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TDA 2008 Toronto Rider Reunion

On November 10 about a dozen Toronto area alumni of this year’s (it still is 2008) TDA, thanks to the efforts of Ursula Haas and Rae Simpson, gathered at the Pickle Barrel in To. for a long overdue reunion.  The date actually marked 6 months since our  triumphal arrival in Cape Town.

It was wonderful to reconnect.  To see familiar faces (because there was certainly no evidence of those same bodies clad in spandex shorts!) who had by the end of the Tour become true friends, was a real treat. I add the qualifier of spandex ‘shorts’, because to their credit, Eric Aagaard and Mike Stacey, two hard core alumni of this year’s ride on the Cairo to Addis portion, cycled to the restaurant in chilly November weather.  Even though I didn’t take particular note they couldn’t have been wearing shorts!  Or did they?  Next year’s tour from Addis south will have the pleasure of Eric and Mike’s company.  As far as I can recall they were EFI to Addis, so these guys bear watching.

In the ‘only constant in life is change’ department, we had some members at the table.  Kristen McAdam, formerly of Vancouver , has seen the light and is now working for Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment in Toronto, and loving it.  Gosh knows, the Leafs could use her!  Another westerner, Nico Meijer has packed his bags and relocated to Toronto with BMO to help Bay St. get back on its feet. Luring Nico out of semi retirement is Calgary’s loss and Toronto’s gain.  However, to readjust that east west balance, one of our younger riders, Joshua Martyn has doffed his bike shorts in favour of a proud and iconic Canadian uniform.  Yes, Josh is heading to Regina next month to begin training with the RCMP.  And he thought TDA was tough!  Congrats, Josh!

Other folks such as Harrison Keenan and Jamie MacRae continue to make Toronto a better place to live.  Harrison is employed in the financial sector (one of our greenest riders, happily living without a car) and Jamie continues to teach at Crescent School – luckily for his students because Jamie takes a number of them every year to South Africa!  What a field trip!

Beryl and Bernie Doiron, who brought such positive energy to each and every day on our tour, continue to spend winters in Ottawa and summers at their idyllic retreat in PEI.  What a life!  I had the very good fortune to be able to drop in and see a presentation on our TDA they put on about a month ago for the good folks of Russell, Ontario (just east of Ottawa).  It was inspiring, even for one like myself who was there!

Of course, as noted at the beginning, without Ursula and Rae’s initiative, this wonderful evening would never have got off the ground. Kudos to them. They must have had a good time, because they’ve kindly invited a bunch of us to get together again for a bit of pre Christmas cheer at their Toronto home.

That’s the kind of people we had on this year’s tour.  Riders who became friends.  That’s the TDA advantage!

Submitted by Rick Goodfellow, TDA ’08 (my apologies if I have overlooked any riders in attendance)


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