Biking in Toronto


Cycling: December 2014 vs. December 2013

Recording all my bike rides allows me to get a little geeky and compare this year's me to last year's me. Every month I aim to ride further than I did the previous year. Here is how my cycling in December 2014 compared to December 2013.

December 2014: 511.13 km

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December 2013: 245.93 km

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I was helped by the fact we didn't get hit with an ice storm this year. That cost me a solid week last December.

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Cycling Achievements in 2014

I started 2014 thinking cycling was the key to good physical health. I biked to stay fit.

I'm finishing 2014 convinced cycling is the key to good mental health. I bike to gain perspective, collect my thoughts and solve problems. I bike to understand, to analyze and to dream. The physical benefit is just a bonus.

I just finished my final ride of 2014, a 25.01 km ride along the waterfront on a quiet and nippy New Year's Eve. Here's my tale of the tape for 2014, all personal bests.

  • Total distance cycled: 4693.42 km
  • Number of rides: 260
  • Time spent riding: 226.54 hours
  • Longest ride: June 7 (123.95 km)
I bike T.O

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Touch of Grey

After watching Broadchurch last week, we decided to stay in England and dove into Luther. Luther is set in London and looks as if it was run through a filter. Everything is drenched in grey.

These past few days, that's all I see when cycling. The concrete trails are grey, the lake is grey, and the sky is grey. The world around me is various shades of grey.

Here's a pic I just took. Sometimes, it's difficult to see where the water ends and the sky begins.

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Every silver lining's got a touch of grey.

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Cycling: November 2014 vs. November 2013

Cycling: November 2014 vs. November 2013I record all my bike rides. Here is how my cycling in November 2014 compared to November 2013.

November 2014: 434.26 km

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November 2013: 297.89 km

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I'm rather pleased with myself, because in November 2013 I was biking every weekday, training for the Ride to Conquer Cancer. Most of this increase was because I added about 5 km to my daily ride.

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Cycling: October 2014 vs. October 2013

Cycling: October 2014 vs. October 2013As I did for September, here is how my cycling in October 2014 compared to October 2013.

October 2014: 502.16 km

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October 2013: 161.9 km

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This wasn't exactly a fair fight. My October 2013 total would have been much higher had I not left the country for a couple of weeks.

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Daily Photo: Sunny October

Daily Photo: Sunny OctoberIt was such an amazingly sunny and warm October day, I had to hop off my bike and take a picture.

October sun

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Waterfront Trail Gets New Signage

Waterfront Trail Gets New SignageI noticed on my ride today that they were putting up new signs in Marie Curtis Park. Here are a couple of pictures of the new Waterfront Trail signage that's going up.

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Here's the old signage that's being replaced.

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The True Story of How I Left My Bike Unlocked Outside BMO Field

toronto fcThanks to my buddy Elvis, I was able to take my daughter to her first TFC match yesterday. She had a lot of fun, heard a lot of swear words in the Supporter's Section and we both scored free toques.

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We biked to the game, but because I totally screwed up, we ended up at BMO Field with three bike locks and no keys. When I realized this 20 minutes before game time, I felt terrible. What was I going to do with two bikes and nothing to lock them up with?

My first thought was to have a heartfelt chat with a security supervisor. I explained the situation, that it was my daughter's first match and suggested there must be a creative solution. Alas, there was no way I was getting these bikes inside of BMO Field. I was going to have to leave them unlocked outside the facility for the two hour game.

I leaned them right up against the BMO Field fence, with my bike on the inside and Michelle's bike on the outside, and I wrapped my cable around them as if they were locked. Holding the cable together was a stick I found on the grass. Here's a pic of our bikes, from inside BMO Field and outside BMO Field.

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The bikes were still there at the end of the 1-1 draw with Montreal and we enjoyed a cool ride home. Bullet dodged and lesson learned.

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Cycling: September 2014 vs. September 2013

Cycling: September 2014 vs. September 2013I measure all my bike rides with MapMyRide, so I'm challenging myself from a year ago. Here are the results from September 2014 and September 2013.

September 2014: 560.75 km

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September 2013: 242.61 km

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No doubt about it, I biked a great deal more in this September than I did last September. For one thing, my daily ride used to be about 12 km and is now about 19 km. I'm also using my bike for transportation more, whether it's a meeting in Liberty Village or the Beaches.

If I can take the bike, I will always take the bike.

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The Untold True Story of My Pinched Nerve From Cycling

The Untold True Story of My Pinched Nerve From CyclingOn June 7th of this year, I biked 123.95 km to Hamilton as part of the Ride to Conquer Cancer. My previously longest ride was a little over 60 km. That means I doubled my longest distance ever and I felt great.

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My legs weren't sore, I wasn't overly tired and I was rather pleased with myself. I had a training plan, I stuck to it, and I reaping the reward. I was ready for day two and the final 103.38 km of my journey.

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I was probably about 50 km away from the finish line at Ontario Place when I noticed my fingers were numb. I chalked it up to the constant vibrations from so much biking in two days. Then, with about 30 km to go, I started feeling a sharp pain in my upper back under my shoulder blade. But with 30 km to go in a 230 km quest, I wasn't about to slow down.

I finished my ride with no pain in my lower body, but this sharp pain in my upper back and completely number fingertips. But I finished, and I was happy. Off to brunch I went with my family.

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I took the next day off, but went for a couple of 20+ km rides on the Tuesday. The sharp pain in the upper back returned, morphing into numbness mere minutes after completing my ride. My fingertips remained numb. I decided to take two more days off, finishing off the week with a couple of 23 km rides.

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I was able to bike about 20 km painfree before the sharp pain and numbness struck. Because I'm an idiot, I banged my head against this wall 8 more times until I realized I needed to take a break. When severe pain strikes, biking ceases to be pleasurable, as you can imagine. In hindsight, I don't know why I rode in pain for so long.

Following my ride on June 25, I promised myself I wouldn't touch my bike for an entire week. When I resumed biking on July 3, I capped my rides at 15 km for a couple of weeks. The back pain never returned, and my fingertips eventually got their feeling back.

I've Googled the mess out of this, and as far as I can tell I had a pinched nerve. I don't know if it was due to poor posture or simply a result of biking 230 km over two days. I do know it was extremely painful and to this day I won't bike over 30 km at a time for fear of it returning.

Has anyone else experienced a pinched nerve from cycling?

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