BikingToronto - Information about Cycling in Toronto <data:blog.pageTitle/>



posted by Joe on Tuesday, October 31, 2006 Share/Save/Bookmark

I linked to a few Spacing Votes posts last week, and thought I'd also point to a great little post on their Wire about how more cycling facilities produce more cyclists:

"...when it was first proposed to remove a lane of traffic from the Bloor St. Viaduct and replace it with bike lanes, he was sceptical because there was so little bike traffic. But once the lanes were put in, the bike traffic increased exponentially."


In city after city after city (London, Copenhagen, San Francisco... all "world class" cities), more cycling facilities have resulted in more cyclists, cleaner air, and people-friendly streets.

I know it's getting colder out there, but dress warm and ride as much as you can. More cyclists on the roads encourage others to get out there too!

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posted by Joe on Tuesday, October 31, 2006 Share/Save/Bookmark

A few days before the most recent BikeFriday on October 27th, I scoured the internet for as much email contact info I could find about candidates in the upcoming municipal elections. Most of these I found from the wonderful whorunsthistown.to site.

I emailed all candidates (even the incumbents) about BikeFriday, to see if they’d like to bike downtown with the cyclists in their ward they’ll be hopefully representing, or even setting up a little bike-friendly stand along a cycling route with a little giveaway.

A couple of Parkdale-HighPark (Ward 14) candidates rode with Tammy (who I think is planning a Spacing Votes post about it) on the Queen West ride… Rowena Santos (who also took part in September’s BikeFriday …), and David White - which looks good on them, as now we KNOW that they’re willing to get up early to support a bike-friendly event.

Major props to Patrick Kraemer of Ward 30 (Toronto-Danforth), who is going up against Paula Fletcher. Patrick set up a table with juice and muffins on the Danforth just west of Coxwell. He was out there early in the very dark morning, offering goodies to people on two wheels.

It just so happens that Ward 30 is my ward. While I voted for Paula Fletcher in the last election, I haven’t really heard boo from her on anything else but the whole "Stop the Plant" initiative (and I’m on her mailing list). Cycling issues have been non-existant. I suspect that she feels that now that the Dundas East BikeLane is in, she can forget about cycling initiatives.

I’m seriously considering voting for Patrick now. Below is a photo of his juice/muffin stand that he sent me, as well as a picture of him and his bike from his website.






It should be noted here that staff of Cesar Palacio (Ward 17 - Davenport) helped BikeFriday get the Dark City Coffee Event on Nathan Phillips Square. Thanks guys!

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posted by Joe on Tuesday, October 31, 2006 Share/Save/Bookmark





Yeah, this is what I wore in to work, minus the toque but with a bike helmet.

I got perplexed stares from drivers and pedestrians but my fellow cyclists loved it. A few asked me wear my chainsaw was, and I visibly freaked one out when I did a shoulder check while she was following me. She laughed about it when we stopped at the next red light.

Did anyone else dress up today?

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posted by Joe on Monday, October 30, 2006 Share/Save/Bookmark



Photo from Kris Kros on Flickr.

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posted by Joe on Monday, October 30, 2006 Share/Save/Bookmark

Maybe it’s just me, but is anyone else very excited that right now it’s 12 degrees Celcius in Toronto? Or that tomorrow morning will be 11 degrees Celcius? Or that the high tomorrow will be 13?

I packed some shorts for the bike commute home – my legs are fine in shorts as long as it’s above 7-8 degrees, since they’re doing a lot of work and staying warm.

I really hope the morning will be as warm as they’re predicting – I’d love to ride to work in shorts on the last day of October… and I’ll have to wear my hockey mask to freak out drivers since it’s Hallowe’en. I’ll scare you with a photo of that tomorrow. Haha.

