Canadian Cyclist


March 7/02 11:17 am - Pedal Power: a Celebration of the Bike, Paddy Fest, Vuelta Murcia

Posted by Editoress on 03/7/02

Royal BC Museum Celebrates the Bike - From Penny Farthing bikes to Modern Day Racing Machines
Courtesy Sam Whittingham

Saturday March 9 and Sunday March 10

Did you know five per cent of Greater Victoria's working population commute by bike, making Victoria the cycling capital of Canada. Ottawa is next with half the amount of commuting cyclists.

Two-wheeled transportation is popular in the provincial capital and for good reason: Victoria is home to world champion racers, specialized-bike designers and builders, vintage bike collectors, several cycling organizations as well as thousands of commuter bikers and recreational cyclists. On March 9-10 the Royal BC Museum will celebrate Victoria's long history with the bicycle in a weekend event called Pedal Power: a Celebration of the Bike.

"Bikes are the most popular vehicle in the world," says Gordon Green, program producer at the RBCM. "Over one billion people ride them and millions race them. Our goal for this event is to show the variety, versatility and history of bikes." "This weekend, visitors will be sitting around, spinning their wheels, literally".

Experts from various community groups and companies will be at the RBCM to set up displays, do demonstrations and talk about their organizations, bikes and cycling. A cross-section of bikes including road bikes, mountain bikes, BMX bikes, touring bikes, racing bikes, recumbent bikes, alternative and antique bikes will be on display.

"There will be an amazing variety of bikes to look at," says Green, "from Penny Farthing bikes to modern day racing machines. All aspects of bikes and biking will be covered."

Gordon Smith (Central Saanich) collects vintage and classic bikes from the all over the world including Japan, China, Taiwan and Eastern Europe. His display of bikes will include many from the 1930s and 1940s, as well as a 1890s child's tricycle made almost entirely of iron. The bikes will be on display at the museum March 4-March 10.

Andrea Blaseckie (Victoria) and Sam Whittingham (Victoria), world record holders for HPV (human-powered vehicle) racing will be at the RBCM to show off their modified bikes and to promote the sport. Whittingham, billed as "the fastest man on the planet," has hurtled along at speeds of 129.63 kilometres per hour (80.5 miles per hour), which is greater than mach point one.

"We hope to make people aware that HPV racing is very accessible and quite remarkable at the same time," says Whittingham. "These bikes weren't built in a space lab. Just about anyone can make them. Its just how you put it together. Gabriola resident George Georgiev, has designed and built Whittingham's bikes for the 11 years he's been racing them."

Blaseckie started riding as a commuter. She now holds several world records, including the 200 meter high-altitude record at 87 km per hour. She hopes the sport will catch on in Canada.

"I think HPV racing is really exciting. Its huge in Europe, but not many people have heard of it here," she says. "My intent is to make everyone more aware of it. We do demos in the schools; the children are really enthusiastic."

Tony Hoar (Mill Bay), designer and builder of racing wheelchairs, including one he built for world champion athlete Rick Hansen, believes the bicycle is "the savior of the world" because it doesn't pollute the environment like motor vehicles. He has extended the use of the bike by designing and building trailers for them. Owners haul everything from groceries to camping gear.

"Everyone has a bicycle," says Hoar. "It's an easy way to get around and it's the right way to go." Various models of trailers will be on display at the event.

"This is a great opportunity to see what there is out there. Bikes have been with us for more than 150 years and their popularity continues to grow," says Green. The event is included with admission to the museum.

Royal BC Museum, 675 Belleville Street, Victoria BC

2002 Paddy Fest

Celebrate St Patrick's Day with a Mountain Bike time trial.
Date: Saturday March 16th
Location: Attwood Ontario
Directions: North west out of Kitchener/Waterloo on highway 86 to Listowel, all the way thru town to Highway 23 south to Attwood. Community center is at south end of town on 23. Start and finish at center.

Registration info on website

Trail conditions to be posted on site 2 days before event.

Vuelta Murcia - Spain

Stage 1: Murcia to Fortuna, 176.8 km

1 Jan Svorada (Cze) Lampre-Daikin 4:20:27
2 Angel Edo (Esp) Milaneza-MSS
3 Massimo Strazzer (Ita) Phonak
4 Sergio Villamil (Esp) Colchon Relax
5 Nico Eeckhout (Bel) Lotto-Adecco
6 Luciano Pagliarini (Bra) Lampre-Daikin
7 Steven De Jongh (Ned) Rabobank
8 Luca De Angeli (Ita) Mercatone Uno
9 Hendrik Van Dijck (Bel) Palmans-Collstrop
10 Stefan Kupfernagel (Ger) Phonak
13 Antonio Cruz (USA) U.S. Postal
35 Matthew White (Aus) U.S. Postal
39 Victor Hugo Pena (Col) U.S. Postal
44 Jose Luis Rubiera (Esp) U.S. Postal
56 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Rabobank
75 Chann Mcrae (USA) U.S. Postal
96 Roberto Heras (Esp) U.S. Postal
110 Steffen Kjaergaard (Nor) U.S. Postal
114 Kevin Livingston (USA) Team Telekom all s.t.
128 David Zabriskie (USA) U.S. Postal 0:46


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