Someone just biked a giant beaver-shaped route across Toronto
The beaver is an enduring symbol of Canada, from the nickels rattling around change drawers and car cup holders to the famous dessert that definitely does not contain any of the animal in question. And like the beaver represents Canada, cycling has grown to become a symbol of life in Toronto.
One intrepid cyclist mashed up these two icons of Canadian life by cycling a route shaped like a gargantuan beaver stretching across the city.
Mike Scott tells blogTO that he was recently laid off from his Toronto job in the tech sector, and told some of his fellow alum that "when you get these unscheduled breaks in employment, you gotta take advantage of things that others can't do between 9-5 and enjoy your hobbies. I figured I should lead by example."
After learning of the phenomenon known as Strava art (which utilizes GPS to form intricate routes through cities that draw out images on maps) in a blogTO article, Scott decided to flex his love of Canadiana and draw a beaver across the map of Toronto.
Next, he hopped on his 2020 GT Grade bicycle and got to work.
Reddit user Joricm took inspiration for the route via cyclist and fellow Strava artist Mason Zeinali, who has cycled all sorts of ridiculous routes around Toronto, including a moose, a tortoise that kind of turned out looking like a dog, and the original beaver route that motivated Scott to create his own.
Scott explains, "I plotted the route out on Strava and followed it on my phone that is mounted to my bike. I had to keep it tethered to power to have the GPS route on the screen for the whole ride."
"It was a pretty enjoyable ride and a great route for anyone that wants to do a safe and long ride on the Toronto bike system. Major sections were Adelaide Bike lanes, Bayview Route, Lower Don River and Taylor Creek Trails, and finally, the Waterfront trail stretch back to the end of the tail."
But it wasn't entirely smooth sailing, as he was forced to "gap a section near Lakeshore and Logan because of the demolition of Lakeshore/Gardiner ramp," adding that "most bikers are not fond of the destruction of the trail."
Aside from the small gap, Scott says that the only hazards he encountered along the way "were the odd unleashed dog, scampering chipmunks through Taylor creek, and crossing Kingston Road four times to complete the teeth of the beaver."
During the second half of his ride, Scott felt a bit nervous about his execution of the beaver's hind legs under fatigue and the lack of an 'undo' button, but he remarks that "Woodbine Park was empty, so I could focus on the route."
In the end, Scott covered a distance of 46.5 kilometres in just shy of two hours 19 minutes, navigating 224 metres of elevation change and burning 1,248 calories while seeing the city in a new light.
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