04/21/2010 By GURPREET GHAG
Friday, April 16th, 6:30p.m.– Approximately 15 bikers have assembled behind Bike Pirates on 1192 Bloor Street W., waiting to ride off into the alleys for the D-I-Y (do-it-yourself) shop’s every third-Friday event.
This is the second alley ride that the Pirates have held. The first ride took place a year ago at their previous location at Bathurst and College.
More riders arrive.
On his first alley ride with the Pirates, Matt Strata, on top his green Louis Garneau hybrid, said that it was a great event to enjoy on a beautiful sunny day.
“Finding new, quieter ways to get around the city is appealing too,” he said.
At the back of the assembly, also on her first alley ride with the Pirates, Jordan Ramsey conversed with her friend Anna Lise while waiting for the group to take off.
Ramsey said that she was no stranger to the alleys, but the community aspect of the event brought her out.
“I like to ride in the alleys by myself,” she said, “so doing it in a group is a good thing.”
6:40p.m– A car appears.
The riders take their bikes and stand up against either wall of the alley.
Some of them hold in their breath as the black Honda squeezes by.
6:45p.m.-There are now 25 riders in the alley. Heavy chatter is heard amongst the several groups on either side.
Volunteer co-ordinator, speaking on behalf of the Pirates, Geoffrey Bercarich added that the event was about bringing back some light to the once important alleys.
Bercarich said that these specific alleys are now associated with crime and drugs and by encouraging more riders to use them it would help make them a better place.
“The idea is getting people using it more would discourage inactive use of the alleys,” he said.
A bell begins to ring. Another follows and then some more.
The first wave of riders then crosses Margueretta Avenue into the next alley and soon the whole group, along with all the bells, disappears amongst the maze of garage doors and wooden fences.
For more information visit http://www.bikepirates.com.
Video and article by Gurpreet Ghag