As a club we are asking for the support of our city councilors in making Toronto a safer place to ride bikes. As such we are asking our members to take the following actions: read the letter below, Copy it, add your personal info as well as your city Councillors info, print it off and mail it in as a personal letter to your city CouncillorWe believe that taking these actions will help us make Toronto's roads safer for cycling. Thank you in advance
MGCC Member Name
And Address [Insert Date] [Insert MGCC Rider City Concillor Name]
100 Queen Street West, Suite C [INSERT COUNCILLOR'S SUITE #]
(note councillor suite @ can be found at http://app.toronto.ca/im/council/councillors.jsp
Dear Councillor [INSERT COUNCILLOR'S NAME
]: (Use this link to find your city councillor: http://app.toronto.ca/wards/jsp/wards.jsp
I would appreciate if you would pass on my concerns regarding the City of Toronto (City) cycling bylaw outlined below to the Toronto Cycling Committee. I am an active recreational cyclist who participates in weekly Morning Glory Cycling Club rides.
You may not be aware that the City has a bylaw that requires all cyclists to ride single file, “No person shall operate a bicycle upon a roadway other than riding in single file except when over taking another vehicle.” The City by-law can be found here, http://www.toronto.ca/cycling/pdf/hta.pdf. This bylaw, 32-92-14(2), was written in 1992 at a time when recreational cycling may not have been as popular, but today recreational cycling is growing in popularity. The Globe and Mail reported this spring that recreational cycling is growing in the range of 10% per annum (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/more-sports/cycling-is-the-new-golf-the-rise-of-an-on-trend-activity/article4246149).
In June of this year the Ontario Coroner’s office released a report on cycling deaths. The theme of this report was public safety, ‘We encourage all Ontarians to take personal responsibility for their own safety and for the safety of all road users.’ As any cycling club will tell you riding single file increases (not decreases) the risk to cyclists. A group of cyclists needs more room on the road than an individual cyclist in order to avoid the usual road hazards as well as the cyclists in front or behind them. Riding single file tempts drivers to pass the cycling group without changing lanes, which poses a danger to a larger group of cyclists.
When a group of cyclists ‘claim’ the lane in which they are riding, by riding two to three abreast, it helps to increase safety by:
1) Sending a message to drivers that they must switch to an alternative lane to safely pass the group; and
2) By riding 2 or 3 abreast (well within the right-hand lane) the length of the group is shortened by 1/3 to 2/3, making it safer and quicker for motorists to pass the group.
Any experienced group cyclist will tell you riding in formation with 2 or more cyclists abreast is a standard safety procedure performed by any large group of cyclists. Cycling safety research also supports the ‘safety in numbers effect;’ increasing the density of cyclists improves their overall safety,
In 1996 the City also requested the Chief Coroner of Ontario to review cycling deaths in Toronto. This report, A Report on Cycling Fatalities in Toronto 1986-98: Recommendations for Reducing Cycling Injuries and Death,
was released in 1998.
Recommendation 12 suggested a review, and possible changes, to the municipal bylaws to be consistent with the provincial Highway Traffic Act (HTA). This also parallels with Recommendation 9 from the recent provincial Coroner’s report, superficially asking the City of Toronto to ensure consistency with their By-Laws and the HTA. The City bylaw is inconsistent with the HTA; the HTA does not have a law that requires cyclists to ride single file.
The City also has a number of programs and initiatives supporting cycling safety. The Toronto Bike Plan
written in 2001 encourages safe cycling in Toronto. The vision, ‘to create a safe, comfortable and bicycle friendly environment in Toronto, which encourages people of all ages to use bicycles for everyday transportation and enjoyment
,’ supports and encourages recreational cycling in Toronto. The Toronto Public Health Department released A Road to Health
this April noting the need to improve walking and cycling within the City.
The province continues to encourage safe cycling, both for recreation and commuting. The Ministry of Transportation is poised to release its updated cycling policy before the end of 2012. The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport promotes the adequate provision of and access to sport and recreation infrastructure at the community level. In 2011 the Ontario Medical Association published Enhancing Cycling Safety in Ontario
, a document advocating for a healthier Ontario through increased recreational cycling.
