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The David J Culham Trail in Mississauga goes from the vicinity of UT-Mississauga to Streetsville. I have a regular loop of about 60 km that goes from the High Park area to Streetsville. Today I thought I would detour on the trail to add a little gravel riding for variety.

Heading north on Mississauga Rd, I turn east on the Collegeway, and after a short distance I see the trail entrance off to the right.

After a fairly quick descent into the valley, the trail crosses some parkland, and just past a very large picnic shelter is the first bridge.

This is bridge number three. So far the trail condition is very good.

Parts of the trail are really wide.

There’s a bit of an uphill as you approach Burhamthorpe.

Rather than climbing all the way up, you can turn back towards the river and continue on the trail.

From this point north, there are a fair number of sections that appear to have been washed out, and are in the process of being repaired. The trail is in poor condition, but still rideable with a gravel bike or a mountain bike.

Another quiet section through some woods.

You climb out of the valley and then there is a section running along the 403.

Approaching Wellsborough Place. Note the signs that defend the neighbourhood from those dangerous trail users.

Snaking through a few side streets, and then there is another trail entrance.

The descent is pavement (a little rough) and then there are some really nice trail sections.

Another short section of washout.

A bridge just as you cross under Eglinton.

This section is cantilevered out from a steep bank. It looks like some of the renderings that have been proposed for the Humber River Trail Gap, but it was much narrower, so it would have been much easier to build. The city is insisting that for the Humber River project that any trail section must be able to accommodate a Ford 150 pickup.

Trail exit at Barberton Rd, which intersects Mississauga Rd a bit south of Streetsville.

All in all, a fun detour, and a bit of gravel close to the heart of Mississauga. If you want to see a route that starts from Runnymede and Annette, it is here.

Two other short notes. On the way back along the Eglinton MUP, I saw my first Helix folding bike in the wild.

I was also testing out some new gear. One thing was a lightweight wool blend jersey which was fine even in 28 degree heat.

Headed home after a long day at the office. The neon riders were out, hanging out at something having to do with chocolate. I wished a few of them well but rode on.

Saw people leaving Ontario Place. Sounded like the Dave Matthews Band was still going strong.

Some prom action at Palais Royale.

The reason that I was riding home along the lakefront was that I got an email from Gord Perks’ office saying that the Ellis slip lane was closed again on June 18. Sure enough it was. I had noted that it was unblocked on June 9.

This time they lined up the two jersey barriers in a row. We’ll see how long it lasts.

This past week I noticed this tweet mentioned a Bike Month event promoting the Keddy Access Trail.

I had visited the trail twice before, but I thought it would be nice to join in and show my support as a Toronto cyclist.

These two cheery volunteers from Smart Commute Hamilton were dispensing refreshments at the access point off of the east end of St. Joseph’s Drive.

I had a nice conversation with Chris (in the Hawaiian shirt) from the Hamilton Cycling Committee.

When I remarked that I had seen a lot of improvement in bike infrastructure in Hamilton, and the fact that their downtown was relatively compact compared to TO, he countered with the fact that when a bike lane gets installed in Toronto, many cyclists are immediately seen using it, which is not necessarily the case in Hamilton. We both agreed that the pace of installation in both cities is slower that we would like. He also mentioned that the HSR Mountain Climber program was pretty popular. A cyclist at a specially marked stop close to the bottom of the escarpment can rack their bike and then ride the bus for free to the first stop after the mountain access.

To his right is Councillor Danko whose ward is the West Mountain. Here’s another picture of Councillor Danko at the refreshment table.

When I mentioned that bike lanes on the mountain were comparatively sparse, he replied that he hoped that bike lanes would be installed on Upper Wellington from the mountain brow to Rymal Rd. He said it was a natural north-south route since it did not link with the Linc. Even better if that would be accompanied with some degree of protection for the bike lanes on the Jolley Cut which is the mountain access connected to Upper Wellington. Note that the Jolley Cut bike lanes are also connected to the Keddy.

