Your Story; Peter Murk

Peter is a monster. He is stronger than you, faster than you and will ride further than you. Partly cuz he can, partly cuz he enjoys making people suffer.  He is boorish, opinionated, lacking in tact and will talk at you the entire time he drives you into the ground. That said, he will do just about anything for a friend, including dragging you home into a brutal head-wind when you feel like death on a saddle. I know this from personal experience. Even if he’s tired from a week of hard riding, you can always count on Peter to come out for just a bit more suffering; yours, not his.

I’m not sure when I first met Peter, but it would have been in 2001 or 2002, while visiting our mutual friends, Kt and Rick, at the Bloomfield Bicycle Co. in Prince Edward County. Since then we’ve ridden quite a few miles together both around Toronto and in The County. And since Peter has no tolerance for riding slowly, I feel proud that he’s always willing to ride with me, that he allows me to tag along.

While he doesn’t ride with any particular club or team, anyone in Toronto who’s been road-riding seriously for a long time will know Peter. He’s always part of the lead group on the weekly Donut Ride, mixing it up with the pro’s and young Cat 1’s. He has also been competing in the utterly brutal, totally unsupported, southern Ontario 200mile Hairshirt for many years. In fact, he is one of the current record holders (200miles, 9hrs 33mins) of that race, a fact he’ll quickly share with you. To that end, I owe him thanks for cajoling me to enter the Hairshirt in 2012.  Partly in response to his renewed coaxing, I intend on entering that brutal race again this year; we hope to break the current record.

Elsewhere, he crushed the Michigan National 24hr Challenge road race(470.2miles/756kms!) and in 2008 Peter rode with then 16 year old Andy Brooks in the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride. True to his giving nature–and penchant for leading a ride–Peter was the navigator on their tandem while Andy, who’s legally blind, was stoker as they rode across Canada.

So, if you’re looking for a delicate flower to ride with, Peter ain’t it. If you’re looking for a soft-spoken riding partner, look elsewhere. But, if you have thick skin and lots of chamois cream, then Peter is your man.  Just one word of warning; if you challenge him, you will pay dearly. He will ramble on about titanium frames and his latest exploit while you pedal yourself into a world of two-wheeled delirium, the likes of which you’ve never known.

Yup, this is Peter. Love him, leave him, get left off-the-back by him.

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Peter on yesterday’s 229km Toronto-Lake Simcoe-Toronto ride

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Peter and I, my first ride back in Toronto. Damn those beards!

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Peter and I in The County, May 2013

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Getting ready for the start of the 2012 Hairshirt