From The Brampton Guardian:
“Elder de Oliveira Bueno, 61, was in critical condition after he was hit in the area of Creditview Road and Bleasdale Avenue on Thursday, Sept. 26. His son, also named Edler, confirmed he succumbed to his injuries on Sunday, Sept. 29.”

Today was the ghost bike ride in his memory. A small group gathered at Gage Park.

Joey arrived a little late for the group picture, but he was excused as he rode all the way from downtown Toronto.

Off we go. Six riders in total.

At Chinguacousy and Bovaird.

Making the final turn onto Creditview Rd.

At the crash site, deciding where to put the ghost bike.

Kevin said a few words before a minute of silence.

Installing the ghost bike.

The family was in attendance, including the wife of the deceased, the son and daughter in law, and their child.

Elder Sr. was from Sao Paulo, which was bitterly ironic since that city was contrasted with Toronto in terms of bike safety in the film Bikes vs Cars.

Joey advising the family as to possibly seeking legal advice. At this point in time no detailed information has been provided to the family by the police.

Thanks to Kevin Montgomery for organizing this ride, to Peter Bolton for providing the ghost bike from Brampton Bike Hub, and for everyone who rode with us tonight. Deepest condolences to the family.

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving

Today I did a 50 km ride around downtown Toronto with the objective of checking out three relatively new pieces of bike and pedestrian infrastructure: the Chorley Park switchback, a new segment of the Martin Goodman trail that fills a gap near Tommy Thompson Park, and the bridge between Stanley Park and Fort York.

The Chorley Park switchback is a paved trail that links Chorley Park in Rosedale to the Mud Creek trail in the vicinity of the Evergreen Brickworks. Here is the top of the trail in Chorley Park.

Lots of people out today. It was good to see so many families on bikes. However, this particular trail is really designed for pedestrians, and cyclists should be mindful of going slow as it can get pretty crowded.

There were a few cyclists waiting at the bottom for a chance to ride up, but from the number of pedestrians out and about, I imagine that they probably had to give up and walk their bikes up.

Next up: checking the short new section of the Martin Goodman trail that extends west from the entrance of Tommy Thompson Park. Before I did that section, I couldn’t resist going out to the end of the Leslie Street Spit.

This was also the first time I crossed the pontoon bridge.

Here is the start of the new section of the MG Trail, just at the park entrance.

The new section ends at this bridge, and the trail then continues to Cherry Beach.

Next up: Garrison Crossing. I approached it from the south, starting from Garrison Rd, just past the west end of the Fort York visitors centre.

The south end of the bridge.

The southern span.

The northern span. It’ll be interesting to see how well the stainless steel holds up to the elements.

At the end of the bridge, there is a curved paved path that leads you to a crosswalk at Wellington.

Looking beyond the crosswalk, you can see a sidewalk that you can take up to King St.

Beyond King, there is a one way southbound alleyway called Stanley Terrace that goes all the way up to Richmond. In retrospect, I should have come down from Richmond to the bridge in the southbound direction as shown by the black line on this map. This makes a nice alternative to going to the waterfront along Strachan; I’ve never enjoyed biking through the intersection on Strachan at Liberty St. You still have to find a path between Fort York and the lakefront. Fort York Blvd is probably the best option, and there is a signalized crossing at Lakeshore Blvd.

At any rate, it was a pleasant day to be out and about on a bike around town.

Flooding in Japan

Japan got hit by one of the largest typhoons in recent memory, and this picture really brought it home for me.

It is an image of a playground on the banks of the Arakawa River in Tokyo, in Adachi-Ku. A little sleuthing on Google brought up this image from 2013 of the same area. Note the public washroom building in both pictures.

The banks of the Arakawa serve much the same function as the ravine parks that run through Toronto, providing public open space and a chance to get a little distance away from the surrounding city. Last summer I biked in this area, and when I surmounted the levee that flanked the river, I didn’t think much of it.

Now I realize that major sections of Tokyo east of the centre are in fact below sea level, and it was only due to this levee that they were saved. Other parts of the greater Tokyo area were not as fortunate.

At any rate, hoping that all my friends and extended family in Japan are doing OK.

East River to Chester Basin

If you want to explore west of the Aspotogan Peninsula, a convenient start point is where the trail intersects Hwy 329. This is the point at which I turned south when I biked around the Peninsula.

A very short bike ride west from this point lead to the beginning of the Chester Connection Trail.