I was happy to see that the donuts being provided were an independent shop called Grandad’s Donuts. I was told that they use recipes similar to the original Tim Horton’s, and I could see that their donuts were much bigger than the current offering at TH. Very yummy as well.

I biked up to the end of the W5th access to see if the state of the trail had changed. Regrettably I saw that the end is just connected to a sidewalk.

I saw that the bike lane markings at this point had faded away during the past few years. This is what it looked like back in Dec 2020.

Smooth sailing down the mountain.

On the way back down, I stopped by the booth again, and there were a few more people gathered. Here is a picture of several of the members of the cycling committee.

I had met Cora of Hamilton Trike (2nd from the left) on a trike ride around the harbour a few years back. She had a crank forward bike that people were trying out from Phoenix Bike Wrx who took over bike production from Rans.

This fellow rode up on a bike designed by Kris, the owner of Cafe Domestique in Dundas.

Riding down to the bottom of the trail, I was very happy to see that it was connected to the Hunter St bike lanes that were not there two years ago.

This is an interesting implementation that I’ve not seen in TO: a bi directional lane buffered by parked cars.

At any rate, it was nice to check out the Keddy access trail once again, and to meet some of the local cycle activists.

A short ride to Mimico

The plan was to go for a longer ride, but it was cut short by a sudden downpour. Not as bad as the last time I was caught out in a storm, which was the big one on May 21. I’m noticing a 100% correlation with wearing a synthetic jersey, so maybe I should stick to wool, even when it’s warm.

On the way, I noticed that someone had moved the jersey barriers that were blocked the slip lane on the north west corner of Ellis and Lakeshore. We fought for years to have it closed off so that pedestrians and cyclists had more space to wait for the light to change. I’d like the city to make a more permanent closure, as was promised to us over ten years ago.

On the way back from Mimico, I visited the John Offutt ghost bike, which was reported to be in rough shape. I tried to prop it up as well as possible. You can see how the frame has been totally bent back due to a car hitting it some time ago.

When ARC replaces it, I think it should be chained to the large wooden pole just next to the present location.

It’s a good time to also note that there is a city consultation on the “Mimico Neighbourhood Mobility Plan” on June 14. The stated aims are:

The Mimico Neighbourhood Mobility Plan (NMP) will identify, prioritize and recommend short and long-term improvements to traffic operations and road design to support road safety for all modes of transportation including vulnerable road users (e.g. seniors, school children, people walking and cycling) in the Mimico study area.

The following areas of concern will be addressed:

  • traffic fatalities
  • cut-through traffic and excessive vehicular volume on local roads
  • excessive speeding on local roads
  • non-compliance with traffic regulations and signage
  • road and intersection designs that raise safety concerns

Mimico definitely needs more than just bike lanes on Royal York, Lakeshore and Birmingham.

Ride for Brain Health

Today was the Ride for Brain Health that took over the open slot vacated by the Ride for Heart (which was virtual again this year). As per previous rides, I provided mechanical support for the riders, along with many others from Toronto Bicycling Network. The organization of the TBN riders was a bit different this year. For one thing, we were told to gather at 5:30 AM so that we should be assigned to different start times. It’s been ages since I’ve been riding before sunrise.

Here is a picture of the group just before 6 AM.

Things were also a bit confused by the fact that the event announced a no bags rule, meaning that we were not allowed to have panniers. I arrived with my usual set up on my Haul a Day, gambling that I would not be turned away. As it turns out, there was no issue.

The timing being what it was, I decided to do as much of the 25 km as I could before coming back to meet some colleagues back at the start at 7:30. Here I am riding off at 6:10.

First fix of the day was just a few hundred meters down the course in the shadow of BMO field. Just needed a little air in her tires.

Riding into the sun with Jimmy.

Pretty peaceful as most of the early riders were fast and experienced.

Nice views of the Port Lands development from the Gardiner.

I looped back to meet my colleagues from the MSE department at the start.

Got a couple of pictures of the group riding together.

photo by Eli Sone

After these photos, I told everyone to go at their own pace, and of course I immediately got dropped like a wet rag.

Having been abandoned by my colleagues, it was nice for me to see several familiar faces on the ride.

