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Rapha 100 woman ride

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Rapha 100 woman ride

On July 23rd, I had the pleasure to lead the Rapha 100km ride sponsored by the Café Roubaix Bicycle Studio. With the influence of Liz (who set up pretty much everything to have our ride registered with Rapha) and the help of other team members of the Café Roubaix Bicycle Studio, we, a group of dedicated woman, took part in this great challenge to ride our first 100 km on our bicycles. This ride was done through Rapha Woman 100 challenge which is an international ride. Woman around the globe rode their 100km on the same day. The ride was opened to any woman that wanted to attend. We were 4 of our current team and we met a 5th rider which is now a part of our team. The route we established was not that easy as out neck of the woods is filled with hills, but riding with these fierce and strong woman was a treat.


I can’t say enough how proud of my team mates I am. They are brave women that are strong and that do not give up without putting a fight. They pushed themselves hard and they achieved something big through this ride. I know the last 10-15 km were hard on them and I tried my best to cheer them up and encourage them as best as I can. It was hard for me too, it was also my first 100 km, but knowing that they were there, giving all they have, gave me that strength I needed to help them go through these hard last kms because I knew they could make it.

tackling hills

My wonderful team mates have been working hard training for months to get where they are today and achieve this big ride. It seems like yesterday that I led this group of woman out on their first group ride with our beginner group rider program. I can’t believe the amount of progress they made in such short period of time. To be honest, I’m amazed by their dedication. Week after week they showed up for the Tuesday ride. They motivated me to show up too and ride with them.  I owe them more than they think. I’m proud to be a part of this group.

group and ally

Team Café Roubaix is a group of dedicated cycling lovers and they are always ready to jump in to help make things possible. We had the support of 3 vehicles at our disposition for anything we needed. Our men member (Jeff with his dog Reese, Ally and his son Benjamin and dog Brody, and Jerold and his son Sidney) on the support team carried everything we may have needed from food to spare parts and lots of moral support too. We even had a 4iii innovations vehicle following us to insure our safety on the road. The best way to feel safe while riding and not having to think about anything else but our bikes and the road. Let’s not forget Dan and Rita (and and their daughters Danica and Leah) from Café Roubaix Bicycle Studio that hosted this even for us and that welcomed us with some bubbly and lots of food. They made this event something big that I will remember forever.

4iiii escort vehiclemid race lunch

You can see our route segment 1 and Segment 2. I had a little issue with my Garmin VivoActive watch from a fault of mine so I have the ride in two segments. A silly side note about our route. I was once called a mountain goat by a team member for my love of climbing. I’m nowhere near fast or anything special but I have a thing for hills. When I saw the rolling hills coming through our ride, that kept me motivated.

Congratulations to Stacey, Linda, Lizzy and Halyna for completing this challenging hilly 100kms ride. It was a pleasure to ride with you all.

This ride was made possible by the dedication of passionate people that donated their time and efforts for us.


Note: I can’t remember who took all of these wonderful pictures. The credits go to Ally McLean and Jeff Simpson. Thanks you!




Book: Wheels of Change

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Another while since I’ve posted. I guess I was quite busy with bikes (riding and fixing them) plus I’ve been announced the death of Vic Mroszczak who was a friend and what a great man. It’s also been raining quite a bit lately which means more time to read. I’ve read lots of books but they were not interesting enough to post about. “Wheels of Change” I had read before but I have to admit that my reading was limited to the pictures. This time I read it all and loved it.

This book is by Sue Macy and published by the National Geographic. Macy also wrote Bull’s Eye and Bylines. I took a peak at Bull’s Eye and it was a nice book. So what is “Weels of Change: How Woman Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a few Flat Tires Along the Way)” about? This book is not very long (96 pages) and filled with beautiful pictures and the design is awesome. It’s easy to read and eye catching. Like most historical book it as a portion about how the bicycle was invented but it’s focused on the bicycle for the woman. You can see how the machines were made so the woman rode side saddle way to accommodate the skirts. I can’t believe how woman made it with those cumbersome lengths of fabric that could weight up to 25 pounds and those corset the cut you in half. There’s also a quick portion about bicycle related inventions by woman in the 1890’s which is basically when the high wheeler was in service. There’s a page on Alice Austen a woman photographer and avid cyclist. It mention celebrity cyclist such as Katharine Wright (the Wright brothers sister), Marie Curie and Annie Oakley.  There’s a nice part about bicycle fashion for woman and how the bloomers were created thanks to Amelia Bloomer. Believe it or not there was song written about woman cyclists like “The Bicycle Girl” by Nettie M. Wagner and j. Carroll Chandler. I liked the portion about woman racing bikes. Not just the safety one but the high wheelers. One of the known figures were Elsa von Blumen and Louise Armaindo. The later was a french Canadian so I saw my heritage in her. Then some woman like Annie Kopchovsky took the chalenge to go around the world by bicycle with no money on them and come back with at least 5000$. I was happy to read that back in the late 1800’s there was ladies cycling publications done like the “Bearings”. I love the name!

That resumes the book pretty well. Two thumbs up for that book that I can’t bring back to the library because I keep going back to re-read information. Captivating!


Book Cover


A peak of inside the book. Note the design.