Riding a bike is as easy as … well … riding a bike. Every winter, many of us put our bikes away and need a little boost to get back on two wheels. Luckily, there is an event perfectly designed to do just that. Come on out Monday morning to join thousands of other Torontonians for the annual “Bike to Work Day”. It kicks off an entire month of activities including rides, guided bike tours, festivals, art shows, film screenings, and whole lot more.
Toronto Bike to Work Day ends with an extremely delicious (and free) pancake breakfast at Nathan Phillips Square. Join the group commute from starting points around the city. They all converge at 7:30 AM at Yonge x Charles to ride to Nathan Phillips Square for a maple syrup covered breakfast at 8 AM. You can register for this in advance at here.
Beyond Bike to work day, there are hundreds of events about town, which I have helpfully distilled into 8 highlights listed in order of date:
- BOOKS ON BATHURST: Saturday, May 28 at 3:00 – 7:00 pm, starting at Fort York Library and ending at the June Callwood Park. Celebrate Jane Jacobs, June Callwood & The Reading Line authors while cycling in a critical mass on Bathurst Street.
- EVERGREEN BIKE WORKS | POP-UP-TUNE-UP AT CASTLE FRANK: Friday, June 3 4:00 – 7:00 pm, and the first Friday of every month after. If you ride by Castlefrank station, stop by their pop-up stand for a quick tune-up!
- ST. LAWRENCE LIBRARY BIKE DAY: Saturday, June 4 at 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, 171 Front St. E. Join ward 28 for a free Springtime bike tune-up, learn how to bike safely in the city, and enjoy locally made treats. There are other great event for Ward
- 42 RIDES PRESENTS: FRESH WHEELS 2016: Sunday, June 5 at 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, Malvern Skate Park by Sewells Rd. For the daredevils among us …the Grand Re-opening of the 42 Rides BMX/Skatepark including BMX and Skateboarding Competitions.
- MOVIE NIGHT IN THE SQUARE – THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE:
Thursday, June 9 at 8:00 – 9:30 pm, Celebration Square, Mississauga. Watch the movie on screens set up in the Square and park your bike in the special bike corral.
- ENBRIDGE RIDE TO CONQUER CANCER: June 11-12, an EPIC, two-day cycling event spanning over 200 kms throughout Ontario’s picturesque countryside …all benefiting our very own Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.
- HELMETS ON KIDS SPONSORED BY MCLEISH ORLANDO: Friday, June 17 at 1:00 – 3:00 pm, Nelson Mandela Park Public School. 500 helmets to be given away to students of Nelson Mandela Park Public School.
- BELLS ON DANFORTH: Saturday, June 25, time tba. A pedal-powered parade to celebrate cycling. Now in its 5th fantastic year!
For the foodies among us, there are lots rides designed to indulge after burning all that energy (or to burn energy so you can indulge … however you play). There’s a Custard Tart Ride, a 47km Dim Sum/Tim Sum ride, a Tour De Dufflet for pastries, a Cycledine tour that hits 3 mystery restaurants, and even a beer and bike festival (though take care on this one as booze and biking can go from delightful to dangerous after a few).
In addition to the many events in the GTA, the Energy & Environment Department, the Wellness Department and SmartCommute have partnered up to bring special events to UHN including a Road Ethics and Cycling Courtesies workshop and Advanced Bike Repair Workshops. More on that here.
And if you’d like to go it alone, there are lots of fitness watches and smartphone apps to help you track your mileage and kilometerage (not a word, but it should be, for Metric’s sake). For staff here, there’s a UHN Bike Challenge to encourage you to cycle all month long … though just by biking more, you will already win. You can also win through SmartCommute (a chance at VIA rail tickets!), just by tracking your trips on their site too. You can play both ways.
UHN has a long history of supporting cycling: from the more than 1000 bike parking spaces throughout UHN sites, to the over 700 people on the Bicycle User Group, to the 3 newly installed air pumps at Toronto General Hospital and Krembil Discovery Tower (a big thank you to the Princess Margaret Foundation and the Infrastructure department).
There are so many good reasons to get on a bike … improving health, easing traffic congestion and improving air quality … especially if your trip by bike replaces one by car.
Happy Bike Month all! Ride on.
(modified from the originally published piece on UHN News)