January 01, 2024

New Year's Day 2024 Group Ride

Happy New Year, fellow cyclists! Last year, Jun wrote about a New Year’s Day group ride that Alex put together which involves riding from Queen & Logan to the Tommy Thompson Park lighthouse for a group shot. Since I wanted to step up my bike riding game for 2024, I decided to join this year’s group ride – the 12th time Alex organized this – and check some infrastructure in the Port Lands thanks to Brian Tao.

With much of December being unusually mild, this was probably the first morning of this winter which I could genuinely call “Viking Biking” conditions with some snow on the ground. The bike lanes on the Prince Edward Viaduct had some slush to deal with.

Fortunately, the Danforth bike lanes were all clear.

There was a decent bike gathering by the Starbucks at Queen and Logan with about 20 people.

Alex lets the group know the ride route which involved taking Logan, Eastern, and Leslie to Tommy Thompson Park.

And we’re off!

Along Eastern Avenue – which could use a bike lane extension west across the Don River to the Richmond-Adelaide cycle tracks.

Regroup at Leslie and Lake Shore.

Now riding in Tommy Thompson Park.

A nice look at the Toronto skyline.

There were some very large puddles to get around on the way to the lighthouse.

Some more riders making their way down Tommy Thompson Park.

A blurry photo going up the rocky hill to the lighthouse. Definitely do not recommend riding up on a road bike.

Shannon and some other riders making their way up the hill.

Christie and Liz were among the last ones up.

Next to the lighthouse – which is fenced off – before taking the group photo above. Including myself, 25 riders made it to the Tommy Thompson Park lighthouse.

It just feels nice to be out on a bike, even during the winter time!

Time to leave Tommy Thompson Park.

I then turned left onto Unwin where I came across the new Unwin Avenue Trail which Brian informed me about. It goes next to the Cherry Beach sports fields and bypasses the beach crowds during the summer.

Coming from the west, you would turn left at the Giant shipping container building to access the new trail instead of continuing straight to Cherry Beach.

The bike path under the new Don River crossing has some snow on it.

The path appears complete all the way to Lake Shore Boulevard, but it is fenced off at Commissioners Road. This path is expected to open later in January.

Commissioners Road east of the existing Cherry Street also has the cycle tracks almost done, but not yet accessible to the public.

Here’s a look at Cherry Street from Lake Shore.

This crossing at Cherry and Lake Shore is new and has some protected intersection elements.

Cherry Street at least has some barriers going under the railway tracks before taking Esplanade-Mill and Sherbourne back home.

Thanks to Alex for putting together today’s ride which saw a few familiar faces and a lot of new ones. Look forward to more riding in 2024.

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