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posted by Joe on Monday, October 30, 2006 Share/Save/Bookmark

Two different perspectives on bikeplans:

The Spacing Wire focuses on a recent quote from Mayor Miller about how the Bike Plan has failed and how to have it succeed in the future:
"... the only way for the bike plan to succeed…is we have to bring the cycling community together with the neighbourhoods and get some strategic routes in the bike plan first. It has to be a political exercise, not a money exercise. We tried to do it with money and it hasn’t worked because of local opposition so now we have to try to work together with communities and cyclists,"

Meanwhile, up in York Region, Darren J has been noticing new bikeroute signs in Markham on his commute to work, with a possible bikelane even being added at one spot:
...this is a valuable first step. Not only can these lead to better or more extensive bicycle infrastructure in certain places, but the simple designation of Bike Routes is significant. This means the city has recognized that these roads are being used by cyclists.

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posted by Joe on Sunday, October 29, 2006 Share/Save/Bookmark

Well, I meant to post this back in early October... I guess time got away from me. :)

Here are the Top Ten viewed posts from September:

Suburban Cycling Infrastructure in Aurora (Part 1 of 2)
I show photos of bikepaths beside Bayview Avenue in Aurora, and the missed opportunity of having a cool GTA-wide bike path network utilizing hydro corridors.

Suburban Cycling Infrastructure in Aurora (Part 2 of 2)
I show pictures and talk about unused bikelanes on empty streets in an Aurora subdivision that is cut off from everything else in Aurora by six-lane "arterial" roads that aren't condusive to cycling at all.

Globe & Mail - Commuting on two wheels and a prayer
Darren and Andrew are featured in a Globe & Mail article about biking in the 'burbs. You'll need a "Globe Insider" account to read the full article, because the Globe likes to screw with people who want to read their content. Go figure.

4 Weeks Until BikeFriday
A post about what I was trying to get going for September's BikeFriday.

A Few More Smelly Photos
Some photos from the Smells of Toronto Ride that Herb of the Cycling Cog organized. It was a smell-o-tastic evening!

More Bike Racks on Buses!!!
There was a chance that the Rack it & Rocket program would be discontinued, but the TTC voted to not only continue it, but add bikeracks to all new buses!

Another Cyclist Killed
A cyclist killed at Leslie & Eglinton by a cement truck.

3 Weeks Until BikeFriday
Another promo post for BikeFriday. :) Updating the Group Commute news, and what politicians are doing.

Biking Toronto's Top Ten Posts from August
Things like the Quay to the City bikepath photos and the whole bikeposts vs. lumber thing were popular, among others.

The Star - Machiavellian Cyclists
Kenneth Kidd includes the promotion of cycling as part of his 10 Point Transit Blueprint, saying that "we have to be a little Machiavellian here: you encourage cyclists because they make automobile travel even more inconvenient. Anybody who has ever driven on a downtown street during rush hour knows the platelet effect that bicycles have on the flow of traffic." Apparently, he's not yet realized that more cyclists on the roads will ease traffic, since you can fit 6-8 bike commuters in the space one person in a car takes up (this includes the space between it and the car behind it), but somewhat redeems himself by saying "we need to build bicycle parking lots all over the city core and give them pride of place. It does, after all, visibly speak to options other than cars."

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posted by Joe on Sunday, October 29, 2006 Share/Save/Bookmark



We're heading into winter, with Daylight Savings time ending early this morning. Time to separate the fair-weather pedallers from the hardcore winter riders. :)

Photo from (gian) on Flickr.

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posted by Joe on Saturday, October 28, 2006 Share/Save/Bookmark

Martino can always be counted on for fantastic photos. Here are his from the latest BikeFriday:


The eastern sky was beautiful.


Heading east along Bloor.


Heading east along Bloor. A bikelane would be very useful here!


Bikes at Yonge & Charles.


Cyclists congregate for great coffee from Dark City at City Hall.

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posted by Joe on Saturday, October 28, 2006 Share/Save/Bookmark

I think that BikeFriday went really well on Friday - despite the very cool weather, we had an okay show-out at City Hall - I'm really glad I got Dark City Coffee down there to have coffee for cyclists.

Here's a quick re-cap of the morning:

I get up early and leave home around 7 am, phoning Tammy of the Queen West Ride on the way. I get to City Hall at about 7:20 as the eastern sky is bright red and start helping Raymond of Dark City setting up a coffee table. We were right next to the front doors of City Hall, which was pretty cool.

