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The History of Bikes in T.O.

Tomorrow evening, just in time for cycling weather, MEC (King & Peter St) will host a lecture on this history of bicycles in Toronto.

Steven Brearton, of the Community Bicycle Network, is giving the talk. He spoke with Andy Barrie this morning about bikes in the city, going back to the 1890's when Toronto saw the golden age of bicycles bring 3 different manufacturers in the city, grand clubhouses with room for a 1000 bikes, and of course, complaints that there werent adequate places to ride...

Some things never change.

He also mentioned some interesting bits I'd never heard before:

The lack of paved roads in the early days led riders to "Devil Strips"... the paved area between streetcar tracks! Not the safest bet, but preferred until streets like St. George and other major routes were paved.

Bikes, while condemned by various churches for distracting youth, also were a god-sent to citizens like Toronto women -- now able to get places 'unescorted'.

To hear more, check out the lecture tomorrow evening. 7:30pm & free.

An retrospective exhibition is also in the works, set to open May 20th at Market Gallery (St. Lawrence Mkt).


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