Welcome to Bike Month

Check out the latest and greatest news and events from Bike Month and get ready to roll!

Great Places to Ride: Hamilton

Published May 27, 2018 12:49

We are excited to announce our Great Places to Ride Series as we countdown to 2018 Bike Month across the GTHA and Guelph. These weekly features will give you a host of ideas on where to ride in your community. Whether you cycle to work, ride the trails on the weekend, or simply bike to get around town, we hope you’ll discover something new!

For this week's installment, we're featuring two of Hamilton's newest and best cycling facilities: the Waterfront Trail (at Bayfront Park) and Bay Street.

All photographs: Nicholas Jones

Waterfront Trail (at Bayfront Park)

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The Waterfront Trail follows Hamilton Harbour from Princess Point (Cootes Paradise) through Bayfront Park, Pier 4 Park, the Discovery Centre and on to HMCS Haida. You'll also find Williams Coffee Pub, a Waterfront Ice Cream stand and the Hamilton Harbour Queen Cruises nearby.

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At Cootes Paradise there is an impressive staircase with a cycling trough leading to Dundurn Park and some amazing lookouts. From here you can connect to Burlington via York Street. Note that you'll need to be careful and proceed slowly when crossing the ramp from the 403.

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Bay Street at York Boulevard (south-west corner)

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Bay Street is a brand new piece of infrastructure, launched in October 2017 to provide a North-South connector from Aberdeen Avenue to Stuart Street and connecting to the Waterfront Trail.

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The new lanes are a two-way cycle track. At this location the lanes are two-way on a one way street.

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York Boulevard brings in cyclists from Burlington and the West end of the City right downtown to various destinations like the central library, farmers’ market and James Street North.

Get ready to ride on Bike to Work Day in Hamilton!

 
Join one of the City or Community start points and ride to Nathan Phillips Square for a free pancake breakfast, powered by Clif Bar.
Pedal on by a Cycle Toronto Commuter Station, Tuesdays ... Read more

Great Places to Ride: Toronto

Published May 18, 2018 11:17

We are excited to announce our Great Places to Ride Series as we countdown to 2018 Bike Month across the GTHA and Guelph. These weekly features will give you a host of ideas on where to ride in your community. Whether you cycle to work, ride the trails on the weekend, or simply bike to get around town, we hope you’ll discover something new!

For this week's installment, we're featuring some of Toronto's newest and best cycling facilities: the Richmond and Adelaide St cycle tracks and the Martin Goodman Trail.

All photographs: Nicholas Jones

Richmond and Adelaide cycle tracks

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The Richmond and Adelaide cycle tracks are the most used cycling facilities in the City with an average weekday volume of 6,540 cyclists per day (based on 24-hour counts taken in June 2016).

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The cycle tracks were installed between July 2014 and September 2015 and included two phases. The first phase in July 2014 included cycle tracks on Richmond St from York St to Bathurst St, and Adelaide St from Bathurst St to Simcoe St. The second phase in September 2015 extended both routes east to Parliament St, creating much-needed east-west connections across downtown.

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As part of the project, cycle tracks were also installed on Simcoe St from Queen St W to Front St W in July of 2014 and Peter St from King St W to Queen St W in October of 2016. To separate the vehicle lanes from the bicycle lanes, flexi-post bollards (as you can see in the photo above) were installed along these routes. Along some sections the City has partnered with the local BIAs to provide planters in between the bollards, further protecting the bicycle lane while enhancing the public realm. These bollard installations are now used on many of the City’s cycle tracks.

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Toronto is also home to fantastic multi-use trails, one of the most popular being the Martin Goodman Trail.

Martin Goodman Trail (near Sherbourne St. cycle tracks)

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This is a scenic recreational pathway ... Read more

Great Places to Ride: York Region

Published May 08, 2018 12:10

We are excited to announce our Great Places to Ride Series as we countdown to 2018 Bike Month across the GTHA and Guelph. These weekly features will give you a host of ideas on where to ride in your community. Whether you cycle to work, ride the trails on the weekend, or simply bike to get around town, we hope you’ll discover something new!

For this week's installment, we're featuring two gorgeous trail systems in York Region.