Here I’m asking Becky Katz if the DVP should set a new standard for bike infrastructure, particularly with respect to the width of a bike lane.

A colleague from the Bike Brigade and one from Chemical Engineering.

I saw Jess from Friends and Families for Safe Streets several times, but I only thought to take a picture at the very end of the ride.

Here I am at the top of the ride.

A flat fix on the way back down.

They seemed to be breaking down the course very early. These trucks were headed northbound at Bayview when it was only 10 AM.

The highlight of my helping out was sagging a little girl back to the start. I saw her and her dad walking along the Gardiner and offered to give her a ride while towing her ride. She recently learned to bike and did 17 km for the day, which I thought was phenomenal.

The one big thing that made the ride less kid friendly this year was the fact that the first rest stop with water and snacks was at Bayview, and the “no bags” rule meant that the dad couldn’t bring along water or food on his bike. The other thing was that the Ride Marshalls were told to tell stranded riders that there would be a bus offering sag every 20 minutes. This did not happen. I think I saw two school buses on the route for the entire day.

It will be interesting to see which charity runs the ride again next year. I’m sure that Heart and Stroke would like to have their ride back.

Total support provided: pumped up about six bikes worth of tires, didn’t change a single flat, couldn’t help a guy with a broken chain, or another with a broken crank. Lent out Allen keys a couple of times. Also couldn’t help a guy that flatted both front and rear tubeless tires on a pothole. And of course provided some sag at the end of the ride.

I logged 84 km, which is probably the most that I’ve ridden my cargo bike in a day.

At any rate, it was ideal weather (unlike the last ride in 2019), and it was great to be out and out with colleagues and friends.

Thanks to Todd from TBN who organized all of the Marshalls, and who also waited patiently at start the whole time so that he could collect our armbands after the ride.

Today was a very short ride to deliver some packaged meals from CAMH to the Allan Gardens food bank. It was also my first group ride with the Bike Brigade. Here are my fellow riders at the pick up.

Someone said “Look, Jun has a Chad bike” …

…referring to the legendary Chad who both works behind the scenes for TBB and also does a huge number of deliveries on his Haul a Day.

And we’re off.

At this point, Lois remarked that I had been hitting every single red light. She took over the lead, and the pace quickened considerably.

A fun little ride to support the good work of the Allan Gardens Food Bank. Even better: putting our bikes to work on World Bicycle Day.

Today the bike team had a chance to test the aerodynamics of their tandem bike TITAN in a wind tunnel at Western University. I’ll note that this was the first time that we have ever had access to a wind tunnel.

The Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel Lab does a lot of testing of buildings. There was a very nice display of different models in the lobby.

There was a very spacious student workshop area.

The shell of TITAN enters the building.

Uppssy Daisy.

Here comes the chassis.

Again, very jealous of all the elbow room.

Getting ready to assemble the bike in the tunnel.

Fitting a fixture that will mount the bike onto a force plate.

All done.

Taking data with the able assistance of Anthony Burggraaf.

Now attaching tufts (with hockey tape, naturally)

Looks pretty good.

On the way to a lunch break, I spot some stuff from Mini Baja. I liked the body work on the upper specimen.

Getting set up to do some infrared imaging.

All done for the day.

A big thanks to Project Director Darren Garnham, and to Anthony Burggraaf for being very patient with us for an entire day.

It’s Bike Month, and Cycle Toronto ran a group commute for the first time in several years. As per usual, I biked in with the High Park group. Here we are at the start.

At Keele

Up the hill towards Indian Rd.

Under the Railpath. Yes that is Brooklyn resident Janet Joy back in town for Memorial Day weekend.

At Dufferin. Note human scale to the left versus SUV monster scale to the right.

Stopping by the Annex location of Sweet Pete’s to show solidarity after the incident last week. This is all the people I could squeeze into the picture during our brief stop.

Adrian is all dressed up for work.

At Spadina.

Waiting at Yonge.

At that moment, the Danforth group arrived across the intersection.

Now headed down Yonge. We didn’t try to collect all the groups together near Charles St as in past years, and things went smoothly.

