CAA and your bike

CAA and help with your bike

On the Napanee trip  I ran over something that cut my tire and called CAA. I discovered that my basic coverage (which I have had for years) now only allows for a 10 K ‘tow’ (couldn’t orient the dispatcher or driver to the fact that I wanted the bike carried, not towed). After that it is $3 per kilometre plus tax. I have been a member for many years and not made much use of CAA at all but am sure in the past that the tow was about 50 K. When I got my new car it came with roadside assistance and I would have dropped my CAA membership except for the cycling coverage. (They don’t have anything just for cycling.) Unless I am just riding around town my coverage isn’t very useful for a serious problem.

Rest of the story: Fortunately one of the group had a higher level of membership (thank you Elinor!) and as long as she was there when the truck arrived, I did not have to pay. I was able to get back to the motel with my bike. A trip into Kingston (Thank you Heather!) got me set up to ride the next day.

Things learned:

  • I can change a tube but if it is a tire problem that’s a whole new ball game.
  • You need to have a good idea of exactly where you are, where you need to be taken, and, how you will get back from there without a car.
  • Be sure to tell them it is a bike needing a ‘carry’ not a tow. In my case the driver thought there was a typo as he had never had a bike call before. The firm only had a tow truck so the driver was sent home to get his own pick-up as they were not sure how they would attach the bike to the tow truck.
  • Have CAA Plus ($114, 200 K vs. $70, 10K) or better–or cycle with someone else who does.

Mary Perkins


Discovering the Waterfront Trail

By Margot Dixon

Life changed for me on a bright, sunny day in July 2008. I was working as an history
interpreter in Upper Canada Village and that day there were many cyclists touring the site.
After talking to what seemed to be 100 either individually or in small groups a rather pleasant, rowdy group of 5 or 6 arrived. For 15 to 20 minutes I had a lot of fun explaining 1860’s fashion to these unisex spandex clad aliens. It was a great exchange and before they left I had to ask ‘Who are you? There are so many cyclists here today, and you are obviously a group.’ One of the women answered ‘We are riding the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure,
from Niagara to the Quebec border. We hope to make it an annual event.’ A little bit more
explanation and encouragement to consider joining them and I went home and told my
husband ‘I want to do that next year.’ He rolled his eyes. Not really an inappropriate reaction. After all my 5 speed CCM bike was over 35 years old and I had never ridden more than maybe 5 km in a day. Well, life interfered and I did not get to ride in 2009, but I did get to buy a new Norco Yorkville with all sorts of gears and I did get to do more riding, including the stretch of the Trail between Morrisburg and Cornwall.
Finally, in 2012, I registered for the tour, to ride from Niagara-on-the-Lake to

Click here to read Margo’s complete Dispatch

Cycling the Danube

by Mary Perkins

This past June Heather and I did a cycling trip along the Danube River, starting in Passau Germany (the lower corner) along the Danube River to Vienna, Austria, and then on to Budapest in Hungary. In all it was about 677 kilometers of riding and of course lots of sight-seeing and enjoying European cuisine and wine and beer. Our trip was not unique. Others in the club have done similar trips in Europe and if you are interested in such a venture there are a number of people who would be glad give you tips.
Arrangements were quite simple. We booked with an agent Heather had dealt with before, sent in our deposits and bike sizes and that was about it. We opted to fly in and out of Budapest as that was a direct flight. It meant taking a train for six hours to Passau (a long day) but even that ride was enjoyable as we saw some of the countryside we would be cycling back through. Passau is an interesting old city (aren’t all European cities old and interesting?) Jet lag wasn’t a major problem and we spent our first weekend exploring the city.

Click here to read Mary’s complete Dispatch

New life for an older bike

– through the B!KE Program

By Roy Crooks

In early December 2017, a friend contacted me to say that she had several bikes in her basement that had not been ridden for several years, and could I help her find a new home for them. When I went to look at them, I found four frames, several boxes of pedals, seats and chains and I learned that he had been an avid biker, he used to build bikes, and he had brought several bikes with him from the UK.
I contacted several 3C members to see if there was any interest in re-building these bikes but as these bikes were very old, it would have been too large of a project.
About this time, I became aware of group called ‘B!KE’, a community bike shop in Peterborough. This not-for-profit group celebrated their 10-year anniversary in 2016. That year, they saw 3,521 visitors who completed bicycle maintenance and repair in their workshop. 23 Volunteers contributed to Open Shop and 284 bicycles were donated to support B!KE’s programming.
Interesting to me was that during 2016, B!KE ran two 8-week sessions of youth Earn-a-Bike. 10 youth completed the program, gaining in-depth mechanical experience, a free bicycle, and basic riding training.
After visiting the store, and seeing the activity in their “workshop” environment, I mentioned the old bikes and I was encouraged to bring them in. The staff person at the desk was pleased to see that some of the bikes had come from the UK, as he was from the UK.
Perhaps one day, you will be asked by friends ‘Do you know of anyone who could use a bike and I no longer ride and have use for it?’ If so, please contact me and I can pick up, and deliver it to Peterborough…. Roy Crooks at (905)434-9861
For further details, see the B!KE website.