When I started my quest to have 50 memorable bike rides in my 50th year, I purposely avoided any specific goals. I also avoided the use of the word “epic”, since it’s relative. I simply wanted to have 50 rides that were memorable to me. And “memorable” could mean any of the following:
It doesn’t seem like too long ago when I only needed one bike. My rides were to and from school, or friends’ homes. My bike riding season was spring until fall, when I’d put the bike away over the winter. I’d ride only on roads, sidewalks (gasp!) and paved trails. This was on a road bike I bought in Toronto for $300. A stainless steel, charcoal black Bianchi, it was the first bike I bought myself (I was 17), and I still have it in my basement.
According to Strava, May 11 (last Thursday) was Global Bike to Work Day(since it’s on Strava, it must be true). So I thought this would be a good day to ride to work (and back).
When faced with something new, we tend to react in one of two ways: we can embrace the change in a curious manner and learn about it, or we can turn our back on it and rationalize our fear of something we don’t understand.
There are many good charities out there and there are many good charity cycling events. Share the Road is no exception. If you’re reading this, then you’re either a cyclist or a cycling supporter (or both), and you likely have an awareness of the issues that cyclists face when we’re out on the road.
In the past couple of weeks, I’ve become aware of two cycling tragedies that have been in the news. One involved Ellen Watters, a 28-year-old professional cyclist from New Brunswick, who was struck by a vehicle on a training ride two days before Christmas. Ellen died several days later from her injuries. The second tragedy involved 10-year-old Rosie Long from Oakville, Ontario. On her bike ride to school in November, Rosie was struck by a school bus that was pulling out of a parking lot, and she’s still in intensive care.
Share the Road is a cycling advocacy group that is working to make Ontario more cycling-friendly. As an avid cyclist, this is an organization that is near and dear to my heart. Last year, with my three siblings, I rode 100 km in Halton Region to help raise money for this great cause. This year, we were at it again, this time, with more family members participating!
One of the initiatives that is very important to me is Share the Road, which is an advocacy group that supports the development of bicycle-friendly roads and neighbourhoods in Ontario. It was founded in 2008 by Eleanor McMahon, whose husband Greg was killed by a vehicle while on a bike ride in 2006.
Four years ago, Heather Caron’s husband Barrie Conrod died after being struck by an SUV while the two of them were on a bike ride on a road that I’ve ridden on many times. Through this tragedy, Heather has found the strength to promote cycling awareness and safety. One of the main ways she’s been doing this has been by supporting an annual ride in Kitchener-Waterloo. Sunday May 29, 2016 was the fourth annual Together We Travel Cycle for Angels ride.