Archive for the ‘TBN’ Category

TBN ride to Lake Simcoe

Today was a Freedom Friday ride from King Cole Duck Farm to the southern shore of Lake Simcoe. Here we are getting organized at the start. Thanks to the club for arranging parking passes.

A pretty big crowd for a Friday.

Here we go, north on Warden.

Since when is a Freedom Friday ride this fast? (the lead group averaged over 30 kph all the way to the lake)

Brief pause as we jog left at Baseline Rd.

Off we go again with the lead group.

A break at the lake.

The next group arrives just a few minutes later. In actuality, we should have taken a break at the park just east of here, where there appeared to be washrooms.

The cobwebs are a nice accent to this decoration.

Very scenic up here.

Once we headed south it was apparent that we had had a tailwind all the way out. Here we are on McCowan waiting for a gap in cross traffic on Ravenshoe Rd.

On the home stretch.

The reward: two duck and one pork taco from the 6 ft apart food truck. Yum.

Moving average was just under 30 kph over the 73 km. Certainly one of my faster rides, and all due to the strong riders pulling at the front (you know who you are).

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Burlington to Niagara with TBN

Today was another ride from Burlington to Niagara, taking a route along Ridge Rd on the escarpment which was much nicer than biking on a service Rd along the QEW.

We are gathered at Burlington GO station, and ride leader Jimmy is briefing us. The ride was timed so that we could take the early train back from Niagara at 3:15 in the afternoon.

Off we go.

Through downtown Burlington.

Over the lift bridge.

Along the beach strip.

A brief pause as we exit Confederation Park.

Approaching the one big climb of the day up Dewitt Rd. You can see the faster group off in the distance.

Rest stop at the Camden General Store at about the halfway point.

Just a little further is the Balls Falls Conservation Area with a visitor centre and nice bathrooms. Just past this point, I am about to be dropped by Paul, Dale and Sharon.

Waiting for traffic in order to cross the Welland Canal.

Hey, a bike lane on McLeod. This is to try to make the overpass over the 403 Fort Erie a little safer.

I would rate this treatment at the off ramp as mediocre, but better than some other treatments that I’ve seen.

Seeing the mist as I approach the falls.

Took a minute to take a selfie.

Lunch with a flight of beers and fish and chips at Taps Brewhouse. The food was good, but this was about a week’s worth of fried food for me.

A nice 100K + ride to Niagara. Thanks to Jimmy for organizing, and to the other TBN members and guests for good company.

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Today was another Urban Roller ride with TBN. The route included a connection north of the airport from the Etobicoke Creek Trail to the Humber River Valley that I was not familiar with, so I decided to join. Here is David briefing us at the starting point, which was the north parking lot for Kipling station.

Off we go.

At West Mall and Bloor.

Regroup on the Etobicoke River Trail, by the airport.

Unfortunately, shortly afterwards, ride leader David got a flat.

Off we go again.

Never been this way before. From a distance, the gate looked like the finish line to a race.

Stopping once again, just on the other side of the temple.

Unfortunately, David developed another leak in his rear tire.

Although the philosophy of the urban roller rides was to keep the group together, it was looking like the ride would not finish until the late afternoon, so I elected to ride on with one other rider. Here I am taking the TBN approved short cut through a parking garage as part of their regular route that connects the gap in the Humber River Trail. Hopefully in a few more years, the city will manage to close this gap as promised.

Thanks to Don for good company during the second half of our ride.

I hope that David managed to avoid more punctures on the rest of the group ride. If you are interested in this route, it is posted here.

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I haven’t been on a Saturday morning ride with TBN as I am usually busy at that time. However, today I was not, and so I took advantage and rode down to High Park to join in. There was a pretty big crowd at the start.

Ride leader David gives us some safety reminders and notes on the route.

And off we go, headed towards the High Park Blvd exit.

We were told to stay under 20 kph because we had just seen a cyclist be pulled over and ticketed while riding past the parking lot.

