Why Cyclepalooza’s Kristi Woo Will Never Forget Her First Bike
Kristi Woo, a founding member of Cyclepalooza, fondly remembers the first bike she ever bought
Calgary’s Cyclepalooza Festival to the city streets. Modelled after Vancouver’s Velopalooza, the four-year-old fest presents volunteer-directed, community-based events geared toward getting people out exploring the city on bikes.
Cyclepalooza founding member Kristi Woo has been city-cycling for more than 15 years now, but she has never forgotten the first bike she ever bought for herself from a shop in Toronto’s Chinatown.
“It was an old 1976 Raleigh Sport, made in England, with original parts,” she says. “It was really beautiful. Everything about it was well crafted. It had caliper brakes, internal gears and a Sturmey-Archer gearshifter. The end caps were red and lacquered, each with a little ‘R.’ It was classic old school.
“I rode that bike until I left Toronto, and then I gifted it to a friend. I’m not sure exactly what happened to it after that, but I remember once walking into a store called Cycle Couture that had a bike as a handrail and it looked exactly like my bike. When I first bought the bike, I was told to take a picture with the serial number and roll it up and put it into the seat tube. I didn’t ask [Cycle Couture] if I could look inside the seat tube, but, after that, I always dreamed that it was my bike.”