Bike the Creek 8th Annual

It’s a successful wrap on Bike the Creek 2022, the 8th annual free regional signature ride through Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga.

After two pandemic years, we welcomed 1,350 eager cyclists to Bike the Creek on June 18, 2022.

Our thanks to partners Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), City of Brampton, Town of Caledon, City of Mississauga and BikeBrampton. Thanks to sponsors including title sponsor Region of Peel. Thanks to the volunteers who signed the routes, staffed booths and pavilions.

Cyclists depart in a staggered start on the windy morning.
Fun family event with route choices ranging from 5km to 65km
Accessible for all ages, all abilities.
Cyclists supported by Peel Regional Police Crime Prevention, and Caledon OPP.
BikeBrampton dignitary ride leaders Lisa & Steve. Brampton Regional Councillor Rowena Santos, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority CEO John MacKenzie, Decathlon sponsor Darren.
BikeBrampton Lisa & Councillor Rowena Santos stop at TRCA pavilion along the route.
BikeBrampton Lisa leads Councillor Rowena Santos on the Franceschini active transportation bridge crossing Hwy #410.
Caledon riders at Southfields Pavilion: TRCA Chair & Regional Councillor Jennifer Innis, Mayor Allan Thompson, Director, Customer Service and Communications Catherine McLean, volunteer Wayne, Councillor Christina Early, Caledon staff, Caledon OPP
Caledon ride on Etobicoke Creek Trail connection from Southfields into Valleywood – TRCA Chair & Councillor Jennifer Innis; Director, Customer Service and Communications Catherine McLean; Mayor Allan Thompson.
Bike the Creek Bike Valet parking on Caledon’s foldable bike racks.
Efficient, delicious free BBQ lunch sponsored by Region of Peel.
Hungry Bike the Creek cyclists enjoy the free lunch.
Bike the Creek riders gathered to eat lunch and listen to our Civic leaders.
Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown welcomes cyclists to Bike the Creek.
Regional Councillor Chris Fonseca brings greetings from Mississauga.
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) Chair and Caledon Regional Councillor Jennifer Innis brings greetings.
Bike the Creek Dignitaries: Mississauga Councillor Chris Fonseca, MP Brampton South Sonia Sidhu, Ontario Deputy Premier MPP Sylvia Jones, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown, TRCA Chair and Caledon Councillor Jennifer Innis, Brampton Councillor Michael Paleschi.
BikeBrampton staff, volunteers and Brampton Cycling Advisory Committee hosted the Brampton Bike Hub booth, providing education, lights, bells and mini BikeWrx tune-ups. No tents this year due to high winds!
Deputy Premier MPP Sylvia Jones, volunteer Wayne, TRCA Chair & Councillor Jennifer Innis, Director, Customer Service and Communications Catherine McLean, Caledon staff & volunteers.
Town of Caledon Tourism provided information, those ever-popular trail maps, lights and bells.
Bike the Creek Master of Ceremonies, Gage Board from Brampton, congratulates cyclist prize winner
MC Gage awards Bike the Creek prize to winner George.
Bike the Creek cyclists line up for sponsor Decathlon’s game.

Thanks to BikeBrampton volunteer Steve, Caledon volunteer Wayne, and Sabrina from Town of Caledon, for supplying these photographs.


Bike the Creek Event Partners:

Cycling Chronicles Vol 13

Becoming a Randonneur.

How far is too far? With cycling, this is an open-ended question. My friend has ridden his bike around the world. That is taking it to extremes. To bring it down to a relatable context, my question was how far could I ride in a single day, during daylight hours.

I had already done Brampton to London a number of times; Brampton to St. Catharines; round trips from Brampton to Kitchener; and Brampton to Hamilton. It was time to set my sights on something more extreme. I settled on Brampton to Kingston.

Plans were made. I would need to make the attempt on a day with the longest amount of daylight hours. This would be around the 21st of June. I checked my work schedule and found I was off on two weekdays, which happened to be the 22nd and 23rd of June. The next thing I needed was a place to stay. My research indicated the perfect place for my purposes would be Queen’s University, the Victoria College residence. Not only was it conveniently located, but it was only $25 a night during the summer. The only part that was now out of my control was the weather. To my great relief, that particular week arrived with a favourable forecast, so the ride was on.

