Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘TBN’ Category

TBN: Ancaster Ascension

Today was another enjoyable ride with TBN, this time starting in Waterdown. Here are seven of us at the start.

The consensus was that we would do the medium length ride, but cutting out the side trip to the Tim’s in Ancaster and opting for a stop in Dundas instead. I only took a cursory look at the map, and I assumed that since we would descend on the Brantford-Hamilton rail trail from Jerseyville and then do Clara’s Climb, that the rest of the ride would be more or less flat. As soon as we left town and rode down Snake Rd, I knew that I was wrong.

The section of the route along Patterson and Valley Rd was actually a lot of fun, winding roads and rollers as we worked our way along the mountain brow, more or less. We paused here on Patterson Rd where some local citizens were clearing a downed tree.

The Lynden General Store, which had the smallest Beer Store/LCBO outlet I had ever seen.

At the rail trail off of Jerseyville Rd.

A stop at the station while Dave fills us in on some railway history.

Our last stop in Dundas just before Clara’s Climb. Dave knows several of the restaurants in the area. Regrettably, the cafe that he suggested had sold out of butter tarts.

All in all a very pleasant ride with good company. The wind came up in the afternoon, but it was a tailwind for once.

Thanks to Rick for organizing the ride.

Read Full Post »

Today was my first ride with the Wednesday Wheelie group. Sadly, given the fact that their rides are on Wednesday mornings, and that the new academic year approaches, this will probably be my last with them for this year as well. I did have a great time.

Here is ride leader Dave briefing everyone. He mentioned that there are four John’s on the ride. He also said that I’ll be writing a blog post about the ride, so here it is.

It was a brilliantly sunny day with thankfully cooler temperatures and little humidity. There were two routes on offer: 69K and 81K. I elected to do a slightly shortened version of the longer route for reasons that will become clear later on.

Off we go.

The 81K group started distancing the other group, and at some point Ed organized the lead group into a double pace line.

As was not unusual, I was dropped by the lead group after about 30K, but I thoroughly enjoyed riding and chatting with Paul who had a beautiful Ti True North custom touring bike with S&S couplers and a Rohloff hub.

Here is where I planned to stray from the posted route. The first northbound road west of Airport Rd was gravel and looked interesting on Google Maps. Note that the street view track had a gap in it just south of Hockley Rd.

The view where the southern track ended didn’t look too bad.

Paul was up for some gravel riding as well so he agreed to turn as well. “No exit”

Beautiful gravel riding.

Here is where the road started to deteriorate. It became basically a steep downhill Jeep track, and it didn’t help that recent rains had carved a lot of trenches.

Nevertheless it was ridable for the most part. Paul did extremely well on much narrower tires.

Eventually we reached Hockley Rd, and turned right, thereby trimming about 5K from the long route. He went ahead while I paused to take this picture to complete my series of “Schitt’s Creek” riding photos.

Here is the common rest stop at the Hockley General Store, with that all important LCBO component. The next time I’ll stop to check it out.

However, on this day, just as I rode up a couple of riders from the 69K were leaving, so I bid adieu to Paul and decided to ride on.

Left to right: Connie, Pat, John and Nancy

Pretty much ideal riding conditions.

A roadside memorial at a level crossing.

Here we are at the end. Thanks to Nancy for leading us home.

Thanks everyone for a wonderful morning of riding. I’m going to have to make a point of freeing up more Wednesday mornings next summer so that I can join in on the fun.

Read Full Post »

Today was my first group ride with TBN since the beginning of the pandemic. The official starting point was downtown, but there was a pickup point at Queensway and Windermere. Here is the first group to arrive at the pickup point. That’s ride leader Danny on the right.

A few minutes later, most of the rest of the group arrives. We are all still getting used to chatting face to face. Note that we are all at least the required 2m apart.

and we’re off, headed to Oakville today.

Along Atwater.

Threading through a road closure just off of Mississauga Rd.

We’ve arrived at the lunch stop. A lot of cyclists had the same idea.

I elected not to stop, and to ride on. The route went to the mouth of Sixteen Mile Creek before doubling back along Lakeshore. Thanks to the anonymous person who took this photo for me on the pier.

On the way back, all of the Lakeshore Parks were crowded but it was nice to see so many families out enjoying themselves.

It was great to see familiar faces, along with meeting many new TBN members for the first time. However, it’s going to take some time for me to get used to being in a group of people again.

This evening, Lucy and I decided to join ManDem CC for another one of their Sunday night rides. Unfortunately, the city has decided that for the rest of July, the Lakeshore West closure for ActiveTO will be truncated at British Columbia Dr, meaning that it is closed basically only the length of the CNE grounds.

Lucy does not approve.

Waiting for the crowd to gather at the starting point, the Bentway.

Chris tells us that we will leave in five minutes.

Off we go.

Turning left on Lakeshore.

At a certain point, the ride broke up into several groups that were taking different routes. The one that I followed decided to continue on Lakeshore for a while which was not ideal from a safety standpoint.

Then we transitioned to Queens Quay which was very crowded.

