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East meets West

Today, Janet Joy Wilson organized a ride for our friends east of the Don River to highlight some of the bike infrastructure in our area. This was in partial response to a ride that she and a few other people from Ward 4 did in August where they were taken on a tour of the North Scarborough Green Loop. We gathered at the north gate of High Park.

The route was described as follows: Bloor to Runnymede, then north to the end, and west to the Scarlett Rd bike lanes. Then north to Eglinton, and back south on the Humber river trail. From Etienne Brulé Park, up past Old Mill to Bloor and then east to the six points area (Kipling).

I can’t resist posting a photo of this fellow who happened on our group and said he would ride along for a while. Beautiful 80’s vintage bonded aluminum frame.

Here we go.

Along Bloor. These bollards were installed within the last two or three weeks.

Rounding the corner at Runnymede. Note that the green paint that we are riding on is often blocked by cars just getting a quick coffee at McDonalds. We could use some protection here.

At the north end of Runnymede, we turn west on Henrietta.

We pause on Eileen Ave just short of Scarlett Rd, and I give some background on the Scarlett Rd bike lane which was installed last year. Although it is a massive improvement, it is disappointing that it does not extend as far south as St. Clair Ave. The underpass that connects Scarlett to Dundas St W is also due to be widened and bike lanes put under the railway, but it is not clear how they will be connected north.

photo: JJ Wilson

Zooming down the hill on Scarlett Rd. Note the very wide painted buffer.

This section is due to have painted concrete barriers installed soon.

The bike lane ends short of Edenbridge Rd, and we take the lane as a group to arrive at Eglinton.

At Eglinton we talk about how the multi use trail extends fairly far to the west into Mississauga. To the east, it will eventually extend the length of the Eglinton LRT. To the north, the Humber river trail continues. However, despite it being a very popular biking route, and part of the PanAm path, there is little signage indicating the route to the north, and furthermore you have to ride along the sidewalk for a stretch before the path becomes a proper separate multi use trail.

Now back south on the Humber River trail.

We regroup just short of the pedestrian bridge across the Humber.

Walking our bike across the bridge.

Up the hill to Old Dundas St.

Another regroup on the Humber River trail.

Pausing at Etienne Brulé Park.

David tells how Councillor Mark Grimes opposes almost all bike infrastructure in his ward. Additionally, the Kingsway BIA is also dead set against bike lanes.

Up the hill from the Old Mill towards Bloor St.

On the Kingsway. Road width and funds that went towards the flowered median could have been used for bike lanes, but this is Etobicoke.

The new bike lanes just past the underpass west of Islington.

We pause again at Resurrection to talk about the Six Points redevelopment. The city required bike lanes to be integrated into the redesigned intersection. The bike lanes are not complete yet. Rob Z has a nice write up about Six Points on his bike blog.

We have to cross to the south side to access part of the bike lanes that ring the intersection. This is close to one of the stopping points for the 2015 edition of the Reading Line “Books on Bloor” where we were advocating for a westward extension of the Bloor bike lanes.

Group picture at Six Points.

Riding back towards Bloor, you can see that the bike lanes that will ring the intersection are quite nice.

Riding back towards Ward 4 on Bloor. With all the improvements at Kipling, and further development at Islington, the hope would be to eventually be able to extend the Bloor bike lanes all the way between Bloor West Village and Kipling.

Here is where we rode. A total of about 22 km.

Thanks to everyone who joined us today. Thanks also to Janet Joy Wilson for organizing the event, and to David for giving us some perspective from the South Etobicoke Cycling Committee.

Pasquale Alonzi was an 84 year old grandfather and active cyclist who was killed by a dump truck driver on August 5, 2020. ARC installed a ghost bike in Bolton at the crash site, and since that time, the family reached out to thank ARC, and to donate Mr. Alonzi’s extra bike to ARC.

This is Mr. Alonzi’s son Marco, with the donated bike. The police told the family that the driver claimed Mr. Alonzi darted out in front of him. However, consider the fact that Mr. Alonzi was a very experienced cyclist, with the physical condition of someone decades younger.

