Moving to Toronto - Where to Ride?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Moving to Toronto - Where to Ride?

    So I'm posted to Toronto starting early Feb and will be looking for places to ride, both mountain bikes and a road bike group ride.

    I'll be working in North York/Dennison and will probably get an apartment in the SW Markdale area - ish.

    Any suggestions from locals?

    DG

  2. #2
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    Snow ill be around soon so trail access will eventually be limited. The Don Valley is the local area.

    But for winter check Joyride 150.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by RecceDG
    So I'm posted to Toronto starting early Feb and will be looking for places to ride, both mountain bikes and a road bike group ride.

    I'll be working in North York/Dennison and will probably get an apartment in the SW Markdale area - ish.

    Any suggestions from locals?

    DG
    markdale as the town? that's a heck of a commute... if markdale allen road area, lock up your bike really well... though that's true pretty much anywhere in toronto...
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  4. #4
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    Markville as in the mall? Your basically living next to Joyride.

    If you really want a group road ride in February, the donut ride goes whenever there isn't a snowstorm. Or so I've been told.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser
    Markville as in the mall? Your basically living next to Joyride.

    If you really want a group road ride in February, the donut ride goes whenever there isn't a snowstorm. Or so I've been told.
    Sometimes it is smarter to stay at home and eat your donut than to rub shoulders with the "greatness" that is a donut rider.

    BTW, where are you moving from? Do you know anything about the GTA trails in general?

  6. #6
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    Reece - agree for indoor riding, Joy Ride would be very close. Don't road ride but you may also check out a bike shop near you and see if they do rides.

    Regarding Mtbing, trails are hit and miss in Feb. Depends which ones are being packed down and far you want to drive to which trail. Organizations that you could look into - DBMA (Durham Mountain Bike Association) they look after the Durham and Glen Major trails, if your East then these would be about a half drive. The TBN (Toronto Bike Network) host both road and mountain bike rides, Defiant MTB - Facebook Group, not area specific post mountain bike rides at various locations. There is a weekly Sunday ride out Hilton Falls way - a bit more hard core but they ride almost all winter.

    Trails that could be considered but weather/trail condition dependent - The Don Valley, Durham Forest, Glen Major, Ravenshoe, Albion Hills, Hilton Falls. Dufferin Forest is more north but is very sandy and handles moisture better. As the weather warms the trails aren't ready for traffic and could suffer damage, suggestion you avoid.

    Hope this helps
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  7. #7
    namagomi
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    Quote Originally Posted by inmysights
    Reece - agree for indoor riding, Joy Ride would be very close. Don't road ride but you may also check out a bike shop near you and see if they do rides.

    Regarding Mtbing, trails are hit and miss in Feb. Depends which ones are being packed down and far you want to drive to which trail. Organizations that you could look into - DBMA (Durham Mountain Bike Association) they look after the Durham and Glen Major trails, if your East then these would be about a half drive. The TBN (Toronto Bike Network) host both road and mountain bike rides, Defiant MTB - Facebook Group, not area specific post mountain bike rides at various locations. There is a weekly Sunday ride out Hilton Falls way - a bit more hard core but they ride almost all winter.

    Trails that could be considered but weather/trail condition dependent - The Don Valley, Durham Forest, Glen Major, Ravenshoe, Albion Hills, Hilton Falls. Dufferin Forest is more north but is very sandy and handles moisture better. As the weather warms the trails aren't ready for traffic and could suffer damage, suggestion you avoid.

    Hope this helps
    There are two to scratch of your list, Albion Hills and Dufferin Forest... both become XC ski trails... Mansfield outdoor center runs it's loops through Dufferin Forest IIRC. There is palgrave in between the two... it also becomes XC ski trail, but not really since it is more like a public park.

    Apparently last year Albion hills was renting snow-bikes.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by electrik
    There are two to scratch of your list, Albion Hills and Dufferin Forest... both become XC ski trails... Mansfield outdoor center runs it's loops through Dufferin Forest IIRC. There is palgrave in between the two... it also becomes XC ski trail, but not really since it is more like a public park.

    Apparently last year Albion hills was renting snow-bikes.

    lol dufferin forest becomes xc ski trails!... i guess the snowmoblers are pissed they lost their trail through there as well as the loggers... palgrave is a public park. ride in there all
    you want.
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    Well, I'm not specifically looking for winter trails, but really more about trails in general within about a 15km radius of North York.

    I'm coming up from Windsor, and really have very little situational awareness about Toronto cycling at all.