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Photograph of the Nokiidaa Trail: Nicholas Jones

Oak Ridges Corridor Conservation Reserve (Richmond Hill)

The Oak Ridges Corridor Conservation Reserve (ORCCR) includes about 600 hectares of green space in the heart of the Oak Ridges Moraine. This area serves to protect the headwaters of the Humber and Rouge Rivers and plays an integral role in the recharge of their waters. With over 15 km of maintained trails for hiking and cycling (as well as snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the winter), visitors can appreciate of the most diverse collections of habitat on the Oak Ridges Moraine. Cycling tip: despite being crushed stone, the gravel sections of this trail are bikeable by hybrids and cruisers.

Find out more about the ORCCR: https://trca.ca/app/uploads/2017/05/2938-OakRidgesCorridorPark-Trailhead-7x4-v4.pdf

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Photograph: Nicholas Jones

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Photograph: Nicholas Jones

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Photograph: Nicholas Jones

Nokiidaa Trail (Aurora, Newmarket, East Gwillimbury)

The Nokiidaa Trail links three communities (Aurora, Newmarket, and East Gwillimbury), following the East Holland River. Over 20 km of trail pass through town parks and green spaces, wetlands and historic cultural sites, and link to numerous other trails. “Nokiidaa” is an Ojibwa term meaning “walking together. 

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Photograph: Nicholas Jones

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Photograph: Nicholas Jones

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Photograph: Nicholas Jones

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Photograph: Nicholas Jones

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Photograph: Nicholas Jones

Get ready to ride on Bike to Work Day in York Region!

Great Places to Ride: Guelph

Published May 02, 2018 13:55

We are excited to announce our Great Places to Ride Series. These weekly features will give you a host of ideas on where to ride in your community during Bike Month and beyond. Whether you cycle to work, ride the trails on the weekend, or simply bike to get around town, we hope you’ll discover something new!

First up: from a brand new multi-use pathway to a scenic rail trail, here are four great places to ride in Guelph.

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Photo by Nicholas Jones

York Rd. Multi-use pathway

The York Rd. Multi-use path is a unique place to ride in Guelph for several reasons. It transitions from on-road infrastructure to an off-road shared path for roughly 500 meters, before transitioning back into painted bike lanes. It’s also home to Guelph’s first ever crossride, which allows people on bikes to remain cycling through an intersection, enabling a smoother, more consistent journey. York Rd. is a designated truck route so taking cyclists off-road throughout this turn is particularly advantageous, plus it allows easy access to the York Road Park. This route runs parallel to the beautiful Royal Recreational Trail, and connects the Two Rivers neighbourhood to key destinations like Royal City Park and the University of Guelph. The Multi-use path alone sees an average of over 50 people on bikes per day!

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Photo by Nicholas Jones

Stevenson Street North  

Prior to 2014 Stevenson Street was a four lane road between Eramosa and Elizabeth. This route was identified as an excellent candidate for cycling infrastructure as it connects several schools, places of worship, and businesses to the dense residential neighbourhoods surrounding it. It’s also a relatively flat alternative bypassing the Eramosa Road hill. Following its redesign, Stevenson is now a great cycling route featuring wide on-street bike lanes, and only two lanes of vehicular traffic. The community was very supportive of the new configuration, and Stevenson Street now ... Read more

Sign up for your chance to win!

Published May 01, 2018 10:05

Spring is here and that means Bike Month is quickly approaching! Join thousands of people on Monday, May 28 for Bike to Work Day, the annual Bike Month kick-off event happening across the Greater Toronto & Hamilton Area and the City of Guelph.

All you have to do is sign up to ride and you'll be entered to WIN one of three prize packs: a $500 MEC gift card AND $500 voucher from VIA Rail - perfect to kickstart your summer adventures.

There are three easy ways to qualify :
  • Ride your bike to school or work on May 28
  • Participate in an official Bike to Work Day event 
  • Join any Bike Month event on the Events Calendar
Once you register, get bonus entries in two ways: log a cycling trip on the Smart Commute tool, or recruit a friend using a unique link we provide to your referral page.
The contest closes Monday, June 4, 2018.

Bike Month Calendar is Open!

Published March 29, 2018 16:51

If you’re planning an event soon, why not hold it during Bike Month? Bike Month kicks off with Bike to Work Day on Monday May 28 and continues until the end of June.

The Bike Month website is home to every kind of cycling event, from art shows and scavenger hunts, to film nights, parades, bike rodeos, cupcake rides, cycling workshops, and so many more. The online calendar is open for submissions and you can post cycling related events that take place between May 1 and June 30.

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All you have to do is post the details on our event page

Check out our map to find out what’s happening in your community for Bike Month!

Announcing the Bike to Work Day Contest Winners

Published June 29, 2017 13:32

More than 3,000 people registered in the Bike Month contest for a chance to win a MEC Midtown Bicycle and a $300 VIA Rail Voucher.

We selected three lucky winners! Read more about them below. Congrats Craig, Joseph and Kim, and thanks to everyone who entered and helped us celebrate Bike Month this year! 

Craig Hermanson,  Hamilton

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Gavin Hermanson, Rachel Johnson (Smart Commute Hamilton), Craig Hermanson (Contest Winner), Peter Topovalic (Smart Commute Hamilton), Dave (MEC Staff)

Tell us a bit about you and the area you live in

I’m a graphic designer / web developer and have lived in Hamilton and the Kirkendall neighbourhood for the past 21 years. It’s a great area for cycling because we have the Charlton, Herkimer, and Dundurn bike lanes for commuting around the city. For recreation we’re also next door to the multi-use Chedoke and Brantford rail trails and friendly roads for a quick exit out of the city for a country ride.

How often do you bike to work and why?

I’ve been working from a home office for most of the past 20 years so I usually commute just down the hall! I’m big fan of cycling though, so I’ve participated in Bike to Work Day almost every year in Hamilton. I’ve also used my bike to cycle to meetings and run errands. In fact, for the past four months I’ve been trying life without car ownership — relying instead on bike and car-sharing along with the occasional weekend rental and it’s working out pretty well.

How did you celebrate Bike Month this year?

Just this past weekend my daughter, her friend and I participated in the June group ride
organized by Hamilton Glow Riders. We went a couple of times last year too and it’s a great way to promote cycling — I think it reminds people who don’t cycle much of the fun they used to have on a bike. I also mountain and road bike with friends, and I’m more than half-way through my first #30daysofbiking. I’ve been out every ... Read more

BIKE MONTH CYCLIST PROFILE SERIES PRESENTED BY MEC: BRAMPTON

Published May 30, 2017 13:39

For our last cyclist profile series, we visited Rani Gill in Brampton where she shared with us her love for the great outdoors and her goal of cycling 1000 km during Bike Month. 

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Photo by Danielle Griscti.

Tell us about yourself.

I have been a Brampton native ever since my family moved here from India over 25 years ago. I love the outdoors and I love living in Canada where we get the opportunity to enjoy all the different seasons. No matter the weather, cold or hot, wet or dry, I try to get out there and embrace the great outdoors.

When and why did you start cycling?

I used to bike when I was young but I didn’t take cycling seriously until a few years ago when I got bitten by the ‘bike bug”. I was looking for a way to combine exercise with my love of the outdoors so I started riding through local parks on bike trails. From there, I soon found myself enjoying the challenge of pushing myself to longer and longer rides.

What style of bike do you ride?

I started with a mountain bike but found that it was more difficult to go longer distances so I bought a hybrid bike. Finally I grew jealous of watching the smooth efficiency of a road biker and so I also bought a decent road bike a couple of years ago. It’s my baby.

Tell us about some of the things you ride your bike for.

I ride for exercise. Bonding with fellow riders. Enjoying the fresh air and being outside. There is no sport out there that can keep you outside for long hours and I love that you can see so much at the same time.

Any favourite bike routes? What do you like about them?

I don’t necessarily have a favorite bike route, in fact I enjoy exploring new routes and trails as part of the adventure or challenge. If I had to pick one, I do enjoy a ride up to Caledon on a weekend morning. The route winds through the beautiful and peaceful Etobicoke creek, and occasionally I even spot a deer! I usually have a ... Read more

BIKE MONTH CYCLIST PROFILE SERIES PRESENTED BY MEC: BURLINGTON

Published May 23, 2017 16:10

We visited Samantha Gatchene in Burlington for our weekly cyclist series. She met with us near a beautiful waterfront trail to chat about the freedom she feels when cycling, her passion for commuting, and what inspired her to get on her bike in the first place! 

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Samantha Gatchene on Burlington's waterfront trail. Photo by Danielle Griscti.

Tell us about yourself.

I’m an urban planning student and a lifelong cycling enthusiast. I was raised car-free so cycling has always been a huge part of my life. When I’m not cycling, I enjoy journaling and listening to podcasts. After I finish my studies, I hope to work promoting active transportation to benefit the health of citizens, while advocating for a greater network of shared roads.

