Bike Month Toronto 2011

Toronto Bike Month 2011

Bike Month in Toronto officially got underway Monday and will continue until June 30th. Earlier this year, it looked as though the City was going to scale back this year's festivities to little more than yesterday's Toronto Group Commute (i.e. Bike to Work Day), but coordinated action by various members of Toronto's cycling community led to a change of heart. This is good. One gets the sense that this is an important time in Toronto's development as a potentially cyclist-friendly city, not just with the launch of BIXI (which appears to be doing well), but in light of a City Council that's seems ambivalent (at best) when it comes to taking serious action about improving the cycling infrastructure. Events like Bike Month serve to increase the visibility of cycling in Toronto and to demonstrate that there's a significant body of active and engaged riders about town.

With that in mind, here's my list of recommended events coming up at Bike Month 2011. For the complete calendar, go here (PDF).

The Romance of the Wheel
Running at Jet Fuel Coffee through throughout June (and then at Curbside Cycle for July) is this bike-themed exhibition, which features local illustrators and other artists. Opens with a bang on Friday, June 3rd.
June 2011, Jet Fuel Coffee, Parliament north of College

Bike Breakfast at Evergreen Brick Works
Free food! Cyclists will be treated to a pancake breakfast and a safety check of their bikes at the Evergreen Bike Works, which is incidentally located very close to the Lower Down Recreational trail, where you can spend the afternoon burning off the calories.
Saturday, June 4th, 10am at the Evergreen Bike Works, 550 Bayview Ave., 416-596-1495 ex. 310

Becel Heart & Stroke Ride For Heart
Cyclists of all skill levels take over the Gardiner and DVP in support of heart and stroke research. All you have to do is raise $100 bucks and you're in (as of writing this, spots are still available). Bring your riding legs, though. It may not seem like it in a car, but the DVP snakes steadily uphill.
Sunday, June 5th, 6am, start at Exhibition Place, 416-489-7111

Toronto Island Tour of Trees
Whenever fall weather arrives in Toronto, I lament how few times I got to the Island. Don't be a loser like me; get out and experience all that it has to offer with a guided cycling and walking tour, complete with information about the area's many tree species. Not into trees? Who cares? You're on the Island, you can just zone out and enjoy your surroundings.
Saturday June 11th, 10:15am, Centre Dock Toronto Island, Phone 311 for more info

Toronto Mountain Bike Fest
Hosted by TORBA and the LapDogs Cycling Club, this is the first edition of Mountain Bike Fest, which will provide just about the best introduction to the Don Valley trail network you could ever hope to find. Along with rides, there will also be lessons, trail maintenance workshops and what they describe as a "big, big, really big BBQ." Sounds auspicious.
Saturday, June 11th, 10am. Redway Road trailhead (by the Loblaws)

Bells on Bloor 2011
Do you think Bloor Street deserves some bikes lanes? If yes, this annual event that traces a route from High Park to Queens Park is the prime occasion to show your support for the idea. If you don't have a bell, just be sure to bring something that makes noise.
Saturday, June 18th, 12pm. Main entrance to High Park, 1873 Bloor St.

Bike-In Movie Night
This PWYC event will feature bike-themed movies — let's pray American Flyers is on tap — shown under the Pavilions in the recently renovated Don Valley Brick Works. Based on the evening hour and location, it might be good to remember to bring a light for the ride out of the valley.
Friday, June 24th, 7pm. Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Ave. 416-596-1495 ex.310

MEC Bikefest 2011
Not to plug MEC too much, but this is a pretty cool event with clinics, demos, and even a bike swap. Come for the bike-related stuff, and stay for everything else the Distillery District has to offer.
Saturday, June 25th, 11am. Distillery District, 55 Mill St. 416- 340-2667.

Photo by CurlyCam in the blogTO Flickr pool.

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