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posted May 14, 2006

May 27 and May 28, 10 to 4 p.m. Bike week show-and-tell

with Issie Chackowicz

Issie Chackowicz is a hero to the park staff because he fixed both of the park’s big old dough mixers this past winter. Issie is actually a bike mechanic and bike safety teacher, not a dough mixer mechanic. But when we put out the word that we’d probably have to raise a lot of money to buy a new dough mixer for the park, Issie decided to apply his “I can do this” approach to life to learn all about small motors and gears in dough mixers. The rest is history: he revived the mixers and now the park bread is back to being delicious.

During the last weekend in May, Issie is going to help the park mark Bike Week by showing how his “I can do this” approach works for people who (1) want to learn to ride a bike, or (2) who already ride a bike in the city but would like to learn how not to get run over by a truck. Issie is a nationally-certified CAN-BIKE instructor. Issie writes: “The CAN-BIKE PROGRAM is is a set of courses on all aspects of cycling safely and enjoyably on the road. The orientation is toward recreational and utilitarian use of the bicycle rather than toward competition. The CAN-BIKE courses are organized on age and 3 levels - basic, advanced and instructor. I teach all the levels including bike maintenance.”

Issie says he can teach anyone, child or adult, to ride a bike in half an hour. That’s just getting moving. After that comes riding in your neighbourhood, then riding on main streets, than riding safely in the urban jungle. The courses are offered at various parks and recreation locations but Issie wants to start some sessions at Dufferin Grove Park. He says there couldn’t be a better location, with the large surface of the rink for doing figures-of-eight, and then the local-traffic-only protection of the block between the park and St.Mary’s High School.

Issie will have an information table about CAN-BIKE courses on Saturday May 27 and Sunday May 28, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. beside the rink house (on the rink surface). He’s willing to talk to all comers, about bike safety and bike maintenance. And he’ll do course registration for this location or others in the city.

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