Text and photos by Mark Sherman
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dandyCommute series: Dovercourt and Queen to Lake Shore and Thirty Fifth (approximately 16 kilometres)
I love my commute -- so I feel lucky to be able to brag about it on the dandyhorse site.
I break it up into five chapters; that way I can push to finish each portion in the morning (when I'm rushing) with achievable goals.
Chapter one: Dovercourt to the Queen/King/Ronsy bridge:
This part is fun because the locals are colourful and one car parked in the curb lane can back up the whole street for cars, but I get to easily avoid the frustration.
Chapter two: Over the bridge and through the park
The air taste nice and I get to check out flocks of Canada geese and watch the trees change. There is a boot camp group that I pass each morning and get energized to push when I see the crazy stuff they choose to do.
Chapter three: Humber bridge and Etobicoke waterfront
Riding over the bridge I'm hit with a cleansing wind and take a deep breath, enjoying the inspiring view. I have adopted the intention to become aware of my breath as I glide over the bridge. I generally relax my posture, and let out a sigh and let go of the morning’s rush, or the day's stress on the way home. In my mind I let the Humber River flow and the wind carry my stresses away.
The Etobicoke waterfront is always active with cute dogs and walkers on a slower separated meandering pedestrian path, so I jet through with a smile and things to look at.
Chapter four: Lake Shore west to First Street
I pass the Mr. Christie cookie factory, and then use the bike lane as I pass the new highrise development area. As the housing stock changes to older Victorian homes the bike lane ends, but the curb lane is hugely wide and I generally ride with no hands, with generous room for safety. (Side note: this street would take you all the way to Hamilton!) Generally this part is where I zone out.
Chapter five: First to Thirty-fifth Street. The final push.
The street network takes on numbers in this part of Etobicoke. The LCBO is on Second; the library, Eleventh; local produce, Nineteenth; the pole I park at Thirty Fifth. There is a bike lane for most of the route. On the way there I hammer, on the way home, my arms are loose at my side and I get passed.
That's my way to work.
When I get to work I'm alert and my body is awake. I'm so glad that I get this ride every workday, and I'm grateful to the City and the citizens that pushed for the lanes, parks, and bridges I take.
Wishing you all the fun in your functional bike rides!
Mark Sherman works as an arborist and environmental planner. He's active in bicycle advocacy with the Ward 18 group of Cycle Toronto and encourages all people to speak up on behalf of active transit!
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