THE DONUT RIDE - 36 Years of one of the country's top weekend rides
MICHAEL BARRYy, Canadian Cycling Magazine, October & November 2012.
Amateurs, pros and pastries united on a regular pedal.
"I was taught how to ride a bike properly on the Donut Ride, the biggest weekend ride in the country."
Defending champion Ryde Hesjedal of Victoria, BC, is forced to withdraw from Giro dues to a "deteriorating physical condition".
It’s Relay Time Again!
This is the favourite time of year for many of us involved with the Oak Ridges Trail Association – Relay Time! This exciting event, the Moraine Adventure Relay, is being offered for the seventh year in a row. It’s a team event that engages canoeists, runners, and trail cyclists to cover 160 km of the Oak Ridges Moraine Trail. The big event is happening on Saturday, June 15 (always the Saturday before Father’s Day) and runs from Gore’s Landing on Rice Lake in the East to Seneca College King Campus in the West.
Please check the website after February 10th for more details at http://www.moraineadventure.com. If you’re not up to competing, then think about being a volunteer at one of the 15 Check Points along the trail, to record in and out times, supply refreshments and advice, take photos, and cheer on the competitors. Please contact Michele at the ORTA office (905-833-6600) if you’d like to volunteer!
Huffington Post, January 15, 2013
According with The Associate Press, Lance Armstrong confessed to Oprah Winfrey during a two-hour interview Monday that he used performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour of France.
CBC News, Dec. 17, 2012
Cycling enthusiasts are getting set for the first ever Tour of Alberta, a six-day bike race around the province.
Dean Roher (US)
Rodrigo, Expresso, Lisbon, Portugal, Oct. 25, 2012 Translation: "One small lie for a man,…"
DEBORAH NETBURN, Star Wire Services, Toronto Star, October 23, 2012
Are you ready to ride the cardboard bike? Read the news report and watch the video report!
NEIL DAVIDSON, The Canadian Press, in Sympatico.ca Sports, October 10, 2012
Canadian cyclist Michael Barry says coming clean on his past doping is both emotional and liberating. "I gave in to doping…there was peer pressure involved." cyclist says.
"WE LOST ONE OF OUR OWN!"
Obituary from Toronto Star, August 14, 2012
• "Gary was simply one of the finest people I've known. My deepest sympathies go out to Gary's family over this shattering lost. I'm sorry. May gentle peace find you all in time. Gary was very easy to love and he touched so many people. He will forever be missed and never forgotten."
-Jim Emory, Newmarket, ON
• "A tragic loss of a generous and kind soul that always brightened and animated every conversation. You will be sorely missed my friend. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family."
-Steven Pasquill, Pickering, ON
• "… Gary was a good friend for the past 29 years, I'll always remember the times spent together at work, out to lunch, on the golf course or the boys' weekend. We always had a good laugh together…"
-Stewart Gilmour, Bowmanville, ON
• "Gary was a true kind-hearted gentleman. He was a good friend like a brother…"
- Peter Ngai, Richmond Hill, ON
• "My deepest condolences to the family. Gary was a wonderful person and will be deeply missed by all."
-Nicole de Mello, Whitby. ON
• "Celebrating a life well lived. We will miss you."
-Stacy Wall, Toronto, ON
• "Rest in peace my dear friend. You'll be missed on the donut rides. I will always add "one more" to my final count of the Saturday ride knowing well that you will be riding "somewhere" in the universe."
-Fernando Gonçalves, Toronto, ON
• "I will aways miss you. Take care mate wherever you are."
-Murali Nair, Markham, ON
JOSEPH HALL, Toronto Star, Friday, July 20, 2012
Protein supplements and sports drinks will be heavily hyped in TV commercials during the Olympic Games, but Oxford researchers have found little evidence of beneficial results.
Many cyclists are unaware that when they are riding their bikes, they are covered by their auto insurance for injuries that might occur as the result of an accident with another vehicle. Your auto insurance can extend coverage to you as a cyclist, and you are also eligible to receive benefits from the insurance company of a motorist that is involved in the accident with you. Cyclists can receive medical payments, pain and suffering benefits, and more if they file a claim with the auto insurance company.
Colombian downhill mountain bike Marcelo Gutierrez rides down 1000 steps like it's no big deal! How many steps do you think you could get through?
A brave cyclist manages to catch a draft behind a truck speeding around 90km/h. That takes some courage! (OnLy In RuSsIa!)