As an avid cyclist I ask you and your team to consider repealing by-law 32-92-14(2), ‘Fail[ing] to ride in single file.’ This by-law poses a safety risk to myself and my fellow cyclists.
Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
[INSERT MGCC Member Name]
As October comes to a close, the leaves have turned, it’s dark well past the completion of the last Brimley hill repeat, and the winter cycling gear has been pulled out of storage to handle those crisp Autumn mornings on the bike. For many, the 2012 season is behind us and thoughts have turned towards 2013. Here are a few things to consider when starting the process of making 2013 your best season yet:
Brimley and the Bridle Path are both soaked with the sweat of success from this year’s MGCC rides. Take some time to celebrate your accomplishments from the current season – and what better way to start that celebration than by attending the MGCC’s End of Season party on November 8th? Come share your stories, celebrate your club mates’ successes and enjoy the camaraderie of a most excellent and accomplished team.
A long, hard season naturally creates fatigue on the body, both physical and mental. A full-stop break at the end of the season is very helpful in allowing the body to repair any of those little aches and pains that can develop over the course of the year. A break also helps clear any mental fatigue from a long season of early morning wake-ups. You want to continue to be motivated right through that long, dark winter – not fired up from the success of this year only to push straight through and be burnt out in mid-February. Consider taking a full week off at a minimum, or one week off for every 250 hours of training in the past year. Enjoy the extra minutes of sleep in the morning and fit in some non-cycling related activities with your support crew that got you through the season.
Feeling guilty about resting? Don’t! Carve out a piece of that rest time to reflect on the past year. Did you set goals at the start of the season? Did you achieve them? What are your limiters to becoming a better rider? A season debrief helps consolidate what we’ve learned from the current season and helps set the stage for the coming year.
After a well-deserved break, it’s time to get back at it. Where to begin? Consider writing down your goals for the 2013 season. Goals can be as big or small as you want to make them – this year our club had goals ranging from just wanting to be comfortable riding a bike outdoors all the way up to people wanting to win international races. Goals are great motivational tools, but the true value of goals comes from breaking down all the steps needed to achieve them, and taking stock of progress along the way. The off-season is a great time to assess where we started, what we’re hoping to accomplish on our cycling journeys, and where we currently stand.
Not sure what specific steps are needed for you to achieve your goals? We’re surrounded by a wealth of knowledge in this club – pick the brain of your more experienced club mates. Have you ever worked with a coach? Coaching professionals can help you identify your limiters, create a path towards success and are there to give you the nudge you need if you start to drift off your line. The off-season is a great time to set up a coaching relationship as you are able to craft a season plan together. If you’re thinking about working with a coach or want to learn more about what’s involved, have a chat with one of the club members who works with a coach, or sit down with Mike or Ed from Real Deal Performance to see what they can do for you.
Rested, recovered, and ready to rock with a plan for the coming year, hit that trainer hard!
Congratulations to everyone on a great season of riding! Looking forward to the 2013 MGCC already.
See you on the roads,
RANK TIME START #
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22 0:06:00 3
The MGCC appreciates your feedback. Below is a summary of the results from our member survey. Stay tuned for updates based on your input and feedback.
Thank you again for your input, it goes a long way towards making the club what it is today.
Come ride with Morning Glory Cycling Club at Subaru Centurion Ontario (Horseshoe Valley), presented by Cervelo, on July 14-15 and help us win the Club Challenge competition! The club that earns the most points wins. Points are earned by each club member who finishes in the top 3 in their age group across any of the events (C25K, C50K, C100K).
Saturday morning is the Centurion 25K
ride. On Saturday afternoon, come watch the made-for-television event called Hell in the Horseshoe
, where elite riders will showcase their skills and test their stamina in this high intensity hill climb criterium to be broadcast on television later this fall.
