Toronto’s Yin and Yang of Cycling
TDA Global Cycling is based and run from Toronto, a city most often known around the world by its most dazzling denizen, the one in this video smoking crack.
A person who solved all sorts of Toronto problems by such brilliantly articulated ideas as ‘this is nuts, nuts, nuts’, the person who declared at a city council meeting when he was mayor that “if a cyclist dies while cycling the city streets it is simply his own fault” and of course solving Toronto transportation problems by singlehandedly ending the war on cars.
But I have it on good authority from a world renowned research specialist and the man who has been treating me for years for the devastating disease adventuritis the one and only Professor Cimrman, that Toronto not only produces the world’s most astonishing mayor, but that the water we drink from polluted Lake Ontario – is also behind some leading-edge companies in the business of cycling. As often happens in nature the same components can create different results. Here is what I am talking about.
Exhibit 1: Cervelo
A couple of maverick engineers who thought they could do better started with an idea to develop a fast time trail bike in 1996 and disrupted the bike industry. Today Cervelo is known as the company that produces the world’s fastest and lightest bikes.
Exhibit 2: AeroVelo
Can you believe that an individual can go at 135km per hour speed based on nothing more than human power? Well it is true thanks to Aerovelo Similarly to Cervelo, these guys are a couple of tinkerers with Ph.Ds. who also collected a cool US$ 250K Sikorski prize for building the first human powered helicopter and the same guys who also built a flapping human powered airplane.
Exhibit 3: TDA Global Cycling
Interestingly, TDA was also created by an engineer and tinkerer, except these guys wanted to cycle the wild routes of Africa. And now the company TDA Global Cycling which has been breaking ground with amazing tours all over the world including Antarctica has won an Indy Travel award as the best adventure company beating all sorts of established and bigger companies around the world.
Exhibit 4: Vanhawks
And speaking of tinkerers though only a recent start-up, Vanhawks is already making waves with its unique new bike called Valour a connected smart bike which you will soon see riding all over the world.
Other Examples down the St. Lawrence
Now you may still be thinking that water has nothing to do with this. Here is more proof. As you probably do not know but a quick search on your smart phone will show you, the St Lawrence River begins as the outflow of Lake Ontario so essentially the same water, though obviously not as concentrated, reaches Montreal. Montreal is the place where the famous Bixi bike share system was born and developed and then distributed around the world to such far corners of the world as London, Melbourne and Washington DC.
And to nail the hypothesis the last Exhibit presented is Montreal based Velo Quebec, the gold standard for cycling advocacy and cycling adventures in Quebec, the people behind the very successful Route Verte cycling infrastructure.
So, my dear reader, you may still insist that it is a pure coincidence that this area produces a concentration of extremes when it comes to cycling. I for one think that Dr. Cimrman’s hypothesis is a breakthrough and you should not be surprised of more ‘world firsts’ coming out of Toronto.