On the continent of Europe, a sport became popular in the late 19th century that involved day long challenge rides, or brevets, between two cities. The first recorded event was the challenge of riding from Rome to Naples, a distance of 230 km, during daylight hours. Riders in this type of event referred to themselves as ‘audax’ (audacious). Eventually it became organized enough to require regulations. This led to a sport referred to as audax and, commonly in this country, “randonneuring”. These amateur events, which start at 200 km, evolved into outrageously long multi-day events, stretching to 1200 km and beyond. Riders suffer through these organized events, which are time limited, for a certificate and the official title of “randonneur”. This was going to be my humble attempt at becoming an unofficial randonneur.

In the early 1990s I was riding a Japanese 1990 Miyata Ti6000. From one of the original Japanese bicycle manufacturers, founded in the last century, this bike consisted of titanium main tubes mated with 6000 series aluminum forks and rear triangle. The bike was assembled using aerospace bonding technology with cast aluminum lugs. There was no paint applied to this frame, it was polished metal with a clear coat finish. In my biased opinion, it was one of the most beautiful bikes ever produced. The components were Shimano Ultegra, with Wolber aero rims. Concessions to comfort were a saddle with a gel layer in it and the natural compliance of the frame.

My kit consisted of a set of hex keys, a map of Ontario, flip flops, some toiletries, my wallet, and a spare T-shirt. This was all jammed into a fanny pack. I actually had a failure plan. If I had to bail out, I was going to ride to the nearest train station, where my bike and I would take the rails home.

The first part of my route took me east across the city of Toronto in a step-down pattern of streets until I met up with Kingston Road in Scarborough. This route was not complicated. I would just basically follow the same road, designated Highway 2, mirroring Lake Ontario, all the way to Kingston. The Greater Toronto Area seemed to stretch on forever, as I rode for hours through Scarborough, Ajax, Whitby, and Oshawa, finally reaching some country riding. The weather was nice, and the miles ticked away. It was not until the approach to Trenton that I felt the gradual draining of energy, which I knew all to well as a precursor to the dreaded “bonk”. I was still many kilometres from my goal.

The bonk is the complete depletion of usable glycogen in the human body. There is little to no usable energy, so your body must start to convert stored fat to usable fuel. In marathon running, it is referred to as “hitting the wall”. The feeling is one of extreme fatigue where your body does not respond, and you start going slower and slower. I had tried to prevent this by eating during the ride but had obviously not succeeded in fueling correctly.

I cruised into downtown Trenton on fumes and felt defeated. Resigning myself to almost certain failure, I stopped at a variety store to ask directions to the train station. As soon as I entered the store, my eyes fell upon a two-litre bottle of “C-Plus”, in the glass front cooler. I was overwhelmed with a desire to have that bottle. I asked for the directions and bought the bottle of “C-Plus”. As soon as I was outside, I cracked open the bottle and took a long swig. The effects were almost instantaneous, I immediately felt better, and my energy seemed to be coming back. I did not know how long my energy would last, but with renewed hope, I resumed my route, holding a two-litre bottle of pop in one hand. I nursed off that bottle for several kilometres before it was drained. Fortunately, at this point, a gentle tail wind developed, and I began to ride a steady pace. It was not easy. In fact, I remember my vision would periodically blur with the effort during the remaining kilometres. Once I saw the Kingston city limit signs, my spirits were buoyed, and I relaxed as I slowly glided through the city streets, to Queen’s University.

I checked in at Victoria College and headed out for dinner for some much-needed sustenance. When I returned to my lodgings, the concierge informed me that I would be the sole occupant on the second floor of the residence. Once I learned that, I took the opportunity to ride a victory lap around the hallways of the second floor before riding into the communal shower area for a much-needed shower.

The next day I woke up with the sun, to begin the challenging return ride to Brampton. I tried to pay more attention to fueling as I did not want to be caught short again. This day ended up bringing a different challenge, as it was much warmer than the previous day. I ended up taking shade breaks under trees at various spots along the route.

In the early evening, hours before sunset, I happily road into my driveway. During a long shower I realized that I had lost the feeling in three of the fingers on each hand and in my nether regions. To my relief, feeling would return to all parts of my body within three days.

The results were: 11 ½ hour journey to Kingston and a 12 ½ hour journey back to Brampton. At the time I was not running a computer on my bike, so with modern methods I calculate my route distance to be 284 km, each way.