On Sunday morning, ride the Centurion 50K
or Centurion 100K
At Centurion events, you can always count on:
· Traffic control giving cyclists the right-of-way
· Coordinated start with pace corrals so racers can racer and riders can ride
· Scenic and challenging courses
· Chip timing from start to finish
· Full technical and medical support on the course and at the venue
· Feed zones along the course stocked with fluids and nutrition, and staffed by volunteers
· Finish line festival including post race food
· Full expo introducing participants to the latest in bikes and cycling gear
Register today! www.CenturionCycling.com
June 15, 2012Councillor Josh Matlow (Ward 22, St. Paul’s)
100 Queen Street West, Suite A17
Toronto, ON M5H 2N2Councillor John Parker (Ward 26, Don Valley West)
100 Queen Street West, Suite A16
Toronto, ON M5H 2N2Councillor Jaye Robinson (Ward 25, Don Valley West)
100 Queen Street West, Suite A12
Toronto, ON M5H 2N2Councillor Gary Crawford (Ward 36, Scarborough Southwest)
100 Queen Street West, Suite A11
Toronto, ON M5H 2N2Dear Councillors Matlow, Parker, Robinson and Crawford,I am writing to you in my capacity as President of the Morning Glory Cycling Club (MGCC). MGCC is a Toronto-based group of road cyclists with 321 registered members. Our members are primarily recreational riders who, whether they are in their 20s or their 60s, have discovered the health benefits of cycling as well as the enjoyment of training in a group setting. As the name “Morning Glory” suggests, our members meet up as early as 5:40 in the morning every week day to ride together before they begin their work days. We also have weekend rides at 6 and 7 a.m., and evening youth off-road rides. All of our road rides commence at Tremblett’s Valu-mart at the intersection of Bayview and Davisville. Our rides traverse Wards 22, 25 (Crestwood hill repeats), 26 and 36 (Brimley Road South hill repeats), and we have members living in all of these Wards. You can find out more about us and about our rides at http://www.mgridetoronto.com/. The reason for this letter is that I want to encourage you and your colleagues at City Council to take a fresh look at cycling safety in this City. Road safety is of paramount concern to MGCC’s membership; indeed, one of the benefits that MGCC offers its members is the greater safety associated with riding with a group as opposed to riding alone. We cycle in the early morning, when City roads are quiet; we are mutually respectful of cars and commuters heading to work and we ride at hours to minimize interference with traffic patterns. We employ ride marshalls wearing reflective vests to ensure that we are able to safely turn at intersections. We require our riders to wear helmets, and to have front and back lights as it is dark when our rides commence. We respect the rules of the road – stopping at lights and stop signs, signalling our turns and riding in a compact and organized pace line formation so as to ensure that drivers can predict our movements and safely pass us. When we are driving our cars, we try to show this same respect to cyclists. To date, much of the debate about cycling in this City has focused on commuters and, more specifically, bike lanes in and out of the downtown. While bike lanes positively contribute to the safety of cyclists (depending on where the lanes are located and how they are configured), the debate about safety is much broader than the issue of bike lanes. Our organized rides do not use bike lanes and only a minority of our members commute on their bikes. While we do not have statistics for Toronto specifically, it is apparent that there has been a marked increase in recent years in the number of road cyclists and triathletes who use City roads not for commuting, but for training. This is consistent with the general growth in popularity of road cycling across Canada. Indeed, a recent article in the Globe and Mail reported that the growth rate is in the 10% range and commented that Canadian road cyclist Ryder Hesjedal’s recent victory in the Giro d’Italia is likely to contribute to the continued popularity and growth of this sport. Our members choose to train in the City because our families and jobs are here and it is not feasible to leave town on a regular basis to train. We are encouraged that the City of Toronto will be hosting several high profile competitive cycling events on its streets in the next few years, including the recent Toronto Criterium, the Toronto Triathlon Festival this Summer and the Pan Am Games in 2015. It is clear that, with more and more cyclists training on Toronto’s roads, there will be cycling injuries