Save the date ladies! The next Toronto Girls’ Cupcake Ride is over the Labour Day long weekend: Saturday, August 31st, 1pm.
Do you have a preference for a ride route?
** Although I’ve also contacted 2 cupcake food truck operators to see where they will be on this day, so there may be a deviation from the 2 routes stated above!
A bit about the ride:
• This ride is for girls who want to ride with a friendly, non-competitive group.
• We ride at an average speed of 15-18kms/hour (don’t worry this is quite slow!)
• We welcome newbie riders! If you want to ride in the city but are nervous, ride with us! Strength in numbers! You’ll be surrounded by veteran riders who can show you how to navigate through tricky traffic situations.
And remember, this ride is for women (and those who identify as female) only, sorry gentlemen! For why, please read here.
This Sunday my ward group is hosting a Bike Polo exhibition game where some Bike Polo players will show us what Bike Polo is all about and even let people use their bikes and equipment to try the game!
Come meet us at 5pm at the Wallace Emerson Community Centre (Dufferin & Dupont). I’ve printed out some Ward 18 spoke cards that we’ll be handing out.
I know this time last year I had a whole 2012 Cupcake Ride season planned out, but this year I don’t have anything so concrete yet. Dates are coming soon though!
I’ll be planning fewer Cupcake Rides this year but I am planning a couple of new rides like a Pastel de Nata (Portuguese custard tart) Ride to celebrate Ward 18 during Bike Month, a Ward 32 specific Cupcake Ride with newly minted Cycle Toronto Board Member, Kristin Lillyman and possibly helping out with Toronto’s inaugural Clitoral Mass Ride (what? you don’t know about the Ovarian Psycos?).
In the meantime if you are itching to go out for a girls’ only ride, check out the Luna Ride …
The ladies that are leading the organizing of the Toronto Clitoral Mass Ride also want to start a Luna Ride. Please share!
Lets ride together on the full moon and reconnect with each other and the scared moon cycle!
This month it is Thursday April 25th. The plan is to meet at Christie Pitts (Bloor and Christie) at 8pm.
This is a women and trans only ride. There is no policing, but respect is mandatory. Please pass it along.
We have strong spiritual bonds, we move as one. We can reclaim women’s rituals and our connection to nature. When we connect together, we gain even more feminine power.
My prizes for completing the Second Annual Coffeeneuring Challenge came in the mail last week. Thank you so much Mary, for organizing a tough but very fun challenge and for sending out such nice prizes to all the people who successfully completed the challenge! I wasn’t expecting something so substantial – the coffee cup pin is made of pewter!
The pressure was on to take a nice photo because Andrea mentioned that my photo would be nicer than hers. So I dusted off my trusty DSLR to take this shot which ended up being exactly like Andrea’s. wops!
I wanted to share some food related publications that I’ve acquired recently. There is a bike connection with each of the ladies behind these publications which I’ll explain below!
Shana collected some of her best recipes that she published last year from her blog, Folks Gotta Eat, and made this cookbook. I originally met Shana through our love of our naughty beagles but 2 years ago she started riding a bike around town, joined me on a Cupcake Ride and even did the Try a Tri with me!
She’s one of the best chefs I know and being invited over to her place for a meal means your tastebuds will be spoiled. So naturally I follow her food blog and without hesitation try her recipes knowing that the end result will always be delicious.
I also really enjoy Shana’s blog and recipes because she is a big proponent of eating local and maybe it’s through her writing or maybe it’s through her photos but she always instills a bit of Toronto pride in me when I read her blog posts.
The second publication I want share is called Food Will Never Break My Heart and it is a magazine created and published by two girls. I met one part the duo, Colleen, when we both worked on the Dandyhorse ‘Food’ issue.
Oh and look, there’s a cupcake on the cover.
This magazine is gorgeous too and filled with beautiful photos that are showcased in unique page layouts. And a food magazine wouldn’t be complete without recipes – and there are a lot of them, collected at the back of the magazine.
