Tour d’Afrique 10th Anniversary

The Tour d'Afrique is a one-of-a-kind cycling journey that traverses the African continent from Cairo to Cape Town.

Photos of the intensely personal experiences of riders and crew of the Tour d’Afrique have been collected in 10: Celebrating Ten Years of the Tour d’Afrique Bicycle Race and Expedition.

Monday, November 21 · 7:00pm - 10:00pm

The Rivoli
334 Queen St West
Toronto, Ontario

Door prizes & Draw
Books & Tees for sale

Facebook event page.

If you can't make it to the book launch you can order the book online.

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Remembering Jenna

A group of approximately 600 friends, family and supporters of safer streets gathered on the morning of Monday, November 14, 2011 at the memorial ride for Jenna Morrison. A "ghost bike" was installed near the intersection of Dundas Street West and Sterling Road where Ms. Morrison lost her life in a collision with a truck. Among the supporters were City Councillor Mike Layton and Parkdale-High Park MP Peggy Nash. A coalition of cycling advocates recently compelled the Chief Coroner's office to study cycling related deaths over the last four years in this province.

A trust fund has been created for Morrison’s family through TD Bank. To donate using a TD Bank account use branch number 0246 and account number 637 2358. For donations from other financial institutions use transit number 02462, institution number 004, account number 02466372358, and the name associated to the account, Kimberlee White. Donations may also be made by phone using TD EasyLine Banking, 1-866-222-3456.

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How we got here: from the days of the dandyhorse, Item 1, The Big Jug

By Tammy Thorne
Photos courtesy of Lorne Shields
Special thanks to research by writer Roger Street (via Lorne Shields.)

How we got here: from the days of the dandyhorse
A series – from the collection of Lorne Shields.

Since 1967, Lorne Shields has developed a detailed knowledge of bicycle history and his collection is now considered a national treasure. In the 1980s, he donated a portion of his collection, including 42 world-class bicycles, to the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa, Ontario.

Some of the items that remain in Lorne’s possession will be shared here in our series: How we got here...

Item 1: The Big Jug


What is it?

A large and important Princess Charlotte and Prince Leopold of Saxe Cobourg commemorative jug of cycling interest, circa 1818-19.

Who made it?

A potter named Thomas Brough of Lane End. (Longton is the modern name for Lane End.)

Who owned it?

It bears an intriguing inscription on its front reading: “Richard Cooper’s Hobby Red Lion St Helen.” Richard Cooper was the licensee of the family-owned Red Lion public house in St. Helens, Lancashire, in the year 1820.

What era is it from?

The ‘pedestrian hobby horse’ images prove that the jug must have been produced at least a year-and-a-half after Princess Charlotte’s death, when her loss would still have been keenly felt. Sadly, after only eighteen months of married bliss, Charlotte died on November 6th 1817, following the birth of a stillborn son. The whole country mourned “their dear Charlotte”.

How big is it?

It stands 14” high and has a diameter of 12” at the widest point, but is 16”overall from handle to spout. At its widest point the circumference is 38” – 3’ 2” or almost a metre wide. It weighs 11 pounds. For real ale enthusiasts, it holds 25 pints to the bottom of the rim, though it would take a strong person to lift and pour it when full.

Why it was made:

The jug must date from the hobby horse era of 1819 to 1821, but probably the earlier date. The jug was likely to have been a special commission. It was common in the 1800s that pubs would have a dominant object, which was their ‘wonder’ – a large decorative piece – such as the big jug, or often, elaborate pieces of Stourbridge coloured glassware or the famous large stuffed pike in a glass case. The jug belongs squarely in that tradition, and likely served as an attraction and advertisement for the Red Lion at St. Helens. Pubs had to advertise, as there was fierce competition from other pubs.

Why we love it:

No less than twenty-four (mostly repeated) illustrations of the hobby horse velocipede appear around the body of the jug.

There is one single illustration of ‘The Real Dandy Hobby’ – being a true depiction of the exciting new machine as ridden by the dandies and others in London and elsewhere in Europe in the Spring of 1819.

The Real Dandy Hobby close up

The Real Dandy Hobby is visible bottom left.

Special thanks to research by writer Roger Street (via Lorne Shields.)

The book Dashing Dandies by Roger Street can be found here.


Next item up: the "skirt lifter"

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dandySHOPS: Sublime Espresso Bar

A Keith Haring Mural in the front entrance of Sublime. Haring painted the Cinelli bicycle featured on their homepage.

Photos by Christopher Kaiser
By Duncan Hurd

At Sublime Espresso Bar, on Augusta Avenue in Kensington Market, customers are encouraged to bring their bicycles inside.

Just a couple of blocks down the street from a bike corral that helps to rectify the shortage of bicycle parking in the highly-cycled 'hood, Sublime also likes to accommodate cyclists.

Out front of Sublime, you're likely to find a few fixed-gear bikes locked to themselves. Once inside the front door, there will be another bike or two balancing on the wall and in the back of the cafe there are the employees bikes stacked several deep. When I asked why people on bicycles are attracted to the cafe, Reza of Sublime told me, "We are a bit analog at Sublime. We try to discourage laptops and try to encourage our patrons to converse, maybe this sits well with cyclists."

Just as the cafe proudly serves Fair Trade coffees, everyone at Sublime is also concerned with their personal impact on the city. Brit shares, "I ride my bike to work mainly for environmental reasons and because the TTC is a headache. Bikes don't clog up the streets, they're great exercise, you can take side streets, enjoy a scenic route."

Beyond bikes and conversation, the analog theme continues at Sublime. Several walls of the cafe are lined with a collection of jazz and soul vinyl records, all for sale. "The records just evolved with the cafe," Reza tells me. "My friends and I all collect records and we would play them for the costumers and one thing led to another and we started bringing our overflow records to the cafe. At first it was just for listening and then one day we decided to start selling them as the collection grew."

The combination of Sublime's bike-friendly parking policy and staff, a commitment to Fair Trade coffee and the funky background soundtrack all add together to create a welcoming space to relax, chat and discover new music. When asked if there is anything else that may attract people on bikes to coffee shops, Reza ventures a guess, "I think it has something to do with caffeine and the social aspect of meeting somewhere."

Sublime Espresso Bar

219 Augusta Avenue
Toronto, ON
M5T 2L4


For even more on the connections between coffee and bicycles, read Dana Lacey's "Whatever turns your crank" in our Food Issue, available now. Get dandy delivered to your door, subscribe today.

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Memorial Ride for Jenna Morrison – Monday, November 14, 2011

A detail from the memorial at the Sterling Road exit of the West Toronto Railpath next to the intersection where Jenna Morrison lost her life. Photo by Martin Reis.

On Monday, November 7, 2011, Jenna Morrison was struck and killed by a truck while cycling to pick up her young son from school.

Advocacy for Respect for Cyclists will hold a memorial ride on Monday, November 14, 2011.

Friends, neighbours and supporters of safer streets are encouraged to meet at the southwest corner of Bloor Street West and Spadina at 7:30 am.

The ride will arrive at Dundas Street West and Sterling for 8:00 am where a ghost bike will be installed and a memorial held for Ms. Morrison.

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