Biking in Toronto


Amsterdam: Bikes... Bikes Everywhere

Amsterdam: Bikes EverywhereAmsterdam is a very interesting city. I'll be sharing more pics from my visit soon, but this entry is about the bikes that dominate the cityscape.

This summer, I've biked about three times a week throughout Toronto, but we in Toronto can't touch Amsterdam when it comes to biking. Amsterdam has bike lanes everywhere, and it seems almost everyone uses them. There are bikes locked, and unlocked, along every street, at virtually every turn.

2012-08-07 14.17.58

2012-08-07 14.21.36

2012-08-07 13.39.16

2012-08-07 14.13.45

2012-08-07 13.41.46

2012-08-07 13.37.03

I thought Berlin did a fantastic job of installing bike lanes throughout the city, but Amsterdam has taken it to a whole different level. I love it.

Discuss "Amsterdam: Bikes... Bikes Everywhere" (8 comments so far)


Great Biking App - MapMyRide

Great Biking App - MapMyRideI recently started biking again. Last time I biked regularly, I used a little bike computer that recorded my speed, length of trip, etc.. This time, I'm using an app for my Android phone called MapMyRide.

I'm really digging this free app, and thought I'd share the love. It uses the GPS on my phone to auto-map my route, appreciates the elevation and lets me know how far I went, how long it took, my average speed, calories burned and other cool stats like that.

mapmyride

mapmyride3

So if you're biking, you've got to try this app. If you know of any other good biking apps, leave a comment.

Discuss "Great Biking App - MapMyRide" (8 comments so far)


Farewell Old Friend: My New Bike

bikeAbout four years ago, I thought I'd restore my old bike. Here's what I wrote back then about my beloved old bike:

I named him Cody, because when I bought him in 1990, that's what the folks at the now defunct Bloor Cycle called the model. It was $400, which seemed like an awful lot of dough to this teenager. My buddy Ed and I were into skateboarding, and periodically I'd throw a skateboard or surf sticker on the frame. From 1990 through 1999 I rode that bike like crazy. It got me to and from work, to and from high school and university, all over the city. I lived on my bike until I moved out of a basement apartment on Clendenan and into a high rise. That's when Cody went into storage.

Life got in the way, and I never did get back into biking that summer. I've since retired Cody and am now the proud owner of a new Giant Escape 2. Here's the old and the new, passing the torch.

2012-06-21 22.41.23

So far, so good. I've been out four of the past five days and I'm feeling the love again. But I can't throw out Cody... I think I'll restore her out of love.

Discuss "Farewell Old Friend: My New Bike" (7 comments so far)


Darcy Allan Sheppard's Tragic + Unnecessary Death on Bloor

BikeI used to bike every kilometre of this city. Toronto's streets were my bike paths and I'd tackle them daily until there was snow on the ground and then start up again after the first thaw. When I biked to get myself from A to Z, it was the bike couriers who were my comrades. They were so fast, so deft with a bike, so cool.

Darcy Allan Sheppard was a bike courier who had an unfortunate altercation with Ontario's former attorney-general Michael Bryant last night. On Bloor Street, just east of Avenue Road, something happened between the car-driving Bryant and bike-riding Sheppard that caused Sheppard to slam his backpack onto the car's hood. What happened next was completely unnecessary, totally excessive and so very tragic.

The car apparently swerved to the oncoming lane of traffic along Bloor, very close to the sidewalk that the cyclist hung over. “He started going [driving] onto the sidewalk,” said Manuel Machado, a construction worker standing on the street as it unfolded.

“I heard the tires screech,” said Ryan Brazeau, another worker. “He [the cyclist] was right literally at the front windshield, almost holding on to the driver.”

The driver was now going west in the eastbound curb lane, leaving the cyclist clinging to the curbside door of the car. The cyclist, clinging to the car as it sped away, then struck trees and a grey mailbox like a “human battering ram,” Mr. Brazeau said.

“You could hear hitting, something, bam, bam, bam,” a third worker said.

The cyclist fell off the car when he struck the mailbox, and collapsed in a heap of blood on the sidewalk in front of Sephora. The driver kept going, hanging a right at Avenue Road.

Darcy Allan Sheppard succumbed to his injuries. Michael Bryant, who left politics earlier this year to take control of Invest Toronto, meant to attract business investment to the Toronto area, has been charged with criminal negligence causing death and dangerous driving causing death.

Sheppard never had a chance. When it's car vs. pedestrian, with a driver hell-bent on punishing the pedestrian like a "human battering ram", the result will typically manifest itself in "a heap of blood".

Darcy Allan Sheppard was only 33. RIP.


View Fatal hit and run in a larger map

Discuss "Darcy Allan Sheppard's Tragic + Unnecessary Death on Bloor" (68 comments so far)


Bike Restoration Project

bikeWhen life gives you lemons, make lemonade. I'm going to start riding my bicycle again.

I made this decision a few weeks ago, and I've done a lot of soul searching as to whether I restore my old bike or buy a new one. My brain says I should buy a new one and my heart says I should fix up my existing bike that's been collecting dust and rust for about eight years. As usual with me, the heart wins and I'm going to bike this summer with ol' faithful.

A little about my bike...

I named him Cody, because when I bought him in 1990, that's what the folks at the now defunct Bloor Cycle called the model. It was $400, which seemed like an awful lot of dough to this teenager. My buddy Ed and I were into skateboarding, and periodically I'd throw a skateboard or surf sticker on the frame. From 1990 through 1999 I rode that bike like crazy. It got me to and from work, to and from high school and university, all over the city. I lived on my bike until I moved out of a basement apartment on Clendenan and into a high rise. That's when Cody went into storage.

As mentioned, Cody hasn't been ridden in about eight years. He's rusty, dusty and all but forgotten. I know I should buy a new bicycle but I feel like this is about more than gears and brakes. This is about the bike I loved, the bike I've owned for almost twenty years.

So yes, I'm going to restore him. I started today by buying a new front tire. Piece by piece, I'll get him back on the road. I'm thirsty for lemonade.

Here are shots of Cody taken last night after I got him out of storage.

Bike P4187278 Bike

Discuss "Bike Restoration Project" (8 comments so far)


Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Want more Toronto Mike blog entries? Visit the archives.