Tuesday 15 April 2014

Two things today.

First, a shout out to the guys at Riders (80 Geary Avenue, Toronto) -

I was on my way to work on the glorious sunny Friday of last week when my chain broke. I have been riding for 36 years, that has never happened to me before. I rode through the winter this year, so it may be that this did the trick, but either way I was chainless.

I carry a spare tire tube, but not a spare chain.

So I walked over to Riders (about 10 minutes away thank heavens) and they were, quite fortunately, open (many shops in the city don’t open until 11 or 12, a pet peeve for this cycle commuter).

They took me on the spot, re-chained my bike, and I was out the door for 30 bucks and change in about 20 minutes.


I’ll be taking the bike back there for spring maintenance when I can bear to part with it for a few days…

Second, I saw this in the Metro today (it was snowing so I wasn’t on my bike):

“Transportation Minister Glen Murray has announced that the province will provide $25 million for cycling facilities on provincial highways and municipal roads over the next three years…”

OK, not a crazy amount of money, but that got my attention.

Then this:

“… a new policy to incorporate cycling in every provincial highway and bridge project…”

That’s awesome. Right now highways are off limits to cyclists, there are rural roads that parallel them, but still, the idea of including bike infrastructure in the build is brilliant. Cheaper and simpler, and it means that expansion is automatically cycle friendly.

Money for municipal and highway/bridge cycling infrastructure, and a commitment to build it as new capacity is added.It would be better if the highway bridge policy was retroactive, but it's a start.

They also announced 29 billion for roads and transit, if that included infrastructure maintenance, I’m stoked too. Cycling advocates are so fixed on new infrastructure they frequently forget that well maintained roads are good for everyone.

I can’t help but worry though, this is a provincial initiative, and we have an election brewing, and if the Liberals don’t get in, I can see this being axed in a post-election belt tightening frenzy.

Sigh, say it ain’t so.




  1. +1 on road maintenance!

  2. I hear you fellow 2 wheeled warrior. At this point in the cycling season the thing I want the most is a horde of street sweepers to clear out the foot wide dirt pile beside the curb. That and the pothole patrol, this crazy winter has left Toronto with more spring potholes than I can ever remember.

    Thanks for the comment



  3. Just began my yearly commute and almost bloody wiped out on filth and gravel! sighs. However, glad to be back onboard. Initially chuffed to see that the government was at least taking a step (albeit a small one) in the right direction... THEN i read that John Tory proposes to cancel it!

    bloody politicians...

  4. Filth and gravel are my current bane as well, that and potholes. Glad you recovered.

    And Tory's proposal is exactly the sort of thing I was worried about with the new provincial proposal. Its one of the reasons that I'm hesitant about the "big project" mentality that dominates in cycling advocacy and planning. We push for the big projects that are often cancelled while ignoring the small things (e.g. road repair and cleaning) that can get done without extensive consultation and "stakeholder" cooperation.

    Big pictures, forests and trees, and we wonder why progress is so slow...

    Thanks for the comment Selkie