My efforts might seem inconsequential to the giants of the sport, but I will always remember these two days fondly, as the time I became an unofficial randonneur.

by Steve Stoller

Previous blog posts by Steve:

Cycling Chronicles Vol 12

Cycling Chronicles Vol 11

Cycling Chronicles Vol 10

Cycling Chronicles Vol 9

Cycling Chronicles Vol 8

Cycling Chronicles Vol 7

Cycling Chronicles Vol 6

Cycling Chronicles Vol 5

Cycling Chronicles Vol 4

Cycling Chronicles Vol 3

Cycling Chronicles Vol 2

Cycling Chronicles Vol 1 

Cycling Chronicles Vol 12

Riding one hundred miles is considered a milestone achievement for cyclists and has been for some time.

It may be considered a random number, especially since Canada has long switched over to the metric system. Other sports have milestone achievements that are also quite random. The marathon, at 26 miles and 385 yards, is a totally random number, even when converted to a metric measurement of 42.2 kilometres. In fact, the distance from Marathon to Athens is more like 40 kilometres. The shift to the standardized distance we have today is rumoured to be at the whim of the British Royal family. I digress.

The point is, that every sport, from hockey to cricket, has some sort of milestone achievement attached to it, which ends up being a measure of an aficionado’s skill or ability. So, one hundred miles, it is. For those on the inside, it is called a century.

My cycling friend Olav was always one to dive into a sport or hobby with as much academic passion as his studies. According to his reading about cycling, if we wanted to be considered cyclists, we would have to do a ride of at least one hundred miles. After some consultation, which may have involved fortified beverages, a plan was hatched.

My sister was attending the University of Western Ontario in London, as well as working as a manager in campus security. Not only would she be there to meet us, but she could also provide accommodations, free of charge (we were both students, after all). London, Ontario, we both believed would fit the bill, as it was more than one hundred miles away from Brampton. So, I made the arrangements to leave Brampton on a sunny Saturday morning in 1980.

Olav was riding a 1977 Raleigh Competition GS that he had purchased used through an advertisement in the newspaper. His biked oozed European cool, with its Reynolds 531 double butted frame, Campagnolo drive train, Weinman brakes, Weinman ultra thin concave rims, and a Brooks professional saddle.

I, on the other hand, was riding one of the better bikes in the CCM line up: a 1979 CCM Seville. With its long wheelbase, I believed it rode like a Cadillac Seville. CCM stood for Canadian Cycle and Motor, a company like Raleigh, that could trace its lineage back to the early days of cycling. My bike was constructed of an unspecified alloyed steel tubing and equipped with the first iteration of Shimano 600 componentry, with non-heat-treated Araya rims.

We got away early, by 7:30 a.m., I remember. The weather was nice, with very little wind, great conditions for a bike ride. My preparations, for unsupported touring, consisted of a cheap nylon handlebar bag, with everything in it I thought I would need for two days. I had put the tools I might need, an Ontario road map, toiletries, wallet, and a spare T-shirt in the bag. Once loaded on the bike, I had doubts that the sagging bag was going to hold up for the entire journey.  My solution was to wind a length of cotton rope around the bag and the handlebar. This limited my hand positions and meant I would have to take it all apart to access anything in the bag, but at least it kept the rattling to a minimum.

We made our way south, zigzagging through rural concessions with little traffic, before reaching our main vector, Highway 5. Things became concentrated on this more heavily traveled road, as we ran a two-man pace line. This was a practice we were both used to, and would run our tires within millimetres of each other, to take full advantage of the draft. Cycling in the slipstream of another cyclist can reduce your effort by a large percentage. Of course, you take your turn at the front, but overall, two cyclists working together will be faster than a cyclist on their own.

Our break spot, which was preplanned, was the quaint town of Paris, Ontario. Once we were both fortified with submarine sandwiches from a local shop, I searched out a variety store to find a Paris postcard. I wrote a clever message on the back and we both signed it. I addressed it to a mutual friend of ours, Karen, with the inscription, “We will always have Paris”.

The rest of the journey was uneventful, just grinding out miles, well within both of our capabilities. We met up with my sister and had a tour of the campus, which was relatively unpopulated for the summer months. We met some of her friends and socialized for the evening, probably going to bed too late.

The next day, the weather was again sunny, to my relief. However, we were going to be headed into the wind. Not a strong wind, but a head wind, none the less. In these conditions, drafting became more crucial than ever. It was a long grind into the wind and the effort began to take its toll on both of us.

At the Oakville/Mississauga border, miscommunication at an intersection, combined with incredibly close drafting, led to a crash between us. I came out of it without a scratch on myself or my bike. Unfortunately, Olav ended up with a broken rear drop out adjustment screw and a tear in his cycling shorts. The shorts were practically brand new. We had a few words, as to who was responsible for the crash, before continuing on our way in silence. Even when we reached our parting point, we barely mumbled goodbyes.

