polo Tournament

Donate to Bike Pirates

Bike Pirates will happily accept donations of bicycles, parts and tires year-round during regular Bike Pirate hours.

You can also make cash or cheque donations to Bike Pirates Bicycle Club. We are a non-profit society that partially relies on generous donations from the community to continue offering our services and advocating on behalf of all cyclists in Toronto. Donations can be delivered in-person to Bike Pirates.

Donating used bikes and parts to Bike Pirates is a great way to support our work and to clear out your garage or basement at the same time.

Bikes that are in good working order will be checked by Bike Pirate volunteers and adjusted as needed before being re-sold at affordable prices as part of our low-cost bicycle program.

Parts and tires that are in good condition will be added to our substantial stock of second-hand parts that are available at pay what you can prices.

If you’re not sure if the bikes or parts you have are reusable, feel free to drop them off anyway. Bike Pirate volunteers will check them out and make use of anything that we can. Any bikes, parts or tires that cannot be reused will be recycled on site rather than entering the waste stream.

Big Thank You to ICYCLE Race 2011

For the past few years the races have been held on the rink at Dufferin Grove Park, and that’s where about one hundred spectators gathered this past Saturday, cramming into the players bench and lining the outside fence to catch the action. The event is run by Derek Chadbourne, owner of the Bike Joint on Harbord Street. Bike Pirates, a non-profit, do-it-yourself workspace for cyclists, helps out, and has hosted the afterparty for the last three years.

To be able to race, the cyclists have to stud their tires, a process that involves drilling screws though (or “studding”) the tires, then lining the tire with duct tape (or, in some cases, with another tire). Apparently, once the process is complete the actual tire doesn’t even touch the ice. And just like other sporting events, someone is always tweaking the technology to get an edge: by using hundreds of small, thin screws and setting them in a specific pattern, some of the fastest riders this year were able to give themselves an extra push. “They’re that thin,” Bercarich says, pinching his fingers together—and there are up to eight hundred in a tire.

In classic format, the bikers race in heats, with the winners from the men’s and women’s divisions moving on to the finals; finalists race an intense twenty-five laps around two connected ice rinks. This year’s winners were the intrepid Kevin Black and Briana Illingworth (know on the circuit as the Ice Queen). Every year, proceeds raised at the afterparty are donated to a worthy cause: this time, to Peter McKenzie, a cyclist who was hit on the Bloor Viaduct in December.

One of the final events of the night, the Rubber Race, allows any spectator with a bike and a helmet to participate. The only catch: no studded tires. Immediately after it begins, over-eager cyclists—many of whom have started too fast—fall onto the ice. The Rubber Race is a slow one, and after a couple laps most cyclists have lost their balance and dropped off their bikes at least once. The only rider who could stay on her seat consistently was at a huge disadvantage—she was on just one wheel. “I’ve been riding a unicycle for about seven years, maybe. But only seriously in the last three,” Celeste Koon told us. As she rounded the turn of her final lap, the crowd went crazy, clapping and hitting the boards. She gracefully dismounted her unicycle and stepped between fallen cyclists on her way off the rink.

Photos by Nana Arbova.

dandyhorse magazine’s editorial assistant Colleen Kirley and dandy photo editor Nana Arbova send bike love to Torontoist readers with this feature. You’ll be able able to see more of their work in dandyhorse this spring.

Contact the author of this article or email tips@torontoist.com with further questions, comments or tips.

ICYCLE RACE 2011 Feb 12th 6pm


Its that time of year again! ICE RACE TIME!!

This year, to help offset the costs to the organizers there will be a small charge of $5 to sit in the players boxes rinkside. Totally worth it for the best seats in the house!
As always please remember this is a family event (as in bring brown bags for your beverages, be discrete and PLEASE put your rubbish in the bins and take your empty drink containers with you! This ensures that we will be able to hold the ice race again next year!

Everyone welcome so invite all your friends!
Dufferin Grove Ice Rink, Feb 12, 6:00pm-9:00pm
Facebook Event Page

If you have not already started you better get going on studding out a set of tires! Bike Pirates will be hosting a tire studding workshop very soon. Stay tuned for details. Or if you don’t have studded tires you can race in the “Rubber Class” category for the last race of the evening. Always a guaranteed laugh!

Fundraiser Party ($5 P.W.Y.C.) to be held at Bike Pirates between 9pm-1am

Cant wait to see you all there!

Hello Everyone and Happy New Year!

Just a note to let you know that the overhaul at Bike Pirates will be completed today and the space will officially be opened for the New Year tomorrow!

Please let folks know that fantastic changes are in place (and some digital ones are still in the works) and they should come by and check us out! We are excited to get back to work helping people and building bikes, taking in donations, planning events and cooking yummy food. As usual we will be running all of our regular scheduled shifts throughout the winter, so now is the best time to come in and check us out and work on your bike, before it gets crazy in the spring.

2011 begins with our first shift tomorrow – 5-9pm Monday January 10th

A Better Bike Is Possible!
Ainsley and Bike Pirates.

Bike Pirate Tune Up…Help Needed

Please note that we will be CLOSED on December 25th and 26th due to a penchant for sitting on our couch all day watching terrible Christmas movies – that opportunity only comes round but once a year!

And From January 1st through the 9th we will be CLOSED for an overhaul. We’ll be doing a lot of cleaning and reorganizing, small reno work, upkeep, re-visioning and implementing some new organizational plans (think: inventory! usage log! bike sales tracking! Pirates are dreaming big this year).

If you would like to help with this tune-up – which may include creative thinking and heavy lifting – please let us know! Contact us at info (at) bikepirates (dot)com and we’ll let you know what hours we plan to be in the shop.

Pirates will be open again for all regular scheduled hours on Monday January 10th. Any further closures over the winter due to weather or volunteer availability will be posted HERE.

We also have a Christmas Wish List, with some items that would make this tune-up even more successful. If you are able to donate any of these items or know where we might get them please let us know:
vinyl/rubber/laminate flooring (approx. 8′ x 45′)
new electric range
small display case
folding chairs (10-20)
Books and magazines related to cycling and bicycle repair (current or old, new or used)
sturdy extension cords (long or short)
screws and nails!
a gallon of paint – green or blue or purple maybe

many thanks for your help and support all year round!