Lucy and I started falling behind, partially because the drivetrain on the Haul a Day has issues and I can only use the lowest three gears. Here we are trailing some riders on Bayview.

Hey, we made it to the Evergreen Brickworks!

Loads of people arriving.

A great way to spend a Sunday riding with two very different groups of cyclists.

The Toronto Bicycling Network has recreational rides at all levels. Today was a Tourist ride, which is the second fastest type, with a moving average speed of 24-32 kph. For the duration of the pandemic, you must register in advance for any of the rides. TBN also has a route library which is a good resource for Toronto area cyclists.

ManDem CC has no formal structure. They announce their weekend rides on Instagram. Follow them if you want to be in the loop.

Read Full Post »

Today was the last TBN tourist ride of the season. Who knew that we would have decent riding weather this late in the year? Eight hardy souls showed up at the start.

Danny Harvey has been the organizer of the Tourist B rides all year. Thanks Danny!

And we’re off, headed to King City and beyond.

Waiting for the light at Center St.

Another look at the intersection improvements at Center and Dufferin. These curb indents for left turning cyclists is an interesting idea, perhaps safer than the design at Bloor and High Park?

This sign across the intersection explains how to use them.

The last time I was up here, I noted that the raised bike lane abruptly ends without a ramp. (picture taken this August)

This is their solution:

As it turns out, this ride was a carbon copy of a ride back at the end of August, except that we turned back short of Kettleby. Here is the lead group at King Vaughan and Keele. Sam really wants to make sure I see him.

We took a detour on the way back to pay our respects at the Daniel Bertini ghost bike, just north of 16th sideroad on Keele.

Every opportunity to ride in good weather this late in the year is a blessing. Even better in the company of fellow cyclists. Thanks TBN, and here’s to hoping that we have lots of good riding in 2021.

Read Full Post »

Today was my first group ride with TBN since COVID. Since the route passed close to the Daniel Bertini ghost bike, I also took the opportunity to visit it along the way.

The club re started their riding programs about a month ago, and they have instituted new rules with only pre registered members being allow to go. This presumably helps with contact tracing.

Here are some of us gathered by Finch station on a sunny but windy morning.

Off we go.

This new bike lane along Centre St was a nice surprise. It wasn’t here last year.

There are also some improvements at the intersection with Dufferin.

The bike lanes end at Hwy 7.

Here’s another look at the end of the bike lane. Yes that is a hard curb, rather than a ramp down to the roadway.

Beautiful downtown Snowball provides the essentials for life in Canada.

By this time, I had been dropped by the lead group. The ride north was a bit of a slog since it was mostly uphill, and against a strong headwind. It was a relief to turn back south after Kettleby. On the way back I took a bit of a detour down Keele to see the ghost bike.

There have been some flowers and decorations left on the ghost bike since it was installed, which was nice to see.

I replaced the original hand lettered sign on the bike. Thanks to Yvonne for providing the new sign.

Another short bit of bike lane, on the south side of McNaughton between Jane and Major Mac. I wasn’t in love with this one as it brings bikes very close to cars entering and exiting the shopping center at Major Mac.

Here’s another look at the bike lanes along Centre St.

The sidewalk is separated from the bike lane by a row of concrete planters and a low curb as well. It’s nice to see what kind of infrastructure can be built when there is plenty of road width to play with.

Thanks to Danny Harvey for organizing this Tourist B ride. Sorry we didn’t get a chance to chat this time.

Read Full Post »

Today was the last scheduled Saturday morning ride with TBN. I was a bit late getting started so I figured I would ride towards the start point, riding the first part of the route backwards until I met the group. Sure enough, I met them on the MGT just by Cherry Beach. A big group today, perhaps more than 30 cyclists!

Not the safest way to cross Lakeshore at Cherry St.

I think this is Tony blocking my view of the other riders ahead of us on the Lower Don Trail.

Turning left at the elephants to head towards Sunnybrook.

If I wasn’t shooting straight into the sun, you’d be able to see the fall colours.

Bathroom and snack break at Sunnybrook.

The group heads off again.

I split off from the main group to head downtown via Leaside, Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, and then down through Forest Hill towards U of T. Here is the climb out of the valley.

Made it to the top, just behind Toronto Rehab.

A beautiful display in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, with a fiery red Japanese maple.

Made a side trip to check out the new bicycle crossing at the top of Poplar Plains, which is the oldest bike lane in Toronto. As you approach St. Clair, you are directed to the left.

This sign would be more useful on the left side of the road, but perhaps it predates the intersection improvement?

Look, an actual button that is placed for the convenience of cyclists! The other one I know of that is not on an off road bike path is on Kilbarry at Oriole Parkway, but perhaps there are others. Note the bicycle crossing lights and the cut on the elevated curb where the streetcar runs.

Crossing this intersection must have been deeply unpleasant before these changes. Update: here is a Google street view shot from May 2019. The blue sign predates the revisions to the intersection.

Now a few pictures from the bike shop. The human powered submarine project is still ongoing.

Calvin repairing the biggest scratch on the fairing for TITAN.

