Words and photos by Gregory Campbell
The dandyCommute series will run until the end of the year with more stories and photos of your favourite utilitarian cycling routes through 2013.
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dandyCommute #13 Broadview and Pottery Road to Spadina and College (approximately 6 kilometres)
I'm a classical musician, and most of the time I play in the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony.
It’s an amazing orchestra and a great place to work. The commute ... not so much. Two years ago I bought a car after hitching rides and taking the bus for three years (my wife, also a musician, works in Toronto, so it would be tough to move).
I teach and freelance in Toronto, too, so after all the time in the car going to KW (carpooling whenever possible, people) I like to leave the car in the driveway when I go anywhere in the city. If you see someone on a bike wearing a tuxedo, that’s me on my way to play a concert.
I teach once a week at the Toronto Suzuki Studio near Kensington Market and Chinatown. It's a nice ride from my home on Broadview, north of the Danforth. It's about 6 kilometres, and takes about 20 minutes.
The worst part of the trip is going along Broadview. It's a four lane road, with no room for cars to pass a cyclist without changing lanes. It's not much fun.
Once I get to Chester Hill Road, it's almost all bike lanes from here to my studio, though.
I love this lane, because it's only about 75 metres long, and because it gets me off Broadview into some quiet streets. From here I take Bloor over to Sherbourne. The view going across the Don Valley is always great, although in the winter it can seem pretty bleak.
Then I take a left at Sherbourne and coast down to College, and head straight on to Spadina. The bikes lanes are nice, but there's almost always somebody blocking them. I think this guy ran out of gas:
There's some construction on College at Beverly, and it's the first time I've seen a temporary bike lane, instead of forcing bikes out into traffic. This is a small thing that feels like huge progress to me, an acknowledgement that bicycles have as much right to be on the road as cars:
Sometimes when I go home I take a slightly longer route, and duck down to Gerrard, so that I can cycle up the gentle hill at Riverdale Park and enjoy this view of the downtown skyline:
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