Archive for the ‘TBN’ Category

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.


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


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


We are all paying close attention.


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


Some blurry action photos with my phone.




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 »

Today was the most rain free day of a three day weekend, and so I planned to ride the holiday tourist ride out to Streetsville with TBN. However, it turns out that I was the only one that showed up. Many riders that might have shown up were probably on the Niagara ride that was rescheduled for today. Ride leader Joey was good enough to come out to the start, but he has been having issues with his knee, and so was unable to ride. I decided to ride it solo as it was a route that I had done a couple of times. Going solo allowed me some time to take pictures at my leisure.

The ghost bike at Colborne Lodge and Lakeshore for Jonas Mitchell has been extensively decorated.


I’ve never noticed this mural at Islington and Lakeshore before.


Shout out to Peter Wen: this is first time I’ve used the telehex on a ride: tightening up a loose bottle cage.


On Mississauga Rd, a bike lane starts just before the underpass crossing the QEW. Just north of this point these wayfinding signs are new.


Unfortuately, on this section just short of the connection to N. Service Rd, the sign is set back so far from the road that it is hard to read. These signs petered out north of UTM.

Just shy of UTM, a display of fall colours. They will be even better next weekend. Here’s hoping for sunny weather.


On the north side of the intersection with Dundas, I see this unusual treatment of the bike lane. It seemed to work OK, but there wasn’t much traffic today.


Downtown Streetsville. Never too cold for a little ice cream.


Heading back east on Bristol Rd, I see that much of it has a bike lane along its length, for which they appear to have removed the on street parking on the north side. While this is much appreciated, I wish that the bike lane didn’t devolve to sharrows at major intersections like this one at Huronontario.


The TBN route had me going south on Orbitor Dr into Centennial Park, but I elected to turn east on this new bi directional bike lane / multiuse trail on the north side of Eglinton. There are no markings at all on it, but it is plenty wide.


OK there are a few markings near intersections.


The path ends at Rathburn, but the intersection markings indicate that I should cross to the south side.


Here I’m on the south east corner, looking east, and I see the familiar section of bike trail that goes under the 427.


My impression is that the bike infra is getting a bit better in Mississauga, but there are still many gaps in the network, and also bike lanes starting and stopping at ward boundaries as well.

Overall, a nice ride that might just offset some of the calories that were consumed yesterday.




Read Full Post »

Lakefront ride to Whitby with TBN

Today’s TBN Urban Roller ride started at the Rouge Hill GO station, and went out to Whitby along the Waterfront Trail. I wanted to do this as it would link up two earlier rides that I did: one from Rouge Hill to downtown, and the other a ghost bike ride in Oshawa. My plan was to ride out with the main group, and then to go just a little further east to Oshawa, backtracking in time to meet up again with the main group at their lunch spot in Whitby.

Here we are at the Rouge Hill GO station; a pretty big crowd.


Adam showing off his newly acquired ride. Oh no, he will be even faster now.


Patsy is our ride leader today.


and we’re off. A beautiful day for riding with plenty of sun, cool temps, and little or no wind.


The pedestrian bridge crossing the Rouge River.


Approaching the Pickering nuclear power plant.


On the road that skirts the plant.



The first rest stop was in Rotary Park in Ajax. From this point I decided to ride on ahead as I was planning to go a little further east than the main group.


There was also a charity walk along this section of trail.


This section of the trail looked newly installed, crossing Lynde Creek.


After making a round trip to the Oshawa GO station, I linked up again with the main group at the lunch stop.


I decided to ride on to the Ajax GO station to catch a train back as I had an afternoon appointment downtown, Ajax called itself a bike friendly community, but I saw little evidence of that, riding along Victoria St. W.

Waiting for the train…. a perfect day for a wool jersey.


Now the places that I’ve marked on Veloviewer are linked up all the way out to Oshawa.

