Heels on Wheels: Dufflet Rosenberg

By Tammy Thorne
Photo by Yvonne Bambrick

In anticipation of our delicious FOOD issue we bring you a fresh Heels on Wheels with Toronto’s own Queen of Cake: Dufflet Rosenberg

Who: Dufflet Rosenberg

What: Queen of Cake (aka proprietor of Dufflet Pastries)

Where: 787 Queen Street West, Dufflet Pastries flagship retail shop

You've been a big supporter of bicycle advocacy in the city and donate proceeds from the Tour de Dufflet to the Toronto Cyclists Union. Why did you choose the Bike Union?

With the City cutting back on Bike Month activities, we chose to support the Toronto Cyclists Union this year because they speak up for all cyclists in all parts of Toronto.

Why did you start the Tour de Dufflet?

We wanted to encourage more people to ride their bicycles, with a sweet reason! It’s the perfect circuit around Toronto, with a reward at every stop on the way.

Did you watch the Tour de France this year?

Yes. The Pyrenees are always my favourite part having cycled there a few years ago, breathtaking views! Aerial coverage of the Tour is amazing.

What the furthest you've ever ridden on a bike?

My partner and I travel somewhere different in Europe and North America every fall with our tandem bicycle. There have been a few very long days – 150 km – with challenging climbs. Mont Ventoux in France was by far the most difficult ride I ever experienced, more the downhill than the climb.

Tell us about your bicycle please? Do you transport sweets in it?

I have a vintage 1964 Moulton – a British bicycle designed by Sir Alex Moulton – which has been restored by my partner Martin Kohn. I’ve had it for 30 years and it’s still going strong. (It helps when you live with your mechanic!) I sometimes take along pastries for friends and dinner parties.

How often do you ride? What is your commute like?

I try to cycle to work in Etobicoke when weather permits. It’s a 10 km ride from home, with a mixed bag of conditions along Queen Street West, The Queensway and the Humber bike path. I often take the Lakeshore bike path home although the paths can sometimes be as hazardous as the roads with high bicycle, roller blade and pedestrian traffic.

Have you ever ridden your bike to a gala event? Have you ever worn heels while riding?

I have taken my bike to galas as Dufflet Pastries supports many local annual events like Luminato, Toronto Taste and Eat to the Beat. I’m not a big fan of heels, but if they’re needed to complete an outfit, I usually just bring a change of shoes with me and ride my bike in flats.

What would you do to improve cycling in the city?

Stop removing bike lanes! And expand the West Toronto Railpath. I think both cyclists and drivers need to increase their awareness of what’s around them.

What's your favourite food (other than cake, of course!)?

Pasta – I cannot live without noodles.

What is your favourite pastry?

That’s a difficult question. I love vanilla cake (from Dufflet, of course) but also Mille Feuille, which I will travel far and wide to find.

What is your favourite summertime food?

Ontario peaches.

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Our special FOOD issue with guest editor Bob Blumer from the Food Network is due in September.

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2011 Bicycle Film Festival Toronto Preview – Racing Towards Red Hook

USA 2011 | HD 20 min.
Dir. Jessica Scott & Hyde Harper

In "Racing Towards Red Hook," three cyclists of diverse backgrounds compete in one of New York City’s biggest underground events, the 2011 Red Hook Criterium. The rules are simple: 20 laps, one gear, zero brakes. Each March, more than 80 mostly-amateur cyclists pin on the numbers to race through the streets of Brooklyn’s industrial Red Hook neighborhood, navigating a technical course. Illuminated only by streetlight and moonlight, the 2011 course is extremely challenging and lined with hundreds of spectators, despite windy, sub-freezing temperatures at the 11pm start. Riders dream of winning the famed cobblestone trophy, and with every passing year, the competition gets fiercer.

Frank Warren, a Brooklyn coffee shop owner, hopes to shock the field and win his first-ever crit as a virtual unknown. Al Barouh, a seasoned rider who works at a local bike shop and teaches New York children how to ride track bikes, finished third a previous year and looks to take a step up on the podium this time around. Defending champion Dan Chabanov, a bike messenger and rising star in the cycling world, hopes to use his experience cross racing to power ahead of the field once again.

