Ed­i­tor’s Let­ter

There are just so many ways to have fun on two wheels

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - CONTENTS - Matthew Pioro Ed­i­tor

I’m sure my eyes widened when Bren­dan Arnold sug­gested I visit his bmx track. We were chat­ting at the 2017 launch of the Can­non­dale-3 Rox team this past Jan­uary. The na­tional bmx coach was telling me about the track he runs in Stouf­fville, Ont., about 50 km north and a bit east of Toronto. He said I should visit and try it out.

I hadn’t been on a bmx bike i n al­most 30 years. Mine was red and yel­low. I rode it around the neigh­bour­hood and to the cor­ner store to get freezies and comic books. A friend and I oc­ca­sion­ally set up a crude jump on our dead-end street. Not only did that bike lead me to some sick air, but wipe­outs, cuts and bruises, too. When Arnold ex­tend his of­fer, I didn’t hes­i­tate with my “yes.”

Tara Nolan’s story, ‘What’s it Like?’ (p.42), fea­tures tales of rid­ers who said “yes” to some­thing cool. For ex­am­ple, Laura Aliperti took on a big drop. Rus­sell Slater raced the Trans Am Bike Race. Kris­tian Mani­etta Ever­ested on The Duffy in B.C. Those rid­ers and the oth­ers in Nolan’s story were drawn to those cy­cling en­deav­ours. They said “yes” to new ex­pe­ri­ences on their bikes. You never know ex­actly where such a “yes” will take you. For me, I showed up in Stouf­fville in early sum­mer with photo ed­i­tor Matt Stet­son. (He’s rad. He has his own bmx bike.) Lilies that Arnold’s mother-in-law had planted by the track were bloom­ing. We started with the ba­sics: get­ting speed by pump­ing the bike. I was pretty slow at the start, but through­out the morn­ing, I got faster and faster. I prac­tised start­ing from the gate. It was frus­trat­ing, try­ing to keep my bal­ance at a stand­still. But I got it soon enough.

Arnold and I got set for a race. I was to pedal down the first stretch, out of the first turn and then pump my way to the end. Arnold would start af­ter I rounded Turn 1 and could only pump. Af­ter I launched down the ramp, I reached the first table­top and my feet came off the flat ped­als. I held onto the bars and slipped and skid­ded on my feet. Pins from the left pedal cut two bloody lines in my calf. I still have the scars, but re­ally, it was the per­fect in­jury. It didn’t hold me back from rid­ing more that day. Now they’re some­thing I can show off. “Guess how I did that?”

We later fin­ished our race. Arnold beat me, but he says he re­ally had to work for it. Af­ter the ride, he had freezies for us. Cool scar and frozen sugar wa­ter – it was a per­fect bmx day for a 11-year-old or a 40-year-old.

This is­sue not only has the in­spir­ing sto­ries col­lected by Nolan, but great ad­vice from Peter Glass­ford (p.38), An­drew Ran­dell and Steve Neal of The Cy­cling Gym (p.33) and Alan Dempsey (p.34). It’s all stuff that will make you fit­ter, faster and help you to have more fun. You just have to say “yes.”

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