Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Elk Island 200


“Bison don’t like bicycles.” These are the ominous words in my head, spoken to me last summer by a National Park ranger. Val and Penn and I are staring down a gaggle of shaggy bison in the middle of the only road through Elk Island National Park, 60 km east of Edmonton. We stand there, the bison and the bicyclists, sizing each other up for a good 10 minutes. The two sides quickly reach the same conclusion: bison are enormous; humans, not so much. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Land of the Bicycle Worshippers

The bicycle holds a special place in the hearts and chakras of Hornby Islanders. In my meanderings around this exquisite gulf island (north of Nanaimo, British Columbia), I’ve been struck by not only how many bikes I see being ridden (it’s a small island, perfect for getting around by bicycle), but also how many bikes I see displayed as works of art and, possibly, something more.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Cino! Cino! Cino!

We’re in. It’s official. The Dusty Musette squad is heading over the border. We’ve made the cut for this year’s Cino Heroica, near Kalispell, Montana, on September 7-8. As I explained a few weeks back, the Cino is a cycling event (more than a race) that pays homage to the Euro cycle racers of old, especially the heroes of Italian gravel-road racing from about the 1940s to the 1980s.

Participants must ride an “heroic bike” (pre-1986, steel frame, down-tube shifters, etc.) on some gravel back-roads over the course of two days. There will be heroic provisions: salami, baguettes, cigarettes, wine, and hot springs. Riders are also encouraged to dress in heroic fashion, a la Gino Bartali, Fausto Coppi, and Eddy Merckx.