Late Summer Cycling and Storytelling in Toronto

Story and photos by Robert Zaichkowski

Sunday, August 26, 2018, was a day of cycling and storytelling in the city. The Reading Line featured a book ride along the Prince Edward Viaduct (literally) bridging east and west Toronto, while BIKE MINDS held its fifth event at Todmorden Mills. Both events saw Melissa and Chris Bruntlett visit Toronto as the first stop of an eight city tour to promote their book, Building the Cycling City, out now. You can read our review here on dandyhorse.

Janet Joy Wilson leading a book ride along Danforth

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dandyREVIEW – Building the Cycling City

Review by Robert Zaichkowski. Photos provided by Modacity.

Over the past few years, members of Toronto’s cycling community have become connected with Melissa and Chris Bruntlett of the Modacity creative agency. Melissa, Chris, and their children Coralie and Etienne have been living car-free in Vancouver since the summer of 2010 and did a bike tour of the Netherlands in the summer of 2016. The five cities they visited – Rotterdam, Groningen, Amsterdam, Utrecht, and Eindhoven – form the basis of their book “Building the Cycling City: The Dutch Blueprint for Urban Vitality” which will be publicly available from Island Press on August 28, 2018.

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Ride James Ride (day 1)

James Potvin is a 10 year old who is riding from Whitby to Coney Island, NY, a distance of about 1000 km, in order to raise funds for two charities associated with autism treatment. He did a similar ride last year, biking 450 km from Whitby to Ottawa and raising over $10,000 in the process. Today was the first day of his ride, and I had the pleasure of riding with him, his dad Chris, and several other friends and supporters. I met them at the eastern border of the GTA at Rouge Beach, and rode in as far as Roundhouse Park. This afternoon, they will continue west to Clarkson. You can find information about his ride, and track him in real time at his website.

Here is James and his dad, Chris, at Rouge Beach. James being a no nonsense kid, wanted to ride on without much of a pause.

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Toronto VS Everybody the Mississauga edition

Image from manhar80 on Instagram.

Toronto VS Everybody the Mississauga edition

Mississauga's new bike plan is bigger than your bike plan

by Tammy Thorne

“The worst part of my commute is probably Etobicoke - very little bike infrastructure,” says Bart Maclean, a Toronto resident who has been riding his bike to work in Mississauga for the last three months. “Most of my travel in Mississauga is across Burnhamthorpe which has a separated path,” says Maclean, who rides every weekday from his home in High Park to his job near Square One Mall. He says Mississauga is uniquely situated to put in bike lanes, well, everywhere.

“In Mississauga you could put bike lanes everywhere if you wanted to, and it would have zero impact on the amount of car lanes. There’s so much space. It’s a unique situation for a city.”

Mississauga city council has realized that too. They are in a great situation. Mississauga could become one of the top bicycle-friendly cities in the country. And that’s why city council approved an epic new bike plan last month that proposes a new cycling infrastructure network that will be fully coordinated with road construction projects. The network is expected to result in almost 1,000 kilometres of cycling infrastructure over the next 27 years.

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A virtual bike lane on Bloor

The power of the orange cone

Inspired by the Urban Repair Squad, the Bike Lane Bouncers create a virtual bike lane for cyclists who have to ride around cars parked in the bike lane

by Jun Nogami

Cars and other motor vehicles parking in bike lanes has been a problem all over the city. A group of concerned citizens decided to draw some attention to this issue by staging an intervention during a balmy Friday evening in July. The idea was that on a given block of the Bloor bike lane, if a car parked in the lane, then we would create a virtual bike lane during the time the car was blocking the real bike lane. This action was partially inspired by a similar action called "a guaranteed bike lane" done by members of Advocacy for Respect for Cyclists (ARC) and the urban repair squad a few years ago.

Friday evening was chosen as a time when there would be plenty of activity on the street. As it turns out, there was also plenty of bike traffic at that time. We were on the north side of Bloor between Brunswick and Albany.

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