    The Joyride 150 place I am definitely going to check out.

    DG

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlesprocket
    lol dufferin forest becomes xc ski trails!... i guess the snowmoblers are pissed they lost their trail through there as well as the loggers... palgrave is a public park. ride in there all
    you want.
    Well, I always figured that parts of the Dufferin forest by Mansfield were groomed for XC? At least it seemed that way when i visited - though i don't use GPS.

    Motorized travel through that section is not permitted, so says the sign, though apparently snow-mobiles are not covered? I did see a sign reminding any snowmobiler not to split their sled/body in half like some drunken ewok on a speeder bike.

    <object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/8ewkfdEc1bg?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/8ewkfdEc1bg?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by electrik
    Sometimes it is smarter to stay at home and eat your donut
    Ouch. That one hit close to home.

    Made my first visit to Joyride this PM and was quite impressed. I wasn't expecting that huge a facility. I'll be back.

    Now I have to figure out how to best transition a donut ride morning into a joyride afternoon. So what would be dumber... a road bike at joyride or a mountain bike on the donut ride?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser
    Ouch. That one hit close to home.

    Made my first visit to Joyride this PM and was quite impressed. I wasn't expecting that huge a facility. I'll be back.

    Now I have to figure out how to best transition a donut ride morning into a joyride afternoon. So what would be dumber... a road bike at joyride or a mountain bike on the donut ride?
    Aw, heck, as long as there are actually donuts involved... win. Though showing up at the donut ride with a mountain bike might end poorly... donut riding is srs business!

  13. #13
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    the snowmobile lobby/clubs are pretty powerful...
    http://www.dufferinmuseum.com/forest/snowmobiling.html

    you can ride your bike on the snowmobile trails. but it is really dangerous for odvious
    reasons. though i think it would be cool to have a converted snowmobile that packs down and sprays water behind it to make trails on the snow. you then can literally make trails anywhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by electrik
    Well, I always figured that parts of the Dufferin forest by Mansfield were groomed for XC? At least it seemed that way when i visited - though i don't use GPS.

    Motorized travel through that section is not permitted, so says the sign, though apparently snow-mobiles are not covered? I did see a sign reminding any snowmobiler not to split their sled/body in half like some drunken ewok on a speeder bike.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser
    So what would be dumber... a road bike at joyride or a mountain bike on the donut ride?
    Ha! Good luck with either of those! Maybe split your losses and do both on a 'cross bike?

    Welcome to Toronto Recce. There's a ton of great riding with an hour's drive in almost every direction, road and MTB. You won't be disappointed.
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster
    Ha! Good luck with either of those! Maybe split your losses and do both on a 'cross bike? :
    The XC Loop at Joyride is plenty doable on a cross bike. Jared Stafford trained there last winter by riding rollers and then doing loops. He schooled me pretty bad too.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by smarty
    The XC Loop at Joyride is plenty doable on a cross bike. Jared Stafford trained there last winter by riding rollers and then doing loops. He schooled me pretty bad too.
    Well he lapped all but six riders last week at Riverdale, so at least you're in good company!
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  17. #17
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  18. #18
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    Dumb question and maybe not the right form but...

    The longest lap at Joyride, for an average rider, takes how many minutes?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by pikester
    The longest lap at Joyride, for an average rider, takes how many minutes?
    Does this help?

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    That depends...

    Just a lap of the XC loop takes approximately 2-3 minutes (others can tell you more exactly how long it takes). But you never just do a lap of the XC loop.

    It always seems to be this:

    XC Loop
    Skinnies
    XC Loop
    Pump Track
    go talk to Mark or Scott
    XC Loop
    XC Loop
    XC Loop
    Skinnies
    XC Loop
    talk to Peter (The Misfit Empire HQ is located just off the XC Loop)
    XC Loop
    Pump Track
    Pump Track
    Talk to Winston and marvel at how blingey his bike is
    Pump Track
    go talk to Mark or Scott some more

    All that can take up to 2 hrs. If you bring nspace or garage monster it takes longer, because there is more talking.

  21. #21
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    Did you check out the Ontario Trails in the review section of MTBR? If your local geography is good you can sort by Town. But most of the big ones have already been posted above. Assuming you have access to a car to transport your bike?

  22. #22
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    I've done many dozen Donut Rides. They are what they are: 100% predictable, fastish, somewhat friendly but best of all, they're always on.

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    And the Donut ride is....?

