All posts by Joe T.

Joe started BikingToronto along with designing BikingToronto's popular I Bike T.O. logo (available on shirts and buttons) in January 2006. He lives in the Danforth East area and also blogs on his Joe Bikes blog.

How to Join Toronto’s Group Commute and GTA Bike to Work Events on Monday, May 31, 2010

(Cross-posted from our BikeMonth blog – originally posted by Duncan)

Are you thinking of trying out biking to work but not sure how (or a little afraid?) to start?  We have GREAT news for you… next week has a ton of Bike To Work events all around Toronto and the GTA… so you can try it out with a big group of people and get access to tons of great resources:

BikeWeek2007-Danforth 009

On Monday, May 31st, 2010, Bike Month in Toronto kicks off with the annual Toronto Group Commute.

The city’s web site has an interactive Google map and chart showing you the start points nearest you (Click on the map for the interactive version):

Screen shot 2010-05-28 at 10.51.56 AM

City of Toronto Group Commute Start PointsAnd of course, you don’t need to live and work downtown Toronto to participate. SmartCommute.ca has put together a summary of all Bike to Work Day activities in the GTA and beyond (I’ve added links to Google maps of locations listed below):

TORONTO

York University: Bike to York Day
Time: 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Location: York University Common (near the fountain)
York University, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, ON M3J 1P3
Contacts: Keagan Gartz, 416-650-8205
Photo Opportunity: On-site bike mechanic from Urbane Cyclist will be performing free tune-ups for cyclists. Crimestoppers will also be in attendance, registering bikes with the Toronto Police Department.

Description: The beginning of Bike month kicks off at York with Bike to York Day on Monday, May 31st! There will be a Smart Commute tent by the fountain in the York University Common (Keele Campus) from 10:00am-3:00pm. Participants can get a free bike tune-up, register their bikes with Crimestoppers, learn about the Finch Hydro Corridor Multi-use Path, or just grab some free food, listen to some tunes & take a free cycling map.

DURHAM REGION

Whitby: Bike to Work Day
Time: 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm
Location: Durham Region Headquarters building
West entrance bike rack area
605 Rossland Rd. E. Whitby, On L1N 6A3
Contacts: Sandra McEleney, 905 668 7711 ext. 2550
Photo Opportunity: 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm (see above contact on site)
More information: www.smartcommutedurham.ca/events

Description: Regional headquarters will have two open-sided marquee tents available for bike safety instructional sessions by Durham Police, a demo of the new bike racks on a DRT bus and a helmet fitting/info session by a location retailer. To increase the opportunity of cyclists using the bike racks, Smart Commute Durham members who pre-register will receive a return Durham Region Transit bus ticket for the day of the event. Deadline for registering for the free-DRT return ticket is Tuesday, May 25. Employer member companies may call 905 668 7711 ext. 2550 for details.

Oshawa: Bike to Work Week Event
Time: Tuesday, June 1, 12:00 to 1:30 p.m.
Location: City of Oshawa, 50 Centre St. S. Oshawa, L1N 3Z7
Contacts: Dewan Karim, 905 436-5636
Photo Opportunity: (see contact above – on site.)
More information: 905-436-5636

Description: The City of Oshawa is planning several bike rides throughout the week to celebrate Bike to Work Day and showcase its many trail routes. Contact service@oshawa.ca for further details.

Ajax: GO Station Cyclist Appreciation
Time: 7:00 am to 9:00 am
Location: Ajax GO Station, 100 Westney Road South, Ajax
More information: www.smartcommute.ca

Description: Smart Commute and GO Transit will be greeting cyclists who ride to the Ajax GO station and offering refreshments at this cyclist appreciation event.

YORK REGION

Markham/Richmond Hill:

Smart Commute 404-7’s Third Annual Bike-to-Work Day
Time: 7:30 am to 9:30 am
Location: MMM Group World Headquarters [START]
100 Commerce Valley Drive West
Thornhill, ON, L3T 0A1

HDR|iTRANS [MID-POINT]
100 York Boulevard, Suite 300
Richmond Hill, ON L4B 1J8

Contact: Basil Marcello, 416-557-2096
Photo Opportunity: Mayor and/or representatives from Markham and Richmond Hill council (7:30 am to 8:00 am)
More information: www.smartcommute404-7.ca

Description: Join this 6km York Region Police escorted ride. Event includes FREE continental breakfast, FREE bike tune-up (first come first served), FREE giveaways, and a chance to win great prizes including a brand new bike! Open to employees of Markham or Richmond Hill businesses only.

