Thursday, October 3, 2013

Getting Ready to Ride

This is the beginning of two rides. The first is the Great Victoria Bike Ride in Australia. The second begins in 2014: the Tour D'Afrique. Having retired from teaching in the Toronto District, I am free to indulge my passion for cycling and for travel.

My family and I have spent two years in Melbourne, Victoria on educator exchanges. The exchanges were ten years apart: 1997 and 2007. During both academic years, I taught in the Western suburbs at secondary colleges (high schools). I learned the joy of being a cycle commuter as the daily ride was comfortable and efficient in a city that does not encounter snow. 

The inspiration to do the Great Vic evolved over the years that I cycled to and from school. The ride is a "supported" ride that generally starts outside of Melbourne and winds its way back to the capital and largest community in Victoria. This year, the 5,000 or so riders will hop on their bikes in Mt. Gambier, a town on the border between Victoria and South Australia. The route follows the Great Ocean Road on the southern coast with a spectacular view of the sea. The tour begins November 23rd  and finishes on December 2nd in Geelong. Cathy and I will do together though I suspect that we will pedal at our respective paces.

The next adventure will commence after Christmas. After we return to Toronto, via the Cook Islands,  I will start packing for the epic Tour D'Afrique which will start in Khartoum in 2014. Traditionally the TDA has run from Cairo. Due to the volatile situation on the ground in Egypt, the TDA organizers have rerouted the tour as a safety measure. There are approximately fifty riders who intend to go the distance. If one successfully reaches Capetown without needing the assistance of a motor-powered vehicle, one can claim to be a member of the EFI class (Every F&#kin' Inch). I aspire to be part of that club. Que sera, sera.