While Raymond served cyclists with his simply amazing coffee for only $1 (with free re-fills), I set myself up on the corner of Queen & York (across for Osgoode Hall) and talked to eastbound cyclists at the red light, letting them know there was a Coffee for Cyclists event. A few of them went and got some. A few of them were pretty wary of a strange (hey, I'm not THAT strange...) guy talking to them - but the majority of them were all excited about it, even if they were running late for work and couldn't stop.

(Next time we do this - and we will - as Dark City has committed to helping us out more in the future - I'll be working on big signs and stuff to let cyclists know coffee is available. )

Overall, the proceeds from the event exceeded costs by about $20, and I'm putting that towards the next coffee event, to make it a FREE one (I'll contribute some $ to make sure of this), and get even more cyclists out. :)

Stay tuned for some more photos from Martino and Patrick Kraemer, a Ward 30 candidate for city council who set up a juice & muffin stand on the Danforth for cyclists on BikeFriday!

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posted by Joe on Thursday, October 26, 2006 Share/Save/Bookmark

There's a TakeTheTooker Ride in support of Bloor-Danforth bikelanes happening this Saturday. Two groups are leaving from each end of the subway, and riding Bloor and Danforth, meeting at the ROM for a trip down University Ave. to the anti-Afghan-war rally.

There are lots of meeting points - they'll be wearing our bright orange Take The Tooker signs for easier identification.


Westbound from Kennedy Station

Kennedy Station 11:30
Pharmacy 11:55
Greenwood 12:15
Chester@Grassroots 12:30
Sherbourne St 12:40
ROM 12:50

Eastbound from Kipling Station
Durie (High Park) 11:55
Dufferin 12:25
Spadina 12:40
ROM 12:50

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posted by Joe on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 Share/Save/Bookmark

Okay, “BikeSpace” may be a bit of a cheesy name, but it’s what I thought of in regards to the awesome job that the Spacing Votes blog is doing covering cycling issues in the run-up to the municipal elections on November 13th.



Here’s a rundown of a couple of recent posts that you should check out if you haven’t yet:

City Council Cycling Report Cards
A great rundown of the winners and losers on the current council in regards to cycling. This post ranges from the hardcore cyclist Glenn De Baeremaeker (Ward 38 – Scarborough Centre), who is known to bike year-round, to the auto-loving bike-haters like Case Ootes, who not only is actively campaigning against the Cosburn bikelanes, but also put up a stink about the Dundas East bikelanes a few years ago, and they aren’t even in his ward!

Take The Tooker Auto-Emailer
A great post about a new feature on the Take The Tooker Website, in which you can email all council candidates in your ward to ask them to support a Bloor-Danforth BikeLane, or you can customize the letter to push for bikelane improvements in your ward!

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posted by Joe on Monday, October 23, 2006 Share/Save/Bookmark

I mentioned this last week, but now it's official:

There will be a BikeFriday Coffee Event at Nathan Phillips Square this Friday morning, October 27th, from 8 - 9 am.

The good people at DarkCityCoffee is supplying the coffee. I've heard that it's VERY good coffee. They take their beans seriously.

Since there a lot of costs involved for Dark City, coffee will be just $1, but refills will be FREE!

Any profits from the day are being donated by Dark City to the BikeFriday cause.

I should also give a shout-out to the staff at Councillor Palacio's office, who facilitated the set-up of this. Rock on, Cesar.


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posted by Joe on Monday, October 23, 2006 Share/Save/Bookmark



Well, I'm trying to get back into the habit of these Monday posts about upcoming events. :)

BikeFriday– A Monthly Celebration of Biking!

It’s the 3rd monthly BikeFriday (it’s the last Friday of every month). Here is what is on tap:



Group Commute
Join groups of cyclists in Toronto (and the GTA) for commuting!

Yonge & Bloor Meetup: 8:00 – 8:15 am
Meet with other cyclists at Yonge & Bloor for a ride down Yonge to City Hall at 8:15

City Hall Meetup: 8:30 am
Meet up with cyclists at City Hall at 8:30 for chatting and maybe more!

City Hall Coffee for Cyclists (tentative)
I’m working with City Hall staff and a local independent roastery to provide free (or cheap) high quality coffee to anyone with a bike. This is not a sure thing – I’ll let you know when I know more and have times, etc.

