My 50-K Day With The Big Kids

I did it. Finally after a year of training with Petrina Tulissi at I rode this morning with the big kids and (aside from a couple of small hills) I stayed with them for our 35-km training ride.

I am overjoyed.

Slimming what? This was last year’s look. Just wait another few weeks for a new muscle shot 🙂

This is a BF deal in my life. By the time I got back to Chez West I had done over 50-km this morning which is amazing. Plus I feel great.

Serious road cycling is a lot more about technique than it is about strength or even fitness (although you can’t discount either one). It’s about knowing how to reduce your output while increasing your speed. It’s about being unafraid.

Having said that I just rode through my first downpour and I was so scared and intent about keeping up I forgot to turn on the GoPro. Missed some pretty good shots of water flying up from the tires.

Cannot thank Petrina, her cycling classes and the riders from the enough for this stellar morning.

Billion-Dollar Bike Sharing In China

That’s right. The bike-sharing craze in China is estimated to be at $1-billion (US) and 4d2e11e29c935fb81f74bbe9f680ae2cshowing no sign of stopping. In today’s Globe and Mail the story Nothing ventured, nothing gained says at least 20 bike-sharing companies have started up to service the almost 20-million people who rented bikes (at $0.20/hour) in the last year.

So what does this mean for Oakville (and the rest of Canada)?

It means cycling isn’t going away. I’ve heard it called the new golf and it’s not just the spandex crowd that’s out there on our roads and trails. We’re talking about teens on trails, families on cycling paths, kids going to school and, of course, the road cyclists.

When you consider some of the cycling clubs in our area have from 500 to dscf17461,000 members and, for example, Petrina Tulissi’s CyclingCentre’s  (in photo) winter spinning/cycling training courses are already starting to fill up you know cycling is growing in popularity.

We need to reach out to Mayor Rob Burton and council and let them know cycling is not only here to stay but we need better and safer cycling routes, roadways and trails.

LivableOakvilleCycling is a grass-roots group of volunteers organizing area cyclists to work with the Mayor and council for more and safer cycling in Oakville.

Check them out. Join up. And get on your bike!

Real Safe Bike Lanes

Toronto has real safe bike lanes. 

In fact, Toronto enforces its “no parking in bike lane laws” with a $150 fine.DCHT91FXYAAyY84.jpg-large

Metro Morning on CBC featured a parking enforcement officer talking about how motorists in Toronto aren’t obeying the law and are parking in bike lanes. Of course, parking in bike lanes forces cyclists out into the main traffic lane.

Not only that, Toronto even has barriers that separate the cycling-motoring lanes with plant potters and plastic posts.

Why can’t we have separate safe bike lanes in Oakville?towards20w20parking202016092020v4

With Oakville’s Alternative Transportation Master Plan update being introduced to Town Council on June 30 and set for a vote on July 10 there’s still time to send an email to Mayor Rob Burton and the councillors.

Livable Oakville Cycling is organizing an opportunity for you to tell your council member what you think we need here in Oakville when it comes to safe cycling.

Naked Bike Day Toronto

How could I have missed Naked Bike Day in Toronto?

Well I was doing Petrina Tulissi’s Adventure Ride from Hamilton (Devil’s Punchbowl Park) to Dunnville a 110-km round trip. We rode all that way for lunch and then rode back. It was Marion and my first 100-km+ ride and we’re thrilled to have done it.gopr0702.jpgMeanwhile in Toronto, city cyclists were getting it on…or off as was the case.

wnbdP1110199Oh well…maybe next year. 🙂

Safer Cycling In Oakville

I’ve been working with Livable Oakville Cycling to bring awareness to cycling safety in The Town of Oakville and also to create an action group to help the Town with it’s transportation planning.

This initiative is prompted by the upcoming introduction of the Town of Oakville’s updated Alternative Transportation Master Plan (ATMP) coming June 30 and scheduled for a vote by Town council on July 10.sharrow-ramon-crop

This plan will help guide the Town in planning cycling infrastructure for the next five to 10 years and Livable Oakville Cycling thinks the council should take a second look at the ATMP before moving forward.

The main issue is one of sharrows which are the painted chevrons that are currently all over Oakville roads. The big issue with sharrows is new studies show not only do they not do what planners would hope they would do (keep cyclists safe) but the actually can contribute to creating unsafe situations for both motorists and cyclists alike.

Sharrows were introduced as a way of indicating to cyclists the safe distance to ride from parked vehicles to avoid being “doored” (where a parked motorist opens their car door without looking to see if a cyclist is likely to be struck…ask any urban cyclist and they’ll tell you this happens all the time and is very dangerous).images

Unfortunately many municipalities started using the painted sharrows as a cheap way of indicating a cycling route on all roads with and without parking.

However, unlike a marked cycling lane with its continuous painted line (or in some municipalities its actual physical divide of the cycling lane from the roadway) the sharrow, which is not a continuous separation only appearing every few hundred meters, does nothing more than suggest cyclists are safe riding on the “marked” roadway while confusing motorists.

Unfortunately so many accidents and even fatalities are showing how dangerous sharrows actually are to cyclists.

The Oakville ATMP promotes the use of sharrows in the mistaken belief that sharrows contribute to cycling safety.

Livable Oakville Cycling is working with the Town to come up with a safer alternative as Oakville is a keystone municipality in the GTA cycling boom which is happening in municipalities across North America.

Livable Oakville Cycling estimates there maybe as many as 7,000 cyclists on Oakville roads daily. When you consider some of the larger local cycling clubs have upwards of 500 to 1,000 members each and then you add the number of grade and high school students who cycle to school here in Oakville and all the families who cycle on weekdays and weekends this number of 7,000 may not be so high after all.