From the timing and location of the crash, Marco said that his dad was probably on his way to water a garden on a plot of land borrowed from a farmer that was a short distance from his home in the adjacent subdivision. The late afternoon was the best time to water his vegetables.

Within the subdivision, things are peaceful.

However, as soon as you leave the neighbourhood, it is bordered on the east side by Albion Vaughan Rd, which is a high speed arterial. You can see the ghost bike to the right.

Looking at his other bike, I imagine that you can see some aspects of Pasquale’s personality.

The upturned handlebars and the heavily padded Italian saddle are accommodations for comfort. The man was 84 after all. Even more striking is the shifting set up.

Clearly here is a man with some ingenuity that likes to do things his own way to get some more mileage out of a well used bike.

Thanks to the family. ARC will put the bike to good use.

This week I took the opportunity to ride out to Bolton to replace the sign on the ghost bike. It was a nice 65 km round trip from Vaughan Metro Centre.

Here is the ghost bike again.

The new signage, no longer anonymous. I thought it would be appropriate to add some flowers in the colour of the Italian flag.

Thanks to Yvonne Bambrick for providing the new sign. Continued condolences to Mr. Alonzi’s family and friends. He will not be forgotten.

Parkdale High Park Bikes organized a ride to examine the state of the Bloor bike lanes as of today. Since the idea was to go as far east as Lansdowne, we contacted the offices of both Councillors Perks and Bailao. Since we were joined by Nicholas from Bailao’s office, we decided to expand the scope of our ride to cover a little more of Ward 9, and some areas that were close to the boundary between the two wards. Here we are at Runnymede subway station.

We start at the north west corner of Bloor and Runnymede, which is the western end of the Bloor bike lanes. There is a large cross hatched area here. It is not clear what the function of these areas, other than to provide traffic calming. As we will see further down on this post, some of them have been used to install bikeshare stations. In the original design renderings, some of them might have been designated as loading zones.

Off we go, headed east.

Our first stop is just east on Glendonwynne, across from the Runnymede Library. In this section, the eastbound bike lane swerves in and out of what was originally parking inset into the sidewalk, with the parking moved outwards towards the traffic lane. Although the objective of having parking spaces as a buffer between the bike lane and car traffic is laudable, one concern with this design is that the bike lane is not straight, and in particular it crosses a concrete strip that was originally designed to provide a drainage channel. One can foresee snow or black ice forming in this channels, making the swerve in and out very dangerous.

Another concern is the fact that exiting this chicane like feature, you must avoid a concrete bump out.

The last set of parking spaces at the bottom of the hill are very short, and so I was glad to see that the city elected to have the bike lane go straight past them. This does raise the issue that this is an inconsistency in design, but the original design was certainly not ideal from a safety standpoint.

Climbing up the hill towards High Park, the cars are mostly parked correctly, although some of them intrude into the buffer. This will be addressed once curbs are installed.

Here is the intersection of High Park and Bloor. This is perhaps the busiest intersection feeding High Park. The green left turn boxes are a new feature. However, the box in the foreground is problematic as it requires cyclists to stand potentially in the path of eastbound car traffic.

The box on the south east corner is smaller and does not have this issue.

Given the desirable goal of separating pedestrian and cyclist traffic, this site would seem to be an ideal place for a fully protected intersection.

Heading further east, this section of bollards must have been installed very recently.

Here is the intersection with Parkside. As was previously noted, the design was changed so that the bike lane hugs the curb, and the right turn lane for cars is separated from the bike lane by curbs and bollards.

The new design seems to work well, although it is puzzling that there is a gap in the bollards just short of the intersection. Perhaps this is an oversight; the original design had the bike lane crossing the right turn lane, and this resulted in a gap in the curbs with bollards.

There is paint in place as far east as Indian Rd.

Across the street, there is one of those wide cross hatched areas that has been used for a bikeshare station.

Past Indian Rd, and all the way to Dundas, there are not even paint markings. This is a bit of a puzzle since this section is supposed to be part of Phase 2.

Here is the intersection of Bloor and Dundas St W. I don’t recall any special treatments planned here, even though this is the intersection there there have been the most injuries to pedestrians and cyclists in the entire survey area.