Bikers Breakfast: 8:00 – 9:30 am
Grassroots Environmental Products is offering a free breakfast to cyclists at their Danforth Store!

Critical Mass: 6:30 pm
Join tons of cyclists in Toronto (and hundreds of thousands in hundreds of cities around the world) for the monthly downtown ride! This is the Hallowe’en Ride - come in costume if you want and be prepared for a lot of fun!

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posted by Joe on Thursday, October 19, 2006 Share/Save/Bookmark

While I haven't been there myself, I keep hearing really good things about CycleTherapy down at 1114 Queen Street East (on the north side, halfway between Carlaw and Leslie).

On Sunday, the same day as the Bike Swap, CycleTherapy is having a Fall Bike Auction in support of the Toronto People with AIDS Foundation.

Bidder registration will run you $10, and many of the items up for auction will be on display at CycleTherapy on Friday and Saturday. Items include:

- tons of new 2006 bikes
- used and store demo bikes
- cycling memorabilia
- new and used shop tools
- lots of items starting at $1

Sunday is turning into a great day for bikes raising money for worthy causes. Check out the Bike Swap, which benefits Toolworks and the Bikechain, while CycleTherapy is helping out the Toronto People with AIDS Foundation.

I'm going to try and check out both.

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posted by Joe on Thursday, October 19, 2006 Share/Save/Bookmark

The Fall Bike Swap is this Sunday! More on the Cog!

15% of all goods sold will go towards covering costs and to supporting the non-profit programs of ToolWorks and Bikechain! Two VERY worthy causes!

Contact toolworks for more information, or to volunteer for the day.

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posted by Joe on Tuesday, October 17, 2006 Share/Save/Bookmark

There’s a cool post over on Torontoist about the TTC’s recent efforts to help drivers know that they should be stopping for open streetcar doors. Basically, the TTC is placing big ugly (in my opinion) stickers on the rear windows of streetcars.

Why don’t we do the same thing with streetcars as is done with schoolbuses? When a streetcar is stopping, have flashing lights on the back and a little stop sign swinging out from the door side of the streetcar to make sure cars stop.

If I was a conspiracy-minded guy, I’d almost think there was an anti-cycling club operating in the Toronto “blogosphere” because there are always commenters talking about cyclists like they are the ones who run over and smush people instead of cars. The very first comment on Torontoist about this post is not about the importance of cars stopping when people are boarding or disembarking from streetcars, but about how some cyclists don’t.

While I think that cyclists should stop for people getting on and off of streetcars (it’s just courteous, and I do it, only passing when I’m sure that the way is clear), I do not think that if they do go through a crowd of people getting on a streetcar, that they should be held to the same standard as drivers.

Am I advocating a double-standard? Of course!

If a car drives through a crowd of 20 people getting on a streetcar, you’ll be lucky if you don’t have 20 dead people. At the least, you’ll have quite a few dead and the rest seriously injured. This is even at fairly low speeds, due to a car being a ton of motorized steel.

If a cyclist rides through a crowd of 20 people getting on a streetcar, you may have them hit a couple people, who may get knocked down and bruised. Remember that top speed for a really fast urban cyclist negotiating traffic is BELOW the speed limits of all Toronto roads.

Using the above examples, it’s fairly obvious that a driver acting recklessly causes a lot more death and destruction than a cyclists acting recklessly (when’s the last time you heard of someone dying in a bike collision? Does a day go by that you don’t hear about a automobile fatality?).

As mentioned above, I stop for streetcar doors… and only proceed when it’s safe to do so (which is pretty quickly as my bike can go places cars can’t, and doesn’t pose a danger to anyone).

What do you do around streetcars?

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posted by Joe on Monday, October 16, 2006 Share/Save/Bookmark

I've been insanely busy (evidenced by fewer posts lately), but I thought I'd try to update everyone about BikeFriday:

Basically, we'll still have all the cool Group Commutes in the morning (and you can join or add your own commute) of October 27th, (as well as Grassroots' Bikers Breakfast, Hallowe'en Critical Mass, and TBN's Friday Night Ride) but also, we're going to have a "Coffee Event" in Nathan Phillips Square (City Hall) that morning.

