Biking in Toronto

09 April 2015,   By ,  

Spring has kinda arrived in the city, which means warmer weather and none of that sad grey ice/slush mix on the sides of the road. It also means more bikes in the city. Not only is biking great for your health and overall fitness, it can be a lot easier on your wallet – and sanity – than owning a car or having to be at the mercy of the TTC every morning. Have we mentioned that bikes are very condo friendly? We’re here to give some tips for those who are thinking about trading in their morning traffic for that 2-wheel life.The first thing you need to do is get a bike – but what kind? The fixed-gear (fixie) bike has become quite popular amongst the youths these days. But let’s be real, if you’re commuting within the city you’ll probably need brakes, so consider the fixie in the “maybe” pile.

Single-speed bikes are a close relative to the fixie (and by close, we mean the twin who is two minutes younger and has nicer hair). For all of the minor similarities there are major differences, with the biggest difference being brakes and how the single-speed has them.

If you’re one of those people that wants to get from point a to point b with as little effort as possible – and you have a little extra cash – a multi-speed bike might be the best call.

Just like any other vehicle out there, bikes need regular maintenance. You could always take it to your local bike shop, but you’re a capable human being, and you don’t need someone to take your source of transportation for the week when you could do it in minutes. There are a handful of things you can do yourself to keep your commutes running smoothly, such as putting some lube on your chain, replace your rusted, frayed, or broken cable(s),apply a patch to your broken tire, or replacing your own bike chain. As the saying goes, love your bike and it will love you back.

If you’re more interested in the recreational side of cycling, or you just can’t get enough of your self-powered vehicle, Toronto has endless bike trails to explore, with plenty to see, without the worry of scary city traffic. For example, the Lower Don Recreation Trail lets you stay inside the city while you enjoy the sights and sounds of mother nature, or for those interested in a bit shorter, off-road ride with more history, the Kay Gardner Beltline Park is worth a try.

Regardless of your biking intentions, always remember to stay safe and watch out for streetcar tracks.