Screen Shot 2018-09-23 at 4.41.31 PM

Thanks to TBN for organizing the ride. The sections of the Waterfront trail that we rode along were very scenic on a day like today. Nice way to kick start the fall.



Read Full Post »

The Big Loop is an 83 km route put together by TBN that goes up the Humber River trail from Etienne Brule, across the top paralleling the Finch Hydro corridor, and then down past Don Mills and into the Don River trail system.


It was scheduled for late July, but it was cancelled by rain. I elected to load the route to my GPS to do it on my own, but noticing that today’s regularly scheduled Saturday morning ride went up to Humber College, I decided to ride along with them, and then split off at the appropriate point. Here is the crowd gathered for the ride. Chris is in the centre making announcements.


Looking back at riders crossing the Humber, all walking their bikes like good citizens.


After a brief stop at James Gardens, we have to take our first detour on Edenbridge out of the park because of continuing construction on the trail near Scarlett Rd.


Further north, we take the usual route through a few blocks of Weston to traverse a gap in the trail. We have to stay alert on the bit where we go through a parking garage.


There is a sign indicating construction on the trail past Albion Rd. The sign said that construction was due to be complete July 31, but on the other hand, the sign was still there so we elect to take the detour.


Definitely appreciated safety in numbers along Albion.

IMG_9406The sections of the Humber River tail past Albion are very peaceful and scenic.


At some point approaching Humber College, I had expected to turn off from the main group, but Chris informed me that due to the detour, we had bypassed the turn. I went with the main group to Humber to make a brief stop, and then I headed east to try to hook up with my original route. The difficultly was that I had erased the maps on my GPS, so it was not easy to navigate to the route. I decided to bike east along Finch until somewhere in the vicinity of York University. It was not as bad as I had feared due to relatively light traffic. There was even this pseudo bike lane in places.


However, after the 400 overpass I was only too glad to get on the Finch hydro corridor trail (FHCT), at York Gate Blvd.


It also turns out to have been a good move not to take the original route here as Adam had pointed out that the Rogers Cup was happening at York this weekend.

After a very short distance, I was not pleased to see no crossing at Jane St.


So OK, I have to go a little south to cross.


Past Sentinel Rd, I was happy to see this large area of community gardens, which made up for the fact that the trail was diverted to what was essentially a sidewalk for this stretch.


A seeming dead end at Keele St, with no signage.


If I had the cue sheet, I would have known to look to the right to see that the trail continues a little further south. The building on the right margin of this photo is the new Finch West subway station.


This map shows that you have to make a few twists and turns to stay on the trail, which eventually straightens out, paralleling the York U. busway on the north side.


This picture shows the trail and busway crossing tracks.


The line of high buildings in the distance is Yonge St., but coming upon Dufferin St, I realize that they are still some distance off.


Past G Ross Lord Park, the route takes me along Drewry Ave that becomes Cummer Ave, which was peaceful and uneventful, although the Ride with GPS route urged me to turn left at Bayview, which was not necessary.

At the end of the section on Cummer, the route turns south and then hooks up with the FHCT again. This downhill section that zigzags to the junction with the Don River trail was the most fun part of the whole ride.


Going down the Don River trail was uneventful until it seems to end at the intersection of Leslie and Sheppard. Here you have to cross the intersection to the south east corner to find the continuation.


This is what the trail entrance looks like.


The trail ends again at Duncan Mill Rd, and here I met a group of lost seeming cyclists. There was a sign pointing to the right that said that the Don River trail was 2.4 km away, but again, not enough signage. It turns out that the 2.4 km involves a couple of turns on city streets before you end up back on the trail.


The trail ends again, just short of York Mills, and the route map shows this.


There was a bike lane westbound on this short section of York Mills, but there was too much traffic to take a picture. Cross the street at the light at Scarsdale, effectively making a left turn, and then look for a doubling back of the trail under the bridge.


The trail then turns south and goes along a disused rail corridor. It is a straighter, more peaceful version of the West Toronto Railpath.


