Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Advocacy’ Category

Memorial ride for Clint, age 61

A cyclist was killed this past Monday by a streetcar on Queen St. East. This was one of three recent, serious collisions involving streetcars and vulnerable road user, and has prompted an investigation by the TTC. This was the sixth cyclist death this year for the city of Toronto.

Today was his memorial ride. It started at Bloor and Spadina as per usual, and went along Bloor, down Sherbourne then east on Queen to the crash site.

DSC03449

Joey gets us organized.

DSC03450

Lining up and preparing to leave.

DSC07164

Along Bloor.

DSC03453

Down Sherbourne.

DSC03454

Doug and Honey are faithful attendees.

DSC03456

DSC03459

At the crash site.

DSC07165

Geoffrey with the ghost bike.

DSC07166

DSC07168

A moment of silence.

DSC03460

A few decorations for the bike. A name plate will be added in due course.

DSC07172

According to police accounts, Clint (age 61) was riding eastbound, lost control of his bike and hit a parked car, and then fell into the path of a streetcar. You can see how little room there is between the parked cars and the tracks.

DSC07171

Clint was remembered by friends in this news clip

https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1509437

May he rest in peace.

DSC07174

Update: CTV news clip

Read Full Post »

DAS9

Today was the ninth anniversary of the death of Darcy Allan Sheppard, a bike messenger. A number of us gathered at the spot where he was killed by Michael Bryant, the former attorney general of Ontario. This is Bloor just east of Avenue Rd. on the south side, where he struck a mailbox while hanging onto the side of Bryant’s car for dear life.

DSC06160

Wayne Scott has been the keeper of the flame, pressing for justice in this case. He had an updated placard for the ghost bike.

DSC06159

DSC06162

A group picture of some of the gathering. A lot of the usual suspects in this photo. Hats off to you for keeping his memory alive.

DSC06166

Rest in peace, Darcy Allan Sheppard.

DSC06168

IMG_9531 (1)

For more background on this case, go here.

Update:: Wayne Scott’s pictures here.

 

 

Read Full Post »

Today was the 5th annual book ride put on by the Reading Line. This year’s theme was centred on the Bloor Viaduct, its history, the fact that it bridges different communities, and the fact that it is tied up with the experiences of different immigrants who make up the fabric of our city. We started our day in a courtyard on the grounds of Central Tech, near Bloor and Bathurst.

DSC06114

Siva Vijenthira talked to us about her current and prior work with with various organizations like Cycle Toronto and Culture Link to encourage cycling among new immigrants and school groups in the city.

DSC06119

Our first author reading was by Bethelem Terrefe Gebreyohannes who read from her debut book “Firewalkers” which is an account of her family’s escape from Ethiopia.

DSC06124

The next reading was by Carrianne Leung who read from “That that time I loved you”, a series of interconnected stories about youth in Scarborough, under the shadow of a tragic event that happened in the neighbourhood.

DSC06125

Next, Sarah Bradley from Cycle TO reminded us of the necessity for continuing advocacy for better cycling infrastructure.

DSC06128

In the mean time, lead Joey Schwartz briefs the group of volunteer bike marshalls.

DSC06122

Finally, our fearless leader Janet Joy Wilson starts getting the large crowd primed for the first segment of our ride, down Bloor to the Rosedale Valley School of the Arts.

DSC06130

Joey gets the crowd energized.

DSC06132

Lining up to leave.

DSC06134

Along Bloor.

DSC03215

DSC06135

One of our videographers was Kutaiba, who is a Syrian refugee. Motive transport was provided by Curbside Cycle, and motive power was provided by Geoffrey Bercarich.

DSC06136

Chris Brunlett of Modacity and Janet Joy.

DSC03217

I first met writer Amy Lavender Harris on the 2014 edition of the Reading Line book ride.

DSC03218

Here we arrive at our second stop, a peaceful glade just south of Castle Frank subway station, on the grounds of the Rosedale Valley School of the Arts.

DSC06139

Many of our announcements were also interpreted into ASL.

DSC06137

Amanda O’Rourke, executive director of 8-80 cities, reminded us of the importance of making it easy for all ages to travel around the city. The vision statement of 8-80 cities:

“Whether you’re 8 or 80 years old, cities should work for everyone.”

DSC06146

Chris and Melissa Brunlett told us of how they came to found Modacity, where they promote the benefits of walking, cycling and public transit. Melissa then read a short excerpt from their just released book “Building the Cycling City“.

DSC06150

I asked Chris what he thought of the ride over, in particular the section of Bloor between Avenue Rd and Sherbourne. Suffice it to say that he was not impressed, and he said that he would definitely not be happy having his 12 year old daughter ride that route.

