dandyCommute series: Humber river valley to Sherbourne and Adelaide
text and photos by Janet Joy Wilson
Describe your commute
My commute is from the Humber River valley to downtown Toronto along the lake shore. It is a 32 km round trip. My morning is usually 50 minutes as I am slowed down through the Queen's Quay detour. At 5 p.m. my route is a little different home, plus I usually go a little slower as there is more traffic. It's a solid 60 minutes.
Why do you commute by bike?
I have always participated in Bike to Work Week, but my office used to be near the airport so it was incredibly dangerous riding! One week was enough biking with the fast trucks so near me. Last fall our offices moved downtown to Sherbourne and Adelaide and I immediately thought I'd try and cycle two or three times a week. I started last May with Bike to Work week. I won a membership to Cycle Toronto through our company's green committee and I was hooked on Bike Month 2013. I tweeted my photos for a month and won a bike! I loved my 13-year-old "Blue Betty" bike but when presented with my new Giant "Black Beauty" I was a cyclist. I have a company car but with all the construction and congestion downtown, I found the bike ride much more enjoyable, and I was keeping off the weight I had lost earlier in the year. I felt great!
What is the best part of your commute?
I travel from the Humber River valley and once I get up my 45 degree hill ... that feels great, especially as it has become easier over time. I am stronger! Once I reach the Martin Goodman Trail I relax. I am safe from the cars and the trucks. I am on a dedicated path. The rowers are on the lake. The sun is rising. This is my idea of heaven.
What is the worst part of your commute?
The bike detour on Queens Quay to Lakeshore. Each day you never know what you will encounter. All dangerous: from trucks, gaping holes in the road, mud lakes along the "path" and drivers in the throes of road rage.
What is the most surprising part of your commute?
Surprising moments include the conversations I strike up with strangers. People sitting on a bike next to each other at a traffic light have no barriers. I am a friendly person. I smile and ask a question and bingo a conversation starts. I love this interaction. I also say good morning to the construction workers ... It's good to remind those around you that cyclists are people too, hey I am also a wife and a mother. I am also polite and follow the traffic rules.
What infrastructure change would make your commute better?
Bike lanes, bike lanes & more bike lanes. A bike lane reminds drivers to share the road, and it provides ORDER for the different forms of transportation being used to get from one spot to another.
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