and, regrettably, deaths. A number of MGCC’s own riders have sustained cycling injuries in and around Toronto. While we do not have data for Toronto, the Ontario Medical Association recently reported that in 2009, there were over 26,000 emergency room visits and 1,300 hospitalizations for cycling injuries in Ontario. A recent Canadian Institute for Health Information report based on trauma registries shows that Ontario is the province with the highest number of cycling injuries per year, although it does better on an age-adjusted per capita basis than do many other provinces. Given the increasing popularity of cycling as training, and the City’s plans to host world class cycling events, we think there is a need for Council to consider the broader issue of cycling safety beyond the issue of bike lanes. In particular, we would urge Council to consider the extent to which any or all of the following measures might be implemented at the municipal level:· A full study of the causes and scope for prevention of cycling injuries and deaths in Toronto, building on the study that the Ontario Coroner is conducting into cycling deaths. This study should focus on concrete change: are there particular roads and intersections where accidents are more common and, if so, can changes be made to improve safety? · An education campaign aimed at educating both drivers and cyclists on sharing the road, particularly on busy City streets. Share the Road has published some basic rules for motorists and cyclists: see http://www.sharetheroad.ca/improving-road-safety-s11935 and the Toronto Cyclists Union has published a handbook on road safety for cyclists: http://bikeunion.to/sites/default/files/handbook/cyclists_handbook_eng.pdf. We understand that the Ontario Driver’s Handbook also contains content about driving alongside cyclists; however, we believe that the education component needs to go beyond entry-level drivers to include long-term drivers. We would be pleased to provide you with additional views and materials on point focussing on group ride safety (from the perspective of both cyclists and drivers). · A requirement for mandatory side guards on trucks. We understand that the City’s transportation manager is drafting a report on side guards that will be presented to the public works committee, which will make recommendations to Council. We also understand that this issue is being studied at the provincial level. We would urge Council to move quickly on this issue – do not wait for another cyclist to die under the wheels of a truck.· Following the lead of other Canadian cities such as Ottawa by implementing Summer Sunday morning (for example 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.) road closures on low traffic routes within the City (for example, Bayview Avenue south or Moore Avenue and the Gardiner fly-over) so as to allow cyclists to safely train while minimizing any inconvenience to drivers. · A change to the tone of debate at Council which includes a recognition of the positive benefits of cycling to the health of this City. We fear that from the very opening of City Council by Don Cherry, cyclists have been vilified by many City Councillors as some type of fringe group. Our members include CEOs, bankers, entrepreneurs, lawyers, medical professionals, engineers, teachers and many others from all walks of life – we are certainly not a fringe group. We challenge each of you to take on this issue and to become a force for positive change when it comes to the health and fitness of your constituents. We would also like to formally invite you to participate in one of our group rides – so that you can enjoy the joy of riding at dawn first hand and hear more suggestions from our members (your constituents) on how City Council can contribute to positive change for cyclists and motorists alike. We can assist by providing an appropriate bicycle if you do not have one. One of our members will contact your office in the coming weeks to follow up on this invitation. Yours very truly, Fraser Chapman 
Globe and Mail, “Cycling is the new golf: The rise of an on-trend activity”, June 10, 2012. https://www.oma.org/Mediaroom/PressReleases/Pages/ItsTimetoMakeCyclingSaferOntariosDoctors.aspx
Great work to by everyone this am, apologies to starter #5, a technical glitch caused a problem with your time.
See the results below
We Hosted an amazing Time Trial on Thursday am that saw a number of members working away on Brimley, Great work to everyone who participated!!!
On May 13th (Mother’s Day) I said good bye to my Mom at Pearson and flew over to Holland to spend 6 weeks racing my bike for a club team based in Utrecht.
