If only I will age quite as gracefully. At about kilometre 60 into the 100 km "Amazing Toronto Bike Tour" an older gentleman on his Canadian Tire road bike tells me that only last year he was hospital-bound with a broken hip from a cycling accident. And now he's biking 100 km in one day. Amazing.
Last Sunday I hosted the second 100 km ride, the "Amazing Toronto Bike Tour" (photos). We had about 25 people of various levels of ability. I was surprised that most of the participants were willing to tackle the daunting 100 km, and quite a few either biked the 100 km, or biked a lot more than what they were normally used to.
I commute a lot by bike but rarely do I bike that much in one day. It was a good way to work off some winter fat since it's so hard to take long bike rides in the frigid weather. I'm just lucky that I started commuting to Mississauga so I had some training coming into the ride.
The purpose of the Amazing Toronto Bike Tour is to show people that Toronto is accessible by bicycle and that it doesn't take much to bike a good chunk of it. The route has been designed to be almost entirely on trails and residential roads. This means there are a few fancy turns and carrying of bikes, but it makes for a peaceful, beautiful ride. Who knew you could get that in Toronto?
Not everyone might want to do an entire 100 km in one day or ride at a fast pace, so in the future we will likely split the tour into different ability levels, each led by a guide going at a different pace. We'll have the cafe latte group and the hardcore group, and the Goldilocks group (where the pace is just right).
I just see the older gentleman pushing his limits in the hardcore group.
Annie (not verified)
Montreal Tour de l'IleThu, 05/24/2007 - 10:09
When I was growing up in Quebec, I participated in the Tour de l'Ile in Montreal: a day for cyclists where the roads are closed to traffic. The event has grown tremendously since then:
A daytime 50km ride including 30,000 cyclists, a night time 20km ride with 12,000 cyclists, not to mention the longer challenges (3,000 cylcists, 75-150km).
I'd love to see a similar event in Toronto...
Yeah! I've been a couple ofThu, 05/24/2007 - 17:02
Yeah! I've been a couple of times. Those are really amazing rides, and they change the route every year too.
I guess the Ride For Heart is Toronto's equivalent (same weekend too this year), but riding up and down the Gardiner/DVP isn't really all that exciting and the scenery mostly sucks.
Maybe the mazing Toronto Bike Tour will grow really big someday. :)
CertainlyMon, 05/28/2007 - 07:19
With a bit of help we can make it big!
My vision is to have a big, fun ride. And raise money for cycling causes because all the other bike rides in Toronto raise money for everything but cycling. What's a cyclist to do? Have a car rally to raise money for cycling programs? Hopefully it doesn't make me look negative, even the Ride for Heart people know that cycling is good for the heart and health - so why don't we encourage cycling directly?!
So the tentative plan for next time is to have three guides lead the groups at different paces so people can enjoy the scenery if they want to. I think it will appeal to a wide swath of people, much like this year's ride did.
Domenic (not verified)
Amazing Toronto Bike TourMon, 05/28/2007 - 16:21
I have to tell you, with a little fine tuning, this thing can be huge. I just joined the cycling world at the present age of 42 and through your tour, I found a Toronto I have never seen before in all my life.
I enjoyed the company of those who pushed me to do more that what I originally set out to do, which was 35Km. I calculated with the travel time to Nathan Phillips and my exit at Scarlett/Eglinton Ave, I did about 60km (a first for me).
Since the this Amazing Toronto Bike Tour, I have done a longer stretch that pushed me to about 80km and several shorter stints all along the same areas dictated by this tour.
I am now looking forward to finding other areas of interest and branching north to cottage country as cottage season draws ever so closer.
Please take the time to include me in any other tours that you put together as I would be interested in further participation.