Some of our past projects (plus TITAN), along with a couple of vehicles built by supermileage.

The team discusses if it is possible to build a vehicle that would be competitive at ASME while being decently fast at Battle Mountain. My tentative conclusion: high degree of difficulty.

Read Full Post »

Just a few pictures from this morning’s TBN Urban roller ride. On the agenda: High Park start, up to the Beltline, and then across to Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, down to the Brickworkds, and then alone the lakeshore to the start. Ride leader David took the trouble to incorporate the West Toronto Railpath into the first part of the route.

Through the tunnel at the end of Dunhaven Dr, one of the hidden germs in this part of town.

Riding up from Eglinton after a regroup.

Another regroup at the point where we enter the Beltline trail.

This is the newest bit of the Beltline trail that not goes all the way to Marlee Ave.

Unfortunately, it dead ends at Marlee, and we are a fraction of a block south of the intersection with Roselawn, leading to an awkward crossing.

On the belt line; a little gravel grinding in the heart of the city.

Mt. Pleasant Cemetery.

Down the Mud Creek trail.

At this point, I split off from the main group that was going to stop at the Brickworks for a lunch break. Thanks to TBN and to Dave, our ride leader for the day.

Read Full Post »

Today was the fourth year in a row that I volunteered as a ride ambassador at the Ride for Heart. This time, good friend Tim came along. Note: since Tim is also a bit of a bike shutter bug, some of the pictures to follow were taken by him (especially the ones of my riding).

First repair of the day: an adjustment on a fellow volunteer’s bike.

Big thumbs up at the start gate.

Approaching the first on the road repair of the day: these kids reluctantly received some help with a jammed chain.

photo: T. Potter

Tire underinflation: by far the most common thing we saw all morning.

Rear brake cabling problem.

More inflating of tires. You’ll notice that Tim is going all the work.

This couple had a jammed chain. Their bike was borrowed from a neighbour, a beautiful Claude Butler tandem that was older that they were.

They got a flat further along the ride, but towards the end of the ride, we saw them all smiles, with a new rear tire.

Glad to get this traffic update…….

At the York Mills turn around.

Back down the hill, and under the Prince Edward Viaduct.

Leading up to the last climb of the day.

Raising seats for two girls that were struggling a bit on the climb.

Biking by the undeveloped lands by the mouth of the Don. At this point we’ve decided to remove our ambassador shirts so that we can show off our wool jerseys.

Thanks to Jeff at Palo Alto bikes for exemplary customer service: he took the trouble to accept a phone order for this special PA Bikes wool jersey. Not only that, but he sent it by USPS rather than UPS as per my preference. I get to stir up a few memories of my grad school days when I wear it.

photo: T. Potter

Never get tired of seeing this skyline from this vantage point.

These two bike dads were smart enough to have a bail out option.

The final stretch along the Gardiner to the S. Kingsway exit.

Overall, no flat tires this time, but lots of pumping up tires and seat adjustments. There seemed to be fewer mechanicals this year. At one point, five of us white shirted volunteers converged on a single cyclist to see if they needed help.

Thanks to for TBN for giving us the opportunity to help out. Thanks also to Tim for good company, and doing 90% of the work this year.

Read Full Post »

Saturday was the kickoff event for the Toronto Bicycling Network. It was at the lakefront this year as Etienne Brule Park was still not completely cleaned up after the flooding this past winter.

Getting lined up to go. As per usual, there were a variety of rides at different speeds and distances. I elected to go with the shorter of the two tourist rides at about 62 km. Many more riders went with the faster paced 73 km ride.

Ride leader Dave leads us across the Humber.

After a while, our group started sorting itself into several bunches. I guess I was with the fast, slow group. We caught the 73 km group at the end of their break at Streetsville.

Off go the fast group.

Our route took us past the sakura at Centennial Park. Much more low key than High Park!

After the ride, I helped out a bit at the Ward4Bikes table at Spring into Parkdale.

I’m going to have to start ramping up the mileage to get into shape for the TBN TNTO ride to Niagara Falls in June. Roughly 100 miles for two consecutive days. Unfortunately, it seems that TBN is not running too many tourist level rides this summer. There will be a meeting this coming Thursday, May 16 (6pm at Balzacs in the Toronto Reference Library) to see if this issue can be addressed.

Read Full Post »

Fun on the track with TBN

Today, TBN organized a group session at the Mattamy National Cycling Centre. In short, it was a blast.

Here are some of us getting fitted to the rental track bikes.

IMG_9872

The “before” picture, provided by Ian Rankin from the TBN FB page.

44075872_10155876384121769_4386812938241966080_n

We were split into two groups. Our instructor was Roy.

IMG_9873

We are all paying close attention.

IMG_9876

With all the shoulder checking that we’re supposed to do, I should have brought two helmet mirrors 😉

IMG_9877

Some blurry action photos with my phone.

IMG_9878

IMG_9880

IMG_9882

In the interest of survival, I didn’t do my usual trick of taking phone pictures while riding.

Thanks to TBN for organizing this experience. I just wish the track was a bit closer to town.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »