Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Lane taking

This morning I took the lane on Yonge Street in front of an H2 Hummer. I had to do it, because of an even larger truck in the neighbouring lane that I was pacing. I made a difference! I had an impact on society and the environment by reminding that guy what a real sport utility vehicle is! Just kidding. I know that guy couldn't have cared less.

Speaking of Hummers, on most days I ride past one that sits idling warming up in its driveway for what must be at least 5 minutes based on all the variation in my schedule.

I rode in 15 minutes later this morning, and passed three other cyclists just in my short ride through Thornhill and Richmond Hill. I wonder if they're out there all the time. At -10 C, -19 C with the windchill, today wasn't exactly warm by this winter's standards.

Darren J 2/28/2006 12:27:00 PM

6 Comments:

It's gorgeous out there today! I had a great ride in, after hibernating all weekend and taking the bus yesterday (I wasn't feeling too good...).

I rarely see other cyclists out here in Mississauga, but on my way to lunch I saw a lady pull up to my building and lock up her bike. Rock on. I sometimes feel a bit lonely cycling out here.
It's true. Even though it's cold, the sky was clear, and it was a great day to be outside. I skipped yesterday too and bussed it, but I felt like I couldn't miss another day on my bike.

Rock on indeed. Slowly but surely, we'll have more friends out there. Does Mississauga or Peel region have much in the way of bike paths or a bike plan? York Region talks once in a while but never acts.
Hey Darren,

Missisauga has a cycling committee and a cycling section of their web site, as well as a cycling map.

However, my impression is that they treat it all as a recreational activity meant for people riding trails that go nowhere on weekends. There definitely *are* some nice trails in Mississauga, but they just don't really go anywhere. To get anywhere in Mississauga, you have to ride on the super-busy major roads, because everything else just zigzags around.

The bike maps sucks too. It has about 3 billion hotels listed on it, but the few bike shops are hard to find. Most street names aren't listed, so when you're trying to find a way to connect between the patchy cycling routes, it's difficult.

Anyway, that's my pessimistic look at the state of cycling in Mississauga. It's definitely a motorist's world out there. Actually, i'm starting to get used to it, and I guess the one thing I like about suburban riding is going really far and fast with few stops. :-)

Perhaps it'll improve over time...

Not really sure about Brampton. I've cycled a bit of it, but not enough to form an opinion. It's really just Mississauga North anyway!

-Vic
Hotels?! So Mississauga is under the impression that a significant portion of their cycling population is arriving from outside Mississauga, with no idea where to sleep, stopping by a bike shop or tourist office for a map, then riding along their newly found bike paths (or somehow) to a hotel?

I guess even if the city doesn't believe it, they've convinced hotel operators that there are enough people doing it that it is worth advertising on the bike map.
Yup, see for yourself here: http://www5.mississauga.ca/cycling/

Although I guess, to be fair, they do label this map as the "City Trails and Tourism Guide". But that right there says it all. It's not really meant to be a practical guide for commuter/transportational cycling residents.

I wonder if they'll have an updated map at this year's bike show.
Definitely a good idea to take the lane when near a Hummer. I can't get over how wide those things are. Well after being buzzed by them in narrow lanes I realize hmm this lane is really only Hummer width, why am I over near the edge?

I kinda liked Mississauga as a place to cycle when doing my suburban yarn tour (and the odd weekend ride). As far as suburban cycling goes it seems much nicer than Etobicoke, Scarborough, Richmond Hill and Markham in my limited experience anyway. One nice thing about suburbs like Mississauga is they tend to repair their roads much better than in Toronto (aaah smooth pavement), restrict on street parking or just have enough parking lots who bothers (yay lots of door-zone free room) and have widish lanes.

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