When and why did you start cycling?

I’ve been riding since I was child but got seriously into it when I got my first job. Like most teenagers, I had a million places to go but little money. Cycling offered me a cost effective solution that allowed me to balance a busy schedule while being independent. I attribute a lot of my cycling passion to my dad, who is a cyclist and is familiar with the challenges of commuter cycling. We share a special bond over cycling and he has been a huge inspiration, teaching me all about road safety while encouraging me continue cycling. 

What style of bike do you ride?

I ride a Norco hybrid. I’ve covered it in yarn to add some personality and protection to my bike.

Tell us about some of the things you ride your bike for.

I ride my bike everywhere - work, groceries, and the mall. Cycling saves me the stress of navigating traffic as well as giving me a sense of freedom that doesn’t come with driving. Cycling has become an integral part of my identity because I’m passionate about living a sustainable lifestyle while supporting the reversal of peoples’ aversions to bike commuting.

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Photo by Danielle ... Read more

BIKE MONTH CYCLIST PROFILE SERIES PRESENTED BY MEC: MISSISSAUGA

Published May 16, 2017 11:31

We headed to Mississauga to meet Nicole Hanson along a beautiful lake trail for our latest cyclist profile. She is passionate about riding her bicycle to find new paths and navigate around the city. Her flower-decorated basket and bike provide her the perfect ride to take in the stunning views. 

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Nicole Hanson enjoying the view at LakeView. Photo by Danielle Griscti.

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Nicole Hanson. I am an environmental cultural planner living in Mississauga.
This city is undergoing a tremendous amount of urban change and I enjoy exploring it at the petal of my bicycle. I have been a strong advocate for active transportation: cycling, rollerblading, walking and park equity for children. I grew up in both Lakeview and Cooksville and I am extremely passionate about pursuing active transportation in these areas of Mississauga.

When and why did you start cycling?

I started cycling since I was about 6 years old. I enjoy cycling to experience the city because it engages my senses of way-finding in a variety of ways. To me this means that I am able to move in neighbourhoods, streets, parks, parking lots and traffic by actively creating paths, routes and way-finding techniques at a whim. Every ride is an adventure. Unplanned rides take me one landscape experience to the next, and he rhythm of how I experience my urban environment is constantly changing.

What style of bike do you ride?

I ride a flowered commuter bike called Genesis. The front of my bike carries half a dozen roses and the basket located in the rear is canopied with floral arrangements. The frame of my bike has a low diagonal top tube design which enables me to wear dresses and skirts as a woman. I enjoy riding my bike based on my everyday urban experience and not conforming to “traditional cyclist” appearances. Riding this style bike advocates for people to get motivated and inspired to ... Read more

BIKE MONTH CYCLIST PROFILE SERIES PRESENTED BY MEC: DURHAM

Published May 09, 2017 09:50


This week, we headed to Durham Region for our fourth blog post in our cyclist profile series. We met up with Rick Robertson on Taunton Road, and headed to the brand new multi-use trail nearby for some shots. Rick commutes daily from Ajax to Whitby by bike.

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Rick Robertson riding to from work on his daily commute. Photo by Danielle Griscti

Tell us about yourself.

I was born and raised in Ajax in a family of 4 boys. Growing up I played a lot of sports including hockey, lacrosse, baseball, soccer and of course bike riding. I am an avid Green Bay Packer fan and part owner! I now live in Whitby with my family and cycle back and forth to Ajax for work.

When and why did you start cycling?

I started cycling as a kid as a way of getting around Ajax. At the age of 13, I was riding to my first summer job picking weeds for a local farmer. I was commuting 11.6 km each way but back in those days it wasn’t called ‘commuting’.

What style of bike do you ride?

My very first bike was a purple coloured bike with a banana seat and pull-back handlebars which I thought was pretty cool back then! Now I proudly ride a TREK dual sport 8.4.

Tell us about some of the things you ride your bike for.

I use my bike to commute to and from work, as well as casual rides on weekends with family and friends. We have also started incorporating cycling trips into our summer vacations. This year’s trip is to the Mount Tremblant and Ottawa area!

Any favourite bike routes? What do you like about them?

I really like our local waterfront trails. I very much enjoy being in nature and the waterfront in Durham region is an ideal spot. Another benefit to these trails is that most of it is away from traffic.

