By Dede Barry

Last weekend’s Turas Mor gravel event / vintage cycling celebration was a great way to kick off summer in Ontario.  The event was created by Creemore Springs Brewery.   Turas Mor, is Gaelic for “Great Journey”.  It was a unique bike tour inspired by the vintage rides of Europe.  The organizers encourage (but don’t require) cyclists to wear vintage jerseys and/or ride vintage bicycles.

The town of Creemore rallied around the event with a vintage festival that welcomed the riders.  Mariposa bicycles lent a hand in the warm up to the event by showcasing two vintage Mariposas in the Creemore Springs retail shop. The bikes, parts and ephemera displayed were:

A 1972 Mariposa “Paris Roubaix” built to accept a c1951 Campagnolo Paris-Roubaix derailleur.  To change gear it is necessary to reach back to the lever on the seat stay, turn the lever to release the wheel, back pedal, select the required sprocket by twisting the lever, relock the wheel and pedal forward again. The chain tension is adjusted by the wheel moving backwards and forwards in the frame.


A 1981 Mariposa Randonneur bicycle. A long distance touring bike built particularly for a successful attempt at the Raid Pyrenean, a 720 km trial across the length of the Pyrenean Mountain range that divides France and Spain.  The route includes 18 mountain passes with a total of 11,000 metres of climbing and was completed in 76 hours.

  • A c1920 Lucas King Of The Road carbide lamp. Acetylene gas is generated when water drips from the upper canister onto the carbide carried in the lower canister. The gas is burnt giving a very bright light.
  • A photograpoh of the Herbert McDonald Bicycle Club, victors of the Dunlop Trophy Team Prize. Toronto 1917
  • A photograph of the Bicyclesport  Mariposa cyclo-cross Team. Toronto 1974


After the local poet laureate and a bag piper performed for the group, the event started with a procession around the town.  Mariposa Bicycles’ Peter Morse led the ride out of town on a1890 bicycle built in Forest, Ontario. The lovely black bike is part of Mike Barry’s collection and features wooden rims and handlebars.  


The peloton of 350 started in a jovial air of excitement for the day ahead. The route would be challenging but the good food and socializing would provide us with fuel and additional enjoyment.

After the procession, we entered our first big gravel climb of the day, Concession 5.  There was no soft pedalling, as we climbed three kilometers with pitches of 10% in the hot sun.  A few in the group stretched their legs and sped ahead. By the time we reached the rest stop we had all earned our super green smoothies, devilled eggs, and brownies

My riding partner for the day, was my 10 year old son, Ashlin who devoured 4 deviled eggs and then, apparently with a stomach steel, he put the hammer down on the climb out of the rest stop forcing me to chase him down. 

Soon after, we entered a long section of loose, deep gravel, where I was thankful for my 700c x 35mm Compass Bon Jon Tires.  They provided excellent stability and traction while those with skinnier tires were squirming uncomfortably on their bikes. 


After a series of gravel hills, we arrived at The New Farm, an organic farm with lovely views, a fire pit and local goodies:  pizza from their wood fired outdoor oven, local charcuterie and cheese platters, maple water, apple cider and apples.  

With full bellies we pressed on, up and over the rolling hills, and enjoyed the fast descent into Creemore where we were greeted with cold beer, a pig roast and live music performed by Toronto based band, Freeman Dre & The Kitchen Party. Overall, it was a top notch event on every level.

Thank you to Creemore Springs Brewery and Multisport Canada for organizing. We are looking forward to 2019.


Thank you to Creemore Springs Brewery and Multisport Canada for organizing. We are looking forward to 2019.