We were joined by lots of pigeons who demonstrated their ability to fly over the intersection, thereby avoiding traffic.

Headed east again, under the first bridge. The section between Dundas and Symington will be the last to be installed due to road construction.

A brief stop at Symington. Nicholas welcomes us to Ward 9. Between here and Lansdowne, the original plan had no parking, and the roadway was a straight shot. Parking was added as a traffic calming measure.

Grateful for the wide buffer under this bridge. The original design specified bollards and curbs here, but the hope is that there is enough space to place concrete jersey barriers such as the ones along Lakeshore in the vicinity of Royal York, or the ones recently installed along Adelaide.

The section of Bloor between Lansdowne and Dufferin appears to have all of the protection installed. However, it is puzzling that the bollards on the south side don’t start until well past the intersection.

Here is one of several CafeTO spaces on the south side. Nicholas explained that local councillors played a key role in setting up things like the CafeTO spaces since it required careful coordination between different departments at City Hall. The CafeTO spaces will be in place until November 15, or they might be removed earlier if there is a significant snow fall.

This bikeshare station at Brock is new.

Headed back west towards Lansdowne.

Now headed down Lansdowne.

We decided to divert over to Brock to take a look at the intersection of Brock and Florence.

The main issue at this intersection is that the wall on the southeast corner creates a visual barrier for both cyclists and cars. In particular if you are northbound on Brock, it is hard to see cars coming west on Florence.

Perhaps a mirror on the pole on the northeast corner would help.

Now we turn west on Seaforth from Brock.

Seaforth would be a great connector between Brock and Landowne, if it weren’t for the inconvenient fact that it is one way for two blocks, and that the direction of traffic reverses at this point. Otherwise, you have to use Queen to get from Lansdowne to Brock.

Seaforth does not have enough width to implement a contraflow lane, but perhaps there could be a solution that could be copied from what was done on a section of Argyle, where there are markings indicating that bi directional bike traffic was allowed on a section of one way street.

Now we approach Lansdowne on Seaforth, and we will cross over to the intersection with Macdonell.

Macdonell is one way southbound. Once again, this forces bike traffic down to Queen. If contraflow bike traffic was allowed north for two blocks to Galley, that would provide a safe connection to Sorauren and Roncesvalles.

The last point of interest in our ride was the College/Dundas St W intersection. This is an intersection that is due for major upgrades this fall.

This includes a new traffic light and pedestrian crossing of Dundas at College, the closing of a short section of St. Helens Ave, and redirection of car traffic on St. Helens and College St N.

Nicholas said that construction is slated for October. This will be a long project since the streetcar tracks are also going to be replaced and realigned.

One last group picture. Thanks to everyone who joined us for the ride, and to Nicholas from Councillor Bailao’s office for riding along and giving us some Ward 9 updates. A report from PHP Bikes will be prepared and passed along to the councillors.

Epilogue:

Afterwards I had some shopping to do downtown, and I thought that I would also drop by the Cycle Toronto stand that was set up at Yonge and Queen’s Quay to pick up my Ride for Safe Streets bandana.

Just at that time, a guy on a really nice bike was stopped on the bike path, and I chatted with him a bit. A Cherubim gravel bike. I immediately recognized the paint job, as it was the same as a bike that Blacksmith Cycles showed at the bike show a while back. Looking back, it might have even been the same bike without fenders and with different wheels.

This is perhaps the first gravel bike by this builder. Tire clearances were opened up, and the builder used a carbon fork and flared headtube.

Very nice, but I already have my own very nice gravel bike 😉

Update: here are some of Nicholas’ pictures.

Bloor and Runnymede
High Park
bollards on Bloor @ Lansdowne
McGregor Playground
At Brock and Florence
Mom and kid waiting to cross College at Dundas St W.

Guiseppe (Joe) Pellerito was hit by a driver on the morning of September 4, on Finch Ave at HWY 400. He died in hospital several days later. ARC only became aware of this tragedy a few days ago when someone from Metrolinx inquired about a ghost bike that had been put up at the crash site.