    I've been spoiled by living in Windsor. I'm right on the trail system so I can literally drive out my front door and be on the trails in minutes.

    And for the road bike, I'm an easy hop away from the start point of the big county rides. I never have to "drive to ride" where I'm at.

    I'm kinda hoping that's doable in TO, especially if I pick my neighbourhood carefully.

    So how about this - given I'll be working in North York, where would you live to maximise cycling opportunities?

    I do have a car, but would like to minimise its use.

    DG

  24. #24
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    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toron...edirected=true

    there are also tons of videos on YouTube.

    Search "Toronto donut ride"

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by smarty
    That depends...

    Just a lap of the XC loop takes approximately 2-3 minutes (others can tell you more exactly how long it takes). But you never just do a lap of the XC loop.

    It always seems to be this:

    XC Loop
    Skinnies
    XC Loop
    Pump Track
    go talk to Mark or Scott
    XC Loop
    XC Loop
    XC Loop
    Skinnies
    XC Loop
    talk to Peter (The Misfit Empire HQ is located just off the XC Loop)
    XC Loop
    Pump Track
    Pump Track
    Talk to Winston and marvel at how blingey his bike is
    Pump Track
    go talk to Mark or Scott some more

    All that can take up to 2 hrs. If you bring nspace or garage monster it takes longer, because there is more talking.
    ^ Pretty much sums up every visit I've had to Joyride

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by RecceDG

    So how about this - given I'll be working in North York, where would you live to maximise cycling opportunities?

    I do have a car, but would like to minimise its use.

    DG
    What would you consider a reasonable ride to get to the trails? I would say that most of NY would put you within 15mins of some sort of trail system (potentially multi-use) that would probably at some point feed you into a Don Valley tributary and extended trail network.

    Do you plan on leaving the car and cycling to work as well? If so, your work location in relation to 401/DVP/404 might impact ideal residence location. There are limited spots to peacefully cross the major highways, as riding through interchanges is generally pretty terrifying.

    VISUAL

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by pikester
    Dumb question and maybe not the right form but...

    The longest lap at Joyride, for an average rider, takes how many minutes?
    if you get a jump bike, just session the jumps. it's a heck off a work out.
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  28. #28
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    past a certain distance it does not matter where you live... you are going to end up ttc'ing for hours or driving. for mtb'ing live near the don river... east side is cheaper for renting then the west side (which is closer to downtown). plus the east side has lot of little neighboorhoods with resturants, coffee shops, etc. just stay below eglintion and don't
    go more east then victoria park.

    way out east there is durham, but good luck finding a place to rent and you have to drive everywhere. out west there is caledon/bolton area with lots of riding. but once again tough to find a place to rent.
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  29. #29
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    What would you consider a reasonable ride to get to the trails?
    At my current location, I'm 5km away from the start point of the road rides.

    For mountain biking, I'm between 4 to 8 km away from the actual singletrack sections, but just 500m away from where I can feed into the path network that leads to the singletrack areas.

    Those would be ideal distances, but even 15km wouldn't be horrible, depending on what those 15km are like.

    There's a difference between 15km on back streets, along bike paths or MUP etc, and 15km along busy urban roads with lights every block.... so it's more about time than actual distance. So call it within 30min of riding.

    Do you plan on leaving the car and cycling to work as well?
    I'm definitely toying with the idea. I've done that before in Windsor - my house here is in a great spot for cycling.

    It probably means picking up a bike dedicated to commuting (neither the MTB nor the road bike are well suited to carrying cargo), and I'm looking long and hard at a Big Dummy....

    My current map recce is looking like somewhere in the Yonge & Sheppard area. That's 5 km from work and handy to the Donut ride route. A little long to Joyride 150, but the truth of that is if I'm headed to Joyride the weather is probably shite so I'd be driving there anyway.

    for mtb'ing live near the don river
    Is the trail along the Don all connected? As in, can one get in around the Sheppard/Leslie area?

    Say, there's a couple of places right off the 401 and Bayview that look nice too...

    DG
    Last edited by RecceDG; 12-09-2010 at 06:04 AM.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by RecceDG
    Say, there's a couple of places right off the 401 and Bayview that look nice too...
    There seem to be a few new buildings going up in that area and you'd be pretty handy to the subway there too.
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  31. #31
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    nope, get in a york universty glendon campus (lawrence ave east and bayview) or edward gardens at leslie and lawrence east. that is pretty much it from the north.



