Ryerson University Bike Club still pedalling strong

(Left to Right) Ryerson University Bicycle Club members Karl Davisas, Phillip Kim, Micah Markson, and Eric Wu discuss the executive election over coffee.

Ryerson Bike Club Is Still Pedalling Strong

Story and Photos by Benedict San Juan

Riding downtown during a very chilly spring morning I quickly make my way into Dark Horse Espresso Bar to avoid the cold. I immediately notice that tables are filled with water bottles and helmets–spring is truly here!

As I start to get cozy, members of the Ryerson University Bicycle Club slowly begin to trickle into the café, commenting on their ride and the weather while holding their coffee to warm up. The members have gathered to discuss the nomination for club executives and to enjoy a casual group ride, a staple to the club since its inception.

The Ryerson University Bicycle Club (informally referred to as the RUB Club by past members) began in 2006 as an effort to promote active transportation within the Ryerson community.

During my undergraduate program at Ryerson, I began biking to campus and relied on the Bike Club for advice on commuting. Over the years I became more involved with the club as an executive. Two years after leaving Ryerson, I wanted to see what the club has been up to so I stopped to chat with them at Dark Horse.

“This year we have over 200 student members,” says Micah Markson, president of the Bike Club, while sipping his Americano. Markson, a current student, understands that money can be tight for students which is why the bicycle can be a student's best friend. “Bikes are awesome. They are great because students love saving money and a bike can help them save money - instead of using the TTC or paying for a gym membership.”

To accomplish their goal of promoting active transportation on campus, the Bike Club offers a variety of services such as bicycle repair workshops, group rides, and clinics. The Bike Club has also worked with BIXI Toronto, Mountain Equipment Co-op, and the Toronto Cyclists Union to spread awareness of how easy cycling can be and the resources available to those interested in cycling.

The Bike Club is currently working closely with Ryerson University. They hold monthly meetings to discuss ideas or issues on how to make cycling better on campus. The club was successful in advocating for an indoor parking facility for bikes back in 2008. The club is now proposing that the university implement a bicycle repair workshop equipped with tools to help staff and students keep their bikes in safe riding condition as well as to serve as a hub for future clinics or workshops.

(Left to Right) Ryerson University Bicycle Club members Micah Markson, Karl Davisas, Phillip Kim, and Eric Wu take a quick break from a group ride to soak up some sun and grab a sip from their bottles.

The club offers various group rides that appeal to different riding styles, like mountain biking trips in the Don Valley, or leisurely rides along Lake Ontario, or even participating in charity bike events like the Becel Ride for Heart.

Group rides are a great way to connect cyclists at Ryerson. Phillip Kim, contemporary science student, is a year round commuter cyclist and one of the club’s newer members. Kim is a member not only because of the resources they offer for cyclists but also for the social aspect of the club. “I was attracted to meeting new cyclists and to go on some organized rides with other students,” he says.

For third year Karl Davisas, his bike has grown to be more than a mode of transportation for him; “My bike is becoming a growing part of my life and my university life.” He hopes that the Bike Club will help him make new friends and bolster his love for cycling.

As the meeting comes to an end, we saddle up for an afternoon ride along the Martin Goodman Trail. During the ride I got to catch up with a Ryerson alumnus and former Bike Club executive, Eric Wu. Wu talked about how the Bike Club was important for him in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. “Cycling was an important part of my life during university," he says. "And, I wanted to bring awareness and promote healthy living for students.” Like Wu, I am glad to see the club is still active, growing, and building bridges with more new commuter cyclists on campus every day.

For more information about the Bike Club, take a look at their site.

Karl Davisas riding up Spadina Avenue

For more information about the Bike Club, take a look at their site.

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