I wanted to ride up there to pay my respects to the deceased, as he was the first cyclist fatality within Toronto city limits this year. At the same time, today was the first day to participate in Cycle Toronto’s Ride for Safe Streets.

This annual event is an important fundraiser for CycleTO. As it is not possible to stage a large group ride this year, they have asked people to register, and then to ride either one of their preset routes, or any route of their choice. They also offer the option of fundraising, in lieu of paying the registration fee.

As the ride up to the ghost bike was about 35 km, I decided that this would be my personal Ride for Safe Streets for the year. Just like part of their 80km route, I went up the Humber River trail, although I took a different branch to exit the trail on Weston Rd just south of Finch. Just before that point I observed that the wildlife along the trail seemed to be fairly accustomed to people.

The 80 km loop around town is a popular route that goes along the lakefront, up the Humber, across the Finch hydro corridor, and then down the Don Valley. However, the biggest gap in this route is getting from the Humber River trails to the west end of the Finch Hydro corridor, and this also involves crossing Hwy 400. Most suggested routes actually cross the 400 at Steeles, which is marginally less scary than crossing on Finch. This is what Finch looks like approaching the 400 from the west. You have to cross two on ramps.

Note that CycleTO’s suggested 80 km route brings you along this section of Finch, which is a really bad idea. You would be much better off following this route.

It actually took me a little time to find the ghost bike. It is on the north side of Finch, just east of the 400, just beside the onramp from westbound Finch to northbound 400.

Absolutely heartbreaking. He was 53 years old.

Deepest condolences to his family and friends. His obituary is here.

The ninth cyclist to die in the GTA this year.

Ride safe everyone, and consider participating in the Ride for Safe Streets. Cycle TO is an absolutely vital voice for cyclists at City Hall. The sponsor for this year’s ride is Bike Law Canada, another organization that has been particular active in cyclists’ rights, and the push for vulnerable road user legislation.

Commute by tandem

As the campus slowly comes alive, we find ourselves having to come into work during the week on occasion. A golden opportunity for cycle commuting. Today was our first commute in tandem on a tandem.

All smiles at the pick up at the end of the day.

photo Pei Chen Chen.

We’ll be doing this a couple of times a week while the weather is fine. A nice alternative to the TTC, as well as a chance to get some mileage on the westward extension of the Bloor bike lanes.

Enjoy fall riding folks!

WHPSC 2020……not

In ordinary circumstances, I’d be trackside right now, timing the morning qualifying heats for the World Human Powered Speed Challenge, held each year just outside Battle Mountain, NV. This of course is not an ordinary year, and the WHPSC was cancelled in view of the ongoing pandemic.

artwork by Calvin Moes, inspired by C. Michael Lewis

This is especially unfortunate for all the teams that were looking forward to competing this year. Last year was incredible, with three women exceeding the previous women’s world record, a very close race for the european men’s record, and a new multirider world record. For us, we were looking forward to racing tandems head to head with Delft/Amsterdam.

Well the winds look pretty marginal all week for the evening heats, anyway.

We can only hope that by next year, things will have calmed down enough that the event can be run safely, with all international teams able to compete as well.

In the meantime, there is continuing activity on the WHPSC FB page, showing people moving forward with projects for 2021. Additionally, we can be thankful that Lander County is doing comparatively well in terms COVID-19 cases.

Finally, we can hope that our friends on the west coast of the US can stay safe and healthy in what is shaping up to be a record breaking wildfire season, in particular one couple who lives here 😉

Really hoping to see all the usual suspects out in the desert next year.

photo credit: Bas de Meijer

Riding around the bay with 3RH

Before we moved back to a big city, we lived in semi rural Michigan for about eight years. During that time, a great deal of my recreational bike riding was on recumbents. So I was interested when I found a FB page for the Recreational Recumbent Riders of Hamilton (3RH). Today they had an around the bay ride, and I decided to join them.

We met at Bayfront Park. Here are Cora and Rob, both on ICE trikes. I dragged my Aiolos Speedlite out of the garage for the occasion. You can see that I misplaced my kickstand for the bike.

John took this group picture at the start.

The plan was to go clockwise around the bay. I did the HamBur loop a couple of years ago, and that version went up the mountain. Today’s ride will cut back through downtown. Here we go.

