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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