I remember dinner that night never tasted so good and my bed was so comfortable, I slept like a log. As for Olav and me, we had been friends for so long, the next time we spoke, we were able to joke and laugh about the crash. To this day, I still feel badly about his brand new cycling shorts getting ripped.

One thing we will always share is our transition from bicycle riding pretenders, to serious wheelmen, who have completed a century.

by Steve Stoller

Previous blog posts by Steve:

Cycling Chronicles Vol 11

Cycling Chronicles Vol 10

Cycling Chronicles Vol 9

Cycling Chronicles Vol 8

Cycling Chronicles Vol 7

Cycling Chronicles Vol 6

Cycling Chronicles Vol 5

Cycling Chronicles Vol 4

Cycling Chronicles Vol 3

Cycling Chronicles Vol 2

Cycling Chronicles Vol 1

BikeWrx Pop-ups (Bike Repair)

Are you ready to ride with confidence? Circle your calendar with these BikeWrx pop-up schedules for Brampton and Caledon!

Services at these events include free Region of Peel bike bell and light installation, ABC Quick checks, basic repairs, bike and helmet fittings, route planning, trail etiquette.

BikeWrx pop-up 2021

Brampton Pop-Up Event Schedule *

Saturday April, 23                    Fred Kline| 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Saturday April, 23                    Norton Place Park | 10:00 AM – 2:30 PM
Tuesday May, 03                     Algoma | 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Thursday May, 05                    Algoma | 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Wednesday June, 01               Bramalea Secondary School | 2:15 PM – 6:00 PM
Friday June, 03                        Massey St. Public School | 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Saturday June, 18                   Bike the Creek | 8:30 AM – 2:00 PM
Tuesday June, 21                    Flower City Campus | 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Friday June, 24                       Sir John A Macdonald Park | 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Saturday June, 25                   Farmers Market | 7:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Sunday June, 26                     Sir John A Macdonald | 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Saturday July, 02                    Farmers Market | 7:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Tuesday July, 05                    Creditview Sandalwood Park | 5:30PM – 8:30PM
Sunday July, 10                      Chinguacousy | 12:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Friday July, 15                        Chinguacousy | 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Saturday July, 16                    Farmers Market | 7:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Sunday July, 17                      Mount Royal Park | 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Monday July, 18                     Mount Royal Park | 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Sunday July, 31                      Carabram Park | 10:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Tuesday August, 02               Carabram Park | 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Saturday August, 27              Chris Gibson | 12:00 PM – 3:30 PM CANCELLED
Sunday August, 28                Chris Gibson | 12:00 PM – 3:30 PM CANCELLED
Saturday September, 03        Farmers Market | 7:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Sunday September, 04          Homestead Park | 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Tuesday September, 06         Algoma – Fall Orientation | 11 AM – 1 PM
Wednesday September, 07    Fallingdale P.S.  | 2:15 PM – 6:00 PM
Saturday September, 17        Chinguacousy Park | 7:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Saturday September, 24         Art Spin – Downtown | 11 AM – 1 PM

Caledon Pop-up Event Schedule *

Saturday July 09, 10:00am – Southfields Recreation Centre
Saturday August 06, 9:00am – Caledon East, Caledon Trailway
Sunday August 7, 9:00am – Inglewood, Caledon Trailway
Thursday August 11, 5:00pm – Caledon East, Caledon Trailway
Sunday August 14, 9:00am – Palgrave, Caledon Trailway CANCELLED
Thursday August 25, 5:00pm – Palgrave, Caledon Trailway CANCELLED
Thursday September 01, 5:00pm – Inglewood, Caledon Trailway
Saturday September 10, 9:00am-12:30pm – Palgrave, Caledon Trailway

*Dates are subject to Public Health measures as per COVID-19 reopening guidelines

Bike the Creek 2022

Register for Bike the Creek, the 8th annual regional signature ride through Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga!

REGISTRATION OPEN #bikethecreek22

Bike the Creek is an awesome FREE community event held on June 18th. It raises awareness on the benefits of cycling and how active transportation is essential to building a healthy and sustainable community. Established in 2014, the event is planned with partners, BikeBrampton, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), City of Brampton, Town of Caledon and City of Mississauga. This event attracts over 1000 cycling enthusiasts and engages over 50 volunteers from the community.