Google Map- http://maps.google.ca/maps?q=utrecht&hl=en&gbv=2&hnear=Utrecht,+The+Netherlands&gl=ca&t=m&z=12
Club Team – http://www.uwtcdevolharding.com/nieuws/
Shedding light on the last 8 months of intense & disciplined training, all due to the support of the MGCC, I needed to test my legs with some serious racing, of which would have been too few and far between in and around back home. With a number of relationships that I have made within the peloton, I was able to secure room and board in Utrecht as well as a promise from the club team President that if I were to ride well in the B races (weekday races) that I would get an opportunity to ride in the A races (weekend races).
I gathered my fitness and form, packed them all up, and jumped a plane to the Netherlands knowing that this is what was needed in my preparation to accomplish my HUGE GOAL of winning the Canadian Elite National Time Trial taking place June 21st in Lac Megantic, Quebec.
Having arrived in Utrecht, I quickly earned a spot on the club’s A team and set out in the first few races in my new colours working for the established leaders of the team. I had done well, banked some acceptable results, kept my mouth shut, and worked very very hard for the team.
This past Friday, June 1st, after all the work I had willingly done for my teammates, I was told by the club team President that I was to be the team leader in what would be the biggest race of the season to date. I had the team at my disposal to work for me versus what I had been doing for the established team leaders in the 2 weeks before hand.
I knew this was an opportunity that I could not let slip between my fingers. This is what I had been waiting for.
I had my best result to date, winning the Flexpoint Limburgs Mooiste. I would say that this race is takes the peloton over one of the hardest courses in the Netherlands, having 137 riders crossing the starting line and only 64 riders at the finish. The hills, short and very steep, in Holland take their toll on the riders and the whole peloton just suffers. Most of the time it is the strongest that will survive to fight it out in the end and it just so happened that this day was perfect for me.
Watching closely as opposing teams tactics tried and failed, mainly because my team was there to support me and because the pace up those damn hills was draining on everybody. I patiently watched and waited for the time that would be most discouraging for any rider to follow me on an attack. With 30 KMS to go I found myself in the lead break with 14 riders, all of which were contenders for first prize and whose best interests were to make sure we were not caught by the chasing peloton. We worked well together growing a large gap to the point at which our cohesion soon turned into all out war. On the last lap, I was feeling very confident in my ability, and I attacked sprinting at full speed into a 1 KM hill with an average grade of 9%. Not one of my fellow break riders followed me thinking that I would not be able to stay away. They maintained a steady pace watching and waiting for me to explode and to roll backwards into the group. That was their mistake. I held 626 watts for well over 2 mins up that hill and gained a gap on my competitors that they would not be able to close. From the top of that climb to the finish, it was just a bit of mind body separation to achieve my T.T. state of suffering as I soloed for the win. Once the 13 riders chasing me realized I was not coming back they quickly set off to hunt me down but to no avail. As I was TT’ing to the finish I told myself “don’t look over your shoulder, don’t look over your shoulder , don’t look over your shoulder“ for I knew that if the commissaries’’ cars were still there 10 yards behind me then the chasing group were not that close. Having the last 2 KMS in my sights, I ramped it up giving myself a larger cushion of victory and enough time for a proper solute to pay respect to the team as well as the club team President Wim Sluis.
Here is a great race recap video that was played on Dutch TV.http://www.l1.nl/video/limburgs-mooiste-race-1-juni-2012#.T8o_Eo6ATBJ
Coming this Sunday I have a race in the same region of Holland. Tons of climbing again but this time we will tackle 210KMS vs. the 140 KMS last Friday.
To be frank, I am in disbelief with my fitness and form so far, it feels as if I can achieve anything during a race. Watching over my shoulder at the grimaces and buried heads of pain, almost gives me strength to push harder.
I receit my goals and objectives on a daily basis and I feel 150% confident that I am on track.
I absolutely could not have accomplished this without my friends, family and the MGCC who have been there supporting this dream.
THANK YOU MGCC!!!!!!!!!
See you all out on the road!!!!!!!
