Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Route & the Durham Cycling Club

It hasn't escaped my notice that I write about energy issues and American politics far more often than I write about my commute. The trouble is that my commute isn't really that interesting.
I try to leave the apartment at about 5:15a.m., and usually get to UOIT about 7:20. For the first 45 minutes that I'm on the road I'm biking half-asleep through the dark. And then, even once the sun has risen, I'm just racing (as best I can) along Kingston Road through Scarborough, Pickering etc, and there's really not much to comment on through that stretch. Just close your eyes and picture "sprawlurbia" and that's what I'm biking through.
The traffic, at this early hour, and in the direction (OUT of Toronto) that I'm going, is dead, so I have the road to myself, and often I just lower my eyes to the pavement, scanning for broken glass and pot holes, and pedal.
It did occur to me though that interesting things do happen once in a while, but I've been cycling long enough that I take near-death experiences for granted. Last week a big delivery truck just about bulldozed me over a curb and into a ditch on Rossland Street in Whitby, but I'd heard the roar of the engine, looked back to see WAY too much truck in WAY too little space behind me, and I bailed out of the way - let the nutbar pass, and then continued merrily on my way.
So you take a fairly uneventful ride, add in a cyclist who's survived lots of murder attempts, and you have a cycling blogger who doesn't really like talking about his ride that much.

Although I've never met him, I got Tom Blainey's name from a Toronto Bike Network member. Tom is involved with the Durham Region Cycling Group, and I asked him for advice on some safe/quick routes I could use to get to work.
What I received were TWO amazingly well-flushed out routes that I can use, and bless his heart, Tom tried to get me on single purpose biking trails as often as he could. Cheers Tom, it's much appreciated.

I suspect that Joe at Biking Toronto gave my blog address to the people at Car Free Day Canada because I got an email from them saying that they'd written me up on their site (it's there, it's just hard to find).
Thanks Joe, and thanks Car Free Day people. Here's a snippet of what they're about:
"On Friday September 22nd, from 10:00am- 3:00pm, Yonge Street from Shuter to Dundas will be closed to cars and open to those interested in exploring the other mobility options available to Torontonians! This stretch of Canada's longest street, and Dundas Square will be THE place to be for pedestrians, cyclists, transit riders, walkers, strollers, and blade-rollers. Hope you tell your friends and we hope to see you there."

And here's my other public service announcement, courtesy of my girlfriend - the folks at Dignitas International are having a bike-a-thon to raise awareness and funds for the HIV/AIDS issue.
Basically, it's a 65 hour stationary bike-a-thon: 1 hr for every million people
infected with HIV (of which 25 million have died).
WHERE: Dundas Square (Yonge & Dundas) in downtown Toronto.
WHEN: Mon, Aug 14th, 2006 at 7pm to Thurs, Aug 17th at noon.
Registration is done through the above mentioned website.


Snakebite said...

I'm a biking American and would MUCH prefer to read about your biking than the morons who make up our political landscape.

Tanya said...

Wow a whole half block of Yonge Street closed for car-free day outside of rush hour. It would be nice if Car free day could actually encompass a large swath (or even dreamily the whole thing) of the downtown core so people could really get an idea of how great it could be.