Bike the Creek Cycling Jerseys:

Jakroo Canada virtual store is open for your Bike the Creek Jersey order! Our custom jerseys are on sale until May 12th 2:59am. Estimated delivery May 30th to your address, via FedEx. Signature required. Anyone can purchase an event jersey from Jakroo Canada Inc. at a cost of $61.00, available in youth, women and men sizes. Technical t-shirt available at $46.00. Great for a gift or for yourself! To see a 3-D sample of the Bike the Creek jersey, click here. Sizing chart available in the virtual store.

BtC 2022 jersey

Bike the Creek benefits

Whether you can ride 5 or 65 kilometres, this event is for you! It’s not a race. It’s a community party where you can enjoy nature, see friends, make new ones and enjoy yourself. Kids can try out the Bike Rodeo.

Bike the Creek 2020 map

Visit our booths at Jim Archdekin, and stop at the pavilions along the way. Here’s a small sample of sponsors and vendors, and there will be many more!

Bike the Creek 2020 sponsors

Stop to scan the QR code posters to learn about civic facts and BikeBrampton’s video safety tips!

Bike the Creek QR codes


2022 Bike the Creek delegation to Council

Dayle and David delegated on behalf of BikeBrampton to City of Brampton Council.

Pedalwise Mentor Call Out

Call out for Pedalwise Mentors. 

Join Apr 27th or May 2nd, 6:30–8:00pm for our Pedalwise information sessions. Brampton & Caledon Bike Hub needs experienced cyclists!

About You: 
You are comfortable biking on the road and are interested in building up your community through cycling in Brampton. You know some of the safer streets to ride on in your area and want to share them with others who live there too. While strong cycling skills and knowing multiple languages is an asset, you are primarily concerned about connecting with people for where they are at and supporting them where they want to go. You have felt that sense of freedom that riding a bicycle brings and knows how it helps the environment and promotes health and wellness. You want to learn how you can use biking as a tool for building up your community and make friends along the way.
Position Summary:
Mentors are paired with protégés in your neighbourhood that want to grow their cycling knowledge and skill. After attending an information session and up to two rides with our team, you will assess the confidence and skill for each protégé and go on rides together. Successful mentors will remain in contact with their protégés and create cycling opportunities to help them achieve their personal objectives. The Brampton and Caledon Bike Bub will support these rides by providing free equipment and skills training.
Responsibilities and Duties:
• Take protégés out for rides (one-on-one or in a group)
• Maintain a safe, inclusive, and fun environment during rides
• Attend monthly check-ins with other mentors
• Attend up to two riding workshops
• Provide mentor support for up to ten Pedalwise protégés
o Assess current skill and confidence level and customize a mentor program for each protégé that may include which may include route planning and skills training
o Agree on communication frequency, ride frequency, duration and degree of difficulty

Qualifications and Skills:
• Enthusiastic to support protégés while they develop at their own pace
• Over 17 years of age
• Knowledge and confidence riding a bicycle on roads (it is not necessary to be a cycling expert)
• Fluency in English. Ability to speak South Asian languages is an asset
• Interpersonal skills including active listening and empathy
• Eager to initiative in maintaining contact with protégés over text, email, and phone
• Resides in Caledon or Brampton

What You Can Expect:
You will help lead bi-weekly group rides in your area and/or go on one-on-one rides with your neighbours to help them enhance their skills riding a bicycle? Typically, most protégés are new to the city and are looking to become familiar with the road rules, learn safer routes, and gain confidence riding on the rode. Unless you are comfortable or have experience teaching adults to ride, you will not be assigned to them. Less experienced protégés require more attention. For in-person activities, mentors and protégés must physically distance and ensure they always have their mask.
• Our mentors tell us how rewarding it is to see their protégés start from minimal confidence and skill, to exceeding their goals. With this opportunity, you will improve the health, well-being, and happiness of your protégés while building a sense of community.
• Join a community of like-minded volunteers, mentors, and staff and gain access to networking opportunities.
• Access to free equipment and discounted membership to the DIY bike hub in Downtown Brampton.
About the Brampton and Caledon Bike Hub
The Brampton Bike Hub and Caledon Bike Hub, offered in partnership with BikeBrampton and Punjabi Community Health Services (PCHS), empowers cyclists to choose bikes over cars to get around. We believe that riding and fixing a bicycle is a powerful tool to connect neighbours, promote independence, improve health, and enhance environmental sustainability.
Since 2015, the Brampton and Caledon Bike Hub has been teaching residents about riding, maintenance, and repair, removing barriers to cycling in a friendly setting. Past programs include running the one-on-one cycling mentorship program (Pedalwise), drop-in DIY bike repair (BikeWrx), Bike Library, and delivering free pop-up bike services at parks and schools around Brampton and Caledon. In 2022 the Brampton and Caledon Bike Hub will open a physical location in Downtown Brampton called Different Spokes.

