Photo by Dana Lacey
dandyARCHIVE: Bike spotting from our Winter Issue
City: Toronto at Toronto’s Music Garden
Katie was dandyhorse magazine holiday gift giveaway prize winner #6 and was wearing leg warmers on the day she picked up her prize!
What do you wear for your winter ride?
First and foremost my Ninja mask‚ because that thing takes winter riding from bearable, to extreme comfort. It keeps in the warmth, keeps out the wind and you look pretty hardcore wearing it... Right? My Columbia snowboarding-turned-cycling jacket is warm, waterproof and windproof, and it gets more action riding around town than on the "mountain" these days. I also like my helmet because it’s light and fits my head without bothering me. I have H&M leg warmers. Leg warmers are awesome. Also, Sorel winter boots - my feet get pretty toasty in them but any other shoe in this weather and my toes start to freeze. MEC Roubaix tights are lined with fleece and have reflective treatments. I love my 15-year-old Helly Hanson undershirt because it keeps the moisture out. My gloves. I have waterproof winter gloves that are great for gripping gears and locking and unlocking my bike. I just can’t bring myself to get lobster claws although I do appreciate their function and I know I’d be warmer.
How long is your commute?
It takes about 30 minutes to get to work, 25 minutes using Jarvis if I get all green lights from Queens Quay up to Bloor. It takes the longest in the winter when the snow is not cleared in the bike lanes.
What's your top tip for someone reading this who might want to try winter cycling?
Just don’t rule out winter riding altogether; remind yourself about why you love riding: It feels good, your body stays active, and you still get stuff done faster than if you take public transit or walk. So try to ride at least a few times this winter in order to get into a new mind set for riding all year round. Get some good clothing and winterize your bike and check the forecasts each day to prepare.
Photo by Dana Lacey
Occupation/Neighbourhood: Toronto City Councillor, Ward 27, Toronto Centre-Rosedale
What do you wear for your winter rides?
My casual business attire with waterproof boots, winter mitts and my toque.
Does your commute include streets with bike lanes?
Like most cyclists, I prefer to use bike lanes as it is much safer. If there are no bike lanes I will still ride, but it will be more dangerous.
What is your top tip for new winter cyclists?
Brake much earlier, avoid ice patches and use your lights even in the daytime as there is less sunlight.
How do you feel about having the first separated bike lane in Toronto installed in your ward?
As excited as I am about having Toronto's first separated bike lane, I also think that we need to proceed with caution. There are political forces that don't support biking infrastructure and a planning misstep just gives them a new excuse to declare another fictitious "war on the car."
At current, there are many new projects coming to Sherbourne that have not been properly addressed (or consulted) in the separated bike lane proposals yet: namely, the many new condo developments, the existing schools, churches and senior home drop-off and delivery areas. The residential community is also wondering what will happen to their local streets when those 159 street parking spaces are removed from Sherbourne. We should study Sherbourne more closely, create a measurable pilot project, invest in a high-quality street design and a comprehensive greening strategy before finalizing a capital infrastructure decision that will be costly to fix if we don't get it right.
How do you feel about the proposal to remove the Jarvis Street bike lane?
I'm still interested in completing the Jarvis Cultural Corridor. I am told by city staff that hundreds of thousands of dollars and years of consultations have been spent on completing Environmental Assessments and Jarvis streetscape improvement plans. Removing the Jarvis bike lanes would be a terrible waste of money, as would throwing out those previous plans. I still have every intention of revitalizing the downtown east side for the local residents and turning the historic Allan Gardens into a unique cultural asset for all of Toronto.
Good urban planning principles should never be compromised for quick political gain - Jarvis Street deserves better than this.
Join the councillor and community members to discuss the future of Jarvis Street on March 21.
Photo by Herb Mathisen
Occupation: Biology student
City: From Gatineau, QC
What's your commute to school like?
It's good. It's Sherbrooke; it's a busy street so it's déneigé (plowed) all the time. The cars are alright; they're used to bikes all the time.
What do you do to stay warm?
I have a cache-cou (neck-warmer) made of Merino wool. It's made for winter sports: you can breathe in it and it doesn't get all wet and crispy. I have a helmet and a normal coat. And big boots, too.
What's the one indispensable "velo d'hiver" item you own?
The cache-cou. When you only have a foulard (scarf) it's always getting away or there's holes where cold air gets in. With this, you get full coverage.
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