On the West Toronto Railpath.

Regroup at Cariboo Ave.

Alleyway art.

Nice cargo bike.

Through the tunnel.

Regroup at the entrance to the Beltline trail.

On the Beltline. During this stretch Jess of Friends and Families for Safe Streets passed us twice while running.

I took this photo on the fly while we were crossing Yonge in order to submit to #Biketag.

Biking through Mt. Pleasant Cemetery.

The entrance to the Moore Park Ravine was still closed.

The roadies were directed along Moore Ave to Bayview, whereas the rest of us were lead a couple of blocks to another entrance to the ravine trail. This entrance had a steep gravel descent (no pictures while riding down!)

At this point I was a little ahead of the main group so I decided to take a roundabout route to get to the Brickworks. Unfortunately, somewhere on the trail I dropped my phone, and I didn’t realize it until I got to the Brickworks. (you see, I have this bad habit of taking photos during bike rides )

At that point I rode back downtown to my office so that I could log in on my computer and use Find My iPhone. It was still at the Brickworks, and when I called my phone, a very kind person picked up and said that she would drop my phone off at the cashier in the Brickworks store. About half an hour later, I was back at the Brickworks, and got my phone. Thank you anonymous person for handing in my phone! This is the only trace that I have of this incident. Perhaps the photo app was still on when you picked it up.

At any rate, on the way back home, I redecorated two ghost bikes. The first was for Carla Warrilow, on Spadina, just south of Dundas. Both bikes were recently reconditioned by Geoffrey Bercarich.

The second was for Adan Excell, at Avenue and Davenport.

Going back along Bloor, I met the Bromptoning Duo at the Big on Bloor festival. I also saw two TBN’ers that were on the same ride earlier today.

All in all, a nice ride with a potential disaster averted. Thanks once again to the kind person who recovered my phone.

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TBN ride to Oakville

A day with perfect bike riding weather. Here is ride leader Danny getting us organized at the start point, which was across from the Bedford Rd. entrance to the St. George subway.

Off we go. The TTC was running shuttle buses since Line 2 was down.

On University Ave. I’m usually better at keeping my figures out of the picture.

The regroup point at Windermere and The Queensway. The fast group decided to go on ahead, but we picked up one cyclist at this point.

Mike and I rode ahead of the slower group, and eventually caught the fast group who had taken a bit of a break at the Pt. Credit lighthouse.

Along Indian Rd.

Waiting for the light at Ford Dr.

The fast group arrives at the destination. We got there before Dar Nabati opened.

I decided to ride back immediately since I am not a fan of eating a meal during a long ride. I saw Danny leading the other group on my way back along Lakeshore. I cut out some of the planned detours on the ride to avoid the crowds in some of the parks; they get very busy on sunny summer Sundays. I did a lap of High Park to compensate in order to get to 100km, my longest ride of the year thus far.

Today’s route is available here.

Thanks to ride leader Danny, and to Adam for towing us west against a headwind.

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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.

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TBN ride from Aldershot

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.

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Station Eleven is a novel that has attracted some attention in the past several years since it is about life after a global pandemic (aside from the fact that it was one of my favourite books over the past several years). More to the point, it is about the need for life and art to continue in a radically changed world. It was also turned into an HBO mini series. Ironically, although the setting of the beginning of the series was switched from Toronto (as it was in the book) to Chicago, a great deal of the series was filmed in and around Toronto. One of the final scenes was filmed in Terra Cotta Conservation Area, and the article claimed that it was at a fork in the road actually labelled station 11. I thought that I would check this out during a slight detour on today’s TBN ride.

Almost 40 people registered for the ride: one of the first sunny and warm Sunday’s of the year.

The start point was Malala Yousafzai public school. I counted 11 portables, which is a sign of the rapid population growth in the area.

Here is Dave with his home-brew electric assist.

Ride leaders Dennis and Chris had this lovely S&S coupled tandem. Dennis was telling me about the issue of explaining to the gate agent that the contents of two suitcases was actually just one bicycle.