Just past Dundurn Castle.

At the high level bridge.

Crossing the 403 onramp was not fun. Not even any paint indicating where to cross.

Nice buffered bike lane on Plains Rd.

Nice view of the Skyway bridge.

Approaching the high level bridge.

The multiuse path along the beach spit is always a great ride.

Do I look happy?

Rest break. We are joined by Donna on her orange Catrike.

She said this was an attachment so her dog could tow her trike.

A look at Rob’s homebrew electric drive with a brushless motor. He says that it is much more efficient than a hub motor.

A flock of birders waiting to see if they can get a glimpse of a brown booby.

Crossing QEW Niagara.

Meeting a recumbent rider that was not part of our group. I liked his leather tool sling.

Rob’s turn signals

Bike lane along Britannia.

Now turning onto Cannon St. The eastern portion of Cannon had bike lanes on both sides.

Short picture break at Tim Horton Stadium (that I will always think of as Ivor Wynne)

Just a few blocks past the stadium is where we transition to a bi direction bike lane on the south side of Cannon.

This protection along Cannon was new since the last time I rode along here. Note that the concrete curbs are more solid than the precast ones that are now common in Toronto.

One last group picture close to the starting point.

Thanks to Cora for organizing today’s ride. It was a nice easy pace, and it was also a no drop ride.

Cora is also a trike and ‘bent dealer, and from the looks of her FB page, she has a very wide selection of trikes available.

Nicholas Ramdeyall was killed on Sept 1, 2020 by a tractor trailer rig in Mississauga. He was only sixteen years old. The collision was on Dixie Rd, the third cyclist fatality in that general area in the past two months. Today was the ghost bike installation in his memory.

Here is the group at Bloor and Runnymede, turning towards the lake.

Biking down Ellis Ave, we pass a cyclist that has been pulled over, presumably for blowing through the stop sign halfway down the hill.

Across the Humber.

Along Lakeshore Blvd.

We meet up with Dorothy and Jonathan of Mississauga Cycling Now! at Cawthra Park High School.

Along Ogden.

Geoffrey threading the needle.

Regroup at the north side of the bridge. We are joined by former BWV resident John.

Approaching the crash site. Geoffrey normally doesn’t ride while on his phone, but apparently he is talking to a reporter from the CBC.

The ghost bike arrives.

There was already a large memorial here from a candlelight vigil a few days ago.

Friends and relatives of Nicholas were also present.

Installing the ghost bike.

Nicholas’ parents put flowers on the bike.

A minute of silence in his memory.

The parents talking with Dorothy and Jonathan about hopes for changes that must be made to present further tragedies.

Friends had put this white bike up on a fence across the street.

Ironically, a large tractor trailer drives by, demonstrating once more that having trucks of this length making turns at this corner is problematic.

Rest in peace, Nicholas Ramdeyall. Deepest condolences to his family and friends. His obituary is here.

Next, we took the opportunity to ride down to the ghost bike for Ahmed Kamal to update the sign.

Paying our respects once again.

Thanks to Yvonne Bambrick for providing the new sign.

On the way home, we pass an artscape installation on the south side of Lakeshore, just west of Haig Blvd. It is a beautiful field of sunflowers that were planted on Canada Day.

Eighth ghost bike in the GTA this summer. No more please.

Ride safe everyone.

CBC coverage posted by Jonathan Giggs of Mississauga Cycling Now!

Simcoe County Loop Trail

The Simcoe County Loop Trail (SCLT) is a ride that I’ve been wanting to do for a while, and today (Friday) was the day. I started in Barrie.

I’ll also note that part of my preparation was reading the summary of the ride by Cory Kawa, which was the most detailed description that I could find online.

Wayfinding signs were helpful all around the whole loop. Here is one at the corner of Sunnidale and Anne.

Anne with an “e” Street dead ends, but you can continue north on an ATV trail.

The first bit of the trail is fine.

However this downhill section was a bit sketchy, as noted by Cory. Lots of loose sand and I imagine the fact that it rained last night didn’t help.

This is the intersection of Snow Valley and Vespra Valley Rds. Apparently Snow Valley is a popular starting point.

