G20 Makes for Great Cycling

With all of the changes that have hit Toronto in hosting the G20, from fences to secret laws to earthquakes, one unexpected but welcome return has been the reduced traffic and streets blocked to traffic downtown.  Simcoe and other streets, walled off to cars, became boulevards for pedestrians and cyclists (albeit not great for crossing the street as the median fence made that difficult).  Even the increased police and security presence helped with cycling as hundreds of extra bike cops hit the streets in groups ranging from the three to twenty.  One of our friends told a story that seems fit for a cartoon.  A group of about 12 bike police were passing in front of Nathan Phillips Square when the leader turned to his colleagues yelling “ICE CREEEEEEAAAAAMMM!” a sentiment they all echoed back loudly in a near-militant confirmation of the direct order.  One reportedly yelled that ahe wanted to get chocolate wasted (that part isn’t true…but it should be).  The bikes stopped abruptly for a mid day brain freeze.

G20 critical mass also brought a different sense as around 500 cyclists got together for the monthly event.  The build up to the ride was a bit tense, with some asking nervously about where the ride was going and whether it would become part of the protests happening near College and Bay and moving from there through the city.  Others were on high alert for those in the group that would certainly try to direct the peloton towards the protest.  As Cyclops entertained the crowd with a few recently improvised, slightly politicized chants a group of around 20 bike police showed up to join and help direct the ride.

During the ride the police were really proactive in blocking cross traffic so that the mass could roll on.  Within the herd, many whistles, drums, and bells rang with the back up on a trumpeter.  National colors were flying from the day’s football matches and the procession seemed to stretch for around 6 blocks as it rolled through town.

Many of those on the sidewalk seemed convinced that the mass was a protest.  One streetcar driver even asked the police escorting the group whether the mass WAS the protest…which was hilarious.  We had the normal dose of frustrated people in traffic but, as usual, most of those that were held up by the ride were smiling to see our bike mob.  A great mass ride all-in-all.

Hopefully someone with a keener sense of direction than I will add this week’s mass to MapMyRide so i can add that in as I can’t seam to stitch the locations together.

Thursday’s Ride to/From Work
Home to STC

Friday’s Rides:
Friday Before Mass

Total KM Ridden: 540.07
Total $ Saved: $200
Curent Savings: $35 – 5 Burough Bike Tour ($165)

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One Response to “G20 Makes for Great Cycling”

  1. wertyk Says:

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