Off we go, briefly headed east on Mayfair. That’s Brampton to the right and Caledon to the left.

Heading north on Creditview.

Fairly early in the ride I turned off onto the Caledon rail trail towards Terra Cotta. The trail was in good shape, although there were some ruts that were probably caused by cyclists riding when the trail was still not dry.

Cheltenham Brickworks.

I turned north on Winston Churchill to get to the conservation area. Note that conservation areas do not charge an entrance fee for cyclists.

Very pretty.

Here is the intersection mentioned in the article.

Comparing it with the scene in the series, I think that the scene was actually shot elsewhere in the park.

Rode to mile 0 of the rail trail on my way to rejoining the official route.

22nd side road west of HWY 7 was torn up in preparation for construction.

The worst of it was this right turn. This was also the single point on the route that overlapped with the April 10 TBN ride.

Not surprisingly, there were many cyclists out today.

Some people decided to stop at Spirit Tree Cidery on Boston Mills Rd.

It was a nice route on a day with glorious weather.

In terms of Station 11, book vs series, both had their merits. I preferred the book, although the plot in the series was quite expanded, and there were some interesting additions. Shout out to Gregory Oh who gave Lori Petty piano lessons.

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another Wednesday with TBN

Today’s Wednesday Wheelie ride was out of Stouffville. A good turn out: 17 riders. Also about 4°C at the start, but it was going to warm up during the ride.

Off we go.

Lots of potholes on Uxbridge-Pickering Townline.

Sadly, within the first 5 km I got my second flat of the year. No idea what happened this time. However, I was glad to have a better hand pump compared to last time when I couldn’t even get enough pressure to seat the tire properly. Starting not to be a fan of these aerothan tubes.

Since I had driven an hour to get to the start, I didn’t want to abandon the ride, so I soldiered on towards Uxbridge. After about 15 km, I came upon fellow rider John who also had a flat. He had a spare tube, but blew a hole in it while inflating it with a CO2 cartridge. I told him that I would take a short cut to Uxbridge to see if I could catch the group to let them know what happened.

Just entering town, I see this interesting sight. Africycle is an organization that ships donated bikes to Malawi.

Here we are in Uxbridge, across the street from the Tin Restaurant. Norm was sent out to rescue John with a spare tube.

There are some charming buildings in the centre of Uxbridge. That’s a public library to the right, and an old school movie theatre next door.

Here’s the one post and ring I saw.

Uxbridge is promoting cycling, perhaps because it is at one end of the Uxbridge-Lindsay rail trail. Exploring that trail will have to wait for another day.

Norm said that he never found John. As it turns out, at the end of the ride John tells us about how another cyclist stopped and gave him a spare tube. Cyclist in the brown vest, thank you, wherever you are!

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Aldershot to Dundas with TBN

Today’s ride was similar to the one I did with the Wednesday Wheelies out of Waterdown, but this one started at Aldershot GO. Danny is briefing us on the ride.

Off we go.

The group split up almost immediately into two groups, and I was with Cesar and Danny.

First detour of the day: Old Guelph Rd north of York. I went to check it to see if it was passible, but it was not.

Second closure. Joanne had warned us of this one on Harvest Rd

She said something about crossing on a board, but this looked scary.

Luckily, Cesar found this off to the right.

Thanks Cesar for the company today. At this point, we had left Danny behind.

Riding down the railpath towards Dundas.

A brief cafe stop in Dundas. The map had suggested the Depot Cafe, but it is beyond me why TBN doesn’t stop at Cafe Domestique which is run by a cyclist, and has a cycling theme. One point is that the menu is a bit limited, but the cookie and croque monsieur that I had was tasty.

They have a patio at the back where it is easy to keep an eye on your bike.

Thanks to Danny for organizing the ride, and to Cesar for good company. It was his first ride on his new road bike.

Joanne has posted some pictures of the other group here.

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