There was a cryptic posting to Facebook last week about an opportunity to ride with Clara Hughes at the lakefront for a promotional video project. Since they were looking for a range of cyclists, I signed up my daughter and I on the Family Tandem. The event was “rain or shine”, and the forecast for rain pretty much came true.
Riding down the hill towards the lake, I realized that my daughter was not wearing her raincoat. It wasn’t raining yet, and we were going to be late, so I made a deal with her that if it started raining, we would stop, and she would put on my rain jacket. I had rain pants and gloves for her as well. We just forgot her jacket at the last minute.
By the time that Clara arrived and we were ready to shoot, there were about 50 cyclists. The drill was to ride back and forth by the lake, past the camera. Here we are setting up for the first pass. Clara is in the teal jacket. The camera crew is just visible over Joey’s (the fellow with the bucket panniers) right shoulder.
On one of the passes, we were told to ride out some distance (say about 5 minutes) while a helicopter took some aerial shots. We turned around just before the Ontario Place parking lot and headed back. Here the peloton is getting ready to do another pass.
Clara was very friendly, and apologetic that we had to ride back and forth again and again. She even lent her rain jacket to a kid before the start of shooting. (he is just behind Clara in the photo). After the slightly longer ride back and forth to Ontario Place, my daughter was cold and miserable, and I was feeling guilty about dragging her out on such a rainy and cold afternoon, so we headed back home. I guess at some point we’ll find out if any of the shots we were in are used. Although it should have been nice to talk to Ms. Hughes, it was thrilling enough to be able to just ride with her, even if it was for about a kilometer or so all told. I see that Wayne posted a picture with her on facebook.
One side note about riding in the rain. Once I handed over the rain jacket, I was wearing a thin, long sleeve wool jersey over a thin wool Icebreaker T-shirt. It wasn’t raining very heavily until the very end, and I didn’t feel all that wet on top. The wool did a good job of shedding a surprising about of water and keeping me warm in any case. My pants were the Levi’s commuters. They soaked through after about half an hour in the rain, which was similar to what I’ve experienced with the Outlier Climbers or Dungarees.
UPDATE (April 26) This is part of Clara’s Big Ride, just announced by Bell.
The Toronto footage appears at 2:20, and if you look closely, you’ll see a red kidback tandem with the stokid wearing a bright yellow and black jacket