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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tour d'Afrique riders head for Sudan

I received the following email a couple days ago...

Hi there Charles!

I hope this finds you well!

Quick note to let you know that the Tour d'Afrique bicycle race from Cairo to Cape Town is underway.

The riders have just finished the 1,000 km stretch in Egypt and are in Aswan today, getting ready to board the ferry for Sudan.

I've attached two photos from Tour d'Afrique rider, Kristian Pletten... as well as an update from Cristiano Wernick, our Communications Manager on the tour.

Thanks for any support you may be able to afford the tour over the next 15 weeks.

Regards and thanks

Theresa Brown
Tour d'Afrique
Tel: +27 (0) 44 389 0007
Cell: +27 (0) 84 353 1975


Aswan, Egypt. January 23, 2011 – Cycling through the desert, on roads along the Red
Sea, past rocky mountains and alongside the green pastures of the Nile River, the first few days on Tour d’Afrique rewarded the riders with beautiful and distinct landscape vistas. In Aswan today, the riders are preparing for the long ferry ride across Lake Nasser into Sudan.

The first rest day of the tour happened in Luxor, after 6 stages (766 km), and some of the participants used the time to see the Karnak temple, the Valley of the Kings and other attractions, while others updated their blogs, chatted with families and friends back home and went over their equipment and strategies for the next stages of the race. Each day brings new challenges, such as strong headwinds, unexpected hills, tents collapsed by strong winds and sand storms as well as the social dynamic of living with a big group under harsh conditions.

Those who are racing have agreed on a strategy and ride most of the day in a big
peloton, taking turns at leading and leaving the competition to the sprints over the last few kilometers of each day´s stage. North American Paul Wolfe, who is leading the men´s competition, has trained hard for over a year and pushes himself and the rest of the group really hard. The Egyptian racers, Ahmed, Mohamed and Sharif have also trained all year round for this race, and since they’re only racing the 9-day stretch in Egypt, they’ve been giving the other racers a solid, hard time.

While the racers compete and plan their long-term strategies, other riders prefer to
experience Africa at a slower and more relaxed pace. Canadian father and son, Paul and Matthew Paridaen, decided to ride their bikes together all the way from Cairo to Khartoum in order to spend some quality time together.

Most of the riders up until now have been able to keep their EFI (Every Fabulous Inch) status, but with the many challenges ahead of them, not least of all the mountains of Ethiopia and the lava rock roads in northern Kenya, it will be those who possess the strongest will to endure who will make it through to Cape Town and earn themselves the distinction of having cycled every inch of the way.

Bixi's founding 1000 members

Toronto is well on their way to having the Bixi bicycle rental service available. The initial 1000 members needed have subscribed to the $95 / year agreement which allows them to borrow Bixi bicycles whenever they need one and park it in another Bixi parking lot when they are done with it.

Minneapolis, Washington D.C., London, Melbourne and Montreal have already adopted Bixi, a program which has achieved significant success thus far whereas other bicycle sharing/rental services have failed.

See for more details.

The program is now in infrastructure mode, acquiring spaces where people can borrow and return bicycles.

One such location will be a new square being built in front of 52nd Division, the police station on Dundas between Simcoe and St. Patrick streets. The land has been slated to become public space for decades, but has been tied up in red tape.

Other places to be added include various publicly owned buildings, squares, parks, major libraries, TTC and GO stations throughout Toronto. The Bixi program will also be available for tourists who wish to only rent a bicycle for a shorter time frame.

Obituary for Bicycle Mechanic Terry Gardner


Toronto humanist, family man, mathematician, peace activist, cyclist, bicycle mechanic.

Born 22nd September 1926, Cleveland, Ohio.

Died 22nd December 2010, Toronto, after fifty years of skirmishes with cancer.

Served in U.S. Navy, 1944-46. B.A., Philosophy and Education, Antioch College, 1950; M.A., Ph.D., Mathematics, Columbia University, 1959, 1964. Member, Department of Mathematics, University of Toronto, 1966-1991, who loved the simplicity, elegance, and beauty of abstract mathematics. Cofounder, Education Director, and one-time President, Science for Peace; Founder, Toronto branch of United Campuses against Nuclear War; Member Canadian Pugwash Group, Group of 78, Veterans against Nuclear Arms, environmental and humanitarian groups. His vision and insistent effort led to the establishment of the University of Toronto's lectures, Chair, and undergraduate Programme in Peace Studies, and contributed to the development of Peace Studies curricula world-wide.

Terry was an inspired bicycle mechanic, who commuted, shopped, and toured by fine tuned bicycle, cycling with his wife in Southern Ontario and Quebec, north-eastern United States, south central Austria, and repeatedly in southwest France and the Pyrenees.

Pre-deceased by his first wife, Eleanor Gail Hollinger, and his daughter Susan. Survived by his sister, Fay Gardner Lawton, his wife, Constance Ruth Moore, daughters Molly and Kate, six grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

Friends may make donations in his memory to a cause they favour, or to Science for Peace, The Nature Conservancy, ~ the Canadian Friends Service Committee, or project Ploughshares. Morley Bedford Funeral Services, Toronto, 416-489-8733.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Steampunk Bicycle

Check out this retro styled steampunk recumbent bicycle. :)

Want to learn more about Steampunk?


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About the Author

Charles Moffat is equal parts bicycle mechanic, cyclist, painter, sculptor, fantasy writer, poet, website designer and pun maker. For more details see



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