Heading north from the intersection, the road soon turns to gravel.

and shortly after that, you see the North Simcoe Rail Trail off to the right.

The adventure begins.

Yeah, I don’t think the posted speed limit is going to be much of an issue… at least for me 😉

A beautiful day.

A little trail maintenance.

At Flos Rd 7W, there is a gap in the trail and you are directed onto a detour. If you look at the ridewithgps map, this shows up as a little rectangular deviation just a little south of Elmvale. I’m assuming that a landowner didn’t want to yield the right of way.

Traveling north on the detour route.

At Flos Rd 8 W we are back on the trail.

Once you hit the village of Elmdale, the trail turns off of a road through Heritage Park.

A pair of portapotties. Don’t know if these are seasonal. In any case “better than the bushes”.

Just past the park, there was a tree down. (this is on Friday Sept 4, and I imagine that it will be cleared away fairly soon, although perhaps not during Labour Day weekend.)

Breaking and moving a few branches, I made an opening large enough that you could hike through with your bike.

Flos Rd 10 W is a spot where there is an inconsistency between the GPS route and the wayfinding signs. Here you are directed to the right, but you can see that there is a railtrail that continues straight. However, the trail appears to be overgrown, and it is fenced off in any case.

In all the confusion, I missed out on the spring water, which was very close to this spot. I was passed by these two faster riders, who were also having problems following prompts from the GPS.

A little further north, you enter Tiny Township, and the trail changes name.

The Tiny Rail Trail takes you all the way to Penetanguishene.

At the three hour mark, it’s time for a stroopwafel.

As you approach Penetanguishene, past this gate, the trail is paved.

It becomes apparent that the trail no longer follows a rail bed and there are plenty of ups and downs, and many little bridges across streams. Watch for pedestrians along here as there are plenty of blind corners.

The Tiny Trail appears to end here, but you can continue straight on through the tunnel.

Now you are in Penetanguishene, and you soon reach a multiuse trail along the waterfront.

Lake levels are really high again this year.

I actually got a little lost in town, but eventually found my way heading SE out of town on Murray Rd which ends at another trail entrance. Note the sign indicating a steep grade. I’m glad that I’m doing the route in a clockwise direction.

A fast, mostly downhill paved trail through beautiful woods almost all the rest of the way to Midland.

In Midland, you are routed onto another MUP along the waterfront. Part of it was flooded. There was more than 10 cm of water on this section, but I discovered that if you ride really slowly, your butt will stay dry. (I’m riding my only bike without fenders.) A city worker I met just around the corner said that she had never seen the trail this flooded, and there were ducks swimming along it.

Grounded Coffee is a popular spot with a nice view of the harbour. However, given the line up to get in, I elected to ride on.

I’ll also note that the published GPS route leads you to a motel for an overnight, but you can continue to right right along the waterfront trail all the way out of town. Just follow the signage for the SCLT.

Just as you leave town, you pass by the back side of Ste. Marie among the Hurons, which at least in southern Ontario is a traditional grade school trip.

Now you are on the Tay Shore Trail which is paved, and very well signed.

A mural in Victoria Harbour.

The same spot has what is probably one of the nicest public washrooms along the whole loop, complete with a bottle filling station.

After 19 km, you reach HWY 400, and the trail changes over to the Uhthoff Trail, which is gravel.

Nice, fast gravel all the way to Coldwater. Between the Tay Shore trail and this section, you have the opportunity to make up time if you want.

Lunch stop in Coldwater at Em’s Cafe. They have bike racks and outside tables beside the building. From my starting point, this was at the 100 km mark.

I’m not a big fan of eating large meals during a ride, so I was grateful that they sold half sandwiches. Grilled panini with chicken salad, a butter tart and lemonade.

South of Coldwater, the trail is less groomed.

Some trees down here as well, but nothing serious.

The trail is actually closed until November 2020 between Foxmead Rd and Uhthoff Line because a bridge is being repaired.

Can you tell that I have a significant tailwind on this part of the detour?

Back on the trail, as you approach Orillia, it is wide again, and there are some newish looking bridges as well.

