45km and what do you get

Toronto, 2017.09.23

Today I did the ride with Cycle Toronto; 25km with a crowd of a couple of hundred people. We split into "pods" of five because we had no police escort, but it was still a good-sized group.

The ride started on Spadina, auspiciously beginning with someone racing by in a minivan, half in our lane and leaning on his horn the whole way. We headed west to "White Squirrel Way" and Dovercourt, then up to Bloor: a fine tour of the west end that has changed so much. Then it was all the way across Bloor and Danforth to Woodbine, down The Big Hill on Woodbine, and back across Dundas to Greenwood Park.

There, at the 15km mark, we were joined by a crowd who wanted to join us for only 10km. There was someone on the ride who had a son along who was about seven. There were two places on the route where she was obviously uncomfortable with the situation, and I knew we were cycling up Simcoe and then Spadina, so I stuck with them and helped encourage the boy to step it up on a couple of occasions. The mum seemed thankful, but I learned later that she was involved with Friends and Families for Safe Streets - a group she'd joined when her husband was killed cycling in the city. I met another lady who was riding again five years after having been hit; she'd had her pelvis crushed.

Toodling home along the Lakeshore trail on my own, I began to finally feel the distance by around the 45km mark.

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rand()m quote

(In which I leave the final word to someone else.)

If I had my life to live over, I'd try to make more mistakes next time. I would relax, I would limber up, I would be crazier than I've been on this trip. I know very few things I'd take seriously any more. I'd certainly be less hygenic... I would take more chances, I would take more trips, I would scale more mountains, I would swim more rivers, and I would watch more sunsets. I would eat more ice cream and fewer beans. I would have more actual troubles and fewer imaginary ones. Oh, I've had my moments, and if I had to do it all over again, I'd have many more of them, in fact I'd try not to have anything else, just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of my day. If I had it to do all over again, I'd travel lighter, much lighter than I have. I would start barefoot earlier in the spring, and I'd stay that way later in the fall. And I would ride more merry-go-rounds, and catch more gold rings, and greet more people and pick more flowers and dance more often. If I had it to do all over again - but you see, I don't.

-Jorge Luis Borges

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