torontonian and proud.
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Toronto, Canada
Bikes: 2009 Cannondale CAAD5, ~1994 Peugeot Success
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The jog down to the waterfront
I've been having some trouble getting out for rides lately. I live in downtown, around Bathurst/Bloor (Annex). The problem is, I work at home as a freelancer, and I try to stick the time in the middle of the day (mid afternoon, rather) to get out and sprint across the waterfront on my route - but first, I need to get down to the waterfront. This is the part I dread before every time I go out. I'm a seasoned city cyclist, but I use my other bike for that - an older Peugeot that's perfectly outfitted for city riding (and it's NOT a single/fixed gear, thank you very much), but the jog from Bloor to Queens Quay is terrible no matter the route. Clipless SPD-SL pedals and shoes are terrible for stop-and-go cycling, streetcar tracks everywhere which don't go well with 700x23c tires, etc. It's just a bad experience and it puts me off the whole ride. I have to keep my left pedal at minimum tension so I'm able to pop it in and out a few dozen times over at the beginning and end of every single ride, just to avoid falling over like a tipped cow.
Now, there are a couple things I need to consider moving forward: The route to the waterfront, and the fact that I use the waterfront every time.
I've slowly narrowed down the best routes from my place to the water over the last couple years, and a couple have come out on top:
- Side streets down from the Annex to King (where they end), E to Bathurst, S on Bathurst to Front, E on Front to Yonge
- S on Spadina from Bloor to Queens Quay (the terrible part being the exceptionally common door-related accidents tha happen between College and Queen, as well as the lane changes in heavy traffic (always) just before the Gardener)
Does anybody know of a better possible route off hand? The idea is to spend as little time as possible in the middle of the city, like I said, it's just a terrible experience and I'd like to do as as little of it as possible.
The other thing is my route as a whole - I absolutely love the waterfront because it means -zero- stops for often entire weekday rides (~40k) apart from the turnaround, and I've been meaning to get back on the Don Valley trail (perhaps in the next couple days), but other than those routes for shorter rides I'm not sure where else I could go. For long rides I hop on the GO train and get off at Browns Line or Port Credit to skip the city nonsense (and a particular 15k length of path I've done so many times I'm a danger to myself riding it for fear of falling asleep), but this of course means setting aside an additional 2 hours for the there and back trips, which I can't do for my shorter rides during the week.
Anyways, lengthy & jumbled post, but I'm hoping somebody an suggest some alternative routes/strategies for me - I really want to get back to riding 5x a week.
Thanks for reading!