Our final speaker at this site was Ramón Pérez, a graphic novel artist who talked about being an immigrant, and finding his tribe among like minded artists here in Toronto. Drawing an analogy to the X -Men (the second group), he said that his groups’ superpowers were art. He is part of the Raid Studio, a group that encourages the next generation of comic book artists.

DSC06153

Our next stop would be across the Bloor Viaduct, along the Danforth to East Lynn Park.

I think that the single most hazardous part of the ride is the east end of the viaduct where there is an offramp to the DVP. Here green paint is the only protection as cyclists have to navigate their way one lane over from the curb lane.

DSC03221

DSC03222

Riding along the Danforth.

DSC03225

DSC03228

I really liked the colorway of this Masi with 650b tires.

DSC03230

DSC03231

Our final stop was East Lynn Park. I arrived a bit ahead of the main group and had the pleasure of listening to the tail end of a practice session by Wilson and the Castaways.

DSC03232

DSC06156

There were many activities planned for the final stop, and some of this was made possible by “the Danny” AKA the Danforth Mosaic BIA.

DSC06155

Geoffrey cooling his feet after an afternoon of piloting a very heavy cargo bike.

DSC03233

Marvin Macaraig talked about the good work of Scarborough Cycles. I remember his talk from the last edition of the Reading Line, and one thing that stuck with me was the fact that there is only one bike shop in all of Scarborough. They run many bike related programs out of Access Point on Danforth, include community bike rides.

DSC06157

Unfortunately at this point, I had to leave, so I was not able to hear the final two readings, as well as to see the other activities planned for the rest of the day.

As always, it was a pleasure to be part of the book ride experience. The event gets richer every year. I admire both the work of the many volunteers, as well as the tremendous energy of Janet Joy Wilson, who has been the driving force behind this event.

My reports on previous book rides:

2016 was the year I missed the ride, but you can read about Books on Bathurst at Dandyhorse Magazine.

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Today, Lucy and I took a ride downtown. Wait a minute, something is different about Bloor today, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.

DSC03177

Today was the first of two Open Streets events, from 10 am to 2 pm.

A gathering of cargo bikes at Curbside, with some Bromptons hanging around for good measure.

DSC03179

Councillor Kristin Wong Tam has been a champion of this event. She led an official group bike ride.  Smile, Peter, smile 😉

DSC03180

This was the finest bike decorating I saw today.

DSC03182

These people were going nowhere in an awfully big hurry.

DSC03184

There was also a group dog walk put on by Toronto Animal Services, but Lucy said “no, I prefer to keep riding”.

DSC03185

Cycle Toronto had a demonstration fully protected intersection laid out at Bloor and St. George.

DSC03186

The location meant, of course, that it was within sight of the Dalia Chako ghost bike.

DSC03191

Temporary markings indicated how bicycle and pedestrian traffic should flow.

DSC03192

Ironically, since there was no car traffic at this crossing, most people were just strolling or riding through the intersection.  Sort of like the King St. pilot.

Hopefully the city will install one of these, even just as a trial. Of course Vancouver is way ahead of us, and they already have the real thing.

DkuxKGTV4AEnvbq

Parks and Rec advertised a temporary grass installation at Yonge and Bloor. 5000 square feet sounds like a lot, but when you actually look at it, it looks rather small compared to the acres of concrete and asphalt everywhere else.

DSC03188

Lucy and Yonge St. This time there wasn’t a selfie station in the centre of the intersection, which was too bad.

DSC03190

On the way home, we passed bike buddy Doug who was riding his new Wike Salamander cargo bike. Most in the bike community have met Honey the dachshund, but now Chelsea can also attend bike events as well.

DSC03196

There is going to be one more Open Streets event on Sunday, September 16. Mark your calendars!

 

 

Read Full Post »

Today was a day packed with bike related activities.

First off was an early morning meet up of a few Toronto Brompton Owners. I don’t know whose idea it was to meet at 8 am on a Saturday, but here are a few of us at the foot of Spadina at Queens Quay.

DSC03094

Of course, with any meeting of Brompton owners, there was the opportunity to admire how we had accessorized our bikes. I was particularly struck by the friction shifters on Tom’s number.

DSC03093

We met up with Nathan at the foot of Yonge St, and as is the tradition, here is a picture of our machines in the kickstand position. Sorry about the crap lighting.

DSC03096

A picture of the five of us at Polson Pier, taken by a bystander who didn’t fully appreciate the fact that you have to include the bikes in the frame.

DSC03099

Obligatory repeat of picture with the bikes, taken by self timer.

DSC03102

And off we go toward Cherry Beach.

DSC03104

One very bad selfie, while everyone was distracted.

