Bike to Work Day!

Today is Bike to Work Day in Toronto. Too bad the seat on my bike broke on the ride in to work. Can you believe that? Now I’m without wheels until Wednesday, which makes me sad. I love riding to work.

I came across a couple of cycling stories over the weekend. The Toronto Star ran the second instalment in their series on cycling in the city, Road Wars. The series (so far) is written by staff reporter Tess Kalinowski, and this second story had generated 246 comment as of this writing. I don’t know if it’s because I read every story about cycling in the city that comes across my doorstep, but this series lacks depth for my taste.

That said I have two comments based on sources quoted in the story. First, I agree with Councillor Karen Stintz – Jarvis doesn’t need bike lanes. Not every street in the city should have dedicated bike lanes and should be reserved, for the most part, to cars and trucks. I bike everywhere I can. I also own a car. And I lived on Jarvis for four years – it’s not the most pleasant street to walk down anyway, and there is little there for pedestrians to enjoy. Plus, a city needs thoroughfares for vehicles to get in and out of the city fast. Sherbourne, which is one street over, already has a dedicated bike lane. If that’s not enough, add lanes to Church St.

Second, the fact that Yvonne Bambrick – the executive director of the so-called Toronto Cyclists Union – doesn’t wear a helmet while riding is irresponsible. As a figurehead for Toronto urban cycling, it sets a poor example. The helmet law in Ontario should be changed to include everyone, not just people 18 and younger.

On a lighter note, The Globe and Mail ran a travel story about Montreal’s new bike sharing program operated by Bixi. Tourists (and residents) can access so many interesting places not possible with a car. I love it! I’m longing to visit Montreal again soon. I wonder if any bikes come equipped with child seats?

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