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Old 05-15-10, 01:35 AM   #1
paulau
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Travelling to Toronto for 4 months, thoughts on taking a bike?

Hi,

I will be living in Toronto for 4 months from mid August (Coming from Australia) and I am trying to decide what to do about a bike. I will have alot of free time to ride so will consider doing a number of group rides each week. So I have a number of options.

1). Take my good road bike.
2). Take my training bike (steel columbus tubing bike with Ultegra)
3). Buy a second hand bike in Toronto

I can get a bike over there for free with my flight and can then ship it home, however it is a bit of hassle. However I'm not sure how easy it will be to pick up a second hand decent road bike or how costly it will be...

If any one has any thoughts or advise please let me now?

Thanks,
Paul
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Old 05-15-10, 01:41 AM   #2
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Check out Ontario bike laws.. Seems I recall provincial requirements are you wear a helmet.?.Or is the BC.?> . 2. Have a bell on your bike or you might find yourself getting ticketed.?
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Old 05-15-10, 04:14 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclezealot View Post
Check out Ontario bike laws.. Seems I recall provincial requirements are you wear a helmet.?.Or is the BC.?> . 2. Have a bell on your bike or you might find yourself getting ticketed.?
Helmet not required for riders 18 and over. You are correct about the bell, although tickets for that are rare.
To the OP. If bringing a bike is an option, I would do it. Lots of hassle trying to find a decent used road bike at a reasonable price, not to mention fitting issues etc.
If you were just wanting something in a comfort cruiser for tooling around, that would be easy, not so much for a road bike.
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Old 05-15-10, 07:20 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulau View Post
Hi,
I will be living in Toronto for 4 months from mid August (Coming from Australia) and I am trying to decide what to do about a bike. I will have alot of free time to ride so will consider doing a number of group rides each week.
You'll be having a great time. Fall is beautiful in Ontario and besides Toronto itself (google for 'Toronto bike trail map'), you can do country rides which are even better. You can typically cycle to November, then it gets colder and messier (if it snows) - it's up to you when you stop.

Quote:
1). Take my good road bike.
2). Take my training bike (steel columbus tubing bike with Ultegra)
3). Buy a second hand bike in Toronto

I can get a bike over there for free with my flight and can then ship it home, however it is a bit of hassle. However I'm not sure how easy it will be to pick up a second hand decent road bike or how costly it will be...
It's a matter of $ (or cost versus comfort/convenience), at the end of the day. If you plan to ride a lot, a fitted bike would help, as you know. Whether it's worth shipping the good bike (and taking the risk it's damaged in transit), hmmm, hard to say. If you simply want to ride to discover the city and the country side, for a few months you can do without a perfectly fitted bike. Maybe your training bike is a better choice here, if it's damaged in transit you'll have a smaller loss.

There are plenty of second hand bikes in Toronto since it's a big city - if you follow the ads on Craiglist and Kijiji you can get a sense of what's available and for what price. Fall is a good time to buy a bike, usually there are discounts in stores because it's end of season; same with second hard bikes, people want to get rid of them. One factor to consider is what you'll do with the bike before you leave Toronto.

So, imagine yourself on a locally purchased bike that's not perfect but you got on a decent price. You're riding in September. Will you be content with it and enjoy the ride and the scenery? Then option (3). Or will you suffer the reach is not quite good and the shifter not as good as yours? Then option (1) or (2).
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Old 05-15-10, 03:59 PM   #5
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Check out Ontario bike laws.. Seems I recall provincial requirements are you wear a helmet.?.Or is the BC.?> . 2. Have a bell on your bike or you might find yourself getting ticketed.?
http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/pub...ction5.0.shtml

Helmets are required only if you are under 18 (in my opinion you are crazy to bike without a helmet at any age) but you must have a bell or horn.

http://toronto.en.craigslist.ca/bik/ to survey market
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Old 05-16-10, 08:21 AM   #6
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Bring your own bike - actually bring both - you won't regret it.

Bear in mind that it's likely your brakes are opposite to the convention here because of driving on the right side of the road.


Quote:
Originally Posted by paulau View Post
Hi,

I will be living in Toronto for 4 months from mid August (Coming from Australia) and I am trying to decide what to do about a bike. I will have alot of free time to ride so will consider doing a number of group rides each week. So I have a number of options.

1). Take my good road bike.
2). Take my training bike (steel columbus tubing bike with Ultegra)
3). Buy a second hand bike in Toronto

I can get a bike over there for free with my flight and can then ship it home, however it is a bit of hassle. However I'm not sure how easy it will be to pick up a second hand decent road bike or how costly it will be...

If any one has any thoughts or advise please let me now?

Thanks,
Paul

Last edited by MCJ; 05-16-10 at 08:26 AM.
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Old 05-17-10, 05:48 AM   #7
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Bring your own bike and spend your money on some cool weather gear. October/November is unpredictable. It can be golf weather or wet snow!
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Old 05-17-10, 08:00 AM   #8
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+1. August/September will be fine for riding, but the last couple of months of your stay could be cold, wet or otherwise miserable. Make sure you have plenty of cold weather gear.

Where will you be staying, will you have space to store a bike if you bring a good one?
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Old 05-17-10, 08:28 AM   #9
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If you bring your good bike(s), be sure to also bring two good locks or you won't have them for long. This city is terrible for bike theft. Removeable bell and lights are a good idea too.

Also, if you're not used to riding in a city, go slow for a while until you get the hang of it.

Other than that, you should be good to go! A bike is by far the best way to get around this town and there's lots of places to ride.
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Old 05-17-10, 10:52 PM   #10
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Hi,

Thanks for all your replies, I will bring my own bike and a good lock We will be staying in an apartment so storing the bike shouldn't be a problem

I'll definitely be bringing some cold weather clothes, it gets pretty cold here in Melbourne, but not as cold as Toronto.

I'll have quite a bit of spare time so will probably try and find some group rides going on in the area..

I might need some different tires for those wet, icy snowing conditions!

Thanks for all your help, Paul

Last edited by paulau; 05-17-10 at 11:01 PM.
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Old 05-20-10, 07:41 AM   #11
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There are a few bike clubs you could check out if you want group rides. www.tbn.ca has rides from slow and short to long and fast, and some of the bike shops have their own groups that ride at weekends as well. It all depends on where you end up living.

Have fun.
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