Anyone who comes by the Square that morning (still finalizing exact times) will be able to get a high-quality, freshly-roasted coffee for either FREE or a very nominal charge!

I'll be posting more about this as the week goes on, including exact hours, location in the Square, the supplier of the coffee, and even a great city-councillor who is facilitating all of this.

Stay tuned, and make plans to bike to work next Friday (Oct. 27th).

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posted by Joe on Friday, October 13, 2006 Share/Save/Bookmark

Well, after the rain earlier this week (and month), this morning saw temperatures of 0 degrees (with it snowing north of the city), and even colder with the wind chill.

I spent a good chunk of time getting ready this morning looking for my toque and thin gloves to wear under my bike gloves for the ride in.

It was a pretty nice ride, although there was a massive headwind coming out of the west.

I also just happened across this awesome photo on Flickr too ... not a winter shot, but it looks kind of cold due to being in black and white. By Gabe.Toth on Flickr.

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posted by Joe on Thursday, October 12, 2006 Share/Save/Bookmark

I meant to post this yesterday, since it absolutely poured yesterday morning, and I was wondering how many people accepted the challenge from Mother Nature.

Yeah, I look at extreme weather (well, extreme for Toronto...) as short, doable challenges to tackle on my 7 km commute to work. The main challenge is being prepared enough to still have a good day at work. Oh, and having something good and witty to say to co-workers who think you're nuts for biking in the rain (like you'll melt or something. haha.)

I kind of wish I had my camera with me when I was going through Riverdale and the heavens opened up and emptied what seemed lik gallons of water on me.

As Tuco recently said, riding in the rain is actually not bad (I secretly love it, even cold rains in the fall and spring, because it makes me feel alive), it's the post-ride stuff you do and are prepared for.

Here's what I do on the days I wake up and the world is wet:

1. Dress appropriate to the temperature. Rain usually doesn't make the air a lot colder, and if you put too much on, it's more stuff that will be soggy later.

2. Take extra clothes.
I'm lucky that my work provides little closets next to everyone's desk in our cubefarms, so I leave my dress clothes at work (dry cleaning them regularly) and can therefore bike in normal clothes - On normal days I take extra underwear and socks and a t-shirt. On rainy days, I take two sets of this stuff and stick it in grocery bags, in one pannier bag.

3. Dry feet are important.
Like Lieutenant Dan says in Forrest Gump, take care of your feet, Gump! I stick my shoes in another grocery bag, and put that in the other pannier bag. I then wear OLD shoes when I bike in the rain. This may sound weird, but it means that when you're ready to bike home in the afternoon (when it most likely won't be raining), your nice biking shoes are dry. I keep my dress shoes at work like I do my dress clothes.

4. Stinky people aren't popular. You need to prepare to not stink at work. Biking in the rain makes you very wet. Wet human smells almost as bad as wet dog, especially in an office environment. If you are one of the lucky few who have a shower at work, use it. If not, pack a towel in one of your pannier bags. It'll help you dry out when you change in the bathroom. Also, keep deoderant and a small thing of cologne/perfume (don't use too much!) in a desk drawer that you can use to de-stank-ify yourself.

Darren J also has a wildly popular post with great advice called How To Always Smell Fresh (Even When Your Workplace Has No Shower).

That's about it. It's what I've learned about biking in the rain so far.

With a bit of preparation, you can tackle the wet streets at a bit slower pace (your brakes and car brakes won't work as well in the rain), and enjoy all that liquid sunshine reminding you that taking shelter in cars is for people weaker than you.

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posted by Joe on Wednesday, October 11, 2006 Share/Save/Bookmark

Thought I'd bring some attention to Martino's fantastic site (although I think that everyone who rides on 2 wheels in Toronto (even part-time) reads his site.

Tino's been highlighting some awesome videos lately - I've compiled them all here for you.

Bicycle Polo in Trinity Bellwoods:
A great video of cyclists having fun in the park. Accompanied by the "chase music" from Benny Hill, this is a very entertaining vid.




Petrolius: The Oil Habit
Done in the style of one of those drug commercials. Very creative.




