June 2nd, 2002: "Ride for Heart" on the Gardiner Expressway/DVP

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 day...

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 very straight, 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 it, brrrr... 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 configuration.

My winter bike (Hyeronimus)

Some really cool bicycling links

Around the world bicycle trips:
- 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 (
- 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 dangerous?
- Better than telling you to wear a helmet: How not to get hit by cars