Every time Christine Bruce made the simple comment, “Nice bike!” to participants of a valet bike parking event, a story would pop out. Quickly realizing the inspirational value of these stories and their power to encourage others to consider a bicycle as a viable transportation option, she began leaving a simple business card on bikes around the Greater Toronto Area. The business cards read, “Hello! I am writing a book on cycling in Toronto and your bike caught my eye. If interested, please contact me for an interview.” She listened to anyone who had a story, as well as to many people who thought they didn’t have one. When it became apparent that virtually every tale was a love story, her project became a love letter to the joys of cycling and the power it has to inspire, ignite creativity and engage a community. The result of this project is her new book, This Road Continues One Block North.
“Through these interviews, I discovered how a bicycle can open doors, improve health, save time and money, build community, be companionable, and increase your self-confidence,” shares Christine. “Anyone who discovers these things wants others to experience that, too.”
Christine Bruce is a fifty-six-year-old Canadian tomboy. In 2011, she interviewed over one hundred people, many of whose bikes appeared to have a story. Of the nearly one-hundred-and-fifty stories collected, sixty were published in book form (This Road Continues One Block North, March 2014), while the rest were posted to a blog (oneblocknorth.wordpress.com). Born on the Manitoulin Island and raised in Kingston, Christine moved to Toronto in 2000 and immersed herself in big city volunteer opportunities. She needs to regularly plant her feet on the Canadian Shield and, like most cyclists, she loves her bicycle.
This Road Continues One Block North is available for purchase in Kingston, ON wherever books and bikes are sold and in select bike stores in Toronto, ON.