Cycle Toronto’s Coldest Day of the Year Ride 2017

Cycle Toronto's Coldest Day of the Year Ride 2017

Pictures and Story by Cayley James 

There was something noticeably different about this year's coldest ride compared to previous years. While 2015 had snow and ice, and 2014 had near white out conditions, there was barely a snowflake in the air on Saturday, February 4, 2017, for Cycle Toronto’s annual meet up to promote winter cycling.

There were people of all ages, on every kind of ride imaginable; from cargos to fixies to twenty-seven-year-old mountain bikes adorned with streamers, it appeared that the lack of precipitation this year made Cycle Toronto’s mission to get more folks on bikes in the winter an easy one.

A day is considered easily bikeable if the average daily temperature is above -10 degrees Celsius. Although this past month has been one of the darkest on record it has also been one of the mildest. According to Environment Canada, Toronto hasn’t had this mild of a January in nearly 80 years.

Jared Kolb, executive director of Cycle Toronto, and Councillor Mike Layton led the group of 100 or so eager riders on the 6-km ride. From Art Eggleton Park (at Grace and Harbord) to Yonge and Gerrard the route featured the much discussed Bloor Bike Lane from Shaw to Sherbourne. The new lane has, according to Bells on Bloor, showed an average of 1,700 trips per day in January. That number rivals the City’s own summertime pre-installation counts on the same stretch of road.

Almost every person I spoke to was a first time attendee of the event (myself included). The organisers also made a point of moving the event about half an hour earlier to accommodate the anti-Islamaphobia rally taking place at the US Consulate. Despite the nippy westerly wind, the dry streets were full of engaged citizens fighting for a more inclusive and supportive future this weekend. A productive Saturday to say the least.

Stay tuned to for tips and tricks to make winter riding more enjoyable. In the meantime, don't forget to layer up, light up, and keep your extremities toasty. You should also clean and lube your chain to make sure it doesn't seize up. 

Mike Layton (Left) and Cycle Toronto's Jared Kolb (Right)


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