Bike Like Mike

There is no better time of year than now to ride your bike to work (or to the gym, or to the grocery store, or just for fun)! Fresh crisp air and cool morning temperatures help to ensure you won’t end up a sweaty mess on arrival. Biking regularly can help you get in shape, feel better, improve your health, and it’s just plain fun! Check out this TED Talk about the awesome ways that biking can change you.

Bikeshare

I’ve been meaning to write a blog on biking ever since the large expansion of Toronto’s Bike Share system this summer. I’ve been a Bike Share member for about 5 years, going back to the days when it was known as Bixi Bike. Every time there is an expansion to the system, it opens up the city a little bit more. Expansions have added bikes directly outside the front door of UHN offices at Lucliff Place as well as a short walk from Toronto Rehab’s Bickle Centre at Queen Street and Close Ave. With stations also in front of TGH, TRI-UC, TWH, and PMH, UHNers all over the city have great access to the system. As part of the recent expansion, stations have been added in the west end along the lake shore trails and in the east end, expanding further into Scarborough towards the Beaches and along the Danforth subway line.

I use these bikes all the time (44 rides in September) to get around faster and cheaper than any other transit infrastructure. There is nothing more satisfying than flying by a bunch of road raging single occupant vehicles and getting to your destination faster than you could have if you drove, took the TTC, or walked. In August, I was returning from Europe and traveled home from Pearson using the train to Union and Toronto Bike Share – total travel time from the plane touching down to my couch with a cold beverage was 1 hour and 8 minutes, including waiting for that guy blocking everyone from getting off the plane while he rearranges his bag in the overhead compartment for 15 minutes! Total cost: $9 for train. Bike share membership is only $90 per year, so if you are using it in place of TTC or cabs even semi-frequently, it pays back fast. With a membership, bike trips under 30 minutes are free.

With more and more safe biking infrastructure cropping up in the city, even “normal” people are starting to see biking as a good option. Our fearless leader, Ed, has also recently jumped into the fray, although I don’t support references to the most annoying song Queen ever made!

Another benefit of biking in the cooler temperatures of fall is that we will start to see less and less of this unfortunate sight:

Empty Bike Share

Bike Share station suffering from “summer syndrome”

Although the bikes are clunky and the stations might be empty the odd time, I love the convenience of never having to worry about any of the following:

  • my bike getting stolen
  • purchasing an expensive lock and carrying it around
  • carrying around other items that are commonly stolen, such as bike seat, lights, wheels, etc.
  • storing a bike in my small apartment
  • greasing chains and other maintenance

If you are thinking of becoming a first time Bike Share member, you should know that your Presto Card will get you 40% off your first year! That means a whole year of biking would be only $54 or less than half of a one month Metropass. You can’t afford not to try it! Check out this webinar for all you need to know about Presto.

With the end of Smart Commute Month coming up on October 6th I would like to challenge you to continue your smart commute beyond this month. Continue to reduce your reliance on single occupant vehicles and improve your health, fitness, and sanity! From my experience, the growing Toronto Bike Share system is a convenient and affordable alternative. I hope you give it a try and join me out there in a bike lane near you.

Over the edge of seventeen

Last week we asked you what your plans are for the new year. Missed it? Like magic, here you go. We gave 17 options (cuz 2017), mixing up traditional resolutions with some (subliminal) sustainable suggestions. Happily, you chose a lot of sustainable suggestions!  The results tells us a lot about you. (Note that what follows is entirely based on my glance at the results at precisely 3:45 pm on Wednesday).

Drum roll please… Continue reading

The Edge of Seventeen

20172016

Continue reading

Sweet (20) Sixteen

image credit: HappyNewYearWallpaper.com

image credit: HappyNewYearWallpaper.com

New Year’s, one of the oldest holidays celebrated ever, is kind of a funny thing. Back in ye olden Roman times, they decided to move New Year’s from March (a logical spot, what with springtime renewal) to January since the month was named for Continue reading

7 Habits of Highly Ecoffective* People

While we are gearing up for Earth Week next week, the best way to celebrate is to shift the things you do every day for the better and greener. Once you get in the habit, it’s second nature. Not sure where to start? Try these 7 habits of highly ecoffective* people: Continue reading

9 Tiny Ways to be a Big Hero

2015 has come, and its shiny new and improved glory can bring hope and promise … and cast a shadow of frenzied panic for perfection. Turn over a new leaf! Make those major changes you swore up and down you’d finish last year or the year before or in 1999! Make a list, check it twice, gonna find out who’s … sorry, wrong holiday.

image credit: bengallagher.com

image credit: bengallagher.com

There are all sorts of resolutions we usually tackle: from getting healthy to getting organized, butting out to Continue reading

It’s Resolution Revolution Time

image credit dazzlingwallpaper.com

image credit dazzlingwallpaper.com

Ah … the crisp (frigid) January bite of our brand spanking New Year; 2014! Had to concentrate extra hard to put a 4 instead of a 3 … habits, y’know? Speaking of habits, the new year is the most popular time to change ’em; break bad ones, start good ones, or at least think about it between episodes of Duck Dynasty.

To go forward, I’m gonna look backward, all the way back to last year. We stared down that nasty Mayan Apocalypse and guess who blinked? We looked at resolution mania in a small, medium and big picture kind of way i.e. gave it a personal, local and global outlook. These resolutions become revolutions, with enough steam.

We started big; yup, with Continue reading