Signalized crossing at Eglinton. It almost felt like I was in Vancouver for a moment. (except for the exceedingly long response time to a button push)


The other thing I liked about this section was that at intersections with other trails, there was this round about like feature, with embedded sections of train track as a decorative element.


Sadly, as with most bike infrastructure in TO, this cannot last, and the trail ends abruptly, and you have to make a sharp right turn on a short section of gravel that then leads to this narrow section that leads to Leslie St.



The short section of Leslie leading to Willett Creek park was the scariest part of the whole ride, no thanks to the many drivers that whizzed by less than a meter from my handlebars. Bastards.

From Willett Creek, the Don Trail is probably more familiar to many of you so I didn’t take many pictures. Here are the elephants.


And the stop with the gargoyles just north of Bloor, where I’ve never bothered to stop before. It was good to be riding the Tamarack. Much as people rave about Bromptons, I do find it easier to ride longer distances on a standard bike.


Thanks to TBN for organizing the first part of my ride, and for plotting out this nice route.

Note: for those not in TBN that want more information about the route, it is available here, at least for the moment.



Read Full Post »

This was Canada Day weekend, and I took the opportunity to pile on some mileage in preparation for STP. Three TBN rides in a weekend, which was a record for me. It was also a weekend of extreme heat.

First up: the Saturday morning ┬áride from High Park, up to the belt line, and then across and down to the Brickworks, and back along the lakefront. There was quite a large turnout.┬áCan you guess which bike I’m riding?


and we’re off.


Along the rail path.


The route up to the belt line was a bit different from what I normally do, and now I know about this tunnel under the railway tracks.


Near the western end of the Beltline trail.


I elected not to take a break at the brickworks since I had to get home for another event. Note that in deference to the heat, I did not wear a wool jersey the entire weekend.


Sunday: a long tourist ride to celebrate Canada Day. The forecast was for temps up to 37┬░C, but cooler by the lake. Four of us showed up at the start. What do they say about mad dogs and Englishmen?


Although the posted plan was either a 65 or 125 km ride, Bob and Jim said that they would go as far as Port Credit and then perhaps turn back. Joey and I said we would decide what to do at the branch point between the two rides.

Apparently I didn’t get the memo about matching jerseys.

IMG_9070Instead I elected to be patriotic.


At Port Credit, we run into a parade.


At the Port Credit Starbucks, we run into several other TBNer’s.


At this point, I asked Joey if it was OK to go to Burlington, and then I’d turn back to stay in the cooler temps by the lake. I wanted to get in 125 km, which would be my longest pre-STP ride.

Here we pay our respects to a ghost bike at Lakeshore and Third Line.


At the McDonalds at King and Plains Road. Joey is determined to climb the escarpment and finish the posted 125 km ride. I’m a wimp, and I’m going to hug the lake on the way back.


I was relatively pleased with the ride. First time in my memory that I drank five water bottles during a single outing.

Holiday tourist ride to Unionville: perhaps a few less people than would normally show up because of the oppressive heat. Forecast is for rain in the afternoon.


Here we go.


We’re going at a pretty good clip, but note that this was with a decent tailwind.


Here’s the decision point between 60 and 75 km. I think that all of us elected to do the shortest ride. Even Joey.


On the way back down Kennedy, I make a slight detour at Elgin Mills to pay my respects at the ghost bike we installed last Sunday.


Lunch at Jake’s on Main.


Jim from Sacramento joined us for part of his tour of North America. He was riding a very sweet fillet brazed Steve Rex gravel grinder. He said that he had several bikes from this builder.


Not a minute after I took the above picture, the rains descended.


However, it cleared up after a little while, and the ride back was dry and somewhat cooler.

My mileage for the weekend was 40 + 125 + 60 km, with the 40 and 60 on the Brompton.

Thanks to my fellow TBN’ers for a very pleasant weekend of riding.





Read Full Post »

Older Posts »