bike culture

New player in the dirt: Toronto Off Road Bicycling Association

Brian Betsworth sent me a heads-up of a new cycling organization in town. The Toronto Off Road Bicycling Association (TORBA) was founded just under a year ago with the aim to benefit off road riders by taking care of Toronto's many unofficial dirt trails, and to engage with authorities to help legitimize cycling off road. As Brian explains,

"Mountain biking" is nothing new to Toronto, nor are sweet trails; but it's only lately that the topic has become an issue to land managers and conservationists; and a source of concern and debate for riders and builders. Many people believe the forests are public space, free to all, and so building sweet trail and riding wherever and however they feel is the way to go; to the authorities trying to manage those spaces, it's their land, their responsibility, and the issues become all about liability, environmental impact, and sustainability. Oh, and recreation. So TORBA has waded into that river of debate, and aims to build bridges, and shift perceptions, while maintaining, preserving, and creating new off road cycling opportunities in Toronto.

TORBA and Umbra will host a launch event at Umbra's Concept Store, 165 John Street, on Thursday, May 22nd, 2008, from 7 pm till 11 pm.

CBN Needs Board Members

Things have been hopping at CBN these days. I'm sure it's busy at every bike shop, including the other community recycling/workshop places like the Bike Pirates, Bikechain and West End Bike Club. This has been CBN's first year of running a recycled bike shop with an expanded range of mechanic courses (Wednesday nights and Wenches with Wrenches). We've been mentioned in the Toronto Star and CityTV with the hullabaloo around the strike, saying that we've got lots of yellow Bikeshare bikes for rent ($10 per day if you're interested). We're also distributing the Momentum Magazine, so if you're interested in being a drop-off location, talk to us.

We've got two staff who are busy coordinating volunteers; others are leading workshops; sourcing donated bikes; selling recycled bikes; giving advice to do-it-yourselfers on fixing their own bikes; and just fixing up bikes.

Do you ride in Mass?

I had the pleasure of meeting a graduate student from York this week who is researching Critical Mass, and he wants to know: Have YOU ever participated in critical mass Toronto?

He is conducting a survey and would like your input. The survey is part of a case study and is completely anonymous and confidential. If you can spare three to five minutes, just go to:

If you would like more information about the research, please contact Andrew Bieler at

See you this Friday! Spadina and Bloor, 6pm.

Photo by Martin Reis

Bike Now

Photo taken at the Streets Are For People street closure on John street April 20th.

Toronto Bike Culture

PutTheFun Toronto like most cities around the world is home to lots of bike culture. A funky local blog called 'She does the City' recently did a fine job summarizing the cool bike culture scene here in our own backyard. Yeah, bikes are sexy and you know it.

Hang 20 Opens Tonite

Hang 20" ReverseHang 20" Reverse

Show opens tonight and looks stellar. Check it out! Even more fun after the bike show over beers and music.

My bike takes me places ...

Queen & OssingtonQueen & Ossington
Photo by Adrienne Lloyd. Ossington & Queen earlier this week.

Hang 20" Art Festival

March 7 - 9 at the Gladstone Hotel. Art, film and bike culture fun.
Featuring artwork by Janet Attard and many others.Hang 20"Hang 20"

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