We headed up to Waterloo via the Iron Horse Trail, which neither of us had ever taken previously. Ridiculous, really, when you consider how much cycling we've done in and around KW, and all the trails we've explored in Cambridge. Nonetheless, we had an enjoyable trip up through the lovely, cool shade of the trees along the trail on an otherwise hot and sunny day.
|Photo from Patti Kapron-Weber|
Arriving just after 2pm, we registered and received our reflective arm bands and said hello to some friends among the dozens of other cyclists who'd turned up for the event.
|Lots of bikes of all kinds at the CIGI campus|
There were some pre-ride announcements by the ride's organizers, including a heartfelt speech from Heather Caron, who came up with the idea for this event after her husband Barrie Conrod was killed while cycling on May 6th, 2012.
|Pre-ride talk - Heather is at left.|
We'd rode in last year's edition, but it seemed especially important that we participate this year after my own brief trial as a hood ornament, two years almost to the day after the death of Barrie Conrod. I actually even wore the same kit in which I was hit, having managed to repair it enough to be rideable.
|Stitched up like a baseball, but at least my arse isn't hanging out.|
We saddled up and rode the same route as last year, slowly looping around to Waterloo Public Square where a huge crowd of people awaited, as the ride coincided with the first Open Streets Uptown Waterloo event of the year. We all rode through, ringing our bells, spreading the message of sharing the road.
|Photo from Dave Jaworsky|
|Waterloo Public Square after the ride.|
After some post-ride announcements, we headed back down the Iron Horse Trail toward home, pausing to check out an awesome new installation - a bike fix-it station with a floor pump, repair stand and tools! Located at the intersection of the Iron Horse Trail and Queen Street, this is one of 3 such stations recently introduced in Kitchener.
|Well done, City of Kitchener!|
This was a lovely way to spend an afternoon on a bike, and to help raise awareness for cycling safety in our region. It was wonderful to see everything from wee tots on balance bikes up through townie commuter steeds, fixies, mountain bikes and full-on racing rigs coming together to honour those who have been injured or killed and to declare that cyclists and car drivers can work as one to see everyone reach their destination safely.
You can stay in touch with future news and events through the Together We Travel website - hope to see you there in 2015!