Bike Rush Hour in Amsterdam
Every day in Amsterdam thousands of people ride their bikes to work - it's like Critical Mass every day. This is my dream for BikeFriday. :) It'll take a while, but we'll get Toronto looking like Amsterdam.




Thanks Tino!



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posted by Joe on Tuesday, October 10, 2006 Share/Save/Bookmark

The international award winning bikelending program Bikeshare (which ironically enough just received another of the City of Toronto's Bicycle Friendly Business Awards last week) is in danger of shutting down if they can't get enough funding by the new year.

In the last five years the program has put 243 bikes on the road, with 16 hubs across the city and over 2000 members. The program also has a mandate to reach out and serve Toronto ’s underprivileged community...

"We’ve won awards year after year from the city of Toronto , and have supporters across Canada and the world, but sadly this has not translated into a reliable source of funding" said Maogosha Pyjor, BikeShare’s Project Manager...

Cycling has the potential to help alleviate many of this city’s problems, everything from smog and traffic congestion to reducing Greenhouse gas emissions and promoting a healthier lifestyle. BikeShare has come to be recognized as one the best cycling programs in the world and we’d like nothing more than to keep it going.


The most direct way to help keep Bikeshare going is to donate to them directly, information is online, or email them at bikeshare@communitybicyclenetwork.org, or call them at 416-504-2918.

Please note that you'll get a charitable receipt for donations of $25 or more, which will help you out at tax time in April.

Indirect ways to help? Contact your city councillor (or all city councillors) and your candidates for council and ask them to support Bikeshare. The health and expansion of a community bikelending service like Bikeshare can dramatically improve the safety of roads and the air we breathe in Toronto. They'll listen to you. It's election time and if they get one email from a constituent, they'll figure (rightly so) that a lot more of their constituents have similar concerns.

I also suspect that if bikes were everywhere in Toronto, we'd see a lot less theft, a nd a lot less automobile / pedestrian / cyclist accidents and fatalities - as has been the experience in other cities like Amsterdam and Copenhagen as they have made people-friendly transportation planning paramount.



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posted by Joe on Friday, October 06, 2006 Share/Save/Bookmark

As reported in the Allderblob:

In Ward 29 (Toronto-Danforth), a previously a two-horse race between Mel Lastman lackey and anti-bikelane and Esso stockholder Case Ootes and Diane Alexopoulos (although there are 6 candidates in Ward 29 in total) has gained new definitely pro-cycling candidate!

Hamish Wilson has joined the race. A driving cycling force behind the TakeTheTooker Bloor-Danforth Bikelanes, Hamish is on the Toronto Cycling Committee and has frequent cycling articles in NOW magazine.

If you live in Ward 29, learn more about Hamish, but above all, vote on November 13th. There's a lot of apathy in municipal politics because people think it doesn't matter, but it effects you the most - it determines how safe your streets are for your kids to play on, it effects your garbage and recycling pick-up, and it effects how easily you get around the city.



The Ootes Challenge - to prove that Toronto CAN be a city where the car (and planning for cars) doesn't suffocate everything else on our streets, since Ootes has insisted that in Toronto ...people won’t get out of their cars. It doesn’t happen. This isn’t that kind of city.

(if you missed them, you can also read parts ONE and TWO of the Case Ootes Challenge.)

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posted by Joe on Thursday, October 05, 2006 Share/Save/Bookmark

While there is probably debate amonst cycling "purists" about the positives and negatives of electric-assisted bicycles (or E-Bikes), I can't help but feel that the Ontario Government's recent "okay-dokey" of E-Bikes on Ontario roads (but not 400-series highways, just like real bikes) is a good thing.

While pricey, we could see a good number of these making the commute downtown from Richmond Hill and Ajax and Mississauga as gas prices rise.

It'll be good for our air, especially if people will be able to charge them by hooking them up to something like the portable solar panels that Canadian Tire sells, to avoid any emissions from electricity generation.



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posted by Joe on Wednesday, October 04, 2006 Share/Save/Bookmark

After my post last week about the Joy of Biking returning, and reading that Amy Lavender Harris (of Reading Toronto) had her bike stolen recently, I was reminded of Harris' post from the spring entitled Escape Velocity.

