BikeBrampton Celebrates 10 Years

The biggest change over the last 10 years is the culture shift. When we started BikeBrampton in 2013, seeing a cyclist was so rare we took a photo! Now we see cyclists every day!

People ride bikes not only for recreation on a weekend afternoon. They ride to work, to do errands, to visit friends and family. They ride in good weather and when it rains and snows. They ride on the trails. They ride on the roads. They ride on bike lanes. They even ride on sidewalks when they technically shouldn’t… However, that reflects education and how safe folks feel on the infrastructure that is continually improving.

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Summarizing 5 Years of Community Cycling in Peel Region

Peel Region Publishes a Retrospective Analysis of its Community Cycling Program in Brampton, Caledon & Mississauga.

Like many communities in the Greater Toronto Area, Peel Region faces multiple challenges. Inflation is putting a squeeze on household finances, traffic volumes threaten to swamp available road space, health issues related to the pandemic and to sedentary lifestyles are threatening to overburden healthcare systems. And a rapidly changing climate is wreaking havoc on local and worldwide weather patterns, causing untold suffering and threatening to overwhelm disaster relief systems. Increasing bicycle use is one important way to positively impact all of these issues, especially if the bike ride replaces a car ride to shorter-distance destinations.

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Cycling Chronicles Vol 14

Sometimes we have an image in our minds of what we look like, which does not exactly correspond with how other people see us. This is a story of how this, totally by chance, happened to me. The fact that I saw a picture and yet did not recognize myself in the image, still makes me wonder how many obvious things I have seen in my life, and not recognized what I was seeing. Of course, this story also involves cycling.

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BikeWrx 2022 Success

Integrating BikeWrx into the Brampton Community

BikeBrampton integrates the Brampton Bike Hub and Caledon Bike Hub BikeWrx programs into the community through partnerships. This encourages new and existing cyclists to consider riding. Learning basic bike repair skills empowers people to ride for transportation and to venture longer distances. Having help with route planning removes another barrier to cycling.

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Bike the Creek 8th Annual

Different Spokes Grand Opening of Do it Yourself Bike Repair Co-operative in Downtown Brampton

Punjabi Community Health Services (PCHS) and BikeBrampton were pleased to host the grand opening of Different Spokes, Region of Peel’s first community-based bicycle co-operative and social services centre in downtown Brampton, at 8 Nelson St. W, August 18, 2022.

Different Spokes inner tube ribbon cutting
Grand opening of Different Spokes inner tube ribbon cutting by PCHS CEO Baldev Mutta, Mississauga Councillor Chris Fonseca, Caledon Councillor Johanna Downey, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown, Brampton Councillor Rowena Santos, Brampton Councillor Paul Vicente, and behind, BikeBrampton chair David Laing

The Different Spokes venue will be shared jointly by BikeBrampton and PCHS. BikeBrampton will operate the facility 4 days a week, offering tools and workstations for members to perform their own bike repairs under direction of a bike mechanic. Free workshops on cycling skills and safety training will be offered. PCHS will provide health, settlement and social services, by appointment on a weekly basis.

Different Spokes bike hub work benches set for grand opening
Different Spokes bike hub work benches set for the grand opening reveal

“Community based bicycle co-operatives offer a venue for people to learn about bicycles and help build a community that promotes and supports sustainable transportation”, said David Laing, Chair of BikeBrampton and one of the organizers bringing Different Spokes to the City. “Encouraging more people to bike to destinations yields many community benefits including improved health, lower carbon emissions and less traffic congestion”, added Laing.

Brampton Bike Hub & Caledon Bike Hub story board successes
Different Spokes story boards showing the success of Brampton Bike Hub and Caledon Bike Hub, and why the Community Cycling Program (CCP) is important to the priorities of the Region.

“Teaming with BikeBrampton in this facility is a natural fit” said Amanjit Kahlon, Manager, Community Development at PCHS. “Brampton’s downtown is an underserved community from a social services perspective and many people in the area use bikes, buses, and trains to travel to and from work or school. The bike is an essential form of transportation for them. Working with BikeBrampton, we can help clients keep their bikes in good condition and their, minds and bodies healthy,” added Kahlon.

PCHS CEO Baldev Mutta
CEO Baldev Mutta explaining the social services that PCHS will provide at Different Spokes.

BikeBrampton is a community volunteer group that encourages, promotes, and advocates for safe and convenient active transportation alternatives (primarily walking and cycling), in the City of Brampton and the Region of Peel.

Different Spokes Manager Sonia Maset and crowd
Different Spokes Manager Sonia Maset (in blue shirt), BikeBrampton members and crowd watched the grand opening.

PCHS is a charitable health service provider with a mandate to provide health, settlement, and social services to improve the quality of life of individuals, families and diverse communities using an anti-racism, anti-oppression framework. The organization has been serving the Peel Region community for 32 years.

Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown, Caledon Councillors Jennifer Innis & Johanna Downey
Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown, Caledon Regional Councillors Jennifer Innis & Johanna Downey at Different Spokes grand opening.
Brampton Councillors Paul Vicente & Rowena Santos
Brampton Councillors Paul Vicente and Rowena Santos, champions of active transportation, healthy living and economic development, at Different Spokes grand opening
Brampton cycling map for route planning
PCHS counselling area, and City of Brampton cycling map for route planning instruction
Grand opening of Different Spokes, Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown, Dayle, David, Caledon Regional Councillor Jennifer Innis.
BikeBrampton Chair David Laing showed off Different Spokes bike work stations to Regional Councillors Paul Vicente, Jennifer Innis and Rowena Santos.
Regional Councillors Jennifer Innis and Rowena Santos admired the bike work stations at Different Spokes grand opening.
Brampton South MP Sonia Sidhu sent congratulations and best wishes upon the grand opening of Different Spokes
City of Brampton Regional Councillor Rowena Santos, Mayor Patrick Brown, and Regional Councillor Paul Vicente presented certificate of recognition to Downtown Brampton Bike Hub, Different Spokes

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.