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Archive for the ‘TBN’ Category

One more TBN ride for the year

With the weather forecast for today being very promising, Terry Walsh organized a Program X ride. Keeping in mind that there was a strong wind out of the southwest, he planned a route starting from the West Harbour GO station in Hamilton to Clarkson GO, so that most of the ride would be with a tailwind.

I boarded at Mimico.

Here we are at West Harbour GO.

Terry leads us up Bay St.

The section through the centre of downtown has a protected bidirectional lane.

Starting up the escarpment on the rail trail.

Nice weather. Going up the escarpment it became apparent that most of the group would be at an Urban Roller pace, so I rode ahead.

The route back west on the mountain was along Limeridge. It used to be a continuous street, but after the Linc was built, they cut Limeridge up into sections. Here is the interruption at Upper Gage, with bike and pedestrian through traffic allowed.

Paying my respects at the Brian Woods ghost bike at Upper Wentworth.

One issue with Limeridge for cyclists is that you have to cross some pretty nasty interchanges. Here you see that Jimmy and Carol are crossing with a green light at the crosswalk, but there is no protection or signage on the high speed on ramp in the foreground.

All good.

I took a one block detour to take a picture of the house where I grew up. That tree in the front yard was a sapling when we bought the house. It is roughly the same age as my youngest brother (i.e. a little over 50 years old)

On the Keddy.

On Hunter St. Jimmy commented that the route should be called Tour de Hamilton.

Once we hit York Blvd, I took advantage of the strong tailwind, and went off the front. Just a few more pictures from the rest of the ride.

The route back avoided Lakeshore Drive, and took me through parts of Burlington and Oakville that I had never seen. Here is a trail in Burlington.

Just past Brant St is the start of the Centennial Trail.

This is what passes for a multiuser trail along Rebecca. Oakville, you can do better.

After crossing Winston Churchill, the route takes me on the Nine Creek Trail.

This branch off to the south leaves to a bunch of ramps for jump bikes, similar to the Sunnyside bike park.

It was nice to be on a peaceful trail after the short bit of nasty busy traffic on Winston Churchill.

The official route ended at Clarkson GO, after about 70 km, but I decided I might as well ride all the way home. Here I am almost there.

102 km for the day. I didn’t think that I’d be able to get in another long ride this season. I could count this one as my birthday ride.

Thanks to Terry for organizing, and planning a very interesting route. Thanks also to Jimmy and Carol for company. I hope everyone else had a good time.

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All of the weekly ride programs that TBN runs have wound up for the year. However, it was still possible to post rides under program X, and there was one such ride today out of Trafalgar Sport Park in Stewarttown. Given that the forecast is for snow this coming week, more than likely this was the last TBN ride for the year.

There were ten riders today. Rick was our ride leader.

One of the other riders took this picture so that I could appear. The starting temp was 8°C with not a huge amount of wind, so my knickers were just fine.

Off we go.

Cars were waiting for a freight train to pass, but by the time we got to the crossing it was no longer blocked.

Today’s route was 75 km, but there was a possible short cut to make it 68 km. Here I am taking the short cut by continuing straight on 15 Side Rd, but everyone else turned left on Fourth Line.

This route covered some ground that was new to me. It went through Eden Mills, and then Rockwood. I was informed that bikes can’t enter the Rockwood Conservation Area for free, so I elected to have a brief rest stop at the Eramosa Cafe. No butter tarts were in evidence, but I enjoyed this oatmeal raisin cookie.

One of the charming things about Rockwood was these very polite speed sensor signs. It didn’t come out in this picture, but it is flashing “thank you” since I was well under the speed limit.

Thanks to Rick for organizing today’s ride, and everyone else for good company at the start, and the first 6 km of the ride. Hope that you all stayed warm, dry and safe. See you on the roads next year.


Update: this just in from Dave Mader

Hi Rick and Jun,

How about an article in the TBN newsletter about today’s ride.

  • The ominous weather
  • The 10 hardy souls
  • The bike-eating railway crossing

And then, with 13 km left to go, my rear derailleur got jammed into the spokes. Kevin was with me. A pickup driver stopped to see if we needed help. 

Well yes, My rear wheel was so jammed it had jumped out of the rear fork drops.

The driver was Sergio. He took me and my bike back to Georgetown. He talked the whole time about looking after each other, especially in the countryside. So here is one pickup driver who did a kindness for a cyclist.

Cheers,

Dave

Further update: I hear that Sandra had double pinch flats at a railway crossing on Side Road 10, on the section that was cut off by the short cut. This would be the spot.

and a note has been added to the route map.

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Today was a ride from Caledon East to the Forks of the Credit, with fall colours pretty much at their peak. The starting point was the Caledon East community centre.

And we’re off. Seven of us today.

Unfortunately Bora got a pinch flat on a pot hole after only about 3 km.

Climbing Mountainview Rd.

Just before the turn off on Escarpment Side Rd.

Looking at the Toronto skyline in the distance from Horseshoe Hill Rd.

Now on the Caledon rail trail, headed towards Inglewood.

Climbing back out of Inglewood.

Heading towards Forks of the Credit Rd.

Lots of areas coned off to forbid parking.

Very pretty.

The hairpin.

Still climbing.

Belfountain.

A brief stop here before heading back down.

An occasional bit of sun really made the colours pop.

Back on the rail trail after a stretch on Baseline Rd. For the last 20 km or so, Nancy and I rode together. Also perfect weather for a wool jersey.

First time at Four Corners Bakery without a huge line. I have to say that I preferred the butter tart I had this past weekend in Belwood, but any butter tart tastes pretty good post ride.

At the end of the ride, Nancy was informed that Bora had taken a spill but was with the rest of the group and he was able to complete the ride. I hope that he is OK.

Thanks to Bran for organizing today’s ride, and to everyone for good company.

The actual route deviated from the original plan due to construction and was shortened to 52K from the original 69K.

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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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