Biking in Toronto
I strapped on my GoPro for yesterday's bike ride. I wanted to show people how safe my route is, even when the trails are covered in snow.
I'll ride every day unless one of the following is true:
- It's colder than -20°C with the windchill
- Snow has been falling for a while and plows haven't got out yet
This winter, there have only been two or three days where one of the above was true. it's been a fantastic winter in Toronto for cycling.
When there is snow on the trails, I do precisely two things to reduce the chances of my ass hitting the pavement. I will:
- Reduce my speed to ~22km/h
- Widen all turns - a sharp turn on ice or snow is a sure-fire way to fall
Some think it must be awfully chilly out there. The fact is, when I layer up appropriately, only two parts of my body will get even a little cold:
- My toes
- My fingers
Here's yesterday's 20km ride along the Waterfront Trail in southwest Toronto and Mississauga.
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
December 2013: 245.93 km
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.
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)
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.
Every silver lining's got a touch of grey.
I record all my bike rides. Here is how my cycling in November 2014 compared to November 2013.
November 2014: 434.26 km
November 2013: 297.89 km
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.
As I did for September, here is how my cycling in October 2014 compared to October 2013.
October 2014: 502.16 km
October 2013: 161.9 km
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.
It was such an amazingly sunny and warm October day, I had to hop off my bike and take a picture.
I 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.
Here's the old signage that's being replaced.
Thanks 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.
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.
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.
I 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
September 2013: 242.61 km
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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