dandyCommute Series: Broadview and Pottery Road to Spadina and College

Words and photos by Gregory Campbell

The dandyCommute series will run until the end of the year with more stories and photos of your favourite utilitarian cycling routes through 2013.

Send us your dandyCommute story today and your name will be entered into a draw to win an Opus bike and other cool bike swag at the end of the year. We'll also give you some reflective tape today.

dandyCommute #13 Broadview and Pottery Road to Spadina and College (approximately 6 kilometres)

I'm a classical musician, and most of the time I play in the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony.

It’s an amazing orchestra and a great place to work. The commute ... not so much. Two years ago I bought a car after hitching rides and taking the bus for three years (my wife, also a musician, works in Toronto, so it would be tough to move).

I teach and freelance in Toronto, too, so after all the time in the car going to KW (carpooling whenever possible, people) I like to leave the car in the driveway when I go anywhere in the city. If you see someone on a bike wearing a tuxedo, that’s me on my way to play a concert.

I teach once a week at the Toronto Suzuki Studio near Kensington Market and Chinatown. It's a nice ride from my home on Broadview, north of the Danforth. It's about 6 kilometres, and takes about 20 minutes.

The worst part of the trip is going along Broadview. It's a four lane road, with no room for cars to pass a cyclist without changing lanes. It's not much fun.

Once I get to Chester Hill Road, it's almost all bike lanes from here to my studio, though.

Chester Hill Road contraflow lane (off Broadview)

I love this lane, because it's only about 75 metres long, and because it gets me off Broadview into some quiet streets. From here I take Bloor over to Sherbourne. The view going across the Don Valley is always great, although in the winter it can seem pretty bleak.

Then I take a left at Sherbourne and coast down to College, and head straight on to Spadina. The bikes lanes are nice, but there's almost always somebody blocking them. I think this guy ran out of gas:

There's some construction on College at Beverly, and it's the first time I've seen a temporary bike lane, instead of forcing bikes out into traffic. This is a small thing that feels like huge progress to me, an acknowledgement that bicycles have as much right to be on the road as cars:

Sometimes when I go home I take a slightly longer route, and duck down to Gerrard, so that I can cycle up the gentle hill at Riverdale Park and enjoy this view of the downtown skyline:

Gregory Campbell plays viola in the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and teaches violin at the Toronto Suzuki Studio. You can also catch him with the Esprit Orchestra and other projects around town.

Do you have a “super” commuter story? Fill in our dandy commute form or email us at supercommuter@dandyhorsemagazine.com. 

Send us your dandyCommute story today and your name will be entered into a draw to win an Opus bike and other cool bike swag at the end of the year. We'll also give you some reflective tape today.

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