On April 27th and May 2nd from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. we will be hosting two Pedalwise information sessions. Sign up here

More information about the Pedalwise program

Email for any questions.

Earth Day Bike Tour

Join one of four BikeBrampton led bike rides to Earth Day celebration at Norton Place Park on Sat Apr 23rd. People are encouraged to walk, cycle or take public transit to promote environmental sustainability.

Rides leave at 9:15am. Send an email to telling us which ride number below you will be joining.

  1. Shoppers World Plaza near Tim Hortons, led by George
  2. Carabram Park at Eagleridge Dr. just s of Cliff Swallow Crt, led by Lisa
  3. Earnscliffe Recreation Centre, Eastbourne Dr., led by Steve & Cindy
  4. Loafer’s Lake Recreation Centre, Loafer’s Lake Lane, led by David & Dayle

City of Brampton and Brampton Environmental Alliance’s first Earth Day Environmental Celebration and Grow Green Awards Ceremony will be held Saturday, April 23, at Norton Place Park from 10 am to 2 pm.

This is a public event! Everyone is invited to take part in the festivities as City of Brampton celebrates and showcases community leaders with the Grow Green Awards.

Come out to meet and speak with local environmental groups, such as BikeBrampton, Heart Lake Turtle Troopers, Sierra Club, Community Climate Council, Human Impact Environment, Friends of Dorchester Park, Heart Lake Happenings, Brampton Horticultural Society, and Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA). Family-friendly activities are planned during the day including a nature walk, and a kid’s zone.

“Come visit the Heart Lake Turtle Troopers tent and learn what we are doing to protect and monitor the local turtle population. Find out about Ontario’s native and invasive turtle species, how we protect turtle nests and monitor habitats, and interact with our displays. We’ll also have turtle-themed activities in the Kids Zone!”

Explore the park in detail with members of Community Climate Council . “Nature in Norton: Exploring a Hidden Gem in the Heart of Brampton.”

Norton Park represents Brampton in a way; the plants and animals that reside in Norton are as beautifully diverse as the people who call Brampton home. Like Brampton, this exceptional diversity is the strength of this park and marks it as a rare jewel within the City. Come enjoy the wonder of big trees and learn a few nature nuggets about this incredible park!

A light lunch will be provided. There is no cost for lunch, but registration through Eventbrite is required to get your food voucher. Registration will close once maximum capacity is reached.

Important Consideration: this event endeavours to balance community and public safety. For this outdoor event, we aim to maintain physical distancing. City staff and volunteers will be wearing masks and COVID-19 assessments are required at the entrances of the event. Participants are welcome to choose whether or not to wear a mask. At this time, if you are uncomfortable being outdoors with others who do not wear a mask, please do not register. You are welcome to join at a future event.

Earth Day

Council reaffirms 2022 Active Transportation Implementation

In a unanimous vote at Mar 9th Committee meeting, Brampton Council said yes to the 2022 implementation schedule of the Active Transportation Master Plan. This includes $8.6 million budget for education, programs, bike lanes, pedestrian crossings, counters, initiating a bicycle friendly business program, updating the city’s cycling map, and supporting Bike the Creek signature cycling event.

The motion did not pass without debate. The installation of cycling infrastructure often creates controversy, particularly in suburban cities, like Brampton, where cycling for transportation is less common than in larger urban centres. A recent study found that most drivers don’t like sharing the road with cyclists because they believe the cyclists are inconsiderate. It turns out the vast majority of cyclists treat the road rules with respect, yet the impression lingers. Local politicians are a target of vocal opponents who don’t want to compete for road space with cyclists or who see bike lanes as taking away valuable road space that otherwise could be used for more traffic or on-street parking.

The fact is bike lanes can often improve traffic flow by defining a clear space where cyclists are supposed to be on the road. They also tend to calm traffic, reducing average speeds, making the road safer for all, but especially for vulnerable users such as pedestrians and cyclists. Safer infrastructure also encourages more pedestrian and cycling behaviour, thus reducing the number of cars on the road. As communities become more active, there are corresponding improvements in health outcomes and the sense of well-being amongst practitioners.

Despite these public benefits, the controversy remains. Residents may object to a bike lane being installed in front of their house because it would take away their on-street parking. Yet it is often the same residents who complain about high-speed drivers and who want calming measures put in place.

