Trains and Bikes Equal Freedom

Follow Russ and Laura at The Path Less Pedaled

Want to take your own train and bicycle trip in Ontario? Visit Bikes and Transit and Bike Train Ontario.

Video via Bike Commuters

Visible Hands for Low Light Commutes

Donald “Go-by-bike” Wiedman, founder of BikesandTransit.com, has created a unique Facebook event that suggests Toronto cyclists wear bright orange (or yellow, or green) gloves to increase their signal visibility.

Many cycling (or skiing, or snowboarding, or just general winter) gloves are black. And black hands combined with low light on morning and afternoon fall commutes makes for invisible hands.

With bright gloves your hands become far more visible, and to go along with the visibility Donald Wiedman suggests a few creative signals to use in addition to the basics:

STICK OUT YOUR LEFT ARM, SHOWING THE BACK OF YOUR HAND
- to signal you’re about to turn or veer left,
- or bend your elbow and hand up, to signal you’re turning right.
* but you were already doing that anyway right?

POINT TO THE GROUND ON YOUR LEFT
- to remind distracted approaching drivers that there is a little bike lane white line painted there, under their tire,
- that there is too little space for them to squeeze between you, a parked car and a moving streetcar,
- and to let them know that if their left tire is on the inside of the streetcar track, then their right mirror is – by your calculations – about to pass less than six inches from your handlebar!

POINT TO THE GROUND WITH THREE FINGERS EXTENDED
- to remind motorists that they should give a good three feet when they pass a cyclist (according to the Driver’s Handbook – that is nestled there, unread in their vehicle’s glove compartment).

HOLD YOUR ARM OUT, ANGLED DOWN, SHOWING THEM YOUR PALM
- to remind all why-are-you-accelerating motorists that they should be slowing down, not speeding up, when they’re about to pass you.

SHAKE YOUR ARM, HAND AND GLOVE UP AND DOWN, VIGOROUSLY
- to remind dangerously approaching drivers in huge SUVs, vans and trucks that, if they drive with their fender so close to you, then their mirror is about to knock you (and your little styrofoam helmet) off your bike.

GIVE THEM THE THUMBS UP!
- if they’ve slowed, pulled out, and passed you with the decency and respect all cyclists in this town deserve.

Get the gloves at your local hardware store (but be sure to check with your local bike shop first as they may have gloves in colours other than black) and get pedaling with your far more visible hands.

While I haven’t tried these myself, check out these reflective safety gloves at Home Depot, not bad for $20.

Check out the Facebook event here: Let’s Try Biking With Orange Florescent Gloves On!

How to Use Bikes and Transit in Minnesota (Toronto, too!)

Looks pretty familiar, eh? Metro Transit in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, much like the TTC and GO Transit here, allow you to mix bikes and transit taking you further and faster by making the transition easier. Even in the snow! Toronto and the GTA have a similar mix of bicycle transportation aids on our transit systems. Learn more about them at BikesandTransit.com

Via BikesandTransit on Twitter

BikesandTransit Helps You Get to Free Outdoor Movies in Port Credit

Rotary Movies in the Park http://www.rotarymovienights.com/

As much as we love the countless events held in downtown Toronto, sometimes you just want to get away. And, if you’re as big a fan of biking as we are, you want to get away on your bicycle.

In its third year of promoting multi-modal, car-free transportation options BikesandTransit.com have updated their web site for 2010 and now includes maps to help you navigate beyond Toronto by bicycle with the help of transit systems. Whenever I’m looking for a quick weekend escape, I turn to this web site for help in determining the best ways out of town.

There’s so much to explore just beyond the borders of Toronto such as the free outdoor movie nights hosted by the Rotary Club of Mississauga and taking place in Port Credit Memorial Park.

Tonight’s (Friday, August 6, 2010) free movie is Avatar and is set to start around 8:30 pm. Getting to the park by bicycle is easy and will allow you to explore the Waterfront trail that takes you from the Martin Goodman Trail through Etobicoke to Mississauga and beyond.

This map, by BikesandTransit.com, shows you the way, see pages 11, 10, and 9 (PDF): Waterfront Trail

And, if riding home after dark doesn’t appeal to you, head over to the Port Credit GO Station and take your bikes back to Toronto on the train.

For more information:

RotaryMovieNights.com
BikesandTransit.com
GoTransit.com

Photo via Rotary_Movies on Twitter.

The New Bikes + Transit Web Site has GPS, Maps

bikesandtransit.com logo

Via bikesandtransit.com:

Welcome to “the new” BikesandTransit.com

A website encouraging recreational and commuter bicycle and transit travel across Toronto, the GTA and Golden Horseshoe.

Here the spotlight is on local, inexpensive, cycling daytrip destinations. And the bus, subway, train, highway coach and/or ferry to get you there – and back!

What’s “new” on Bikes and Transit .com? – bike routes on Google Maps and more for great local travel. Here’s 3 for starters:

This summer, fall and spring, come back for more new sample bikes and transit rides: Ajax l PickeringHigh Park

Return afterwards to enter your raves with the site’s new route ‘comment’ feature. Ride and review the region’s best inter-modal cycling – from Whitby to Grimsby - and beyond!

See the new bikes+transit site here.