Monday, April 10, 2006

Seasonal Adjusting

There really needs to be a heck of a lot more spring going on around here. Last week there was snow on the ground and even yesterday I was leaving the house to -2 C temperatures. These are not the marks of a sprung spring.

Of course my demands are entirely unreasonable. There have only been two years in the past fifty where it hasn't snowed in April in Toronto and I guess there is small mercy that it has now done so with little chance of it happening again.

This morning the forecast 7 C ended up being a brisk 1 C so my hope of riding to work in shorts were dashed at first light. I'm not defeated yet though, in anticipation of the forecast 14 C materialising this afternoon I packed said shorts for the ride home. I was impressed with the Monday morning doubling of cycle commuters today, despite the chilly weather. I'm hoping the eight, instead of four, that I saw this morning will be a permanent fixture.

I think that I'm going to have to change my route to work. It's bad enough that my 13.5 miles is an uphill trawl into headwinds, but the stretch that runs up Bayview Avenue is wearing thin to say the least. This corridor seems cursed by a field of automotive arrogance and the four mile curbside section that I usually have to ride in makes an amazonian dirt track look like polished glass. Thankfully the recently printed 2006 Toronto Bike Map is revealing a few more options for me to consider and I'll probably spend the evenings this week trying out new routes.

I would like to take this opportunity to extend my hearty discombobulation to the Greater Toronto Area highways authorities for their previous chronic short-sightedness which, severely limited the number of opportunities for traversing the motorways that intersect this city. The 401 and the 404/Don Valley Parkway effectively divide this city into quadrants that any non-motorist will find difficult to escape. Roads that cross these motorways are invariably busy and fast and in the years since their implementation, no discernable remedial action has been taken to relieve cyclsits and pedestrians from the threat posed to them. I probably wouldn't be so irked if I didn't ahve to cross both to get to work but as I do, I feel entirely justified in my ire. Maybe I'll start harrassing local officials.

16 Comments:

Anonymous Trepid Explorer said...

I wouldn't. If they named their motorways after the Don Valley Parkway in Sheffield, they're obviously Yorkshiremen and ya don't mess with Yorkshiremen.

Don't worry. Soon, you'll be away from all this.

12:23  
Anonymous Mike said...

Hey Bro

If its any consolation I usually have to scrape ice of my windscreen 5 - 10 times in December and January.

For the first time ever I scraped ice off my windscreen in mid April today.

Winter is a little cooler than normal in modest weather Exeter. I dont have a current mail address for you. email me on (mike dot rodgers 3 at btinternet dot com) in anti spam crawler bot code.

Cheers

Mike

16:31  
Blogger Across Canada said...

It's sent.

Actually this reminds me of the time when it snowed in April when we were kids and we had just about enough snow in the yard behind the old mill house to build a snowman.

Given that I was pretty young at the time it can't have been that tall.

16:57  
Anonymous Trepidexplorer said...

That was the only winter my parents have ever dragged me around on a sled. It was a wooden one my grandad made and there was enough snow to go all the way up the drive (about a mile). The pictures we had in Scotland at the water works from that year showed excavators digging out the road to the plant. The snow was piled above the roof of the excavators.

Tch. And they think it snows in Canada. Well, actually it does, they just deal with it better.

11:38  
Blogger Darren J said...

I find Bayview no fun at all. The right lane is way too narrow.

I know what you mean about the problems crossing the 401. It took me a while to find somewhere good to cross. It sounds like you're coming from the east, but if you're willing to come almost over to Yonge, there's a sort of sidewalk-like path under the highway. I'd gladly send you a link to a map.

When you're north of the 401, you can head a couple streets east and you're on Willowdale, which is much better for cycling than Bayview.

12:18  
Blogger Across Canada said...

Thanks Darren.

I'll gladly take a look at the map, although i'm trying to keep my journey time to under an hour. The haul up Bayview is busy, but it;s also fairly fast.

14:31  
Blogger Darren J said...

Here's where you can cross the 401. map

You might be coming across Lord Seaton or up Upper Canada.

I put more of the route on . (The site is sort of half-done, so you have to zoom out from Minneapolis, then zoom in on Toronto.)

It'll definitely be a bit longer than your current route, but Willowdale is nice and fast.

15:34  
Blogger Darren J said...

Oops! I guess I should have previewed that! That link is to City Bike Map.

15:35  
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