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Icycle 2010 is Like Toronto's Own Mini Winter Games

Posted by Elizabeth / February 14, 2010

Icycle 2010Icycle, an annual winter bike race in Toronto, is definitely not an Olympic-caliber event, nor is it as strict on rules. But if your idea of a good time is drilling screws into your bike tires and riding full out in a circuit against fearless bike couriers, then Icycle is for you. Did I mention you do this on ice?

The only thing crazier than this wacky event held at the Dufferin Grove, is that it used to be done off the Toronto Island on the lake, but a little thing called global warming has brought it inland to a more reliable surface.

Icycle 2010

Icycle torontoIt started back in 1996, when Johnny Jetfuel got the idea to race a figure 8 out in the bay. 14 years later the event is still going strong thanks to Derek Chadbourne at The Bike Joint

Icycle 2010Registration on the spot and a $10 entry fee got participants in the race. It doesn't matter the type of bike, the pattern of your spikes, or your experience level - just as long as you come with a helmet and you don't mind a "whimsical" approach to race marshaling.

Icycle 2010Friends, family and disbelieving casual observers lined the rink, and alternated with good-natured heckling and genuine enthusiasm.

Icycle 2010The race goes in heats, mens and womens, and about 5-7 laps each (it seemed to depend on how sadistic Derek was feeling at the beginning). It also includes a rubber race where participants forgo the common sense approach and ditch the studs for regular tires. It's a lot slower, for obvious reasons.

Icycle 2010 torontoIcycle was a tonne of fun to watch and even more fun for the competitors with the courage to ride. All you need is a little imagination, maybe a costume, and an bit of skill with some screws. Look for Icycle to return to the Dufferin Grove around this time next year.

Icycle 2010

Discussion

4 Comments

joe / February 14, 2010 at 01:19 pm
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Great rundown of last night.

We have a few photos and video up at <a href="http://bikingtoronto.com/blog/photos-and-video-from-the-ice-bike-races/";>BikingToronto.com</a>
ian milne / February 14, 2010 at 09:57 pm
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I attended that first race, and the sheer lunacy of a figure eight race on ice at night restored my (then flagging) will to live in Toronto.
John / February 15, 2010 at 09:45 am
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According to the latest Dufferin Grove newsletter, City bureaucrats are now pursuing a centralized, fast-food franchise model of park management. Senior staff with a close connection to the park and community are being purged and reassigned in advance of this centralization. The idea is to impose "consistent processes and methodologies," which would likely freeze out the community-driven initiatives that make Dufferin Grove so special and make events like Icycle possible. In the future, such initiatives would likely have to pass a gauntlet of red tape, and so probably wouldn't happen at all.

I haven't read any reports in the Toronto media about this, but it sure sounds alarming to me. Please check out the newsletter here: http://dufferinpark.ca/newsletter/wiki/wiki.php/#plan
pipe tobacco reviews / February 16, 2010 at 05:06 am
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The olympic games this year are really good... bless Kumaritashvili's soul. Here's to more excitement for everyone! Listen up (and watch) kids, this may be the best of your life :)

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