Becel ride for heart

Toronto Travel Blog

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Readying for the off

The car thundered along the freeway, occasional pits in the road sending my head knocking against the window.

I shuffled sideways and gradually my head fell forward, then suddenly one particularly deep pot hole brought me back from slumber with a sheer abruptness that left no chance of me returning to my nap.

Luckily I wasn't driving.

Wiping away the nap time drool I glanced at my watch, was that a 6 or a 7? it was early, that much I could gather by the sun staring me down as we drove east.

Its not often I see this kind of time in the morning, I consider myself more of an evening person. But this was the occasion of the Becel ride for heart. Once again the organisers had succeeded in shutting the Gardiner express-way through Toronto, and once again we were back in force to cycle along it.

the thronging crowds
Only this time it would be different. This time we brought my little niece 'I'.

Still bleary eyed, we rolled into the car park. After wrestling the bikes off the rack, and wrestling I into her seat we peddled off to get registered and pick up our official ride stickers.

We met up with the rest of our cycling clan for a brief group photo, with a borderline-obscene amount of stretched Lycra. Squeaking slightly we got back on the bikes and joined the thronging crowds of other bikes, recumbents, in-line skaters and the occasional monocycle. The crowd slowly wound its way through to the start line and we were off!

We disappeared down the slip road, dodging odd groups with tangled peddals, and finally emerged on to the freeway.

The views of the city were again fantastic and I stopped a few times to get dramatic shots of all the lack of commotion on the road and of the landmarks taken from places usually inaccessible by your common or garden cycling-photographer types such as me.

the gardiner expressway at rush hour

On my journey I passed some really cool recumbent bikes and a few tandems, but the best has to be a dual recumbent. I came up behind the crew riding with it to ask a few questions.

The team was called 'Bike with Mike',  they had a dual recumbent where the passengers sat beside each other, with no visible steering controls, no handle bars beneath the seats -  I wondered who does the steering?

The team leader showed me that the bike has a cool joystick control between the seats so that either rider can use to decide which way to go. Great if your passenger is in agreement with you, could be dangerous if you both decide differently.

Taking pictures whilst cycling is an art form in itself. I was first introduced to this concept when my mate T went to Denmark (T - was it Denmark? It was somewhere with good cycle roots certainly).

CN tower from the freeway
T merrily snapped jaunty angle shots of himself whilst cycling along, the effect looked great. We mocked him for it at the time, but I couldn't let this opportunity pass without trying a few more myself. So whilst trying my hardest not to:

a) Fall off and make a complete tit of myself in the middle of the freeway
b) Drop the camera and make a tit of myself trying to retrieve any smashed remains
c) make a tit of myself

I managed to achieve a few good action shots, in-between violent swerves to keep me on the road but I'm still working on not achieving point c).

The trick is not to try and look through the view finder, but use the screen or your best guess. Some of my best guess shots didn't make the blog, for example the blurry lampost at a 30 degree angle, My armpit and a very unflattering view of somebody's stretched lycra.

D,I and K on the return leg

The best has to be 'I' helping 'D' to cycle by pushing against him from her little seat.

Having screamed the unhappy woes that only a toddler can scream on the way up with K doing the peddling, 'I' was now more than content now that 'D' was doing all the hard work (ah the fickle nature of a two and a half year old)

We did the 25K ride, so at 12.5 k we got to stop for a small break, the sponsors had set up fruit and water stands at the half way point, so after a quick banana and a swig of water we were back on the road.

Looking back now I should have done the 75k, because the 25 had barely warmed me up, that'll be my aim for next year.

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Readying for the off
Readying for the off
the thronging crowds
the thronging crowds
the gardiner expressway at rush ho…
the gardiner expressway at rush h…
CN tower from the freeway
CN tower from the freeway
D,I and K on the return leg
D,I and K on the return leg
Daddy goes faster if I tickle him
Daddy goes faster if I tickle him
Bike with Mike, and the cool dual …
Bike with Mike, and the cool dual…
photo by: yasuyo