Cycling Explained to Non-cyclists:
The Pain Principle
Cyclist Ryder Hesjedal is one of the best athletes in Canada.
Can he suffer enough to become the best in the world?
BY RICHARD POPLAK
Wheelmen ride bicycles
Canada’s leading bike racer is part of a long cycling tradition in this country.
by Christopher Moore
Canada’s History, June-July 2010, p.46
“It was definitely a special day, going up to the start line in Brest,” says Ryder Hesjedal. “I was about the fourth Canadian ever in a Tour de France, and only a couple had completed the Tour.”
These days anyone with cable or satellite can watch day-by-day coverage of the Tour de France, the 107-year-old combination of sports competition, travel tour, and endurance trial. I get hooked every July, but particularly since 2008, when Hesjedal, of Victoria B.C., became the first Canadian in more than a decade to ride the Tour.
Canada’s history of cycling is about as old as the bicycle itself. Canada has long been tied into new global technologies, trends, and fads, and as soon as something like a bicycle – two wheels, pedals, handlebars – was invented in Europe in the 1860s, examples began turning up in Nova Scotia, in Ontario, and across Canada.
Before chain drives and gears were invented, pedals were connected directly to the front wheel, and the only way to increase speed was to enlarge the front wheel as much as possible. As a result, the penny farthing was born. These spectacular machines – giant wheel in front, tiny wheel in back – were expensive, and riding one was a high-wire act. The bold young gentlemen, who founded wheelmen’s clubs, first in Montreal, then across the country, thought of themselves as a special breed.
In the 1890s, the invention of chain drives and inflatable rubber tires produced the “safety bicycle” – the bicycle, as we know it today, more or less. Suddenly, everyone could rise and cycling exploded across the Western world, including Canada. In the 1890s, Canada had scores of small-town bike manufacturers. Tens of thousands of enthusiasts biked. Some of the Klondike gold rush miners even took bicycles to the Yukon with them.
The social impact was huge: Cheap, carefree transportation was available for everyone in a way that had never existed before. Some said bicycles did as much as the suffrage movement to unleash the independent spirit of women.
But the craze didn’t last. Bike sales crashed early in the twentieth century as the automobile and streetcars took over. Hundreds of bike builders in Canada consolidated into a single Canadian brand: CCM. The Canadian Cycle and Motor Company would dominate the market for most of a century. Biking became a hobby or a kid’s thing in most of Canada.
York University geographer Glen Norcliffe is a historian of cycling who is sometimes seen riding his penny-farthing across southwestern Ontario. (“A penny-farthing gives a very quiet ride,” he says. “No click of the gears, no chain, just the rush of the wind.”) When I asked him about the history of the bicycle racing, he laughed. “If you put two cyclists together, well, pretty soon…”
Indeed, bike racing has a long Canadian pedigree. In the 1930s, Canadians like Doug and Torchy Peden of Victoria starred in the hugely popular North American six-day bicycle races (two-man teams rode Monday through Saturday, to avoid Sunday racing).
In 1937, Pierre Gachon joined a British team and became the first Canadian ever to venture into the Tour de France. Unfortunately, 1937 saw the derailleur introduced to Tour bikes, meaning riders could shift gears without dismounting. Without the new technology, Gachon was hopelessly outmatched. He withdrew on the first day. To make things worse, official Tours records still identify Gouchon as British.
Recreational cycling boomed in the 1970s, when “everyone had to have a ten-speed” (as William Humber’s history of Canadian biking, Freewheeling, put it) or later, a mountain bike. Gradually, North America rediscovered the bike as commuter vehicle. Cyclists began to fight for space on Canadian city streets.
Canadian racers came back to prominence, too, led by Jocelyn Lovell and then by Steve Bauer, Olympic silver medallist in 1984. Clara Hughes, who won double bronze in cycling at the 1996 Olympics, followed them – this was before Hughes became a medal-winning Winter Olympian in speed skating. Also, in 1996, Alison Syder won Olympic silver in mountain biking.
In the 1980s, Alex Stieda and Steve Bauer became Canada’s first serious Tour de France competitors. Starting in 1985, Bauer competed in eleven consecutive Tours. These were the pre-Lance Armstrong days, when North Americans were barely accepted on the Tour. But Bauer became an European celebrity, placing fourth overall in the 1988 Tour at a time when there were questions about the doping habits of some of his rivals. Bauer frequently wore the leader’s yellow jersey.
