Monday, September 05, 2005

Is Toronto already utility cycling?

Today I rode the Leslie Spit; not the treo, but the park. It was a good Labour Day journey, 58 km total, over about 2.5 hours, plus some time for a hamburger.

The parks along the Don Valley were packed with barbequers and roller bladders. It’s great to see so many people still do things with their families.

During the first kilometer along the bike path, I noticed a lot of the cyclists I was passing had rear racks or baskets on their handle bars. Some even had old milk crates attached to their racks. I’ve always thought that a lot of people had bikes sitting in their garages that they only get out for weekend rides, but this seemed to suggest that many people at least considered putting some groceries or a bag of clothing on the back of their bikes. During the 25 or 30 kilometers I counted at least 55 more bikes with racks or baskets. I’m guessing this was about ¼ of the adult-sized bikes I went past. (It would have been more scientific if I had also counted the number of bikes in total, but I don’t get paid that much for this)

It made me wonder: Are Torontonians already utility cycling? Are these people already thinking about using their bikes for practical trips? Maybe they aren’t but they’re ready to start.

Darren J 9/05/2005 10:23:00 p.m.


I see tons of folks in Toronto utility cycling - putting watermelons from the grocery store on their back rack, biking to the waterfront with paddles sticking out of their panniers, guys carrying 12 foot ladders in one hand while riding (hmm I wouldn't be able to balance), neighbours riding to work with kids on the back seat to take to day care first. Lots of neato cargo. I really should make a photo montage of the things people carry by bike in Toronto. Many are fair weather only, and as the weather turns to winter the numbers drop off sharply, until all that remains is a tiny group of committed cyclists plus some low income folks that have no choice on how to get around: they can't afford transit fare.

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