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An Interview with Hyedie Hashimoto, Genius Behind Toronto Girls' Cupcake Ride

By Kait Fowlie
Photo credit: Malena Andrade (http://activitybubble.ca)

Cupcakes and biking go together like Itchy and Scratchy if you ask me. In fact I can’t think of an unsuitable time for petite baked goods in paper cups. Hyedie Hashimoto believes in cupcakes – as they play an integral part in her bike tour of Toronto. What could be better than biking around in the sunshine, stopping only to mow down on some of the city’s most delicious petit fours?

I was shocked to learn that only 30% of cyclists in Toronto are women. How has this reality inspired your cupcake tour?
I’ve been cycling in the city for 6 years, and then my boyfriend bought me a lighter bike and I found it way more enjoyable, then I really got into cycling. It’s true that only 30% of the people that ride regularly are women, and because I was getting into cycling I was looking at all these blogs and websites of girls on bikes, and I found this cupcake ride that happened in Nashville and Paris and I thought it would be cool to start one here. There are so many bakeries in Toronto, I thought it was a cool way to get to know the city.

What are you up to when you’re not biking around, mowing down on cupcakes?
I’m a freelance graphic designer (Check out her website at www.happyd-designs.com). I also foster beagles. Right now I have two!

What is your favourite bakery in the city?
One of my favourite is OMG Baked Goodness at Dundas and Dufferin. They have only one type of cupcake – chocolate vegan but its super yummy and very decadent. I’m always exploring different places.

What is your favourite kind of cupcake?
My favourite kind is probably a vanilla sponge-cake. Definitely butter cream, that’s a bonus too.

What are your go –to bike repair shops?
I go to Hoop Driver on College at Dufferin. Martin there is really knowledgeable and cares about the safety of the people who come in. Funny story is, my first bf started building this bike for me, he wasn’t sure it would be safe enough for us, but Martin really cares about the safety of his customers. He’s an avid cyclist himself.

How often to the cupcake rides go down?
I just started the tour this April, I’ve been trying to do one a month. Since its bike month, we have two. The Facebook page has events set up for the rides. (check them out here: cupcakeride.com). One is a bit longer, based on the Dufflet locations; the second one is on the weekend of the G20 summit. During bike month, Dufflet has organized a “Tour de Dufflet”. You register at the first location, and if you go to all three in the first day, you get free baked goods at each location. So we’re going to start at the Lawrence and Eglinton one then go down to the beaches, then end up at the original Dufflet on Queen. It’s going to be a long ride, but I think it’s going to be super fun.

How do you decide which routes to take?
Bakeries play a big part in the routes, but also any pathways or major bike lanes we can utilize. The second ride I’ve organized for this month will be according to the west Toronto rail path, then taking the College St. Bike lanes to Kensington market.

What lies in the future for the cupcake tour?
Well my Facebook page only had 16 members when I first started, and it has exploded to over 120 people last weekend, after an article in the Star. So we’re off to a good start, I think. But maybe an overnight bike ride is in the future! Via Rail lets you bring your bike onto the train, so it might be fun to go to Niagara on the lake, or Ottawa. For now, I really like Toronto though!

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