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  1. #1
    Average Guy CrankyMonkey's Avatar
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    Cycling Around Toronto

    I'm coming out to Toronto for work next week from the Bay Area. I'm renting a road bike for the week. I'm staying near Jarvis St. and Dundas St. East. I'm planning on riding back and forth from work all week via Lower Sherbourne and Queens Quay (office is near Queens Quay and York St.). I'm also planning on doing some sightseeing and general riding around via bike. I'm comfortable riding in traffic and pretty fit (riding about 120 miles per week right now and most rides accumulate about 2000 feet elevation per ride). I've been studying the Toronto bike map and have a few questions...

    Do most of the multi-use paths that run through Lower Don Parklands and Riverdale Park East run without interruption (ie. Do they have underpasses)? Or do they abruptly stop and then your force to figure out a new route? Are the bike maps on the City of Toronto's web site accurate?

    I've been looking for information on the traffic laws, do cyclist have the right to take a lane when appropriate?

    Based on the City of Toronto site it seems that Toronto has their act together when it comes to cyclists. What is your general sentiment on cycling around Toronto? Safe? Areas to avoid?

    Finally, I typically ride 35 mile (56 km) route twice a week (Tue & Thr). Can you suggest a route starting near Jarvis St. and Dundas St. East?

    Thanks in advance...

  2. #2
    Senior Member Malistryx's Avatar
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    http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/pub...ction5.0.shtml

    Laws and corresponding fines for biking in Ontario. You are legally allowed to take the lane if you deem it necessary (well, according to the law you can occupy whatever part of the lane you need to for your safety). Unfortunately that's about all I can help you with, I avoid Toronto whenever I can

  3. #3
    Dead Men Assume...
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    Most of the Don Valley route (I'm not too familiar with the southernmost part) run pretty uninterruptedly north and south. The map is just a bit confusing I think.

    You will find that the area is very flat compared to the Bay area and that long distances are a cinch to do. I usually head towards Port Credit in the West for short training ride of 54 kms using the Waterfront Trail.

    Are you staying at the Grand or the Comfort Suites? Me and another BF member are just around the corner from there.

  4. #4
    Conquer Cancer rider Boudicca's Avatar
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    No particular areas to avoid, and cars are mostly pretty courteous (with the exception of the cabs). The three main trails are along the waterfront (although there's a bit of road that you can't avoid as you get into Mississauga), along the Don Valley and up the Humber. You can link the three trails too, but it takes a bit of faffing around with the map from the Humber to the Don. A circular ride from Jarvis and Queen's Quay could take you along the Waterfront to the Humber bridge, then up the Humber to Old Mill, then back across along Annette and Davenport back to Church and then Jarvis. Or just keep going on the Waterfront Trail to Port Credit and retrace your steps. There's good riding outside the megacity too, although it takes mile upon mile of dreary suburb before you get there.

    Watch for the streetcar tracks, and be sure to cross them at a good angle. I barely know a single Toronto cyclist who's not had an arguement with them and lost.

    I'd be curious to know your impressions after you get here, and how it compares with Bay Area, which always strikes me as much more bike friendly than the Toronto sprawl.
    Zero gallons to the mile

  5. #5
    Average Guy CrankyMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronMac View Post
    Most of the Don Valley route (I'm not too familiar with the southernmost part) run pretty uninterruptedly north and south. The map is just a bit confusing I think.

    You will find that the area is very flat compared to the Bay area and that long distances are a cinch to do. I usually head towards Port Credit in the West for short training ride of 54 kms using the Waterfront Trail.

    Are you staying at the Grand or the Comfort Suites? Me and another BF member are just around the corner from there.
    Comfort Suites. Thanks for the advice. I'm planning on doing a bit a riding Tuesday morning around 6:45 am if you awake and want to join me.

  6. #6
    Average Guy CrankyMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boudicca View Post
    No particular areas to avoid, and cars are mostly pretty courteous (with the exception of the cabs). The three main trails are along the waterfront (although there's a bit of road that you can't avoid as you get into Mississauga), along the Don Valley and up the Humber. You can link the three trails too, but it takes a bit of faffing around with the map from the Humber to the Don. A circular ride from Jarvis and Queen's Quay could take you along the Waterfront to the Humber bridge, then up the Humber to Old Mill, then back across along Annette and Davenport back to Church and then Jarvis. Or just keep going on the Waterfront Trail to Port Credit and retrace your steps. There's good riding outside the megacity too, although it takes mile upon mile of dreary suburb before you get there.

    Watch for the streetcar tracks, and be sure to cross them at a good angle. I barely know a single Toronto cyclist who's not had an arguement with them and lost.

    I'd be curious to know your impressions after you get here, and how it compares with Bay Area, which always strikes me as much more bike friendly than the Toronto sprawl.
    Thanks for the tips. I have kind of a jaded view of the Bay Area because I'm in the South Bay. I was getting honked and yelled at on a regular basis for a while then things seem to get better. Either I became a better cyclist or the idiots stop getting up at the crack of dawn.

  7. #7
    Dead Men Assume...
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrankyMonkey View Post
    Comfort Suites. Thanks for the advice. I'm planning on doing a bit a riding Tuesday morning around 6:45 am if you awake and want to join me.
    Something else to keep in mind, the Don Valley trail can become a bit crowded (usually weekends though) and the speed is limited to 20 km/hr although that is not normally observed. Road cycling, you can go at almost any speed that you feel safe at.

    Thanks for the invite but I'm probably too slow for you especially if you're a roadie. I'll ask my friend if she'd be interested in a ride but she normally goes in the evenings. My evenings are shot this week even if I was fast enough.

  8. #8
    Senior Member skiracing's Avatar
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    I headed downtown today and took some pics that I posted in this thread: Cool Pix You've Taken While Cycling (Post Here)

    It was actully my first time on a road bike in downtown.... I live in Richmond Hill so I normally head north because the traffic really dies down. Today it was windy and I didnt feel like doing the roads around my house so I went downtown.

    My imrpessions were:
    - some roads have frequent stop lights.... espically the north-south that I had to use to get down; towards the end when I was tired the frequent stops really started to annoy me
    - some of the roads are a mess in terms of bumps, pot holes, and so on... espically the north-south.... maybe because they get the most traffic?
    - had no issues with any of the drivers for the most part; it's way more congested in downtown but you are less likely to be passed by some moron doing 80-100 on a country road inches away from you

    I headed back home north on Mount Pleasant from Bloor until it ended.... I kind of liked the street.

    Anyways, hope you enjoy the biking here. And btw, what store are you renting a road bike from?
    Work hard, play harder.
    2004 Giant TCR C2

  9. #9
    Average Guy CrankyMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiracing View Post
    I headed downtown today and took some pics that I posted in this thread: Cool Pix You've Taken While Cycling (Post Here)

    It was actully my first time on a road bike in downtown.... I live in Richmond Hill so I normally head north because the traffic really dies down. Today it was windy and I didnt feel like doing the roads around my house so I went downtown.

    My imrpessions were:
    - some roads have frequent stop lights.... espically the north-south that I had to use to get down; towards the end when I was tired the frequent stops really started to annoy me
    - some of the roads are a mess in terms of bumps, pot holes, and so on... espically the north-south.... maybe because they get the most traffic?
    - had no issues with any of the drivers for the most part; it's way more congested in downtown but you are less likely to be passed by some moron doing 80-100 on a country road inches away from you

    I headed back home north on Mount Pleasant from Bloor until it ended.... I kind of liked the street.

    Anyways, hope you enjoy the biking here. And btw, what store are you renting a road bike from?
    I'm renting from Enduro Sport Leaside. It was recommended by a friend on another board.

  10. #10
    Dead Men Assume...
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    Make sure that you get there BEFORE 6 pm because they close by that time on Mondays or arrange to have them stay open a bit later. I pass by them at that time on my way to a bike repair class.

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