You can order your copy of Food Will Never Break My Heart (the comfort issue) through their Etsy site.
It has a great article on Keirin racing with amazing photos to accompany the story. Did you know that Keirin racers rarely leave Japan to race in international races because staying and racing in Japan is more lucrative? And that it’s not worth risking an injury at an event outside of the Keirin circuit?
And ‘member when I got to zip around town on the cute 20something from Urbane Cyclist back in the summer? It was because I was doing a photoshoot for it to create this ad, that was published in the national issue of Spacing.
Another ad that I designed for Urbane was published in the newest Toronto issue of Spacing. You can get your copy here!
Last year when I went to check out the Red Bull Mini Drome, I was intrigued and fascinated. So much so that I signed up as a competitor in the event this year!
As the days got closer, I started to get a feeling of nervousness and dread. What the hell did I sign myself up for? It turns out that Malena, who entered the event with me, decided not to watch any videos from last year just so she wouldn’t scare herself and back out of competing.
Luckily, the event organizers held a practice session the night before the main event. It was a good thing we both went! It soon became apparent that without any BMX or trick riding experience even getting up on the ramp, let alone completing a full lap, becomes a huge challenge.
Competitors waiting for a chance to practice on the Mini Drome
Malena’s first attempt at climbing the Mini Drome ramp
The video below is from the practice session. The boy at the beginning is a BMX kid but it was his first time riding the Mini Drome and he masters it perfectly! The second rider is Toronto local Justin Soares, who came 3rd this year. Then it’s Malena and I.
My last fall in the Mini Drome was actually pretty bad and I gashed up my elbow and my handlebars got twisted to the side in the headset. The EMS guy had to come disinfect my wounds and bandage me up.
The funny thing is, all those falls in the drome didn’t hurt my bike at all. My bike actually became unridable when a fellow newbie competitor popped out of the Mini Drome, flew sideways 20 feet across the hall and landed on the fork of my bike.
This meant I would have to use my other bike, which wouldn’t be a big deal if this wasn’t my first time riding and if the other bike didn’t have a bigger chain ring.
Riding home that night was quite literally a drag, with the wobbly front wheel catching on my fenders every. single. rotation.
But the biggest thing on my mind was, would I be able to even get up on the ramp with a bigger chain ring?
A rider from the first heat
I was able to keep my nervousness at bay the morning of the event because I organized the last Cupcake Ride of the 2012 season and had an amazing time riding from Bloor West Village across town to the Brickworks with the ladies.
And luckily for me, the event was slightly behind schedule and I was able to give Malena a hug and watch her successfully complete her practice runs and 10 laps!!! What a thrill! After seeing her fall, the crowd totally got behind her when she got into the groove of riding:
After Malena’s heat there was a quick break and my heat was up. I was so that nervous no matter how much water I drank, my mouth was still parched! This was more nerve wracking than a piano exam or racing a car on the track. And it was mostly because I was completely unprepared.
Me waiting nervously….
My pathetic attempt:
Now watching the video I realize that the only reason I was able to partially get up on my last attempt was because the ref gave me a push – how embarrassing! I can also see how my angles were all wrong as well.
Right after the race I was so angry at the guy who smashed into my bike blaming him for my failure and for not being able to use the bike that I practiced with. I even gave him a push when I saw him (where he was actually really contrite and offered to pay for the repairs). I was so mad.
But it’s not his fault at all.
I just don’t have the skills.
Mini Drome aftermath
Next year (if there is a next year) I don’t want a pity applause at the end of my run. To ensure that doesn’t happen again, I have to go practice and get used to seeing more bruises on my legs and shoulders.
And while everyone (competitors, spectators, refs) was super nice, next time I hope I don’t hear a single, “Good for you. That was a nice TRY.”
I’m determined to be able to ride this thing!!
Malena and I with the Ladies’ Champ, Sunny D!
No tears next time, unless it’s because I wipe out badly.