February 10, 2024

2024 Coldest Day of the Year Ride

One of my favourite things to do during the winter months is to take part in Cycle Toronto’s “Coldest Day of the Year” Ride; an event aimed to promote winter cycling. However, this year’s event was unusually mild with temperatures around 10’C which can be very worrying from a climate change perspective. About 150 to 200 people joined us at Tom Riley Park to ride the recently extend Bloor bike lanes east to Christie Pits Park, which was almost as many as last November’s Bloor bike lane rally.

Some opening remarks were given by Cycle Toronto’s Executive Director Michael Longfield, Councillor Amber Morley, and Grace Candy of Bike Share Toronto.

Here’s a shot taken of the Tom Riley Park parking lot before we rode off.

And here we go!

A look back at the group ride as it crossed Mimico Creek.

Here’s the ride just starting to cross the Humber River.

I also recorded a video in which I counted roughly 140 cyclists. However, Brian Tao informed me he counted 185 bikes plus five passengers at South Kingsway.

After recording everyone across the Humber River bridge, it was bikes as far as the eye can see.

Going through Bloor West Village.

We regrouped at the High Park entrance. While at High Park, one of the cyclists (Eddie?) was trying to get people to take part in tai chi sessions in the park on Tuesday’s and Thursdays.

It’s nice to not have any bike lane obstructions when going under the two railway bridges.

Turning onto Shaw Street.

The ride ended at the north side of Christie Pits Park where some Cycle Toronto volunteers served hot chocolate from their tent, and lots of conversation to be had.

One bike that caught my eye at Christie Pits was a kid’s bike strapped on the side of an Urban Arrow cargo bike. Never let them tell you that you can’t carry stuff on a cargo bike. 😉

Before leaving Christie Pits, I asked Grace if I could give one of the bike share e-bikes a quick ride since I hadn’t rode one before. I did a quick ride along Barton Avenue and found it was really quick. Even without breaking a sweat, I was able to hit 27 km/h. When I asked her and another Bike Share Toronto colleague about the e-bike’s range, I was told the 8 km ride brought the battery down to four bars (out of five); meaning it was likely around 36 km to 40 km. Of course, colder weather and hilly terrain could wear out the battery quicker.

I caught Councillor Morley before she headed back to Etobicoke. Thanks Councillor Morley for joining us for the entire ride, as well as for your continued support of the Bloor West Complete Street Extension in Etobicoke! Let’s keep riding the Bloor extension as often as possible.

Tomorrow will be a more sombre occasion as we do a memorial ride for the cyclist killed at Brimley & McNicoll. Meet 12:00 PM at Kennedy Station for 12:30 PM departure.

Jun N also shared his take on the ride on his blog, while the Toronto Star wrote about the ride. It took a while for the ride video to upload which delayed publication at my end. 😉

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