    Quote Originally Posted by RecceDG
    At my current location, I'm 5km away from the start point of the road rides.

    For mountain biking, I'm between 4 to 8 km away from the actual singletrack sections, but just 500m away from where I can feed into the path network that leads to the singletrack areas.

    Those would be ideal distances, but even 15km wouldn't be horrible, depending on what those 15km are like.

    There's a difference between 15km on back streets, along bike paths or MUP etc, and 15km along busy urban roads with lights every block.... so it's more about time than actual distance. So call it within 30min of riding.



    I'm definitely toying with the idea. I've done that before in Windsor - my house here is in a great spot for cycling.

    It probably means picking up a bike dedicated to commuting (neither the MTB nor the road bike are well suited to carrying cargo), and I'm looking long and hard at a Big Dummy....

    My current map recce is looking like somewhere in the Yonge & Sheppard area. That's 5 km from work and handy to the Donut ride route. A little long to Joyride 150, but the truth of that is if I'm headed to Joyride the weather is probably shite so I'd be driving there anyway.



    Is the trail along the Don all connected? As in, can one get in around the Sheppard/Leslie area?

    Say, there's a couple of places right off the 401 and Bayview that look nice too...

    DG
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  32. #32
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    pinko

    riding a bike in Toronto = Pinko

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REEmlFUrc_Q

    We don't need to see this guy on TV anymore.

  33. #33
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    Goto the defiant MTB website which has a nice map of the GTAH with pin points for the major mtb trails. You will see that they are quite spaced out. If you don't want to drive much you should then find somewhere close to one trail. Seems like somwhere close to the DVP is the best bet for your situation. But in the GTA to get to access to multiple trails will require driving far more than 8km.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlesprocket
    nope, get in a york universty glendon campus (lawrence ave east and bayview) or edward gardens at leslie and lawrence east. that is pretty much it from the north.
    Yeah this is definitely the only way to get into the Don from the north.

    If you clicked my the map, you will see that a bike path coming south from Leslie and Sheppard is actually one of the few 'safe' 401 crossings. There are a few trails (but nothing too extensive) in that neighbourhood as well. Right now you can see where that MUP peters out at Duncan Mill Rd., but they appear to be doing work to bring it further south. My thinking is that they will try to connect it to the old rail bed from Bond Park down to Leslie/Eglinton, as they are also currently grading and paving that right of way(for the love of god they better be connecting them because they are building some stupid landlocked paths otherwise).

    Truth of the matter is, given your criteria you could pretty safely live almost anywhere in NY and be 5km from a MUP that would be 10km from the trails. Finding and connecting them might be a bit difficult, but that's why I'm here.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by temporoad
    riding a bike in Toronto = Pinko

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REEmlFUrc_Q

    We don't need to see this guy on TV anymore.
    lol, much as I, in particular, should exercise caution on this topic, I would just like to point out that these buttons/fridge magnets are now for sale from the fine people over at Spacing magazine.

    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster
    lol, much as I, in particular, should exercise caution on this topic, I would just like to point out that these buttons/fridge magnets are now for sale from the fine people over at Spacing magazine.

    That button rocks.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by temporoad

    We don't need to see this guy on TV anymore.

    Still better behaved then former head of the communist party Paula Fletcher.

    <object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/YZKgnAHGWEs?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/YZKgnAHGWEs?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>

  38. #38
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    Somebody must be feeding him this stuff...

    Quote Originally Posted by BSNYC
    Of course, like any American, I also grow sad and disillusioned when I learn that one of these faraway lands of make-believe isn't really exactly like I thought it was, since like my fellow countrymen I've been raised with the notion that the world should conform to my whimsical fantasies. This is why the recent news out of Toronto has shaken my belief system to its very core. First they elected that mayor who thinks that when people die on bikes its their own fault, and then they got Colonel Sanders's more "flambullient" cousin to say even more crazy bike stuff about bikes at the swearing-in ceremony:



    When I first read these comments and saw that they were attributed to Don Cherry, I wondered why the noted trumpet player and stepfather of the pop singer Neneh Cherry was so against bicycles, and more importantly, how he had channeled these sentiments from beyond the grave. Then I realized this was actually a different Don Cherry, and that he's an ice hockey commentator and some kind of "Canadian personality" (which strikes me as being something of an oxymoron, since I thought if you had a personality in Canada the government exiled you to the United States, hence the whole comedian export thing). In any case, Toronto has now catapulted itself to the top of my list of cities I'm afraid to visit, trumping even Reykjavic, which I had also resolved never to visit because I'm deathly afraid of elves.
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  39. #39
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    That Glendon Campus entrance is pretty close to some of the apartments on my map recce. A straight shot up Bayview and there it is.

