Tuesday, April 30, 2013

MS Bike Team Captain Profile – Ron Hay

MS Bike – Grand Bend to London holds a special place in Ron’s heart. “My best friend’s wife has MS and I spent summers growing up in Grand Bend,” says Ron, who also participates in the Niagara tour. “I ride not only for her, but for others who live with MS.”

Ron’s team, Steve’s Cycle Paths, started out with a group of co-workers.  The team participates in many charitable rides and first joined the MS Bike in 2011.  Since then, the team has grown to include close to thirty members made up of friends and family; raising over $15,000 to-date for people living with MS. 

For Ron, raising funds for the MS Bike is important in improving the quality of life for people with the disease. “I’ve watched my friend go from being a very physically active person, to someone who suffers daily with pain and mobility. I want her to be able to move again.” says Ron. “I want to end MS.” 

As Team Captain, Ron helps his team prepare for the MS Bike by holding weekly team rides. “After a long winter, no one has really been on their bike, so we have our team rides on Friday afternoons,” he says.  In the weeks leading up to the MS Bike, the team holds barbecues and other get-togethers as they gear up to end MS. “The MS Bike is something that we all look forward to as a team. It’s really a lot of fun.”

With MS Bike fast approaching, Ron hopes to increase his team’s fundraising. “The MS Bike not only raises money for people living with the disease, but it’s also a way for us to raise awareness. It’s an opportunity for us to do something for those who are close to us.”

Monday, April 29, 2013

An incredible journey to end MS

Greg Van Tighem is the Fire Chief for Jasper, Alberta. He is also a very active MS Ambassador, volunteer and team captain of the Jasper Rockhoppers, a team that rides in the MS Mountain Bike Tour in Hinton, Alberta. But Greg has gone above and beyond the call of duty in his personal quest to end MS. He’s currently riding along Route 93, a 3000 km thoroughfare that runs from Arizona to Alberta, in order to raise money to end MS. You can follow Greg’s extraordinary journey at his blog. On behalf of everyone at MS Bike, thank you Greg for your incredible effort to end MS!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Get a free bike inspection at an MS friendly bike shop!

Did you know you can get a free bike inspection before taking part in MS Bike? Present your MS Bike participant card at select bike shops across Ontario and they’ll look over your bike free of charge. Just head to the Bike Shops page of our website, find the bike shop nearest to you and download your flyer and participant card. Show the card to the bike shop employees when you visit and they’ll be happy to provide you with your free inspection!

Already had your free inspection? Tell us how it went on our Facebook and twitter pages.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Maintenance Tip – Repairing a flat tire

If you cycle frequently, chances are sooner or later you’ll get a flat tire. There are a lot of potential flat causers, from sharp objects on the road to manufacturing faults in your tire’s inner tube. Here are some tips that will help make repairs easier when your tire does develop a flat.

1.    Check the outer tire for damage. If the outer tire has been cut or punctured, it’s still possible the inner tube is intact. Examine the location of the damage and mark it clearly.

2.    Open the valve and deflate the tire.

3.    Using your tire levels, peel back the outer tire and access the inner tube. If you know where the leak is, it is possible to work on that area of the tube alone. If not, you may have to remove the entire inner tube and examine it more closely.

4.    If the puncture is not immediately visible, consider submerging your bike tire in water. Bubbles will appear at the puncture as air escapes.

5.    Be gentle as you remove the inner tube. Wrenching it to quickly can cause stress, damage and further leaks.

6.    Once you’ve located the leak and removed the inner tube, patch the puncture. Using sand paper, rub the area around the puncture until fresh rubber is exposed. This will allow the patch to bond with the tube.

7.    Various types of patches attach in different ways. The most common are pre-glued patches with foil backings. These patches require a thin layer of glue to be applied to the tube before the foil is removed and the patch is placed firmly on the tube. Clear-film patches are also available that do not require a preparatory layer of glue.

8.    Fit the tube back into the outer tire. It is best to be gentle and use your hands rather than a tire level when fitting the tire back into the rim in order to avoid damaging the tube.

9.    Leave the patch to set for as long as possible before re-inflating the tire.

The process for fixing a puncture can vary according to what type of tire you have and the extent of the damage to the tube. Make sure you carefully examine the tire before attempting to repair it yourself.

Do you have any tips about bike tire repair? Share them with us on Facebook and twitter!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The MS Bike eStore is now online!

Now you can purchase custom MS Bike jerseys, water bottles and other products quickly and easily online. Head over to the site to check out what we have in store!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Happy National Volunteer Week!

April 22-26 is National Volunteer Week, and we’d like to take a moment to thank all the volunteers who make the MS Society’s fundraising events possible. To celebrate National Volunteer Week we’ll be recognizing outstanding volunteers all week. For inspirational stories about our volunteers and a special thank you video, head over to the new MS Community Blog!