I thought that since the trail went inland for a while, it would be boring. It turns out that the next 8 km was one of my favourite sections of the entire trail since it was uninterrupted by roads or driveways, and had nice lake views.

Labrador Lake

Otherwise, it was the usual well groomed and wide gravel path.

As we approach East Chester, we get more trail crossings, and part of the trail are close to Hwy 3.

After about 13 km, you reach the outskirts of Chester, where there is another restored train station and just past this point you cross Hwy 3.

The trail nominally goes up the switchback, but it is more convenient to just take the driveway to the right.

This section of trail allows ATVs. I realize that correlation does not imply causation, but the more ATV tracks, the less packed down the gravel.

Today’s ride ended at Chester Basin, and at this point I turned around to head back to Chester.

Marriot’s Cove.

Chester Harbour

Beautiful downtown Chester.

This mailbox definitely looked out of place, and a little post ride googling revealed that the stated zip code was not exist. Some workmen were inside and they said they were putting things back to normal after a film shoot.

I bought a bakery snack at the Kiwi Cafe. Recommended.

One last lake view before I got back to the starting point.

Chester Basin to Mahone Bay

The next ride segment started at Croft’s Rd, just off Hwy 12. This is a convenient starting point as it is a very short drive south from exit 9 on Hwy 103.

About 2 km west of the starting point you reach a trestle bridge over the Gold River. This is the single longest span on the entire Rum Runner’s Trail.

View from the middle of the bridge.

At Martin’s River, the Chester Connection Trail ends, and the continuation is the Dynamite trail, but there is no signage indicating it at this point.

Heading further west, this is the first signage that I see with the Dynamite Trail markings.

There is another trail access point on Clearland Rd, and in principle you could turn left here and go down to Mahone Bay. I wouldn’t recommend it as it turned out to be a gravel road in worse condition that the rail path.

Instead, bike just a bit further and then you will reach the intersection with the Bay to Bay Trail which goes to Lunenburg. The rail trail also extends further west to Bridgewater and on to Liverpool, but that will have to wait for another day. Turn left to go to Lunenberg.

At least the first section of this trail is much narrower than the rail trail proper.

After a short distance, the trail intersects Main St where there is this kiosk. I decided to turn left to explore Mahone Bay. For the record, I actually rode just a bit further and then rode into town on Kinburn St, which had much less traffic and took you straight to the water.

Had a bakery snack at La Have Bakery. I asked if the carrot cake had nuts, and then said no, but I was warned that it had pineapple. Excellent in any case.

Mahone Bay really takes their Hallowe’en decorations seriously. There were scarecrows and dioramas all over town.

In summary, the Rum Runner’s Trail is a rail trail that extends from Halifax to Lunenburg. It is very well maintained, and is pretty much dead flat. What a great way to explore the coast and to do some very pleasant biking totally away from traffic. Highly recommended. Also the fall is a great time to do this ride as the leaves are starting to turn, and the locals say that by September, the bugs are down.

What I could fit into my schedule was a series of shorter rides of about 50 km each. I didn’t make it to Lunenburg this time, but I’ve been there in the past, and I found Chester and Mahone Bay to be equally charming and much less crowded.

My ride for the week was a 2017 Opus Spark 2, rented from Train Station Bike and Bean. I saw mostly MTB’s and hybrids on the trail, but this bike with 34 mm wide tires was great, and I much prefer riding on the hoods of drop bars.

Upper Tantallon to Halifax

Once again, my starting point is the Train Station Bike and Bean at the head of St. Margaret’s Bay.

The total mileage to the end of the trail that we will follow is about 25 km.

If you go to the Rum Runner’s Trail website, you will see that the trail changes names a few times on the way into town.

After a slow, barely perceptible climb heading east, at the 6.5 km you cross Route 3, where the St. Margaret’s Bay trail ends, and the BLT trail continues.

Some nice lake views.

Otherwise, much of the trail is wooded on both sides.

Passing through a Halifax exurb, I see this sign. “Second prize is a set of steak knives”.

The BLT trail ends in an industrial park. This is the end of the trail, looking back west.

Looking the other way, the path is now the Chain of Lakes Trail, and it is paved. The first section is not so nice is you are in an industrial park.

You still get some lake views, but now there are houses present.

After this view of First Chain Lake, the trail turns to the north and becomes wooded on both sides for a while, even as it cuts through outer Halifax.

