Thursday, February 27, 2014

February variety pack

Now that the #Toronto election season is here, remember to vote with your money as you sit on a bomb in lingerie, while holding a skull. I really don't have a clue what this represents, similar to my knowledge of what all the candidates represent, in what will sure to be an interesting political battle in the big city. All I know is that I am tired of the deep freeze and want summer to come back.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Icycle 2014 - #Toronto bike race on ice

Another cold year's winter breath gave the bikers another reason to bravely sprint around the slippery skating rink at Dufferin Grove Park - trying to keep warm without slamming to the ground and getting hit by another racer. Some didn't manage to this difficult task and they hit the ice hard, the sharp screws drilled through the rubber tires still not giving enough purchase to allow the bike to stay vertical up in the tight corners. And the final, all-rubber tire race called 'Rubber Race Mania' was a literal spill fest as the second rink was opened for the finals and the largest field of the night lined up and shot out from the start line and within seconds down went some of the riders. As they say "Thrills, Spills and because you demanded it, Chills." Posted by Joe Hamilton and James Hamilton - come back as we add photos from this year's event.
Derek before the racing begins
The Roman Centurion

Organized by Derek Chadbourne, the race started at the Toronto Islands in 1996 before crossing the frozen harbour to the mainland in 2001 and settling into the community park and skating rinks within Dufferin Grove Park. Racers registered for $20 and worked up a thirst for the after party at Bike Pirates located at 1292 Bloor Street West. This year's race was held on Saturday, February 22, 2014 from 7-10 pm. "Bike Pirates is an autonomous organization whose mission is to empower cyclists and make bicycles more accessible. Volunteer-run and volunteer-organized, Bike Pirates provides a Do-It-Yourself workspace to the members of the community and supports the concepts of bicycle re-use, collective decision making, and social justice."
This should have been an Olympic Winter Sport!
Chariot races

Speeds were fast through the straight aways and made it hard to keep control on the turns
Bike Pirate Chloe rallies the crowd

Participants got free admission to the after party and a chance to claim victory in several heats which included mixed, all-male and all-female categories and with prizes for best costume.

For those that like their biking a little bit warmer you can check out next weeks Toronto International Bicycle Show February 28 - March 2, 2014 at the Better Living Centre in Exhibition Place. You can stay inside and look for a new ride for spring.

See more ice racing after the jump.

Motorcycle Show #Toronto 2014

Exciting stunt riders and trial demonstrations in the Direct Energy Building brought the action to the crowds of two-wheel loving fans during the Feb 21-23 Toronto show. It was easy to forget about winter and think about the open road in summertime on some of the new bikes that were out on display. The demos got the adrenaline going and the hundreds of bikes on hand had everyone settling into the seats checking out the comfort, feel and reach of the awesome machines.

Backwoods Girls promotional model at the MX and Off Road magazine booth

"This Show is Ontario’s biggest motorcycle manufacturers’ event of the year, and much like its four-wheeled automotive equivalent, this will be the first opportunity for bike fans to see the new 2014 motorcycle, ATV, side-by-side and scooter models that will be on sale at dealerships when the spring riding season rolls around. In addition to the 400+ bikes on display, there’s a wide-range of new and exciting features, plus the latest in apparel, accessories and touring destinations, all under one roof in a space equal to three-and-a-half football fields."

Major manufacturers of motorcycles brought out their line-ups and displayed Aprilia, Arctic Cat, BMW Motorrad, Can-Am BRP, Deeley Harley-Davidson, Ducati, Honda, Husqvarna, Indian, Kawasaki, KTM, Moto Guzzi, Norton, Piaggio, Polaris, Royal Enfield, Suzuki, Triumph, Vespa, Victory and Yamaha. Not to be forgotten, there was also scooters, ATVs and side-by-side models ready for a chance to climb aboard and see what they feel like between your legs.

Additional features included the Yamaha Riding Academy for Kids, Yamaha how to seminars, demonstrations by members of the OPP Golden Helmets, Friday Night is She Rides Nite, the Castrol Rocket World Speed Record Challenger and Race Cafe.
At the Honda Racing Corporation HRC booth

Posted by James Hamilton and Joe Hamilton. See more photos after the jump.

Friday, February 21, 2014

We Believe

The #Toronto Eaton Centre believes in the next generation of Olympic athletes. They also believe in watching the Olympics as they have a large viewing lounge set up in the middle of the downtown mall and it is usually full of fans watching the action at the Sochi 2014 games. Shoppers could meet snowboard cross athlete Tayler Wilton who intends to compete in 2018.
It looks small hanging from the glass arch at the top of the Eaton Centre but this flag would probably cover a small house, or maybe just an apartment window
2012 Olympic Silver Medalist Jason Burnett does a meet and greet on Saturday, February 15, 2014 with fans waiting in line up for a photo and autograph

Posted by James Hamilton and Joe Hamilton

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

February frost warms up in #Toronto this weekend

Temperatures above freezing leading into the Feb 21-23, 2014 weekend means winter is over! Woot, woot! The ice coating and winter blahs can be beaten back with cars, motorcycles, an outdoor show, an icefest and an bike race on ice! Friday is supposed to be 6 degrees Celcius so the patios will probably be set up along the streets, although umbrella might be required because of the rain. I imagine that balmy temperatures will abound and shorts will soon be worn by everyone - any day now.

I will miss the Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS), probably just go to a Hyundai dealership instead, but I will be going to the Motorcycle Show Toronto 2014 at the Direct Energy Centre in Exhibition Place (Feb 21-23), the Bloor-Yorkville Icefest (Feb 22-23) and the Annual Bike Couriers Ice Race at Dufferin Grove Park on Saturday night (Feb 22). Other events include the Outdoor Show at the International Centre,

At the Motorcycle Show you can find "more than 400 motorcycles, ATVs, side-by-sides and scooters on display, Ontario's biggest motorcycle manufacturers' consumer show will have the latest in apparel, accessories and touring destinations. The Show boasts several features, including the world's most technologically advanced motorcycle, the 1,000-horsepower Triumph Castrol Rocket making its only Canadian appearance; American stunt team and YouTube stars Nick "Apex" Brocha and Ernie "EDub" Vigil; the "Wayne Gretzky" of Canadian motorcycle racing, 19-time Canadian champ Jordan Szoke showing his Trials skills; the Yamaha Riding Academy for kids ages 6-12; and a special celebration Friday evening for women who ride."

The Bloor-Yorkville Icefest, or Icefest 2014, takes place in the heart of Yorkville presents the 14th annual Sassafraz ice carving competition. Ice carvings are very popular in the ritzy area - they look like sculptures made of diamonds - just perfect for the Mink Mile.

Later on Saturday night there will be time to watch some very dedicated bicycle riders who take to the ice with their trusty two wheeled, human powered vehicles for Icycle 2014. The bicycles get an advantage with the addition of screws which help to keep the bikes riding around the hockey rink at Dufferin Grove Park. The action and eventual spills start at 7 pm. "Toronto's only on-ice race on two wheels. You could pay $5 to sit in the box which provided the best seats in the house, or watch for free everywhere else. Warning to racers, direction of the race may vary, depending on mood of race marshal."

After this week you will have to take a rest to get ready for next weeks Sexapalooza Show from Feb 28 to March 2 at the International Centre. You can also see more bikes at the Toronto International Bicycle Show on at the same time at the Better Living Centre in Exhibition Place.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Sears Great Canadian Chill 2014 in #Toronto

Brave swimmers jumped into a temporary pool set up at @YDSquare to help #EndKidsCancer during the February Family Day holiday long weekend. Many of the chillers made the jump wearing KISS makeup and carrying inflatable guitars, some of the other teams included the Angry Chicks and team Frankie Fettuccine. Groups of four who registered for the dip received a swag bag, free hot chocolate in a Chill branded mug and a team photo. After your frozen swim, you could lounge in one of the hot tubs and warm up your chilled bodies. Posted by Joe Hamilton and James Hamilton.
The Sears Chill "is helping to bring awareness to, and raise critical funds for, pediatric cancer care and research. Through donations to Canada’s children’s hospitals for their oncology initiatives, OpĂ©ration Enfant Soleil and other organizations dedicated to the fight, Sears aims ultimately to help children with cancer live longer, more fulfilling lives. Sears Canada and children’s hospitals across Canada are grateful for the enthusiastic and ongoing support of Canadians who fundraise and participate in their communities."

National Weather Network Anchor Kasia Bodurka was reporting on site
Some great sponsors were on hand to offer freebies like Hawaiian Punch and INDIE88
The Sears Great Canadian Chill moved from the shores of Lake Ontario into Yonge-Dundas Square in 2013. The Polar Bear Dip also changed from New Years Day to the Family Day holiday.

See more of the ladies team doing the chill after the jump.

Doors Open

Scarborough Bluffs





Lake Ontario

Nathan Phillips Square