Newmarket: Fourth Annual Bike to Work Day
Time: 8:00 am to 9:00 am
Location: Smart Commute Central York
Newmarket Chamber of Commerce
470 Davis Drive, Newmarket ON, L3Y 2P3
Contacts: Rachelle Waterman, 905-898-5900, ext. 228 or
Pat Lusink, 905-898- 5900, ext. 224
Photo Opportunity: a) 8:30 am group photo. Newmarket Mayor
Tony Van Bynen, Regional Councillor John Taylor, Councillor Larry Blight, Councillor Victor Woodhouse have confirmed attendance.
b) 8:55 am – York Region Police will escort the group of cyclists eastbound along Davis Dr.
More information: www.sccy.ca

Description: Stop by the Smart Commute office (470 Davis Drive) between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m. for a free continental breakfast, giveaways, draw prizes, exhibits and more! Grand Prize is a bike valued at $500.00.

REGION OF PEEL

Mississauga City Centre: Bike to Work Day!
Time: 7:00 am [START], 8:00 am to 10:00 am [BREAKFAST EVENT]
Location: Chappell House Lawn at Riverwood Park Conservancy [START]
4300 Riverwood Park Lane, Mississauga, ON L5C 2S7
Living Arts Centre [END / BREAKFAST EVENT]
4141 Living Arts Drive, Mississauga ON L5B 4B8
Contact: Jagoda Rozbicka, Program Coordinator, 647-989-0680
More information: www.smartcommutemiss.ca

Description: Participants gather at the Chappell House Lawn at Riverwood Park Conservancy at 7 am. Ride leaves Riverwood at 7:30 am and proceeds along the Ted Ho trail (Rathburn Road) to the Living Arts Centre for breakfast from 8:00 am and 10:00 am. A map of the route is posted at www.smartcommutemiss.ca. Cyclists taking alternative routes are welcome to join for a FREE pancake breakfast at the Living Arts Centre.

Mississauga-Erindale: GO Station Cyclist Appreciation
Time: 7:00 am to 9:00 am
Location: Erindale GO Station, 1320 Rathburn Rd. W., Mississauga, ON
More information: www.smartcommute.ca

Description: Smart Commute and GO Transit will be greeting cyclists who ride to the Erindale GO station and offering refreshments at this cyclist appreciation event.

HALTON REGION

Burlington: GO Station Cyclist Appreciation
Time: 7:00 am to 9:00 am
Location: Burlington GO Station, 2101 Fairview St., Burlington, ON
More information: www.smartcommute.ca

Description: Smart Commute and GO Transit will be greeting cyclists who ride to the Burlington GO station and offering refreshments at this cyclist appreciation event.

HAMILTON

Downtown: Bike to Work Day
Time: 8:00 am to 9:00 am
Location: Gore Park, Hamilton
Contacts: Peter Topalovic, (905) 546-2424 x.5129
Photo Opportunity: (TMAs to add time and noteworthy attendees)
More information: www.smartcommute.ca/hamilton/biketowork

Description: Meet fellow cyclists from around the city and explore Hamilton’s vast cycling network on a sustainable commute to work. Many cycling routes have been organized and mapped to take cyclists from surrounding areas to Gore Park. See the website for the various locations where group leaders will be on hand to welcome cyclists.

Hamilton GO Centre: GO Station Cyclist Appreciation
Time: 7:00 am to 9:00 am
Location: Hamilton GO Centre, 36 Hunter St. E.,
Hamilton, ON L8N 3W8
More information: www.smartcommute.ca

Description: Smart Commute and GO Transit will be greeting cyclists who ride to the Hamilton GO station and offering refreshments at this cyclist appreciation event.

Lead photo via BikingToronto Flickr Pool

Video: The Bus Bike Rack Rap

You may have enjoyed our earlier video of how to use the TTC Bus Bikeracks, and if you thought “hey, I need a version of this video that has catchy music”, then you are in luck, because the Transit Authority of River City (Louisville, KY) has done it for you.

