Sunday, September 23, 2007

Bells on Bloor

Bells on Bloor happened today. Picture about 200 cyclists (my rough guess) meeting at High Park in the west end of the city, then cycling along Bloor Street (with bike cop escorts monitoring all the intersections) to Avenue Road in the center of Toronto, and then weaving a bit and ending up at Queen's Park - the home of our provincial government.
All this to rally people around the cause of getting more bike lanes built in Toronto, more people out of their cars, and more hope for solving the climate change crisis.
DSCF0008

In the picture below we get a glimpse of Darren from Bike Refugee (white T Shirt). Darren is one of the few cycling activists I've met before. At the end of the ride today I also got the chance to say hi to Tanya from Crazy Biker Chick (probably the most famous cycling blogger in Toronto) and Vic from Vic Gedris (and from Cycle Ontario Alliance). P.S. - as per usual, Tino at Bike Lane Diary has coverage of today's event, and some other cool photos if you scroll down a bit.
DSCF0013

This is the group going past the new (funky!) addition to the Royal Ontario Museum, just before we make the turn off Bloor Street south onto University Avenue.
DSCF0016

And this isn't a great photo, but the best one I took of the group assembling at the end of the ride in front of Queen's Park. I doubt any of the politicians were there, but the Liberal Party's campaign bus was parked in front of the building. I wonder if there's been a pledge for all the parties to go carbon neutral in this election campaign. Didn't all the federal parties do that in the last federal election?
DSCF0020

And this is just typical, and ironic. If I had a camera with me all the time (and the patience to stop and snap a photo), I could take dozens and dozens of "cars parked in the bike lane" photos every month. Today, on my way home from Bells on Bloor, I found this dude parked in the bike lane on Shuter Street just east of Parliament.
DSCF0023
Thank you, sir. By taking up the entire lane, just on the other side of a set of streetlights, you guaranteed that I was going to have to check over my shoulder a few times, gauge my speed right, and fight for some room as i went through this intersection, rather than having what should have been a peaceful stress-free ride through a bike lane.

In a way though, I find it hard to blame the motorists, when cops will go right by them most of the time without saying "boo" about this traffic violation. Since the cops don't enforce it, why would motorists think twice about doing it?

3 comments:

vic said...

Hey Tuco,

It was nice to finally meet you today! Great day to be out on such a fun ride.

I posted lots of photos here: http://vic.gedris.org/pics/2007-09-23-BellsOnBloor/

As for the bike lane parker...you should post your photo to toronto.mybikelane.com!

Cheers,
Vic

FixedXorBroken said...

I'm sure it was more than 200 riders. I've been to a critical mass with 200 riders before, and this seemed noticeably bigger. I could be wrong though.

Tuco said...

Yeah, all the other bloggers are giving numbers closer to 1000, so I think I'm way off on my guess.