DSC03105

At this point, I had to peel off the group as I had to rush back to Union Station to catch my next bike related appointment.

I took the GO train out to Rouge Park.

IMG_9477

Upon disembarking, I rode towards Rouge Beach along the Waterfront Trail. I came upon this ghost bike. If I recall correctly, this cyclist was killed by a train at a level crossing.

DSC03109

I was riding out to Rouge Beach to meet up with James, who was a 10 year old who was riding from Whitby to Coney Island NY to raise funds for autism treatment. My story of riding with James and his dad and other supporters was posted today on the Dandyhorse Blog.

DSC03132

My final activity of the day was an evening ride with the Hamilton Glowriders.

DSC03149

It was am immense amount of fun, and as I have a bunch of photos and video to process, I’ll reserve that ride for a separate blog post.

All in all, a fun Saturday spent on the bike.

 

Read Full Post »

Colin Patrick Sztronga was killed by a van last week on Elgin Mills Rd in Markham, just east of Kennedy. He leaves behind his wife and son, and many family and friends. He was 47. Tonight was his ghost bike ride starting from the Unionville GO station.

DSC02803

Joey makes some announcements to get us started.

DSC02802

Off we go.

DSC02805

DSC02806

Through central Unionville on Main St.

DSC02809

Two boys rode: Marco (Colin’s son) in blue, and a nephew.

DSC02811

Crossing Major Mac.

DSC02813

Turning from Kennedy onto Elgin Mills.

DSC02815

Approaching the crash site.

DSC02816

DSC02817

Colin’s wife, Janet, and son Marco. His mother, Sharon, in white to the left.

DSC02818

For logistical reasons, the ghost bike was driven up to the crash site.  Thanks to David for doing this, and Hamish for providing the ghost bike this time.

DSC02819

Setting up the ghost bike.

DSC02820

DSC02821

A minute of silence.

DSC02822

DSC02824

In the foreground of this picture, you can see the skid mark left by the van as it went off the road after it hit Colin.

DSC02825

Signs and flowers added to those that were already there.

DSC02828

Even with it being just past summer solstice, the sun must set eventually.

DSC02829

As dusk falls, we get ready to ride back. The boys were determined to ride back as well.

DSC02830

They turn off to Janet’s house, whereas those of us from downtown continue south on Kennedy.

DSC02832

After meeting back up at the Unionville GO station to chat with those who drove in from out of town, a few of us head back towards Finch station.

DSC02835

Deepest condolences to family and friends. The large turnout from out of town make it clear that Colin was well loved. May he rest in peace.

DSC02827

Thanks to all those who joined us. Extra points to Angela and Michael who rode up from downtown with Joey.

That’s four ghost bikes (a typical year’s worth) in nine days. Please no more.

 

Read Full Post »

Tonight was the memorial ride for Dalia Chakos, a 58 year old grandmother who moved to Toronto from the US two years ago and loved riding her bike in the Annex neighbourhood. She was killed by a flatbed truck at he corner of St. George and Bloor. Even before tonight’s ride, people had left flowers in her memory.

A very large crowd gathered at Bloor and Spadina.

DSC05953

Geoffrey talks to the media.

DSC05948

Dalia’s son, Skylor Brummans, flew in from Minnesota to attend the ride. He was determined to use the news of his mother’s untimely death to press for more safety for cyclists.

DSC05950

Joey makes the usual announcements to get us rolling.

DSC05951

We start lining up on Spadina in preparation for heading north.

DSC05954

Here we go.

DSC05955

DSC05956

DSC05959

DSC02784

Pause at Lowther.

DSC02786

Right turn on Bernard.

DSC05961

DSC02792

DSC02794

Pause for a regroup before turning south on St. George.

DSC05962

DSC02795

DSC02797

The ghost bike arrives at the crash site.

DSC02798

The crowd is so large that we block the intersection.

DSC05964

DSC05968

Setting up the ghost bike.

DSC05965

DSC05966

Joey calls for a minute of silence.

DSC05970

DSC05971

Afterwards, people come forward to decorate the bike.

DSC05980

DSC02800

We own the intersection for a brief period of time. It was striking that after an initial bit of honking, many cars waited patiently for us to finish.

DSC05973

Skylor thanks everyone for attending, and says that his mother would not have believed that hundreds of strangers would ride in her honour.

DSC05976

Believe me, this is the very least we could do in her memory.

As the crowd disperses, the banner is still held across one lane.

DSC05982

The decorations.

DSC05983

Deepest condolences to Dalia’s family and friends. The presence of Skylor and his wife was highly appreciated.

DSC05981

Thanks to everyone who rode with us tonight.

Note: a few of these pictures have been cross posted to a separate blog post at Dandyhorse Magazine.

Update:

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »