Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Riding with Thor Hushovd

I received an email from Radek at Wheels of Bloor telling me to call him. In the ensuing conversation Radek told me to be at the shop for noon the following day for a 1hr ride with Thor Hushovd. I moved around my work schedule a little bit so that I could take part in this unique experience. Thor races with the Cervelo Test team. Cervelo is a cycling company which is based out of Toronto. Wheels of Bloor is the best bike shop that I have ever been to and they certainly have a lot of Cervelo product. This special visit for Thor to the bike shop is no doubt related to the relationship between the bike shop and Cervelo.

I had never taken part in a ‘ride with a cycling hero’ before and was eager for the opportunity. Thor was amazingly inspirational in this year’s Tour de France, capturing the Green Jersey as the top Sprinter despite losing most of the key sprints to the young phenom Mark Cavendish. In stage 17 ‘Le Grand-Bornand’, Hushovd made an increadible individual effort keeping away from the peleton to capture key points mid way through the race that would ultimately secure his Green Jersey victory. I am sure the Thor would have preferred to win all of the final sprints, but he adapted his strategy and prevailed which ranks highly in my books. Thor who is known as ‘God of Thunder’ in cycling circles for his awesome power is a relatively large cyclist at 6’0” and 178lbs.

I put on my team kit and rode over to the shop. From a few blocks away I could already see that a crown of cyclist outside of the shop. I pulled up and leaned my bike against a wall then walked over to speak with my brined Ian. I was told that Thor had just arrived. Thor was standing in front of the shop in his Cervelo Test team white outfit posing for photos with fans; yes I took my turn as well but the photo didn’t turn out. I photographer was snapping shots of Thor and the shop, Radek & others. I was then told the join in a photo of Thor with the Wheels of Bloor team. I felt special to be part of the picture like I was part of the team. Thor was good natured and smiled for all photos never indicating any lack of patience.

After a little bit of standing around we headed of to High Park for a ride. I joined the front of the pack as we circled the 2km loop many times. A van rode ahead of us with the rear hatch open so the photographer could snap some more photos as we rode. I could not help but notice that as Thor’s pedaled there were muscled defined in his legs that I had never seen on anyone else, and I wondered how many hours he must ride per week. I also noted that Thor got out of the saddle quite a bit to stretch, which is something I should probably do more of. As we rode the team assembled for another photo which turned out well. Radek who is a fast sprinter then challenged Thor to a little friendly sprint as the rest of us followed. The ride came to a stop at the park restaurant where most people filed in for a drink. I skipped the restaurant due to time constraints and headed back to work glad for having taken part in the team function.


  1. Well.. well.. look what I found. :) Drop me a note Bruce.


  2. Bruce... you gotta tell me about stuff like this!
    I totally would have ditched my students at school, and gone over to the shop(even if that meant getting fired). lol Ok, maybe not quite that. Lucky you!

    And I see you noticed Thor rides out of the saddle... to stretch. That's what I was doing when you passed me in Muskoka... stretching! lol

    Anyway, I'll definitely try to start coming out to the WED rides(if you're still going to come out). I haven't started commuting to work yet, but probably will next wk, so that will be a good time to swing by HP.


  3. Bruce,

    That would be so cool. I hope you that "My other bike is a Cervelo!" sticker on your helmet! HAHA