The Lightfoot trail takes you to the lakefront in Orillia.

Couchiching Beach Park

The Oro-Mendonte Rail Trail takes you most of the rest of the way to Barrie. Make sure that you have enough water as there is nothing to be had between Orillia and Barrie.

I’m not sure if it was because it was late in the ride, but I found this stretch to be boring since the rail trail was dead straight without much variation in scenery (except for a pretty pond to the right early in this section). I was grateful for the trees as they provided some shelter from what would otherwise have been a very strong headwind.

Near the end of the trail, you will be directed back onto a road, but don’t miss this turnoff to the left on Penetanguishene Rd.

It brings you to a gravel MUP that takes you all the rest of the way into Barrie.

All done.

For me, it was a total of about 167 km, given that I got lost a couple of times. I’m slow, and my target was a rolling pace of about 20 kph. Total elapsed time was about 9.5 hours.

Other things I learned (mainly notes to my self).

  • Wildlife highlights: a blue heron on the trail at Elmvale relatively early in the morning, and a big fox on between the 400 and Coldwater.
  • It was great to have my heart rate monitor. If I stay between 70-80% of my MaxHR, I can ride all day. Of course for me at my current level of fitness that translated to the aforementioned 20 kph on gravel, etc.
  • I got a low battery warning on my Assioma power meter just as I left Barrie, and it cut out after about eight hours. (another reason I’m glad that I didn’t opt for Di2 on my bike.)
  • My ancient iPhone 6s wouldn’t quite last the entire ride, so for the first time I brought along a small battery pack. I run the cyclemeter app, and photos, with the display turned down low, bluetooth off. I have found that both Google Maps and the RidewithGPS apps can be real battery hogs.
  • A couple of times when I deviated from the set route, my Garmin Edge 530 would try to route me back and at one point it was directing me in circles in Midland. I’m probably going to turn that feature off. BTW, the Garmin was at about 36% battery after the ride. Maybe some small paper maps of the towns would have been good.
  • My eating and drinking seems to be at a lower rate that many other reports. This probably has to do with the fact that I am a relatively slow rider. I general eat something every 90 minutes (like a pack of clif shots, or a stroopwafel). After lunch at Coldwater, with about a third of the ride to go, I stepped this up to once an hour. The total was three gel packs, two stroopwafels, lunch, and a very sad kind bar that I think was in my handlebar bag for a long time.
  • This was my first ride with a pair of 7Mesh cargo bib shorts. Supremely comfortable. However, this also being my first pair of bib shorts, I discovered something about topology: when I had to go #2, I had to take off my jersey as well. Perhaps if I could do that trick that women do to take off a bra without removing their shirt, but I digress. In any case, perhaps too much information.
  • I picked the clockwise direction as I thought that there would then be more climbing earlier in the day. However, there was nothing that really amounted to significant climbing anywhere along the route. Perhaps a couple of the turns in Penetanguishene, along with the steep downhills going out of town that would have been a chore to climb in the other direction.
  • Not anything particularly sore after the ride, aside from my neck which was stiff from holding my head up all day. Once again, very happy with my new bike. Just over 2000 km on it at this point.

All in all, a good day. Perhaps if I had split the ride over two days, I would have been able to take in more sights. However, I wanted the physical challenge of doing it in one day. A nice way to cap off the summer.

DAS 0 (2009)

Bike messenger Darcy Allan Sheppard, a bike messenger, was killed by former Attorney General Michael Bryant on August 31, 2009. He died on Bloor St, just east of Avenue Rd, on the south side, when he was clinging onto the driver’s side door of Bryant’s car. Bryant swerved left (while westbound) almost to the south curb, whereupon Darcy was struck by a fire hydrant or mailbox, where he suffered fatal injuries. All charges against Bryant were dropped.

A memorial ride was hurriedly organized on Sept 2. Here are my photos from that day. I have never posted them before as they were taken before this blog was launched the following February. Nevertheless, if you look at the header photo of this blog, it came from this memorial ride.

A special note of thanks to Alan Wayne Scott, who has been pressing for justice to be served in this case, and who has organized an annual event in his memory. A few of these are documented on this blog.