So, without divulging addresses of clients, suffice it to say that today I rode clear across the city, from one corner to the other, then to the opposite side and back to the opposite corner and home again. This is how it went…
With Rebecca at CBC studio
I started my day near Fanshawe and Adelaide, rode to my on-air chat with Rebecca at CBC, had coffee and more chatting with John the “scuba guy” while downtown, then made my way down a new trail I’d never ridden before – the TVP path from downtown through old south, past The Coves, and south along Andover (up the biggest and longest hill – which I got off and WALKED), around construction and ending up on Southdale. Let me tell you…detouring round construction in a car is one thing, but on a bike it is quite another. An extra block here or there can really throw a wrench into plans – not only for timing but accessibility. Anyway…I made it. For all the times I’ve ridden through construction thus far – which is at least a handful of times (probably more) in just two days – I am grateful to have a mountain bike.
I generally take a bus from the south west area of the city to White Oaks, where I grab lunch and then over to Pond Mills. Today, however, I checked the timing of bus vs bike and given that the next bus wasn’t to arrive for another 20-30mins, and Google told me I should be able to bike it in 18mins, it was a no-brainer. Google for the win! It may not have been helpful for the trip from downtown to south west, but it worked in my favour for this leg of the journey. My lunch ladies thought I was NUTS! ?
I was a little later getting to Pond Mills than I had expected. It was an easy-ish ride on sidewalks up Southdale, but by this time even just the small hills were feeling huge. Upon leaving Pond Mills, I opted for a bus that got me to Victoria Hospital and then I rode down Base Line going West toward Wharncliffe. I chose to go north on Edward St rather than Wharncliffe because I figured the traffic would be lighter and more bike friendly. I was right. I much preferred this route to Tuesday’s choice of Wortley Rd.
Nearing the northern end of Wortley Village, I zipped over to Wharncliffe on the sidewalk and up to Riverside where I realized I was making good time to take the Hyde Park bus into Oakridge. I waited through two rounds of the other routes that also stopped there, but was lucky to have a very friendly bus stop companion. I was pleasantly surprised to arrive at my later afternoon client’s around 3:30 which was only an hour from door-to-door instead of an hour and a half.
I left Oakridge the exact same way that I did yesterday, biking out of the subdivision onto Oxford and grabbing the bus at Wonderland. I transferred to the Express going north on Adelaide a ways in order to visit my sister, and then even after it had gotten dim I was able to make it back to my home area thanks to the well-lit main streets and the lovely wide bike lanes. The new bike lanes on Fanshawe east, where they widened the road, are nice and wide to begin with but then they also have an extra “buffer” lined area of about a foot between the bike and the car lane. Made me feel a lot safer than the other areas of the city in which I shared the road today.
And so ends day two of using the bike. I do have to say, now I truly “get” why someone referred to London as a “bowl” the other day. In a car one might not notice as much, but on a bike every hill and raised area is extremely noticeable. I also want to mention that my tracking of kilometers came in just half a kilometer shy of 40. But I’m sure my back tracking along the TVP and the extra block around construction would round that out nicely.
Off to bed now for a well-earned sleep. Thanks for reading!