Cycling

How the passion began…

I’ve been lucky enough to own a bike since I can first remember. I recall a feeling of envy watching my older brother Marc toodle down our road without his training wheels as I struggled behind amongst the clatter of mine. I never got serious about bikes or cycling until 2017. In high school I would ride a lowly 3km each way to school, in the summer I’d hit the trails to get baked, and sweat it out on my way to work when I couldn’t take the boat or hitch a ride. As I said – never serious.

I began to train on my mountain bike more heavily in 2017 as a means to get some exercise and release some stress from work. Trailriding through the trees quickly became a form of meditation for me. No matter how much mud covered my back after a ride, no matter the bruises from slippery bridges, and certainly no matter what state of mind I left home in, riding was peaceful.

Northern Pass…

2018 hit and that’s where the real story begins. I was inspired by my friend Garnet to sign up for Northern Pass, a charitable cycling event held in Muskoka. The ride is in support of the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. Garnet had an encounter with cancer the year prior and two of my uncles and close friends were taken by cancer far too soon. I had never been so passionate about a reason to ride. I had only known the saddle of my mountain bike up until this point, but my experience with cycling was about to drastically evolve.

My dad had bought a beauty road bike in 2017, only to break his leg skiing right after. Good excuse for me to ‘borrow’ his bike. But for a while I didn’t touch it, I continued to ride on the trails, riding longer, sweating harder and pedalling faster. Three weeks out from Northern Pass I took out dad’s bike for my first ever spin on the open road. Boy, was I hooked. I’d carry on to log close to 430km within those three weeks, fueling my newfound addiction. The day of the ride arrived and it was absolutely amazing. I had raised $1,530 towards cancer research and logged my first 100km+ ride. On top of that, I discovered a new passion, and enjoyed the company of Garnet and others under a beautiful blue sky. For the first time, I felt an intense, weighty, yet beautiful sense of pride.

Man with BMC road bike sitting outdoors with a camera, cycling kit, and helmet
2019 & 2020…

2019 and 2020 have been revolutionary years for me on the bike. I’ve continued to foster my passion for road cycling and have a newfound joy for gravel road exploration, riding between three and six times per week. Bikes remain as one of the most important outlets for me to alleviate stress and anxiety, a couple of hours exploring drastically changes my outlook and mindset. Unfortunately, I suffered two injuries throughout my 2019 season, one of which was during my favourite ride of the year, Northern Pass. Although I was off my bike for a total of roughly six weeks, fortunately, my injuries could have been far worse and I am both very grateful and incredibly lucky to have recovered within the time that I did.

In August of 2020, I joined the Great Cycle Challenge in support of SickKids alongside my team at Nielsen’s Bicylces in Bracebridge. Collectively, we raised over $26,000 and rode over 21,000KM.

My wheels…

OPEN U.P.

This year I purchased my new bike from Parry Sound Bikes and have my service done in Bracebridge at Nielsen’s Bicycles. I’m currently riding an OPEN U.P., a road geometry frame with tire clearance for up to 40mm 700cc tires or 2.1″ 650b tires. This thing is awesome, and I am so grateful that I could get my hands on this well-loved, used bike from its previous bike-shop owner. In 2021, I plan to upgrade to SRAM Force ETAP AXS and some new deep dish wheels.

In Muskoka and looking to ride bikes? Shoot me a message!

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