Five years ago, on June 3, 2016, Jocelyn Lovell died. During his heyday in the 1970s, he was a supreme bike handler and race tactician. His skills got him more than 35 national titles in various events on the road and the track. He won gold medals at the Commonwealth Games and Pan Am Games and silver in the kilo at the track world championships in Munich in 1978. Lovell was smart, funny, feisty and often mean. He got busted for stealing cookies, and was dealt a six-month sanction. He also swiped an assault rifle as a prank during the 1977 road world championships in Venezuela and got away with it.
On Aug. 4, 1983, Lovell was out on a training ride northwest of Toronto, when a driver of a dump truck hit him. The star cyclist then became a quadriplegic. In the following years, he dedicated himself to the cause of finding a cure for spinal-cord injuries.
In this episode, which comes out on the anniversary of Lovell’s death, three top Canadian cyclists who were influenced by Lovell—Gordon Singleton, Steve Bauer and Michael Barry—remember the complicated figure who is the first modern hero of Canadian cycling.