Thursday 16 June 2016

On to the next video.

June 9th Northbound - Part 2

June 9th Northbound Part 2

A few things interesting in this one.

The video starts when I am just above the 401 on Keele. This part of Keele is well travelled by large 18 wheeler trucks and other commercial vehicles. The speed limit is 60 kmh and there are four lanes (two in each direction).

For many, riding this stretch is the epitome of craaazzzyyyy.

Hopefully the video will help to show otherwise, LOL.

So jump in around 1:30, and note a few things.

First, look ahead of me in the lane I’m riding in, and note the distance between the cars in front of me and the curb. There is more than enough space there for me and my bike.

Around 1:43 a large commercial truck passes me, but notice how he pulls out into the next lane to give me plenty of room. When vehicles switch to the left lane, pass you and switch back again this is an example of a motorist giving a cyclist what I call “respect” on the road. The fact that he switched back means he wanted to be in my lane, the fact that he goes well around me to get there means he is treating me with respect, like another vehicle on the road.

Unlike many of my brethren, I am far more concerned with small cars than I am with large commercial vehicles.

This is an excellent example of what happens when I cycle outside of rush hour. In this case I’m on the road at 9:30 or so, rush hour is winding down. When this happens, I essentially get a lane to myself on a major artery in the city.

I think that this, like bike trails and secondary or residential roads, represents the “hidden gold” of safe cycling. Major roads can be safe cycling option  at the right times, but this requires a shift in perspective.

At the 3 min mark I arrive on the stretch of Keele I like the most from a cycling perspective, from Calvington to Sheppard. It’s a long straight stretch beside the Park so there are no parked cars and few turn offs from the main road on the East side, so the cars go fast. However, it’s downhill, the view is lovely, and it’s a nice fast ride before the next major hill.

Around 7:30 or so I hit construction, and I’ve come to appreciate the beneficial impacts of construction on cycling. Yes, it does sometimes mean you have less room on the road, but it also slows down the ambient traffic, which can work to your advantage. So for example, by 7:40 I’m in a restricted lane, but the cars behind me wait until it opens up again to pass. I’ve been honked at before in that circumstance, so it’s nice to see that sometimes motorists are helpful.

Also, every time the camera dips down and to the left I’m checking my mirror, by my estimation I check about once every 10-15 seconds.

Around 11:38 or so I lane change to the left and turn on to the sidewalk. I normally minimize sidewalk riding, but in this case there was construction ahead that narrows the road and makes it unsafe to ride.

Around 15:57 I arrive at York and jump on to the trail network that runs around the school. 

I took a different route home earlier this week, so I'll post the video from that later.



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