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.
Spare bikes and people on the inside, race around the edge of the rink and watch from the stands and from outside the fence.
Watching and cheering the Zamboni driver during a break in races
Women's final - taking the checkered flag for a spin
Some heats had quite a few participants which made for some hairy riding

The Ice Stud

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