Students from the Bike to School Project take off after the event was over.
Bike to Work Day 2016
Story and Photos by Chelsea La Vecchia
Monday, May 30, 2016, hundreds of cyclists kicked off Bike Month with the annual Bike to Work Day at City Hall. Participants took to the streets on two wheels, with congregations starting from all over town to make their way down to City Hall for 8:30 a.m. pancakes plus photo opps with the mayor and bike-friendly councillors.
Students from the Bike to School project were there to promote active transportation in education, and to kick off Bike to School week. (We will have a bike to school story this week on the dandyBLOG.)
Mayor John Tory was also there, swarmed with people looking to take photos. Shame he's now defending the scaled back cycling plan.
So, we decided to do a bit of Bike Spotting with the regular riders instead of getting in the queue to ask Tory for an awkward helmeted selfie.
Why do you commute by bike, and why do you participate in Bike to Work day?
Here's what they said.
Judy, Andrew, and Lilly
We bike everywhere; we don't have a car. We don't usually bike this far. I feel like it's the best way to get around the city, to reduce pollution.
To me, it's the cheapest one. I don't have to pay anything. And I don't have to wait for the TTC. That's why I bike year-round. I have many problems with my health, and I found that biking is the way that helped me to get out of the house and get involved.
You can do jumps and stuff like you can't do with a car. And they don't use any fuel. A car pollutes our air and makes the earth warmer.
I like taking both TTC and biking. I like cycling and riding together [with my dad].
Getting from point A to point B is a lot faster because you're passing a lot of cars. It's good for your health as well. Sometimes in the wintertime I don't bike, but back in the day when I was biking a lot more I would bike in the winter. Even where I used to live in Belleville.
[I'm here for the] Friends for Life bike rally, which is a sustaining fundraiser for the People With AIDS Foundation. I would be more of a commuter cyclist if there were more dedicated bike lanes. I mean, there are bike lanes on certain streets, but they're often not dedicated. It makes it difficult especially with the increased number of cars with all the condos going up.
All in all, I'd say, there was a pretty good turnout for Bike to Work Day. Perhaps in future we won't need pancakes to encourage people to bike to work.
More photos from the day below:
The crowd starts to gather in the square.
Booths lined the sides of City Hall's concrete exterior area. People munched on fruit and pastries, pancakes and other snacks. Regular cycling groups and shops like Cycle Toronto, Sweet Pete's, and Vélofix were all there, along with some other players like the St.Lawrence Market, and the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Cycle Toronto selling T-shirts for $5, and they had their updated 2016 Toronto Cycling Handbook.
The St. Lawrence Market had a booth. Participants could spin a wheel and win cooking gear.
On Saturday June 4, the St. Lawrence branch of the Toronto Public Library, has partnered with ward 28 Cycle Toronto to create a Library Bike Day. Charlie's Free Wheels, Bike Sauce and Cycle Toronto will be there offering spring tune-ups, safety instruction, etc. Back issues of dandyhorse will be available at the event.
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