Every year, countless volunteers show their support of the MS Society – Ontario Division and in turn the thousands of Ontarians affected by MS. On behalf of the MS Bike team, thank you for all your hard work!

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Spring/Summer 2013 issue of MS Canada is out!

MS Canada, the MS Society’s quarterly publication, is one of the best ways to keep up-to-date on advances in MS research, treatments and MS Society services and programs. The Spring/Summer 2013 issue focuses on living well with MS and includes features on occupational therapy, emotional support and physical activity. Click here to read it now!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Fundraising Tip – Motivating your team

Working with a team is a great way to get the most of your MS Bike experience. Here are some tips on keeping your team motivated and enthusiastic about fundraising.

•    Keep your team informed. Use newsletters and/or emails to keep team members motivated and inspire them to keep fundraising.

•    Communicate openly with your team. Meet with your team, in person or by phone, periodically to discuss your team’s fundraising progress and plans for the future.

•    Create team business cards. Include each member’s name, the team name, the event, contact information and your mission. These cards are great tools for fundraising and recruitment.

•    Get creative with your team outfits. Plan to wear matching costumes, hats or colours while biking and during fundraising events to stand out from the crowd.

•    Organize friendly contests between your team members.  Compete to see who can raise the most in set amount of time or at a specific event.

How is your team’s fundraising going? Do you have any tips? Let us know on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Safety Tip – Stay Visible While Cycling!

Staying visible is one of the most important aspects of bike safety, especially when cycling at night or in high-traffic areas. Here are some tips to help make sure other road users see you!
  • Check the cycling laws for your area. Many places have laws requiring cyclists to have reflectors or lights mounted on their bicycles when riding at night
  • Attach front and rear lights to your bike. This will ensure your bike is visible from the front and behind.
  • Don’t rely entirely on reflectors. While reflectors meet the minimum legal requirements for night cycling in many areas, they have limitations that make it unwise to use as your primary source of visibility. Reflectors can be obscured by fog and grit and are only effective if hit by headlights at a certain angle.
  • Even if you have lights, keep reflectors on your bike for backup. Lights can burn out or fail, so it’s important to keep reflectors on your bike in case this happens.
  • Wear reflective clothing. This not only improves your general visibility, but it ensures you’ll remain visible to drivers if you become separated from your bike while on the road. A wide range of reflective clothing is available in most cycling shops.
Although visibility is most important at night, reflectors and lights can still be useful during the day. You’re more likely to catch the eye of a driver if your bike has a light source.

Do you have any safety tips you’d like to share? Head to the MS Bike Facebook and twitter pages and let us know!

All information on bicycle lights and reflectors drawn from Wikibooks.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Bicycle Safety Tip – Making sure your helmet fits properly

When riding your bike, it’s always important to stay safe. A big part of bicycle safety is wearing a helmet - one that fits and is properly secured. Here are some steps to help ensure you’re wearing your helmet correctly.

•    Make sure your helmet is the right size for your head. Your bicycle helmet should sit snugly on your head. If it rocks or slides when you move, it’s too loose and should be tightened.

•    Always wear your helmet in the correct position. It should sit level on your head and low on your forehead, one or two finger-widths above your eyebrow.

•    Check that the helmet’s side straps are in the right position. Each side strap should form a V-shape under and just in front of each ear.

•    Tighten the chin strap until it is snug and secure. No more than two fingers should fit beneath your chin strap.

•    Whenever you’re buying a new helmet, make sure that it fits well, and check to see that it has the proper health and safety certifications for your region.

These tips will help ensure that your helmet protects you as you train for MS Bike. Happy cycling!

All helmet safety information drawn from www.nhtsa.gov.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Fundraising Tip – Recruiting a team

Forming your own MS Bike team is a great way to increase your fundraising and have a lot of fun! The first step to forming a team is finding some recruits. Here are some tips to help you get the word out and grow your team!

•    Ask anyone and everyone. Ask your friends, family, neighbours and co-workers to join the team. Even if they say no, odds are they’ll support your team with a donation.

•    Ask each person who joins your team to recruit 4 additional members. If you start with only 4 team members, and they each recruit 4 more team members, and those people each recruit 4 new team members— you’ll have 64 team members!

•    Identify a co-captain who can assist you with recruitment efforts. As your team grows larger, consider appointing a committee in charge of recruitment.

•    Advertise you team on social media. It’s a fast way to spread the word and let people know you’re looking for members.

•    Create a recruitment pitch. Be ready to tell people why ending MS is important to you and how their help will raise even more money to help Canadians living with MS.

Now you know how to recruit team members, head over to msbike.ca to register your team! If you’ve already registered for the MS Bike and would like to join or create a team, please login to the Participant Centre and select the black "Join or create a team button" to complete a request form.
Let us know about your team on our Facebook and twitter pages and let us know what recruitment methods you’ve used!
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