Today was a big day for my bicycle… err… for me on my bicycle. I not only took my bike on the TTC for the first time, but I rode home from work at Eglinton and Avenue Road.
That’s not exactly a big deal for people who commute by bike everyday in Toronto, but it was certainly a big deal for me.
I was nervous – both about the bus and the ride.
I knew I wouldn’t be able to make it up to Eglinton by bike – I’m far too out of shape to ride uphill for 30 minutes straight, and I figured I shouldn’t be too exhausted to do anything by the time I got to work – so the bus was really the only option.
The TTC has bike racks on most of their buses on major routes these days, but I’ve rarely seen anyone use them.
I had visions of an angry bus driver who would get mad at me for not knowing how to use the rack, and I half-expected my bike to fall off in traffic and get run over by the bus (I had a dream about that the other night).
But none of that happened, and I lucked out and got the regular driver I was hoping for (the perfect TTC employee).
Then there was the issue of getting home without dying.
There are very few bikes in the uptown area, and even fewer bike lanes. Even worse, so many of the side streets end, wind, or change directions that it can be really difficult to find a route that gets you all the way downtown.
Luckily, Joe at BikingToronto answered my Twitter plea and helped my find a route. I altered it a little bit, but I would never have known about the wondrous Russell Hill Road had it not been for him.
The road doesn’t start at Eglinton, but otherwise it is perfect. It is a lovely, winding route through a beautiful (and rich) neighbourhood, with a bike lane all the way from St. Clair to Davenport. There was barely any traffic, and riding beside the park felt like I wasn’t in the city at all.
Oh yeah, and for scaredy-cats, the hill isn’t as steep as Avenue Road so it makes it a much more leisurely route for newbie cyclists like me.
I’ve come a long way from crying at the bike shop. Yay me!
If you’re afraid of making mistakes like I am, and want to learn how to use the racks, check out the video on the TTC’s Bike Page
If you happen to be biking from Eglinton to College, here’s my route: View Larger Map