For more than 100 years we’ve been riding bikes and going to the movies. In this new dandy series we examine how two of the world’s most noted pastimes intersect. When and how have two wheels been caught on film? Over the next six months I’ll be examining cycling in films. It’s one part film review and one part bike nerd exploration. From coming of age nostalgia, to surreal escapism, to film noir and everything in between, here is the first story in the series: Bikes on Reels.
Photo Courtesy of New Line Cinema
Now and Then: Rose-Tinted Glasses, Raleighs, and Rebellion
Story by Cayley James
Do you remember your first bike gang? You know the first time you banded together with friends and felt invincible and giddy and free as you cycled around your neighbourhood with inside jokes and reckless sense of abandon? Even now, pushing 30, I get a little jolt of excitement when I ride with three or more side-by-side. I've sung the praises of solo-cycling in the past. But there's such camaraderie in numbers it's hard to ignore. And there's an undeniable link to youth. Cycling is often consigned to burgeoning adulthood in film and TV. Bikes are often pitted as superior and a more versatile option than cars. Stranger Things - which we have all binged on Netflix, indulging in the 80s horror send up, and at this point and if you haven't seen it, I'm sorry, but you should - tapped into this trope gleefully. Banana seat bikes, ubiquitous in Spielberg films, are used to outwit and outrun adults and their vehicles. Whether it's ET taking flight by bike or the multi-car pile up that Eleven causes. We know kids on bikes are a force to be reckoned with.
Follow Peter Harte as he commutes from one end of the city to the other through all seasons and shares his recommendations on the safest, smoothest, and fastest routes in this dandy series. You can read this first installment here, the second post here and the third commute is here.
Peter's Commute Part 4: Memories of shopping for cheap sh*t... by bike
St. James Town (Sherbourne and Isabella) to Dufferin Mall
Photos and words by Peter Harte
This route gives me fond memories because it takes me back to around the time when I first moved to Toronto, was borrowing a bike, and didn’t have much experience on the roads. And yes, back then, I felt intimidated by the mega city traffic. Nineteen-year-old Peter was living in St. Jamestown on loan money from the Ontario government while studying at Ryerson. Rent was low, and my threshold for living in a neighbourgood with a reputation of violence was high. Did I mention that I was broke? These memories of bike trips over to the Dufferin Mall to visit the only Walmart I knew of for all my discount product needs still holds a special place in my heart today. Of course, I wish I had known about Honest Eds at the time…
Concerned citizens examine a model of Liberty Village
New Street: Liberty Village town hall update
Every new street built downtown should have a bike lane
Story and photo by Cayley James
On a blustery October night, with the Jay’s in the final innings of their only win during the ALCS I was attending a standing room only town hall meeting in a Liberty Village condo event room. The occasion was to discuss the implementation of a new street called New Street.
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Tagged fort york, gardener expressway, Gord Perks, King High Line, Liberty Village, mike layton, new street, ordinance street, planning committee, Toronto, west toronto rail path expansion
On October 27 you should head over to the Paintbox Bistro at 555 Dundas St East for Bikes & Beats. A fabulous and and fun loving celebration all things music and bikes!
Presented by Charlie's Freewheels and curated by Toronto's very own jazz legend, Tony Quarrington, the night will also feature exceptional music performances and spoken word poetry that will convey some of the many ways that bicycles help to build social equity in our communities.
Festivities kick off at 7:30.
Performers will include:
Tony Quarrington, accompanied by Zoey Adams
Laura Fernandez, Evalyn Parry, performing her highly acclaimed bicycle show, Spin
Soozi Schlanger, singing a song specially prepared for the evening.
All proceeds from the event will support the efforts of the awesome Charlie's Freewheels! For those who don't know they aim to inspire and engage youth by becoming leading resource for youth to engage with cycling issues in Toronto. Based in Moss Park, they provide a safe for all young people interested in learning about bikes! Needless to say they're pretty cool.
Photo by Hannah Spence
How not to fail at fall cycling
Story By Cayley James
The muggy, salad days of summer are behind us. Now’s the time to don your cardigan, grab those warm beverages and take a stroll through the park kicking up leaves and carving those pumpkins because: AUTUMN IS HERE. With crisper days come longer often drizzly nights with roads lined with slick leaves. In these conditions there is an even higher chance of taking a header off your bike or skidding out of control. So heed our advice (AKA common sense) and it’ll be smooth sailing all season … until the black ice that is. But that’s another post all together.