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Photo by Danielle Griscti

What would you say is the greatest benefit you get from cycling?

I mostly ride my bike for the health benefits it provides me. There is heart disease and diabetes in my family and ... Read more

BIKE MONTH CYCLIST PROFILE SERIES PRESENTED BY MEC: TORONTO

Published May 02, 2017 17:45

For our latest blog post, we met up with Adil Dhalla last week in the heart of downtown Toronto. Adil met us at his workplace, CSI Regent Park, and we chatted about his daily commute on the Bloor Street bike lanes, and what he loves about the cycling community in Toronto.

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Adil with his favourite piece of gear, outside his workplace. Photo by Danielle Griscti

Tell us about yourself.

I self identify as a civic entrepreneur and community organizer who absolutely loves my city (Toronto), but believes that it has a lot of room for growth and change. I channel my desire to be a part of this growth and change through my work at the Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) where I have the privilege of being the Executive Director and through Chairing the Board of the StopGap Foundation and Co-Chairing Camp Reset.

When and why did you start cycling?

I had a few starts and stops growing up but I really picked up cycling about 5 years ago when I was getting a business off the ground here in Toronto and I found cycling was the most affordable way for me to get around. One of my best friends Eric gave me his old bike so I really want to honour him for helping me overcome the financial barrier I faced at the time around buying a bike and for coaching me to get out into the streets.

What style of bike do you ride?

I rock a KHS Urban Soul, which is “one-gear city spinner” purchased at local legend Bateman’s Bicycle Company.

Tell us about some of the things you ride your bike for.

I take my bike pretty much everywhere and especially find it useful for work as it enables me to get to meetings at different locations (CSI has 4 buildings!) in a predictable fashion. I’m also motivated to tap into the health benefits that cycling provides, especially as it relates to mental health and happiness. 

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Photo by Danielle Griscti


Any favourite bike routes? What do you like about them?

I’m ... Read more

BIKE MONTH CYCLIST PROFILE SERIES PRESENTED BY MEC: HAMILTON

Published April 25, 2017 13:40

For our second blog post, we went to Hamilton and met Lily Romano. Lily greeted us in sunny Hamilton with her Sobi bicycle, ready to roll. We chatted about the bike lanes she likes to take, where she goes, and what she loves about using Hamilton’s bike share system.

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Lily Romano using the Charlton Ave bike lanes on a Sobi bike. Photo by Danielle Griscti

Tell us about yourself.

I'm a Hamiltonian, born in St. Joseph's Hospital, I'm a 'let's pretend' artist working in acrylics, alcohol inks and mixed media. I love to cook and feed my friends, read, sew and keep fit. Being recently retired allows me the time to do all of the above.

When and why did you start cycling?

I began cycling as a 8 year old, when my parents bought me my first CCM bicycle. I've never stopped riding and as a young parent in Lincolnshire, England, taught my own children Matthew & Kate to ride. We'd ride to the North Sea and go for a swim. Well, my kids would swim, I'd watch. The North Sea is very cold.

What style of bike do you ride?

I have owned several bikes throughout my life and now I'm part of Hamilton's bike share program. I ride a Sobi, a nickname for the social bikes! The advantages are too many to list here but my favourite things are: I do not need to store it, maintain it, clean it, or worry about someone stealing it. I learned about Sobi from Steps To Health, a wellness group here in town.

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Photo by Danielle Griscti

Tell us about some of the things you ride your bike for.

I ride a Sobi to do my shopping, go to the library, or meet up with a friend. I love being outside and there is always a Sobi in a rack somewhere near where I live.

Any favourite bike routes? What do you like about them?

I love to ride down to the Bay Front Park with friends, grab some fish and chips from Hutches and sit at the water’s edge to eat and talk. Thene ride home, feeling full and content.

What ... Read more

BIKE MONTH CYCLIST PROFILE SERIES PRESENTED BY MEC: YORK REGION

Published April 18, 2017 13:55

This is the first in a series of blog posts about cyclists from around the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. Today we are profiling Krysten Bates who lives in Richmond Hill in York Region.

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Photo by Danielle Griscti

It was a beautiful day to head north of Steeles Avenue into York Region. At Regional Road 7 and Commerce Valley Drive, we met Krysten Bates, who rides her bike about 5 km to work here. With the wind in her hair, she says her black hybrid saves her about 5-10 minutes per trip each day.

