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The Engineer

The Life and Times of Donald F. Simmons

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Weekend Cycling

Yesterday I had dim sum with my brother and Dave and Louise (and little Paula) down on Baldwin Street. As it was an unusually warm day for this time of year, and almost dead calm, I figured I could get in one more long bike ride before the cold and ice and snow shut me down until the spring.

So I put on my light jacket (figuring pedalling would keep me just warm enough), just remembered my cycling map and cell phone as I headed out the door, and cycled down to Baldwin St., noting that my rear tire was a little flat, and planning on hitting a gas station after dim sum.

After a fine meal, we all left the restaurant only to find that my rear tire was now completely flat, my first real flat. As my mind spun in circles, my brother reasonably pointed out that my cycling map, which I had displayed during the meal, undoubtedly had the addresses of local bike shops on it. And so it did, my cell phone coming in handy to find out which ones were open on a Sunday. So I wheeled the bike down to Duke's on Queen near Bathurst, had the flat fixed in five minutes flat (and the mechanic explained the whole procedure to me for the future), and I was on my way again a lot faster than I thought I'd be.

I headed west along the Waterfront Trail, further in that direction than I've gone to date (and going right by your place moon_custafer), to the edge of my cycling map, Marie Curtis Park, where there's a big sign stating I'm leaving the Toronto part of the trail and entering the Mississauga part. As it was about 3:40 PM, and I wanted to get back home before the light failed (forgot to bring my bike light) I turned around at that point. The bike path was emptier than I've ever seen it, I could swoop down the hilly bits with abandon and not have to brake to avoid running over small children (which would get me into trouble).

From Toronto, the Waterfront Trail goes to Niagara Falls. I seriously need one weekend next spring to see about biking out there, spending the night, and heading back home the next day.

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We've walked the cycling path in Marie Curtis Park (I think -- it's the one on the north side of Long Branch, right?) and it's a bit of a strange experience - you go along this long woodsy-ish (but paved) path by a small river (green_trilobite has some nice photos of a big dramatic sluice-gate), and then eventually you come out onto a suburban neighbourhood baseball field. Walk a little further among some houses and across the highway and you're at the Sherway Mall.

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