Valentine Day Massacre 1997

from Hideouswhitenoise #30,Spring 1997

By Mr Forhead

The front ramp came down and the throng of cyclists and pedestrianspushed forward like the beach landing during Normandy, or whatever famousbattle you would like to equate this particular influx to. For the secondyear in a row Toronto Island was being invaded by the cycling populationof Toronto.

It was only last year when the crazy organizers of Toronto's secondfavourite street race decided to move it from the treacherous streets ofMetro and hold it on the icy surface of the Island's channels. Not unlikerecent events, the couse last year was a basic figure eight. But this yeara work crew had gone out three week-ends in a row. They spent their daysoff cutting eight hundred pound sheets of ice out of the lake to constructthe course.

The actual racing started around six o'clock with most of the 200 spectatorsshowing up on the seven and eight o'clock ferrys. There were more thrillsspills and of course spills then could be helped at the event. The lihtingwas good, much bettrer this time then last year when the only illuminationwas the fire set a good two hundred feet away from the course and the occasionalracer who had a light on his bike.

This year the track was illuminated with small pots set around the coursefilled with flammable. If that wasn't enough there was the constant blastof the flame thrower igniting the double headed metal dragon that dominatedthe race course. Not even Michele Feaver, fire breather from many a pastcycling event could match its fiery disposition.

With ice walls surrounding most of the two hundred metre course, spectatorswere delighted to witness some of the most exciting racing seen all year.Contestants took to the course with studded and non-studded tires for anight of howling good fun. There were many a spill, but the most spectacularcrash was between Crissima Pearce and Albert De Ciccio, who slammed intoeach other on the cross path.

The racing and the revellery continued until the ice champion was namedand that was none other then Albert De Ciccio a bike messenger who worksfor CC+D. The event was a great success with riders showing up from Montreal,New York and San Francisco. If these people thought Canadians were crazybefore then this only proved the point even further.

The party was broken up when everyone realized they werer going to missthe last ferry and there was a mad dash for the dock. Most of the racersand spectators went from the ferry terminal straight to 330 Dundas W. wherethey danced and drank into the night. Five Hundred dollars was raised forthose whacky anarchists ARC, Advocacy for the Respect Of Cyclists. Allin all it was a great night and the nice thing was that it wasn't to coldand no one went through the ice.


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