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