This is about as far as I got on that day. The overpass for HWY 102 is ahead.

Beyond this point, you can see that the trail continues as a regular separated multi use path, and from the way finding, it extends about another 1 km. I was not interested in riding the last section, so this is the point where I turned back.

I saw quite a few cyclists today, since it was a beautiful sunny day. The round trip from Halifax to the Bike and Bean would be a nice, flat 50+ km ride.

One other Halifax note: I dropped in on Martin Beaver, who is affiliated with Cyclesmith bike shop. He is the frame builder from which I ordered my Tamarack almost 20 years ago. He was pleased to hear that it is still my main road bike. He and his former frame building partner did PBP this past summer for the nth time.

For the final entry in this series, I’ll be exploring points further west, to Chester, Mahone Bay, and perhaps Lunenburg.

This week I’ve had the opportunity to explore the Rum Runner’s Trail, which is a rail trail that goes from Halifax to Lunenberg. I’ve been using Tantallon as a base, and I’ve completed two rides thus far: out and back to Hubbards, and around the Aspotogan Peninsula.

Upper Tantallon to Hubbards

Train Station Bike and Bean is a converted train station that now houses a café and bike shop. They also rent bikes, and this is where I rented my whip for the week.

You can see the trail to the right of the picture. This section is called the St. Margaret’s Bay Trail. Out and back to Hubbards is about 50 km.

The trail is wide and well maintained, and is wooded on both sides for the most part.

You do get intermittent views of the ocean to the south, but for the most part, the best views are at some of the bridges that cross various creeks and streams.

At about the halfway point, there is a purpose built bridge that spans a highway exit, and you get some of the best views of St. Margaret’s Bay.

This section of the trail ends at HWY 3, where it continues as the Aspotogan Trail. There are a couple of sections nearer Hubbard’s where the trail was marked for repair. Some very coarse gravel was laid down. One hopes that this does not reflect the final state of repair.

Even though I can’t see the ocean from this spot, I am reminded of its presence 😉

Aspotogan Peninsula

The Asptogan Peninsula forms the western shore of St. Margaret’s Bay. I was told that it was popular with cyclists since it has relatively light traffic. This is in comparison to the road between Upper Tantallon and Peggy’s Cove, which is plenty scenic but has many blind corners, no shoulders to speak of, and plenty of car and tour bus traffic. One lap of the peninsula is about 50 km.

The Aspotogan Trail section of the Rum Runner’s Trail makes it possible to do a loop ride. I chose to do it in the counter clockwise direction. This is the trail entrance at Hubbards.

Pretty much wooded, but there are a few views of interior lakes on the way to the East River end.

Here is where the trail reaches the highway that goes south around the western shore of the peninsula. The trail itself continues westward, but I turned south here.

Nice to have this sign to remind motorists to keep a 1 m passing distance, but points off for the implication that all cyclists should wear safety vests.

Pleasant riding but not too many ocean views until you reach Upper Blandford.

The view from the Deck Convenience store in Blandford.

Bayswater is very scenic. There are washrooms at a small provincial park here if you have the need.

There is also a memorial site for Swissair Flight 111. I knew about the one near Peggy’s Cove, but apparently this site, the other, and the crash site form an almost equilateral triangle.

There are a few other pretty villages on the east side, (just as Northwest Cove) but I was too busy biking to take pictures. For the most part, the east coast of the peninsula has ocean views to the right, but you are on a bluff some height above the ocean. There are more rollers on this side as well.

In summary, the Aspotogan Peninsula is a nice detour from the rail trail if you want to see some ocean views on roads with very little traffic.

I’ve been told that other sections of the railtrail itself are also scenic, and I look forward to trying out the section towards Halifax as well as the part between Chester and Mahone Bay in the remainder of my time here.

Critical mass for the climate!

Tonight there was a critical mass ride focused on climate change, as a prelude to the main climate strike rally to take place tomorrow in Toronto. About a hundred cyclists gathered in a park on Adelaide, just a little west of Spadina.

Someone from extinction rebellion gets us ready to go.

And we’re off down Adelaide.

the photo/video guy was alternating between his e-bike and a skateboard to get different shots
crossing University
On Richmond, crossing Jarvis
start them early

turning onto University

The ride ended at Queen’s Park.

Thanks to the organizers. Thanks also to the Toronto Police who kept things low key, and did the lions share of corking. Odd how there isn’t has much honking going on when the police are with us.