    I'm getting a warmer fuzzy about this.

    Thanks for all the help.

    Is there a decent bike shop in the area?

    DG

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by RecceDG
    That Glendon Campus entrance is pretty close to some of the apartments on my map recce. A straight shot up Bayview and there it is.

    I'm getting a warmer fuzzy about this.

    Thanks for all the help.

    Is there a decent bike shop in the area?

    DG
    A bit further south is Sport Swap.

    Be aware - coming from the north, Bayview is pretty damn busy and fast.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by RecceDG
    Is there a decent bike shop in the area?

    DG
    It's a little ways south on Bayview from there, but Alan down at Sport Swap is a great guy.

    The Trek Store is also nearby if you're into that sort of thing...
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  42. #42
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    Nah... Norco Faze, Cervelo S1.

    DG

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    Quote Originally Posted by veteran_youth
    My thinking is that they will try to connect it to the old rail bed from Bond Park down to Leslie/Eglinton, as they are also currently grading and paving that right of way(for the love of god they better be connecting them because they are building some stupid landlocked paths otherwise).
    I was gonna post an update regarding that on DM, but it doesn't sound like you're gonna want to hear it.

    Quote Originally Posted by City of Toronto
    If a suitable link is not found out to Leslie St in time, the trail will be paved, barricaded and signed as ‘closed until further notice.
    So I slogged through the construction fences there Monday night.... would you like to guess whether or not they "found" a link to Leslie Street? Would you? Really?


    Anyways: I live in the target area (Yonge and Sheppard) and there are options for Road and MTB readily available.

    I also cross the 401 at Bayview twice a day every day and have yet to be smoked by a car there.

    I will, however, stop short of arguing that this is a "safe" place to cross the 401.

  44. #44
    namagomi
    Reputation: electrik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster
    lol, much as I, in particular, should exercise caution on this topic, I would just like to point out that these buttons/fridge magnets are now for sale from the fine people over at Spacing magazine.

    I think the button is suitably ironic given the situation. Of course, some people really are still afraid of the USSR, it could attack at any day and that is no laughing matter.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toronto_Donut_Ride

  45. #45
    mtbr member
    Reputation: veteran_youth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser
    I was gonna post an update regarding that on DM, but it doesn't sound like you're gonna want to hear it.



    So I slogged through the construction fences there Monday night.... would you like to guess whether or not they "found" a link to Leslie Street? Would you? Really?


    Anyways: I live in the target area (Yonge and Sheppard) and there are options for Road and MTB readily available.

    I also cross the 401 at Bayview twice a day every day and have yet to be smoked by a car there.

    I will, however, stop short of arguing that this is a "safe" place to cross the 401.
    I swear to f***ingn god somebody(ies) at city hall received a sizable kickback from Terrafix in order to secure contracts for the top 100 most useless construction projects of all time.

    Un-f***ing-believable.

  46. #46
    Team NFI
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    Quote Originally Posted by veteran_youth
    I swear to f***ingn god somebody(ies) at city hall received a sizable kickback from Terrafix in order to secure contracts for the top 100 most useless construction projects of all time.

    Un-f***ing-believable.

    Snap.

    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser

    I will, however, stop short of arguing that this is a "safe" place to cross the 401.
    There is only one place I know of that is safe to get across the 401 on a bike. Though it is over a 50km detour for you- Conlins Rd Scarberia.

  47. #47
    bi-winning
    Reputation: rkj__'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by temporoad
    riding a bike in Toronto = Pinko

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REEmlFUrc_Q

    We don't need to see this guy on TV anymore.
    Personally, I don't give a **** about Don Cherry's views on politics. The guy knows his hockey and adds some entertainment to HNIC.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  48. #48
    humber river advocate
    Reputation: singlesprocket's Avatar
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    the main don singletrack trails... the watershed route is blocked by several golf courses...

    Quote Originally Posted by veteran_youth
    Yeah this is definitely the only way to get into the Don from the north. ut
    broadcasting from
    "the vinyl basement"

    build trail!

  49. #49
    Evil Jr.
    Reputation: garage monster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkj__
    Personally, I don't give a **** about Don Cherry's views on politics. The guy knows his hockey and adds some entertainment to HNIC.
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

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