1st Annual Toronto Cargo Bike Championship

The first ever Cargo Bike Championship was held this afternoon on the Bentway, a new public space under the Gardiner expressway, adjoining the grounds of Fort York.

The attendees and participants were an interesting mix of families with small children, as well as the bike messenger crowd. For those not willing to race, there was also the opportunity to talk to vendors, and to try out different cargo bikes. Certainly I had not seen more cargo bikes in one place ever before.

Each heat had three racers. This heat had a father son duo who were racing each other.

I think race organizer Darnell is objecting to being passed, or maybe he is yelling encourgement.

This race features Dandyhorse contributor Derek Rayside and his family.

Racers had to do half a lap, load up groceries followed by a lap and a half, and then unload the groceries in the vicinity of the start/finish line. Here they are unloading, with kids helping as well.

This is what the frantic loading area looked like.

Some pretty aggressive cornering with these fully loaded bikes.

There were certainly many different types of cargo bikes in evidence. Here is a Madsen.

I was told this bike is used as a school bus by the Island Montessori School.

This family takes a spin on my Haul a Day.

Urbane Cyclist has a few Tern GSD's in stock. I was very impressed by this e-assisted cargo bike when I tested it at the Toronto Bike Show.

Here is buddy Chris with one of the Mongoose Cargo Bikes that are being sold by Costco for $450, and only in Canada. It looked to be an incredible value at that price point.

The only thing that seemed off with the original parts spec was the fact that the tires looked much too wide for the supplied rims. I also don't think the skull valve covers were stock. Nether was the e-assist that was added later.

All in all, it was a fun event, with a great chance for people to see many different cargo bikes, to test ride a few, and to have a little fun racing.

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Late Summer Cycling and Storytelling in Toronto

Story and photos by Robert Zaichkowski

Sunday, August 26, 2018, was a day of cycling and storytelling in the city. The Reading Line featured a book ride along the Prince Edward Viaduct (literally) bridging east and west Toronto, while BIKE MINDS held its fifth event at Todmorden Mills. Both events saw Melissa and Chris Bruntlett visit Toronto as the first stop of an eight city tour to promote their book, Building the Cycling City, out now. You can read our review here on dandyhorse.

Janet Joy Wilson leading a book ride along Danforth

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dandyREVIEW – Building the Cycling City

Review by Robert Zaichkowski. Photos provided by Modacity.

Over the past few years, members of Toronto’s cycling community have become connected with Melissa and Chris Bruntlett of the Modacity creative agency. Melissa, Chris, and their children Coralie and Etienne have been living car-free in Vancouver since the summer of 2010 and did a bike tour of the Netherlands in the summer of 2016. The five cities they visited – Rotterdam, Groningen, Amsterdam, Utrecht, and Eindhoven – form the basis of their book “Building the Cycling City: The Dutch Blueprint for Urban Vitality” which will be publicly available from Island Press on August 28, 2018.

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Ride James Ride (day 1)

James Potvin is a 10 year old who is riding from Whitby to Coney Island, NY, a distance of about 1000 km, in order to raise funds for two charities associated with autism treatment. He did a similar ride last year, biking 450 km from Whitby to Ottawa and raising over $10,000 in the process. Today was the first day of his ride, and I had the pleasure of riding with him, his dad Chris, and several other friends and supporters. I met them at the eastern border of the GTA at Rouge Beach, and rode in as far as Roundhouse Park. This afternoon, they will continue west to Clarkson. You can find information about his ride, and track him in real time at his website.

Here is James and his dad, Chris, at Rouge Beach. James being a no nonsense kid, wanted to ride on without much of a pause.

Molly the fire dog and her chauffeur were part of a group of 10 cyclists who rode in from Whitby. Seven of them (including James and Chris) rode on to downtown Toronto.

This section of the Waterfront trail between Rouge Beach and Highland Creek is very beautiful.

James looking determined on an uphill section.

He and his dad are having a discussion about what gear he should be in 😉

One of several shortcuts that we took that didn't appear to save us any time.

Taking in a bit of Guild Park.

There is a gap in the Waterfront Trail along Kingston Rd that is not much fun. However, we had the advantage of safety in numbers.

Lunch break at KFC.

Regrouping so that we could stay together as we passed a construction site where traffic was down to one lane.

We met two more cyclists at Balmy Beach, but I didn't get any pictures as James was determined to push forward. Here we are on Lakeshore headed towards downtown.

On a day like today, there are advantages to travelling by bike.

Now on the Martin Goodman Trail. Everyone remarked on how poor and unsafe the trail crossing was at Cherry St.

After biking for about 60 km, who wouldn't want to get sprayed with a little water? (at Sherbourne Commons)

Waiting for a light at Lower Simcoe.

...and now another short break to take a train ride.

James will be ending his day at Clarkson, and then he will be onto Niagara, and points beyond.

If you are interested in riding along with James, you can track him at his website, or you can follow the hashtag #RideJamesRide on Twitter.

You can also support James by making a donation via his website.

 

It was a pleasure to meet James, who is a remarkable young man, his family and his supporters. Best of luck and safe riding!

 

Update: Sept 1: James made it to Coney Island!

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