Unique and daring, the Red Hook Crit brings together athletes of all sorts of racing disciplines and varied backgrounds to compete in an event that’s like no other. It’s a type of race that’s on the verge of a worldwide explosion, and the Brooklyn riders are the heartbeat of the fixed gear criterium movement.

Racing Towards Red Hook will be shown as part of BFF Program 1 starting at 7:00 pm on Friday, August 12, 2011 at The Royal.

Get tickets here.

More Bicycle Film Festival 2011 info here.

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The Women and Bicycles Picnic in Trinity Bellwoods Park August 18, 2011

HerstoriesCafe Toronto

In this current era of bike lane closures and cycling marginalization, the history of cycling, and its revolutionary potential, has never been more relevant. Please join HerstoriesCafe, Toronto’s only women’s history salon, for a free event about women and the history of cycling. These free monthly events are designed to generate dialogue about local women’s stories and provide a forum for community members, historians, teachers, curators, artists, archivists and activists to share their knowledge and deepen our historical understanding of our urban landscape.

What: The Women and Bicycles Picnic

When: Thursday, August 18, 2011 starting at 6pm.

Where: Trinity Bellwoods Park, beside the Trinity Bellwoods Recreation Center (155 Crawford St. MAP) The event will take place in the grove of trees just behind Fresh, off the Crawford St. entrance. Bring snacks, blankets and your bike if you feel like it. Light refreshments will be provided. Weather permitting.

Speakers and Topics: “Women and Cycling in Toronto: Fighting for Inclusion since 1869”

Cycling advocate and historian Steve Brearton will discuss women and cycling in Toronto from the early days of the bicycle when females fought cultural norms just to ride a bicycle to the present day where City planning and policy decision have had the effect of limiting women’s participation. Among other topics, listeners will hear of the city’s first clandestine women riders, how the bicycle offered Victorian females greater freedom and independence and a visible means of challenging restrictive social standards and how one woman determined to offer her children a safe place to ride almost single-handedly created the Martin Goodman Trail.

Steve is a Toronto writer and cyclist who has long been involved in helping build a bike culture in the city. He is Spacing magazine’s cycling columnist and in 2004, he wrote and curated an exhibition entitled "From Scorchers to Alley Cat Scrambles: A History of the Bicycle in Toronto" at the City of Toronto’s Market Gallery.

Through a series of songs excerpted from her hit theatrical show SPIN, Evalyn Parry brings to life the adventures and impact of several nineteenth century cycling heroines: from Annie Londonderry, first woman to ride around the world on a bicycle in 1895, to women’s rights activist Frances Willard, author of “A Wheel within a Wheel: How I learned to Ride a Bicycle” (1895), to Amelia Bloomer, name-sake of the forerunner of pants.

Evalyn Parry is an innovative, award-winning songwriter, playwright, poet and educator living in Parkdale. She has produced four critically acclaimed CD’s of music and spoken word, toured all over North America, and her work has been widely commissioned, broadcast and anthologized. SPIN premiered at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, and will tour widely in Canada over the coming year.


Poster image courtesy of the CNE.

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2011 Bicycle Film Festival Toronto Preview – Fabric Bike

Canada 2011 | HD 8 min.
Dir. Laura Mensinga & Kirsten White

Canadian all-girl midnight bike gang, The Deadly Nightshades, comes together to create a bicycle that combines their love of fashion, art, and cycling. These women document this 3-month process step by step.

Fabric Bike will be shown as part of BFF Program 5 - Urban Bike Shorts starting at 9:00 pm on Saturday, August 13, 2011 at The Royal.

Get tickets here.

More Bicycle Film Festival 2011 info here.

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2011 Bicycle Film Festival Toronto Preview – The Backwards Rider

Canada 2010 | HD 8 min.
Dir. Ben Lenzner

"Riding is a freedom. It’s like tapping into a world that has never been tapped into," states Leslie Slowely. Known throughout the Queen West neighborhood of Toronto as The Backwards Rider, this film explores his life and riding style.

The Backwards Rider will be shown as part of BFF Program 4 starting at 7:00 pm on Saturday, August 13, 2011 at The Royal.

Get tickets here.

More Bicycle Film Festival 2011 info here.

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