Hey MGCC’rs on Wednesday April 25th I headed down to the Ontario Bike Summit (#OBS2012) on behalf of your cycling advocacy committee. It was a great event to promote cycling in Ontario. #OBS2012 is the brain child of Share the Road [www.sharetheroad.ca]. This year Share the Road set the following mandate for the conference:
· To share information on how to develop a “Share the Road’ campaign in partnership with local law enforcement, media and other community partners
· To demonstrate innovative methods for mobilizing community resources, creating momentum and achieving success
· To share research and information on the connection between public health and the built environment
· To share tips and ideas on how to work more effectively with local governments to advance cycling -- including strategies for securing more support from the province
· To share data and research that you will help you “make the case” for enhanced cycling
· To Inspire bicycle friendly cities on the 5 “Es” of a Bicycle Friendly Community: Environment, Encouragement, Environment, Education and Evaluation and Planning
Here are some of the great things I learned at the Conference:
1) CAA Bike Assist Program [http://www.caasco.com/automotive/roadside-service/caa-bike-assist.jsp]: Have a CAA membership? Good news, it covers you on your bike! “If you run into a problem that cannot be fixed on the spot, CAA will transport you and your bicycle to wherever.” More on the CA Bike Assist program can be found here[http://www.caasco.com/automotive/roadside-service/caa-bike-assist-faq.jsp].
2) More people would ride more if cycling was Safer and there was more cycling Infrastructure (i.e bike lanes, shared lanes, etc). Some numbers from CAA: 60% of members and non-members from CAA want to see more cycling infrastructure in cities, 70% of Ontario’s population thinks more needs to be done for cycling (i.e. Share the road campaigns, safety, awareness, etc). Share the Road is asking the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) to dedicate $25M (1/8th of 1% of MTO’s budget) of their budget to cycling infrastructure.
3) Cycling safety and an increase in infrastructure will only be improved through collaboration. Partnerships must be formed with municipal, provincial and federal governments. Governments must work together and not in silos; health care, transportation, planning, municipal housing and affairs, culture, tourism, etc. Partnerships must be made with the public and private sectors.
I challenged the members of parliament on their current cycling strategy. A lot of the discussion on Wednesday circled around the 'war on cars'. I know that it has been at the forefront of discussion in Toronto because of Mayor Ford. I challenged the MPPs to move away from the polarized discussion of cycling commuters and cars. I asked why cycling as a recreation was not a part of their discussion. I tabled my question stating that I was an engineer, an environmental planner, occasionally a cycling commuter but I was asking the question as a recreational cyclist.
What I heard back. Recreational cycling used to be a part of the discussion, but cycling was not a popular sport at the time. The shift was then to commuters since they were the most visible. But no MPP answered the question! Share the Road Board Members and a few other key speakers really appreciated the question. The idea of bringing recreational cycling back into the conversation is on the horizon. Let's see what happens next.
Learn more about Share the Road and sign up for their newsletter here [http://www.sharetheroad.ca/share-the-road-newsletter-p135766/429837]. Share the Road’s goal is to make Ontario more bicycle friendly for everyone by: Enhancing access for bicyclists on roads and trails, Improving safety for all bicyclists, and Educating citizens on the value and importance of safe bicycling for healthy lifestyles and communities. Share the Road represents all cyclists - children, tourists, commuters, recreational riders, mountain bikers and racers.
I reached out to some great cycling advocates at the conference. I met with Eleanor McMahon, the founder and President of Share the Road. The plan is to get together with her in the future. I sat down with Diane Freeman, City Councillor in Waterloo, Engineer and cycling advocate. Diane was awarded the Bicycle Leadership award for 2012. I had a great chat with Mike Schreiner, Ontario Green Party Leader. He is a Toronto cycling commuter and a recreational cyclist up in Clearview; I promised him when I was up in Collingwood we could go for a ride together. Lots of people for me and the committee to follow up with, we promise to report back with any and all the information we uncover.
I had a great time at #OBS2012 and look forward to attending again next year. If you have any other questions about the conference send me an email and I’d be happy to try and answer your question.
Link to a wicked photo for the blog: http://www.sharetheroad.ca/files/OBS_Logo.jpg