The One Block North project could not have succeeded to the degree it did without a lot of help. I expect that goes without saying for most people, but even moreso for me.

For one thing, I’m a techno-peasant despite working in the software field. Further, I learn best when someone mentors me. If I didn’t have patient people around me who are willing to demonstrate things that have been long since accepted (think Twitter, for one) I’d be sunk.

On top of that, my personality is exhausting. I have too much energy. The other day I was relating the interview schedule to my friend Peter and his response was, “I’m pretty sure that while I’m napping in front of the TV, your afterburners are just kicking in.”

I’m a feral cat. My social skills cause despair in others. *sigh*

Worst of all, I’m in menopause. Don’t panic. I don’t intend to bore you with a litany of health issues, because there aren’t any. It’s just that I have to keep pulling my brain out from under the bed and plugging it back in.

All this to say that if I didn’t have a whole whack of cool people around me, this project would have sunk to the bottom of the dirty laundry. I need to start thanking them now, in case my children pull the plug on my respirator before the book goes to print.

Here goes.

Miss Jackson My Rocky Mountain Stratos. Ongoing bliss, since 2001.


Photo courtesy Kanchan Maharaj

Bateman’s Bicycle Company ( My favourite mechanics Rob and Jamie keep Miss Jackson tuned and safe, which in turn keeps me moving.

B Current A community of emerging artists, whose office is located in the Artscape Wychwood Barns. They offered a one-night writer’s circle in January, at which everyone was enthusiastic and supportive of the project. Gave perceptive advice on tone and story direction.

Peter Rogers (@rowdyman) UI Designer. Blogger. A very patient soul who helped me with Twitter, with the blog, with tone in the stories. Most days, he stands in as a cheerleader or a celebrant, depending on how things are progressing. Peter is also endlessly entertaining, and a right smart man.

Amanda Gomm Community environmental activist. Works for LEAF, my favourite volunteer gig (@leaf). An even bigger cheerleader, who let me practice my interviewing skills on her in early January. She regularly sends me encouraging email that are often perfectly timed to offset those that remind me not everyone wants to spend time with a feral cat.

Katie Sandwell Grad student in Environmental Studies. Big locavore. Bigger food activist. This brilliant woman provided templates for the waiver forms, made recommendations for tone and voice in the book, and regularly meets me at the World Class Bakery to hear how things are developing. Reminds me that feral cats have a place in this world, too.

Brian Francis (@briantfrancis) Best-selling author, kind friend, uber patient teacher. Taught me a brief creative writing course at Harbourfront Centre this winter. Brilliant recommendations. Recommended Twitter to me. You must be on time for his classes because honey drips from his mouth.

Steve Dagg Photographer+. Nearly married. Works for way too many companies. Accompanies me on interviews when his schedule allows. Captures interviewees and their bike souls beautifully.

Brian Telzerow Another Photographer+. Taken. Personal trainer. Bike Nerd. Knows everything there is to know about a bike. Accompanies me when Steve is unavailable and also takes extraordinary shots of bike souls.

Everyone who has graciously allowed me to hear their bike story, and who then tune me into other cycling enthusiasts.

And finally, Bikes  Bikes  Bikes in the GTA. An endless source of inspiration.


P.S. If you’ve already been interviewed but we haven’t captured your bike image yet, don’t worry: we’re coming back!

Thanks everyone. You knock my socks off.