Krysten rides her bike to work in Richmond Hill, as well as some recreational and trail riding when she can. We asked Krysten some questions about why she chooses to bike, her essential gear, and tips she has for people who want to try riding!

Tell us about yourself.

I’m an avid soccer player, knitter, tree-hugger and of course, cyclist! I live and work in Richmond Hill, so
my commute is fairly short (just over 10km round-trip).

When and why did you start cycling?

I lived in Victoria, BC for a short while back in 2014. I did so little driving there that I ended up taking my
car off the road and bought a bike to use for commuting instead. When I moved to Richmond Hill in 2015, a friend from work encouraged me start getting back into the habit of riding to work again. If I recall correctly, my first official day riding to work was Bike to Work Day 2015. I continue to ride for a number of reasons but one of the main drivers is the environmental benefit of commuting by bike. The smaller my carbon footprint, the better!

What style of bike do you ride?

I ride a hybrid made by Raleigh. It’s the perfect fit for my needs (mostly light trail and road riding).

Tell us about some of the things you ride your bike for.

Function, fitness and fun . Whether it’s riding to work, to see a friend or to grab groceries, most of the
time I’m riding to get from point A to B. I do, however, enjoy ... Read more

POST YOUR BIKE EVENTS NOW ON THE BIKE MONTH CALENDAR

Published March 21, 2017 10:34

If you’re planning an event soon, why not hold it during Bike Month? Bike Month kicks off with Bike to Work Day on May 29 and continues until the end of June. The Bike Month website is home to every kind of cycling event, from art shows and scavenger hunts, to film nights, parades, bike rodeos, cupcake rides, cycling workshops, and so many more. The online calendar is open for submissions and you can post cycling related events that take place between May 1 and June 30.

Follow us on Twitter: @BikeMonth and on Facebook for updates!

CONGRATS ALEX MOK ON WINNING THE BIKE TO WORK DAY DRAW PRIZE!

Published June 28, 2016 17:29

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Congratulations to Alex Mok on winning the Bike to Work Day prize! We hope you enjoy your Norco Indie 4 commuter bicycle on your many cycling adventures. Thank you for participating in the Markham/Richmond Hill Bike to Work Day Ride on May 30. We interviewed Alex to get his thoughts on what it's like to commute between downtown Toronto and his home in Richmond Hill. Here's what he had to say:

Tell us a bit about you:

I'm currently a Doctor of Pharmacy student at the University of Toronto, where I just finished my 2nd year and 7th year overall. I've lived downtown during school terms and uptown in Richmond Hill during the summer. Living in both locations has been certainly interesting in terms of commuting. Getting downtown from Richmond Hill during the school term solely by public transit was not a fun experience and I quickly realized how much time I could save by biking parts of my daily commute. I believe that if you live in the GTA, you can get anywhere by bike (weather permitting).

When did you start cycling? 

I started cycling regularly this past year when I moved back downtown and couldn't help but notice how great the cycling community is in Toronto. I bought the bike I’m currently using from a friend in 2013 for $50. Ever since then, I've learned how to fix, repair, and maintain my bike. These skills have helped me ensure a smooth ride, during my longer commutes uptown and as well for my participation in Richmond Hill's Bike to Work Day.

Why do you ride a bike to school?

A big reason why I bike to work is that as a student on a limited budget, it's key for me to save time during hectic commute hours (vs. walking) and money (vs. TTC, YRT/Viva).

What would you say is the best part or benefit of your commute?

The best part of my commute is that I can try different routes every day. It's great exercise as well and gives me a reason to wake up every morning ... Read more

THE IMPORTANCE OF WOMEN-ONLY BIKE REPAIR SPACES

Published June 20, 2016 12:32

This blog post originally appeared in Sexual Assault Centre Hamilton & Area (SACHA). By Johanna Bleecker, New Hope Bikes. 

As an avid rock climber, I always felt comfortable enough in climbing gyms. I would go with both guy and girl friends and on my own, was happy to make friends with other climbers, and never felt overtly discriminated against. Occasionally I would have to put up with others, usually male, giving patronizing tips I hadn’t asked for and didn’t want or trying to engage me in conversations that made me feel uncomfortable.

Then my bouldering gym started a women’s only time, adding a couple extra reserved hours onto their schedule.