Quelling the controversy is possible. Communication is the key, letting residents know about the coming infrastructure, educating them about the benefits and listening to their concerns. Once the infrastructure has been in place for a few years, it becomes the norm. Strangely enough, when that happens, residents will complain bitterly if a civic leader proposes they be removed.

Brampton’s Transportation Planning and Road Engineering staff listened patiently as Council raised complaints received from constituents. They agreed to do a better job of contacting those residents to ensure their concerns were heard and addressed without compromising the integrity of the planned active transportation network. Satisfied with this approach, in the end, all 10 Councillors and the Mayor voted to support the updated implementation schedule.

by David Laing

2022 03 09 Implementation of ATMP 2021-2022 Annual Report

2022 03 09 Committee of Council ATMP 2021-2022Implementation Annual Report presentation

2022 03 09 CofC BikeBrampton delegation in support of the ATMP Annual Report by David Laing

February Winter Walk to School Month

Celebrate, don’t hibernate! Walk to school this winter.

Whether we were born in Canada or came here later in life, it seems many of us don’t like Canadian winters. Did you know there is a scientific reason why winters make us feel so lethargic and unhappy?

It turns out the lack of light affects our brain’s ability to generate serotonin and melatonin, two chemicals that help regulate our sleep cycles, energy, and mood. It’s called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Lack of exposure to full-spectrum natural light also reduces the body’s production of vitamin D, a chemical necessary for calcium absorption. Low vitamin D levels have been linked to many diseases including, breast, colon, and prostate cancers, heart disease, depression and weight gain.

Low levels of vitamin D in children are related to rickets which causes soft, poorly formed bones. Children can also experience SAD and the affects can be similar to clinical depression. This includes negative thinking, changes in sleeping or eating, and lower overall energy. Loss of concentration is another symptom, which may affect the child’s school results.

For many children and teenagers, an effective antidote to SAD and low vitamin D levels is to get outside and absorb the natural light. Even 30 minutes of winter light exposure per day on the face can generate sufficient levels of vitamin D, serotonin, and melatonin.

The World Health Organization recommends children and adolescents aged 6 through 17 get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise daily to maintain healthy bones and muscles. But, according to the Region of Peel, fewer than half of Peel’s kids are getting the minimum amount of daily activity. And 27% are overweight or obese.

Walking or riding to school and back, at least some of the days of the week, may be the simplest and easiest solution to these related problems. It builds physical activity into the child’s daily routine which supports better mental health outcomes, higher concentration abilities and better academic performance.

February is Winter Walk Month and there is no time like the present to put your child on the “Road to Health”! Encourage them to walk or ride. Walk with them if you have the time or join with a group of parents to form a walking school bus or bike train. Who knows, you may find that winters become enjoyable for both you and your family!

Visit Ontario Active School Travel, or Walk + Roll Peel for more information about walking and riding programs in Peel.

What’s walking and riding to school have to do with the environment? Well, 20-25% of Peel’s morning and afternoon vehicle traffic is from children being driven to school. Increasing the amount of walking or riding will decrease vehicular traffic which is the single biggest producer of carbon emissions in Brampton.

Cycling Chronicles Vol 11

Cycling Chronicles Vol 11

What makes a memorable bicycle ride? Most people think only of epic rides as being memorable.

However, cycling being what it is, an up close and personal way to travel, lends itself to the pleasure of seeing things and talking to people you normally just pass by in a car. As you become more comfortable on a bicycle, especially at slower speeds, you can enjoy the countryside and the neighbourhoods you are riding through. Even on routes you have ridden before, you will notice something new.

The other aspect of cycling is that you are visible and accessible to others on the roadway and sidewalk. Although there can be bad aspects to this, my overall experiences have been positive. For example, while doing a track stand, waiting at a red light at Bloor Street and South Kingsway in Toronto, I had a driver of a van tell me how much he loved cycling. He then recounted a story of his youth, becoming the age class champion in track cycling in Trinidad. This all transpired in the time it takes for the intersection traffic light to go through its phases.

On another occasion, a gentleman engaged me in a conversation about the pleasure of cycling, again through the open passenger side window of his trade van, while in stop-and-go traffic in downtown Toronto. He asked me if I knew a certain bicycle shop owner, who was originally from Treviso, Italy. When he found out I did, he immediately asked me to pull over at the next street, so we could talk.