At Yonge and Dundas. That’s one of the Marshalls for the Davisville start to the right.

Longtime WHPSC volunteer Mike with his Battle Mountain shirt. Also that’s photog Danielle, who is now working for Zygg.

Arriving at NPS.

From the appearance of the bike racks, it looks like numbers were way down this year. Perhaps not a lot of people are still returning to the office downtown.

On the plus side, the line up for coffee was less than usual.

I was told that this bikeshare tandem only comes out for special occasions.

Nice to see many of the usual suspects this morning.

Here is a group picture that was taken at the end of the speeches.

Thanks to Cycle Toronto, and all the other sponsors for Bike Month. Thanks also to our ride Marshalls from Cycle Toronto and the Bike Brigade.

Today was a TBN ride out of Aldershot. I took the train from Exhibition GO, and I also took advantage of the closure of Lakeshore East for #ActiveTO on the way there.

This ride combined the country cruise crowd with Tourist B. As a result, we had a big crowd, and two ride leaders, Danny and Dennis.

I didn’t get an exact count, but I think there were about 40 who registered.

One of the first climbs of the day on Lemonville Rd.

There were two ride options, 72 or 86 km. I was with the 86 km group, and here are the leaders approaching the top of Sydenham Rd on Rock Chapel.

Here we are headed south on Valens Rd, just as we blow by a potential stop for Berrys and frozen yogurt.

At Concession 2 West, the official route turned west from Orkney Rd. However continued south so I bid the group adieu. I wanted to check out a closed Rd that was this dotted line on Google Maps called the Kitchen Trail.

Here is the north entrance off Governers Rd.

The trail is an ATV track. It was mostly in good condition.

First of three downed trees.

This downhill section was fun.

This was the only tree where I had to do a bit of bushwhacking to get around.

Looking back at the south end of the trail from Powerline Rd.

Now I’m steaming along the Dundas Brantford Rail Trail in the downhill direction.

There was a downed tree just a little before the intersection with HWY 52.

Look who I met just past the tree: Jimmy and Carol!

Met up with some of the 72 km people at the train station. They were speculating on how Dennis and Chris would get their tandem past the downed tree.

Riding towards Dundas with this crew.

I ended up not stopping at the same cafe as the others in Dundas. I made my own way back, but with a slight modification to the route on York Blvd, just past the high level bridge. At this point, I turned down Valley Inn Rd because I heard that the Valley Inn Rd bridge had been replaced after having been closed for several years.

Sure enough, the bridge was there. Nice scenery on the way down as well.

The other side of the bridge connects to Spring Garden Rd, and you can make your way back towards Plains Rd and Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. Granted that this detour added an addition down and up, but it was much prettier and safer than just continuing on York Blvd which joins onto Plains Rd.

At any rate, thanks to Danny and Dennis and Chris for organizing today’s ride. The weather was really perfect, and it was a good day to log my longest ride of the year so far.

Joshua Okoeguale, age 16, was riding home on Thursday evening after coaching Grade 1 basketball when he was killed by a truck driver on May 19. Today was a ghost bike ride and installation in his memory.

Geoffrey and I were joined at the Oshawa GO station by several local cycling advocates, including some members of the Durham Region Cycling Coalition.

Long time advocate Joe Arruda leads us off.

Bloor St W is a very busy arterial with lots of high speed traffic. We realized at this point that there was a car following behind us driving at our pace with flashers on. This was someone from the funeral who was creating safe passage for us.

Biking down Simcoe St.

Arriving at the crash site.

There was already a memorial in place.

The ghost bike arrives.

Installing the ghost bike.

After a minute of silence in Joshua’s memory, his older sister gave a short, heartbreaking speech. Afterwards, the family came forward to decorate the bike.

Many family members and friends were in attendance.

As we prepared to depart, several people kindly offered to drive behind us back to the station. There were at least five vehicles in the procession behind the bikes, which was an extraordinary gesture.

Thanks to Joe and Ron for organizing locally.

Deepest condolences to Joshua’s family and friends. He will not be forgotten.

Pictures from Joe: