Mini-Interview with Dave Robinson from MEC

This week I got the opportunity to chat with Dave Robinson from Mountain Equipment Co-op! I asked him some questions about himself and about MEC's involvement with the Tour de Greenbelt. Here's what he had to say!

Who is Dave and what does he do at MEC?
I'm the Sustainability Coordinator at MEC in Toronto, which means I wear many hats. But primarily I help coordinate events inside and outside the store, I write grants and manage donations. MEC got involved with the Tour de Greenbelt right from the get go, we were apart of the steering committee. We helped them gather some ideas for it initially and they took our advice.

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What's MEC's role in the Tour de Greenbelt?
MEC is a sponsor, but also at a local store level in Toronto we send 6 staff members to all the events. 4 of the staff members are safety checkers, looking over all the bikes and equipment. They also do the ride where they carry tools and patch kits to help any bikes that might need it. We also have a bus coordinator who helps get people on the bus at the MEC store and to the location of the event. Lastly, we have a van driver that does a sweep of the course to pick up anybody that needs a lift. MEC in Burlington does a similar thing.

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We also send staff to the Tour de Greenbelt as part of a field course! This is what we do to promote cycling amongst our staff at MEC.  It's a perfect opportunity to try our (MEC) bikes, and gear!

Why is it important for MEC to be a part of the Tour de Greenbelt?
Right from the start we all thought the idea was worth promoting and getting involved in. Cycling is one of many activities that MEC promotes and it has grown in popularity in Ontario over the past 3 years. This type of ride was a big attraction for MEC because all levels of riders can get involved. The Tour de Greenbelt is not a race, it's about meandering and enjoying what the landscape has to offer. It's also a great way to get people out of the city, most people don't know that there are great areas outside of the city to cycle around, so this is a perfect way to show them.

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What route on the Tour de Greenbelt did you do last year?
I did the Tour last year and I love it! I did one route in Niagara and one route in Simcoe. The vibe the whole day was great and every was in a good mood. I'm planning on doing the Tour on September 25th in Newmarket!

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Final words?
I think it's important that this sort of event is available to people. There are a lot of cycling events out there these days, but this is a completely unique event. 

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Thanks to Dave for taking the time to chat with me!

Jen Fawcette

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