MY BICYCLE PAGE
June 2nd, 2002: "Ride for Heart" on the Gardiner
Cycling partners: Gwenaelle and a few thousands other cyclists.
This is the only occasion to ride a bicycle on the Gardiner Expressway and
Don Valley Parkway. There was a 50 km loop and a 25 km loop; Gwenaelle and
me started by the 25 km and then did the 50 km. Weather was fine (except
for the wind in the face when going up the DVP). We noticed that a lot of
people thought that the Belgian flag we had painted on our faces and our
calves was a German flag... Anyway, we had a lot of fun taking
surrealistic pictures and we kept screaming stupid things to the cyclist
we were crossing. The number of cyclists was just amazing. When we came
back to the starting line to try to find Ariel, we saw cyclists starting
during one hour non-stop! We were wondering where these cyclists are
during the week (or the winter...). This day was also my first metric
century of the last three years.
June 5th-7th, 2002: Toronto-Niagara Falls-Toronto
Cycling partner: Gwenaelle
Once again, an amazing weather for this first several-days trip in a few
years for me, and and very first for Gwenaelle. The motivation was to
cover the itinerary of the "Hairshirt" ,a ride organized every year by
the Toronto Bicycle Network for masochistic cyclists: 360 km in a day.
We wanted to do it in 3 days, which means more than 100 km per day.
We started at 6am
on Bloor (very quiet at this time, by the way) and reached the official
"Hairshirt" starting point an hour later. We went down Dundas Street
and gave up at Dundas to go down the Niagara Escarpment. We went up after
lunch, it took us about an hour but noone had to walk the bike! The only
problem after that was that the roads are very straight and boring. We
spent a very nice evening somewhere along this straight road, and slept
for the first time in my brand new "Tarn 3" from Mountain Equipment Coop
(see pictures later). This day we broke a new record: 120 Km and 7 hours
on the bike...
The next day we started a bit later (around 8pm). We kept going on the
same straight road until we hit the Welland Canal and... Niagara Falls! It
was somewhat surrealistic to show up in cyclists at this terribly
touristic place. Most people looked at us as if we were from another
planet, and Gwen fixing her derailleur didn't help the impression.
The bicycle path between Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake was
just gorgeous and the weather still great! After Niagara-on-the-Lake the
wind was slowing us down quite a lot and the last few tneths of
kilometers on the very boring "North Service Road" were painful. Luckily
we met amazing people in Grimsby where we became the
local celebrities for one evening. Oh yeah, and another metric century...
The last day was going to be quite short. We reached Hamilton before lunch
and met some cyclists (they looked admiratively at our bicycle bags and
all the stuff we had at the back of the bike, which is, by the way, not
that heavy, maybe 15-20 kg). The Lakeshore from Hamilton to Toronto was a
lot of fun, we reached some crazy average speeds there. Finally we arrived
in Toronto in the afternoon, quite euphoric that we made it in three days,
but also looking forward to the next trip. And no metric century for this
That's what happens when you ride in the sun...
July 5th-6th, 2002: Toronto-Lake Simcoe-Toronto
Cycling partners: Gwenaelle and Ariel
We had only two days for this trip, and after working on it many weeks
we convinced our favorite belgian to join us. Once again the roads were
and we had to cycle on some gravel roads... We reached Lake Simcoe in
six hours, counting the breaks to buy fresh fruits on the side of the
road. Most of Lake Simcoe
is private but we managed to find a nice place to pitch the tent near a
river. We even had a swim in it, even though we couldn't see the bottom of
The next day we try to vary our itinerary.
We took a little hill in the morning that some local guy
described as terrible. But the psychological preparation was actually
useless because this hill was not difficult at all! The way back
was without any other surprise. We even did some detours so we reach 100
km for the day! So we ended up on the Don Valley Trail for a last little
hill. As a whole we cycled about 100 km up and 100 km back.
Pictures taken from the bike... It's actually quite comfortable to sit on
the tent or the sleeping bag when it's going downhill!
July 17th-21th, 2002: Toronto-Lake Erie-Toronto
Cycling partner: Gwenaelle and Kalen
For Kalen's very first bicycle trip we were planning on going for a whole
week in Niagara peninsula. The first two days were terrible as far as
weather is concerned: we cycled to Hamilton along the Lakeshore under a
constant and heavy rain and were getting very worried for our sleeping
bags. Finally the rain stopped while we were having some coffees in
Hamilton before going up the Escarpment. The next day, the rain started
again just when we were leaving! Luckily the roads were just great. We
cycled along the Grand River and it almost looks like France! We spent
the night in a Conservation Area on Lake Erie and even went for a little
swim in the Lake on the evening.
The next day we went through Fort Erie and once again, Niagara Falls. It
was saturday afternoon, around 4pm... Crazy... Finally we spent the night
in a campsite along the Niagara River. The next day we kept going along
the river, then along Lake Ontario, on the 81. It was much better than the
North Service Road. Gwen even saw some similarity with the Alps... Our
trip ended up in Grimsby for some unexpected reason and we came back to
Toronto by the bus.
At the end of the summer 2005 Gwen and I participated in a one-week trip in the Alps. The weather
wasn't great, but it was great fun anyway. Here is the journal, part 1, part 2, part 3.
My new bike (Peter Pan)
Peter Pan is a Mikado "De Champlain" (made in Canada!). I have nothing bad
to say about it so far. I have 42/34/24 at the front, 28/24/21/18/15/13/11
at the back. I'll soon add some pictures of Peter Pan and me in touring
My winter bike (Hyeronimus)
Some really cool bicycling links
Around the world bicycle trips:
- http://www.ericandjoan.com This couple of americans
rode around the world in 26 months. Their website is full of great pictures and stories,
they also have a lot of other links and good advice for travelers.
- In french: Cyclo-Camping International (http://www.cci.asso.fr)
- fred voyage, with a lot of informations
about cycling in Tibet (in french)
- americavelo, a french couple crossing
America from North to South.
- Toronto Critical mass, it gives a
good idea of what it's like to ride in Toronto... If you know what my back
looks like, you might be able to recognize me on some of the September
2002 ride pictures.
- icebike, it's going to make you
feel like living in Canada just for the fun of winter riding...
- Help reclaim Toronto's
bicycle lanes, by sending pictures of cars and trucks illegaly parkes
in the bike lanes to add to the collection.
- Graeme Obree, the
most inventive professional cyclist.
- Is cycling
- Better than telling you to wear a helmet: How not to get hit by cars