Today, Ryder Hesjedal is Canada’s leading international bike racer and is an established Tour de France competitor.
He started off as a mountain biker in B.C. and says he initially had little knowledge of Canada’s riding heritage.
“When Steve Bauer was at the Tour, I was about ten years old,” he laughs. But he thinks the future for Canadian racers is bright. “There are possibly more young racers than there have ever been. Canadian cycling is in a really good place.”
Indeed, there may soon be a Canadian team at the Tour de France. High-tech entrepreneur Jim Blasillie does not have his NHL hockey team yet, but he’s supporting Spider’Tech, a new Canadian racing team. It has some history behind it, too – its director of racing is Steve Bauer, and it is aiming for the highest levels.
Meanwhile, it’s up to Hesjedal to carry the maple leaf up the Alps and Pyrenees and down the Champs Élysées. I’ll be tuning in.
HOW MANY CYCLING VICTIMS WILL IT TAKE?
Michael Heilbronn (2007)
Nothing prepared me for this. During fifty years of cycling, I feared danger from motor vehicles, but never from another cyclist. I was wrong.
It happened this Labour Day, Monday September 2nd, a perfect cycling day. I headed out from my home in the Bathurst and Lawrence neighbourhood of the city about 8:30 a.m. and proceeded along a 100 kilometre route I regularly cycle: north on Keele Street, east along 17th Sideroad, south on Dufferin Street, east again on 15th Sideroad and through a residential area. I arrived at my rest location, a coffee shop/deli at the intersection of Yonge Street and King Road.
After enjoying a short rest and energy replenishing snacks, I prepared myself to continue my ride. Just then, the Toronto Donut Ride also stopped here for their rest. The Donut Ride is an informal road cycling group, who ride every Saturday, Sunday and public holiday. A typical summer ride includes over 100 cyclists. The ride is well known for being fast paced, often reaching speeds of 50 km/h.
Here I met my son, who is known in the race cycling community, and was riding with this group as he occasionally does. We chatted briefly and arranged that I would proceed on my own and when the group caught up with me, he would leave the Donut Ride and join me so we could cycle together.
I did head off alone, cycled north on Yonge, east on Bloomington Road and south on Leslie Street. I was only a short distance south of Bloomington on Leslie when small groups of two or three cyclists from the Donut Ride zoomed by. I knew that the péloton would be passing me at any moment and therefore kept to the extreme right of the road. My son spotted me and left the péloton to join me as we had planned. I never considered myself in danger and fully expected the Donut Ride to pass me safely and respectfully. I was wrong. Suddenly one rider in the pack zoomed by too closely and overlapped my front wheel causing me to crash. And he just kept going.
After I crashed, some riders in the group stopped. My son rushed to my side thoroughly distraught. Some cyclists with cell phones called ‘911’. The York Regional Police and the EMS Ambulance quickly arrived on the scene. The paramedics immediately established that I had a concussion since I could not remember my name, my address, or where I was. They strapped me to a special board, as a precaution for possible neck and/or spinal injuries, and rushed me to York Central Hospital for emergency medical treatment.
As a result of the crash, I suffered physical and psychological traumas including: a concussion, a broken collarbone fractured in 4 places, four broken ribs, and deep lacerations to my leg and shoulder. My helmet saved me from possible head injuries and brain damage.
I have suffered grievously for the past three months: I underwent orthopaedic surgery to repair my collar-bone; I required the daily visit of a wound-care nurse to tend to my leg and shoulder lacerations; and, now I undergo extensive physiotherapy with no assurance of regaining full functionality in my left arm. In addition, as an independent consultant, I have suffered financially, being unable to earn any income for three months.
All my pain, suffering, and financial distress were caused that morning by a cyclist in the Donut Ride. Neither that cyclist nor anyone else in that group has contacted me to express an apology, interest in my recovery, or compassion for a fellow cyclist.
I have always considered Toronto’s cycling community a real community, caring for and supporting each other. But they utterly failed me. We cyclists must ask ourselves, “Is there really a cycling community?”
Almost daily we read about confrontations between cyclists and motorists. But who is paying attention to the injuries cyclists cause other cyclists? It is time for the Donut Ride specifically and the greater cycling community to reflect on our compliance with the rules of the road, our courtesy, respect and concern for the safety of our fellow riders…before there are more victims.
Updated: February 22, 2013