Group Commute Kicks Off Bike Month

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By , May 27, 2009 5:57 am

Group commute 2009 heads down Yonge Street

The Group Commute pauses on the way down Yonge Street.

Ward 29 Bikes members joined the Group Commute to Nathan Phillips Square on Monday morning to kick off Bike Month. Approximately…bazillions of cyclists (we’re awful at estimating crowd sizes, but there sure were a lot of us!) rode across Danforth and Bloor, meeting up with other groups from the west and north before heading down Yonge Street to City Hall.

Helmets outnumber yellow shirts

Two dejected-looking yellow shirts (advocating against the Jarvis improvements) are surrounded by a sea of bike helmets.

After the pancake breakfast, we joined dozens of other cyclists in City Council chamber to show our support for the proposed Jarvis streetscape improvements, which include bike lanes from Bloor to Queen. After a rancorous and at times silly day-long debate, the improvements were adopted by Council.

Bike Month Kickoff: Group Commute

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By , May 22, 2009 7:33 pm

Several members of Ward 29 Bikes will be participating in the Group Commute to kick off the 2009 edition of Bike Month on Monday, May 25. We’ll be joining the ride from the meeting point at Danforth and Chester around 7:20 a.m. and riding with everyone down to Nathan Phillips Square for the annual pancake breakfast at City Hall. All cyclists who join the ride will recieve a free Bike Month t-shirt and the pleasure of a relaxing ride downtown with dozens of other cyclists. Join us for this and other Bike Month activities.

Public Meeting: Wednesday, June 17, 2009

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By , May 22, 2009 7:02 pm

Ward 29 Bikes invites you (Yes, you! Even if you don’t ride a bike!) to a public meeting on Wednesday, June 17, 2009. City staff and local cyclists will be on hand to discuss the current and future state of cycling in and around Ward 29/East York. If you want to know what’s happening in the community, please join us:

What: Ward 29 Community Meeting for those who cycle (and those who’d like to)
When: Wednesday June 17, 2009—Open House at 6:30 p.m., meeting starts at 7:00 p.m.
Where: East York Community Centre (1081 Pape Avenue at Torrens, between O’Connor and Cosburn)
Who: City of Toronto staff, local cyclists, cycling advocates, and you!
Why: Because we want your input and we want you to get involved in cycling issues in our community.

We’ll have more details about the meeting in the coming weeks, but save the date on your calendars now.

If you’re planning to attend or have any questions, please contact us at

Toronto’s Walking Strategy

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By , May 19, 2009 6:17 am

Ward 29 Bikes is proud to support Toronto’s recently-adopted Walking Strategy. We believe that all forms of active transportation should be respected and encouraged, and that neighbourhoods designed around the needs of pedestrians (and by extension, cyclists) are stronger, safer communities. Any successful public policy must prioritize people above vehicles. The Walking Strategy does that in part by reducing conflicts between vehicles and pedestrians.

Minor measures such as restricting right turns on red lights at some intersections will go a long way toward making the public realm safer. “The Walking Strategy is not anti-car, it’s pro-people,” said Val Dodge, a member of Ward 29 Bikes. Member Luke Siragusa added, “The safety and welfare of pedestrians should receive top priority.”

We believe that safe streets for pedestrians mean safe streets for everyone and therefore endorse Toronto’s Walking Strategy as a step in the right direction. We are all pedestrians.

Ward 29 Bikes at Diefenbaker Public School

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By , May 1, 2009 7:00 pm

The Ward 29 Bikes team at Diefenbaker Public School

Cycle26 member Brian Betsworth (left) with Ward 29 Bikes members Tom Flaherty (middle) and Luke Siragusa (right).

Ward 29 Bikes ran a cycling information area at Diefenbaker Public School on Thursday, as part of the school’s Minds and Bodies in Motion after-school evening dedicated to active lifestyles. Member Tom Flaherty organized our table and coordinated the volunteers. Our team included Brian Betsworth (a member of Cycle26), Luke Siragusa, and Val Dodge. Constable Roger Mayers, a bicycle police officer with 54 Division, was also on hand to talk about safety and impress students (and parents, and us too) with his fully-equipped police bike.

We spoke with 70 students and their teachers and parents about all things cycling, answered safety questions, demonstrated a variety of cycling gear, and pointed out local trails, bike lanes, and parks that offer safe and fun riding for all ages.

The rainy weather interfered with our plans to hold a full-scale bicycle rodeo outside, but we plan to make up for it later this spring. Everyone had a great time and we hope to bring our show to more area schools in the future.

Special thanks go to to David Robinson, the Sustainability Coordinator at Mountain Equipment Co-op for providing bicycle bells as giveaways for the kids; Constable Joanne Theriault of 54 Division for coordination assistance; Christina Bouchard and Barb Wentworth of the City of Toronto for providing a big box of cycling handouts, maps, and posters; the staff and students at Diefenbaker for inviting us; and Brian Betsworth, Constable Mayers, and Auxiliary Constable Carrie Lloyd for helping at the event. And a big thanks to Tom for arranging it all!

If you represent a school in Toronto-Danforth Ward 29 and would like us to attend one of your events, please contact us. If you’re a cycling advocacy group that would like to be able to run similar events in your neighbourhood, ask us for more information.

Check below the fold for some additional pictures.
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