Photo: David receiving the TBN Volunteer of the Year award in 2013 from board of directors member Jean O'Grady.
David Peebles (1949 - 2016) was the TBN member who founded the Tuesday Ravine Rides in 2002. Tuesday rides, he thought, could use the ravine paths when they were less crowded than on weekends and bring out an interesting mix of people. So he advertised the first bi-weekly Tuesday Coffee Ride as “a half-hidden ravine ride for freelancers, shift workers, people between jobs, retirees, and ne’er-do-wells.” When only four people turned up, he realized he had grossly overestimated the number of ne’er-do-wells in the TBN. He decided to try running the rides weekly, renaming them Tuesday Ravine Rides, and sought out new and interesting routes. Until he became ill, he led all the rides himself, taking care of all riders and ensuring no one was left behind. His contribution to TBN was so significant that he was chosen as Volunteer of the Year in 2013. That year he was quite sick but was still able to lead some rides or find volunteers, sending them the routes so that the Ravine rides could continue. In his last year he remained as coordinator and prepared the schedule, although he was not well enough to ride. On December 3, 2016 he passed away after battling cancer for several years.
Each week had a unique ride, almost all of which were either in ravines or parks. David never saw a path that he did not want to explore. His rides became very popular with many loyal riders. In 2016, the average number of cyclists each week was 18 - in rain or shine. David always tried to find interesting coffee spots or bakeries at the end of each ride and the group enjoyed getting together for coffee after each ride to have animated discussions. He and his wife, Ruth, established a tradition of a year-end lunch at his home - a tradition other loyal riders continued.
David loved both cycling and creating interesting routes. He was special - dedicated, meticulous, reliable, kind and thoughtful. His intelligence and sense of humour showed in the written descriptions of some of his rides.
His rides were inspired and participants loved them. David cared deeply about his rides and the wonderful community of cyclists who came on them, week after week and year after year.
In honour of David, we have dedicated the ride he called “The Longest Day: A Century in the City” to his memory. It will be “The David Peebles Memorial Ride.” It is unique in that it is a 100 km circuit of Toronto with options to join or leave the ride at about 25, 50 or 80 km from the start. David also created the option to celebrate in the evening by joining together with spouses or significant others for dinner at a local restaurant.
Rest in peace, and thank you for your service to TBN, David.
Information about "Memorial for David Peebles, December 19"
David Peebles died peacefully on Saturday, 3 December, at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. A Celebration of David’s Life will be held at 1:30 pm on Monday, 19 December, at the Friends House (the Quaker Meeting House), 60 Lowther Avenue (two blocks north of Bloor Street, just west of Bedford Road). There will be visitation with family members will be in the Meeting House Library from about 12:30 to 1:20 pm, and also during the reception following the service. To get there by TTC, go to the St George subway station, take the Bedford Road exit, and walk north on Bedford to Lowther. Parking is available at the Green P on Bedford Road, just north of Bloor and there may be street parking as well. There is also a bicycle rack near the back entrance on the west side of House. Memorial donations can be made to Wellspring Downtown Toronto ( wellspring.ca/downtown-toronto/), MSF Canada ( www.msf.ca), or Toronto Monthly Meeting of the Society of Friends ( www.torontoquakermeeting.org/).