Intrigued, my female friend and I went and found something in that space that we hadn’t realized we were missing. Women at all levels of climbing were cheering each other on, there were baked treats, and even the music was female-fronted. The biggest wall, usually overrun by the stronger male climbers, was being climbed by women who said they’d never felt comfortable trying it when the largely male clientele were showing off their skills one after another.

The women’s-only time was a comfortable, judgment-free zone for women to experiment and feel more comfortable in their skills, which would help them later when returning during regular hours.

I’ve made it my current mission to recapture that enthusiastic, supportive atmosphere in the different, also male-dominated world of bike repair.

After learning to work on my own bike in the friendly spaces of bike repair coops, I got further involved by volunteering at a coop in Vancouver after moving there last year. I assisted with a series of women’s only bike repair workshops which were welcomed by the community and created a warm camaraderie among the attendees, many of whom returned to attend multiple workshops in the series.

Upon moving to Hamilton, I took up my community bike repair ... Read more

VULNERABLE ROAD USER LAWS ARE LONG OVERDUE IN ONTARIO

Published June 14, 2016 13:06

Vulnerable Road User Laws are long overdue in Ontario

More and more frequently, people are ditching their cars and opting for an active and more convenient method of transportation for their commute to work. Although cycling advocates in Toronto are working hard to become a bicycle friendly city, we still have a long way to go.

When reviewing cyclist deaths across Ontario between 2006 and 2011, we found something upsetting: while 62% of all bike related deaths were found to be at least partly the fault of the driver, only 27% of drivers involved were ever charged for those deaths. Even worse, those charges did not involve any jail time, license suspensions or court appearances, just small fines usually under $1,000.00. Just this last month, the driver that killed Edouard Le Blanc, a rider that was instantly killed when he was hit on the Gatineau Hydro Corridor, was fined a mere $700.00.

The Ontario Highway Traffic Act defines the bicycle as a vehicle that belongs on the road, which means all road users need to be aware of, and follow the rules. So we all work together to ensure all road users are safe, right? Wrong. As most of us know, this is not necessarily the case. It is very clear that motorists are not aware of, or choose to ignore the rules of the road and compromise the safety of Vulnerable Road Users.

So how do we fix this? We implement Vulnerable Road User (VRU) laws for the Province. If a driver could face potential jail time, or serious penalties, it would force them to take greater care when sharing the road with cyclists and other at risk road users. The penalties when a driver has seriously injured or killed a VRU would require the court to consider increased fines, license suspensions and jail if necessary.

Bike Law Canada has been working to implement VRU laws and we continue to do so. Our efforts have been great but we need the momentum behind us from our ... Read more

DISCOVER YORK REGION BY BIKE

Published June 06, 2016 17:39

Explore York Region By Bike with the new tour map!
There are many on and off-road cycling routes that run from our border with the city of Toronto in the south up to the shores of Lake Simcoe in the north. These routes provide cyclists of all ages and abilities an opportunity to stay active and explore York Region's natural beauty. The new cycling tour map provides some routes for exploring York Region by bike, from ten tour routes to mountain biking, BMX and family cycling options.

 

Recreational cyclists

  • All-Terrain Ride
  • Butter Tart Ride
  • Group of Seven Trails
  • Markham Town and Trail
  • Pedal to the Kettle
Experienced cyclists
  • Main to the Moraine
  • Simcoe Beaches
  • Tour de Holland
  • Village Roundabout
  • York Century

Family/leisure cyclists

  • Nokiidaa Trail - Aurora, Newmarket, East Gwillimbury 
  • Rouge Valley Trail - Markham 
  • Oak Ridges Corridor - Richmond Hill 
  • Bartley Smith Greenway - Vaughan 
  • William Granger Greenway - Vaughan 

Let us know about your cycling experience in York Region with the hashtag #yorkcycling or by emailing cycling@york.ca. For more information, visit York.ca/cycling.

Mark Inglis Greenbelt Route

About Bike Month

Bike Month 2018 kicks off on Monday, May 28 and continues until the end of June with hundreds of interesting and fun things to do, including rides, guided bike tours, festivals, art shows, film screenings, and so much more.

Join The Conversation


Coming May 1, take the Bike Month pledge!

Pledge to ride to school or work on Bike to Work Day, Monday May 27 and/or throughout June for a chance to win one of three trips for two courtesy of VIA Rail (to Quebec City, Montreal or Ottawa) or a weekend getaway courtesy of Welcome Cyclists. Contest closes June 18.

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