As the video title suggests, this video shows incidents on a ride from the West End of Toronto to Canada's Wonderland. It shows some good cycling by me and some bad cycling, some good driving and some bad driving, and some road design problems. It happens to provide some excellent examples that show why cyclists find riding in the outer suburbs of Toronto a pretty daunting proposition.
Excellent documentation ofSun, 09/04/2011 - 07:06
Excellent documentation of cycling in the outer areas of Toronto - especially the editing to make the viewer understand what's going on. Thanks for putting it together. I may want to use it someday to explain cycling in the burbs...
dances_with_traffic (not verified)
About your red-light runner,Mon, 09/05/2011 - 16:28
About your red-light runner, the alternate theory is they've done a good thing, obeyed the rules, so they're entitled to a bad thing or have exhausted their mental power to obey rules further.
Being buzzed by drivers who refuse to move over to an empty lane is quite puzzling, it is probably the best case of stupidity and laziness. Look at how high the province had to set the fines for buzzing stopped emergency vehicles and people still are too slovenly to bother to slow or change lanes.
I used to ride this route 4Wed, 09/07/2011 - 11:58
I used to ride this route 4 days a week for about 6 or 7 months. The expectation of drivers here is often that as soon as a lane opened up on the right side, I should be riding in it. Problem is, as shown in the video, that these lane openings are for off ramps and require dangerous merges back to the straight-through lane. I would stick in the centre lane and that is when the majority of close calls happened for me, as drivers tried to push me into the right turning lanes. Every morning I would see people riding their bikes on the sidewalk, typically at half the speed I was able to go. For them, the road is far, far more dangerous (or I should say the drivers on that road are far more dangerous).
Peter (not verified)
I can hardly believe someoneWed, 09/07/2011 - 12:01
I can hardly believe someone biked on those streets and even more incredible some of those streets were marked as shared lanes? Yet there was so much room on the right hand shoulder to create a separated bike lane. The problem here isn't poor planning, it's that there is NO planning. Civil engineers and traffic engineers are just not trained or prepared to deal with the complexity of contemporary transportation issues. Many of these situations are more basic poor design forcing drivers and cyclists to be driving together inappropriately.
GMD (not verified)
Thanks for the posting this.Wed, 09/07/2011 - 13:25
Thanks for the posting this. G
Yes, slip lanes to on-rampsWed, 09/07/2011 - 15:08
Yes, slip lanes to on-ramps and off-ramps are always a challenge. I certainly don't go into the on-ramp lane (going from the road I'm riding on to the freeway). However, if it's an off-ramp lane joining the street I''m on, I will move over to the right when I get a chance.
Drivers have no idea how to deal with me when I'm riding to the left of a freeway on-ramp lane. They tend to have three possible responses:
Taking Kipling or Islington over the Gardiner adds in the challenge that you need to ride up the overpass (slowing you down), then you drop out of sight on the far side when you barely have picked up speed.
Then again, there's the westbound bike lane on Lake Shore, which takes you into the slip lane for Brown's Line northbound. The vast majority of bicyclists continue west along Lake Shore. The trick is to stay left, and not follow the bike lane when the turning lane appears. Car drivers are sometimes puzzled by this behaviour as well.
fabien (not verified)
Great vid and commentary. IWed, 09/07/2011 - 17:26
Great vid and commentary. I assume the camera is helmet mounted and am somewhat surprised the rider would not want to look back and over his shoulder more often. I do this a lot downtown which can get you out of harm's way and also signals motorists to be careful (when they see you "nervously" loking over your shoulder). Or do you have another technique? Or an eye in the back of your head? ;)
Mad Jack McMad (not verified)
On ramps...oh yeah...I knowThu, 09/08/2011 - 11:31
On ramps...oh yeah...I know the feeling. Crossing over the 401 on Islington, on the back from Kleinburg on Monday, got honked at (and yelled at) by someone in a minivan who felt that I should be in the right-hand lane. I explained to him that the right-hand lane was the on-ramp for the 401 (which he had just come off), and that I wasn't about to get on a major highway. Of course, he was nowhere near me when he honked.
Interesting how empty theThu, 09/08/2011 - 21:05
Interesting how empty the side walks were - typical of suburban areas. Bike lanes may be a pragmatic alternative, especially when you consider longer travel distances and the available space relative to a city centre
Thanks John - Good stuff.
Random cyclist (not verified)
How many pedestrians couldThu, 09/08/2011 - 23:32
How many pedestrians could you spot? (not counting people waiting for the bus)
robb (not verified)
This is, I believe, a rideFri, 09/09/2011 - 00:38
This is, I believe, a ride through the heart of Rob Ford's old riding, Doug Ford's current one.
Actually, this ride goesFri, 09/09/2011 - 10:39
Actually, this ride goes straight up Jane Street, four or five kilometers east of Doug Ford's ward of Etobicoke North. The border between two wards falls right in the middle of Jane for most of the way, with councillors ranging from Nunziata to Mammoliti (groan) to Maria Augimeri.
Luke (not verified)
Excellent vid John: vehicularFri, 09/09/2011 - 12:37
Excellent vid John: vehicular cycling demonstrated. Thank you.
A few observations:
400 series on/off ramps: the absolute bane of cyclists in the GTA. Are there any pedallers who don't dread traversing these?
What is virtually impossible to convey on video is the visceral effect of a being buzzed, especially by trucks, or the noise and agitation whilst among so much speedier metal. Your narration details close calls, but a cyclist must experience them first hand to understand just how intimidating they can be.
At red lights, while in the curb lane, positioning oneself to the left to accommodate right turning cars behind is just plain courtesy. On a green signal it's simple in a few short feet to drift rightwards and freeing up space for faster vehicles to pass. Often at intersections cyclists wait at the curb pinning themselves between right turning vehicles and pedestrians on green signals.
Pedestrians are conspicuous by their absence. So are cyclists. This should really underscore the difference in cultures -- and attitudes -- between Toronto's urban- and suburbanites . Night and day folks. Is it any surprise there's such a divide separating the two perspectives and agendas.
So much of the landscape is filled with…nothing. There's just so much space compared to downtown. Some of clearance zones, i.e., the space between the sidewalk, can easily accommodate another lane of traffic.
@fabien: I do a shoulderMon, 09/12/2011 - 13:31
@fabien: I do a shoulder check before turning or changing lanes; for locating traffic around me and particularly behind me, I use my ears as a primary method, and a helmet mirror as a secondary. To all the people who don't like helmet mirrors: I agree they don't replace shoulder checks, but they do let me keep an eye on the traffic behind me at speeds to high to allow me to rely on hearing alone.