I have a confession to make: I hate group cycling.
Well, maybe “hate” is a strong word, but yeah, I much prefer riding alone.
As a busy husband and dad – as well as someone who delivers products, services and solutions that increase energy efficiency and lower operating costs in buildings across Southwestern Ontario – it’s just something I’ve gotten used to: riding solo is my way to de-stress without having to answer to anyone or anything – except the rules of the road, of course ; )
The catalyst for this change has been the enthusiasm I’ve encountered in the Old East Village Riding Group, led by OEV resident Ken Da Silva.
The weekly rides have been a highlight of my summer, getting me acquainted with the historical sites of the city, especially within the OEV – the group also holds rides at other times through their Facebook page. I really enjoy seeing the changing landscape while also feeling like I’m travelling back in time to discover the distinct histories of certain neighbourhood homes that have placards which tell the stories of the people who once lived there; a very far cry from “Little Detroit” as Ward 4’s incumbent, Stephen Orser would have us believe.
Here’s more about the group from its Facebook page:
Riders of all levels may come on a drop-in basis and the group will nominate a leader for the day who will pick a route suitable to the bikes and riders who’ve turned up that day.
Routes might include the streets of the neighbourhood and the city at large or river-side bike trails.
The pace is leisurely enough to chat along the way and to stop and rehydrate or snack along the way.
Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I actually had a nice chat with Ken on Sunday about how the group got started, just after a ride from the Lorne Ave School to Springbank Park. I really enjoyed hearing about the proactive steps people continue to take to improve their neighbourhood and the city as a whole.
So it looks like I actually prefer putting physical exercise, relaxation AND socialization into the same activity. Thank you OEV Riding Group!
It’s these types of grassroots initiatives that help lay the groundwork for a socially connected neighbourhood that deals effectively with many of the anti-social issues, whether recurring or passing.
This part of the ward needs to be built up to its fullest potential. The foundation is being laid for some serious progress and the spirit of change is palpable among its residents who are working and cycling for change.
Before I end this entry, I wanted to apologize for the post’s dramatic title — I just never thought I’d jump on the group cycle bandwagon, or that I’d be witnessing the genesis of an OEV revival.
Plus, I heard The Doors on the radio recently and couldn’t let that play on words roll by.