Cy­cling Celebrity

The Baroness von sketch show cre­ator and star brings pedalling foibles to the screen

Canadian Cycling Magazine - - CONTENTS - As told to Eliz­a­beth Miller

Baroness von Sketch Show cre­ator and star Aurora Browne

In Septem­ber, Aurora Browne took time out from film­ing Sea­son 4 of the Baroness vons­ketchshow – which will air on CBC in 2019 – to talk about her love of cy­cling.

Icame late to the bike-rid­ing world. I was timid and avoided at­tempt­ing to ride a bike all through my sin­gle dig­its, ter­ri­fied of fall­ing. Then my older sis­ter ran with me up and down the block un­til I was brave enough to keep go­ing. Af­ter that, I was in. I rode an old, re­painted fam­ily bike with a big bas­ket to de­liver news­pa­pers. Then I bought my own Miy­ata 10-speed and rode it to school. I re­mem­ber go­ing up and down a quiet street learn­ing to ride with no hands, a su­per cool move in the ’80s.

In Toronto, where I live now, rid­ing a bike is a way of life. We don’t have a car (too ex­pen­sive, and where do you park?), and some­times tran­sit is too slow. So I hop on my bike and get where I need to go. One win­ter, I fi­nally got my­self fleece pants and a red leather trench coat to cut the wind, and I be­came a win­ter biker for a few months, an in­cred­i­ble feel­ing. My favourite mo­ments are glid­ing down a side street in warm evening sun­light. It feels like fly­ing, like be­ing in­vin­ci­ble. We bike to­gether as a fam­ily with my son rid­ing on a hitch be­hind my hus­band. My son has the same re­luc­tance and fear I had grow­ing up, but I don’t stress about it be­cause I know once he fig­ures it out, there will be no stop­ping him.

A cou­ple of years ago, on my way in to work on Baroness Vons ketchs how, I no­ticed my­self do­ing some­thing for the umpteenth time. I spot­ted a friend walk­ing on the side­walk and yelled hello. But I didn’t re­ally have time to stop, so I just slowed down awk­wardly to ex­plain that I had to keep go­ing. I felt like a fool. An hour later, I wrote a sketch based on the mo­ment, and lo and be­hold, it made the show. In the tele­vised ver­sion, I crash into some garbage (or rather my stunt per­son did it), which I’ve never done. But it was a good rep­re­sen­ta­tion of how dumb I fre­quently feel.

I’m al­ways go­ing to bike in Toronto. I love it, and I don’t mind the traf­fic. I’ve been doored, and I’ve cer­tainly yelled at a few peo­ple who made thought­less lane changes. But on the whole, I love it. I can’t wait to share it with my son.

“My favourite mo­ments are glid­ing down a side street in warm evening sun­light. It feels like fly­ing, like be­ing in­vin­ci­ble.”

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