It turns out that when this gentleman was a new immigrant to Canada from Poland, this bicycle shop owner and bicycle racing sponsor, had taken him under his wing, culminating in the bicycle race of his life. It was the annual Quebec City to Montreal bicycle race, recognized as the longest single day cycling race in North America. The gentleman explained that although he did very well in the race, since he had no citizenship status in Canada, he was not eligible for the prize money. Life got in the way, and he had drifted away from bicycle racing and had not ridden in years. I explained to this gentleman that the bicycle shop owner had recently retired and closed the shop to spend winters in Treviso and summers here.  Upon parting, the gentleman made sure I knew what a great person that bicycle shop owner was, and how welcome he had made him feel in Canada.

My point here is that any ride can turn out to be a great and memorable ride.

It is not about how many kilometres you cover or how many metres you ascend, but how you feel about the ride, during and afterward.

An example of this is something I experienced on an evening ride in late November of 2021. I had decided to attend a live music concert at the Rose Theatre in Brampton. This was a momentous occasion for me. I have always been a lover of live music performances, but because of the pandemic, I had not been to a live concert in twenty-two months. I could not resist this one, a tribute to the late Canadian jazz icon, Moe Koffman, with a band that consisted of highly regarded musicians that had played with Moe. The band was led by Moe’s grandson.

My wife was out of town on family matters, so it would just be me going. I checked the weather forecast. There was a thirty per cent chance of snow, with no expected accumulation. As I set off on my 1990 Raleigh single speed cruiser bike, I felt a little consternation about being with a crowd of people. The Raleigh was the obvious choice for this ride since the roads were damp and there was a chance of precipitation. This bike is equipped with Kevlar belted tires and wide fenders. Just the thing for riding on wet, snowy roads and not worrying about getting dirty. The Kevlar belted tires meant there was less chance of getting a flat tire. The generously upholstered sprung seat and padded hand grips, along with the upright riding position, made riding this bike akin to lounging on my living room sofa.

I proceeded out of my neighbourhood to the Central Park Drive bike lanes. The temperature was just under the freezing mark and my clothing choices seemed perfect. Since there was no wind, this temperature seemed comfortable. I turned left, onto the bike lanes on Howden Blvd., one of the only up hill sections of my journey.

As I made the left turn onto the Vodden Street bike lanes, it began to snow. Very light, small flakes began to fall, floating straight down, melting to water as they hit the pavement. The sounds of Brampton at night became muted and slightly distant. The city was fairly quiet. There was traffic, but it seemed calm and orderly. I felt a sense of relaxation and detachment in the perceived safety of the bike lane. I was plenty early so there was need to put any effort into the pedals, it was just a case of enjoying a peaceful evening with the magic of snow gently falling.

I made the left turn into the bike lanes of Centre Street, for a short stretch, before turning right on Nelson Street East. From there I crossed the Scott Street bridge over the Etobicoke Creek. This cyclist and pedestrian only bridge was an excellent connection to the pathway running across the south side of Rosalea Park. I was pleased to see the steep section of path was free of snow and ice, as I zipped across to the Y.M.C.A. parking lot and out on to Union Street. I caught the green traffic light at Theatre Lane and glided down the underground parking garage ramp, right to the bicycle rack beside the Rose elevator vestibule. I looked at my watch and discovered I had arrived earlier than I expected. It had taken me roughly the same amount of time as driving, and yet, I felt like I had hardly expended any energy.

The expanse of the theatre, just before showtime, contained just 112 people. That, combined with the fact that I was able to sit on my own, along with the COVID restrictions in place, served to relieve my consternation at being in a crowd.

The concert did not disappoint, with the musicians, who possessed many years of experience, eager to show off their chops, reminding me of how good live music can sound and how much I had missed it.

Once the concert was over, even with unlocking my bike and putting my winter gear on, I was first up the ramp and out of the parking garage. I retraced my route, using the on-road bike lanes on the way home. It was still a magical night with no wind and a very light snow falling. As I cruised home, in no particular hurry, I thought that cycling doesn’t get much better than this. The fact that I had the ability to get where I wanted to go, using infrastructure designed for that purpose, just added to the pleasure.

What I would say to all of you is, not to look too hard for the pleasure of cycling in speeds and distances. That pleasure is front of you all the time. It is about interaction with your environment and fellow human beings.

by Steve Stoller

Previous blog posts by Steve:

Cycling Chronicles Vol 10

Cycling Chronicles Vol 9

Cycling Chronicles Vol 8

Cycling Chronicles Vol 7

Cycling Chronicles Vol 6

Cycling Chronicles Vol 5

Cycling Chronicles Vol 4

Cycling Chronicles Vol 3

Cycling Chronicles Vol 2

Cycling Chronicles Vol 1