It is beautifully written, a quick piece of prose about when you are full of joy and endorphins on your bike (it happens to me a lot when biking late at night or in the wee hours of the morning) and the rest of the world sort of melts away and you feel like pure energy, flying through the lights and activity of the city.

It is possible to rise above the road, to flow and to feel, truly, your own movement against the wind, against the pull of the earth's core, against tides, currents, memory. To ride freely is to experience the true physical self in its corporeal present. To dwell in your own body, and then to be able to transcend it. This is escape velocity.



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posted by Joe on Wednesday, October 04, 2006 Share/Save/Bookmark

Great work is being done by the good people at the Toronto Coalition for Active Transport (TCAT) lately.

TCAT has published a ward-by-ward list of all proposed bikelanes and improvements to the Bikeway Network, so every Torontonian can find out what is at least planned in their neighbourhood... and they can use the handy-dandy candidates list at whorunsthistown.to to contact countil candidates and ask them if they support these improvements.


Unfortunately, almost every politician will give lip-service to cycling issues until actually elected, so it's important to try and keep them accountable, or at least get more and more cyclists out on the roads so that politicians will actually start paying attention.

Following up on a couple great articles by Christopher Hume in the Star (about the enlightenment of cycling infrastructure and congestion charging in Stockholm, Sweden), Martin Koob of TCAT has a great letter to the Star about the lack of progress on the bikeplan, and about TCAT:

Hume is also correct that it will take a critical mass of cyclists before real change starts to occur on Toronto's streets. Fortunately, that critical mass is already taking shape and one of the clearest expressions of this growing consensus is the formation of the Toronto Coalition for Active Transportation (TCAT). TCAT is a coalition of more than 16 community groups and businesses which endorses a practical vision for improving active transportation in Toronto.



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posted by Joe on Tuesday, October 03, 2006 Share/Save/Bookmark

Who else rode in the wonderful refreshing rain this morning?

When Tracy and I got out of bed around 6:45-ish, it was rainly lightly with thunderstorms threatening – and Tracy made me promise to not ride to work in the thunder and lightning.

I had to keep my promise… and yet… the weather forecasters were calling for sunshine and 22 degrees for this afternoon (and were right!), so I couldn’t TTC it to work, because riding a streetcar in that kind of weather when you could be biking is pure torture. Torture that you pay $2.75 for.

Therefore, I waited until the angels had finished bowling and the bolts of electricity had stopped charging around the sky, and biked in through a refreshing downpour (which was both light and heavy at times, and at times non-existent over my 25 minute commute).

Now I’ll get to bike home, in October, in beautiful weather – ecstatic that I can do it in shorts and a t-shirt, and a little disappointed that it may be the last time until May.

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posted by Joe on Tuesday, October 03, 2006 Share/Save/Bookmark

I'm currently working on a post with ideas for what should happen when the city eventually tears down the Gardiner, but in the meantime, I'd like to point your attention to a great article on RaiseTheHammer (a Hamilton blog run by "a group of Hamilton, Ontario citizens who believe in our city's potential and are willing to get involved in making the city a more vibrant, livable, and attractive place to live and work") which poses the question of Can The Bicycle Save Civilization?.

This caught my eye not only because of the subject matter, but because I'm (admittedly slowly) working on a series of posts that not only asks, but answers the same question.



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posted by Joe on Monday, October 02, 2006 Share/Save/Bookmark

I was personally very pleased with BikeFriday on September 29th (the site still has September information on there - I should be able to get October stuff on there tonight, hopefully) - the next one is October 27th. I've got lots of great ideas and made some good contacts over the last month, so have faith that this event will keep growing. Together we can turn Toronto into a Bike-topia.

We had about a dozen cyclists together at City Hall - about the same as on August's BikeFriday, which was great considering it was a pretty cold morning on Friday.

Here's a few photos from Friday to tide you over until I can post more about what I'm trying to get going for October 27th.


A few of us gathered at Yonge & St. Charles. Rhonnda and her daughter India had a very cool set-up!



Going down Yonge on the way to City Hall.
(photo courtesy of Martino)



In front of City Hall, having a chat before heading off to our respective workplaces.
(photo courtesy of Martino)

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