They have the same kind of bus bikeracks as the TTC. :)

“Bring it down, pull the bar, put it on, put it on, take it off, put it up, then you’re done, then you’re dooooooone!!!!”

Thanks to Tammy Thorne of Dandyhorse for the link.

The ABCs of your Bike

Over on Bikeroo in TO, BikingToronto member Bikeroo has written a good how-to post on doing frequent quick checks on key parts of your bike to make sure you keep rolling:

A gunky, kinked or rusty chain can slow down your pedalling efficiency and cause excess wear on your drive train. Lubricating your bike frequently can help keep your chain happy (avoid using WD40 since it leaves your chain dry). For best results, clean your chain, gears, chain rings and derailleurs with degreaser then lubricate.

A rusty bike is an unhappy bike

Read the full post: The ABCs of your Bike

(cross-posted to the Main Blog)

Bike Safety Tips from Olivia Chow

Trinity-Spadina MP Olivia Chow has been biking in Toronto for close to 40 years, and  a few years ago made this video to help new cyclists on Toronto’s streets with things like being safe with right turns, riding on streetcar tracks, avoiding opening car doors, lighting yourself properly (she wears a TON of lights – at least in this video), and the need for sideguards on big trucks.

CAN-BIKE Cycling Courses

canbikeIf you are looking for courses to help you learn all the rules about biking, and strategies to cycle safely, then CAN-BIKE are the courses for you.

View the CAN-BIKE page on the City’s website, or go directly to the course schedule for 2010 (PDF).

Here’s a run-down of what each course covers:

Kids CAN-BIKE — In class and on-bike instruction teaches rules of the road, right and left turns, changing gears and identifying/avoiding potential hazards. Kids learn to ride safely on residential streets. Must already know how to ride a bike.

CAN-BIKE 1 — Improve your confidence cycling on bike paths and residential streets. Learn traffic theory and ride with a group in low traffic neighbourhoods.

CAN-BIKE 2 — Advance your skills with other bicycle commuters and recreational riders who already ride in traffic. Course includes Highway Traffic Act sessions, bike-handing skills, classroom discussion and lots of riding in challenging conditions. CAN-BIKE 1 is not a prerequisite, but this is an advanced course so you must have experience riding on arterial (major) roads.

Teens CAN-BIKE — Explore Toronto on your bike! Discuss traffic theory, learn collision-avoidance techniques, and lead your group on a challenging neighbourhood ride. Excellent pre-driver education training. You must already be able to ride a bike.

Adult Learn to Ride 1 — For first-time riders. Learn to balance, start, stop and turn.

Adult Learn to Ride 2 — Improve bike-handling skills, including balancing, turning and changing gears with confidence.

Cycling Freedom for Women — CAN-BIKE 1 level course that addresses specific concerns, such as riding at night, riding with children and other topics of interest to women.

CAN-BIKE Instructor Workshops — Open to CAN-BIKE 2 graduates with recommendation from their instructor. Increase cycling skills, learn effective teaching techniques, course planning and risk management. To pre-register call 416-392-1311.

Commuter Cycling Skills — Advanced one day course geared towards commuter cyclists who already have experience riding in traffic on arterial (major) roads. The course will cover the Highway Traffic Act, as it applies to cyclists, making good decisions in traffic, bike   handling skills and collision avoidance techniques, safety tips and strategies for dealing with challenging on-road situations.

CAN-BIKE Safety Workshop — Learn new information on road safety from a cycling perspective that will expand your cycling skills and knowledge. The workshop covers the Highway Traffic Act, as it applies to cyclists, making good decisions in traffic, strategies for riding safely in a variety of road configurations, recognizing and avoiding hazzards. Classroom only.

To Register:

How To Use TTC Bus BikeRacks

Want to bike to work but think it’s a little too far to go?

The good news is that many many TTC buses now have bikeracks on the front (within a few years, 100% of TTC buses will have bikeracks on them!).  They are very easy to use (yet very secure) and allow you to extend your bike-commuting “range” a ton!

Pop your bike on a bus bikerack and get a ride to closer to your job – where you can then pop your bike off and ride the rest of the way. :)

Here’s a how-to video for you! :)