BikeWrx 2021 Successes

Brampton Bike Hub and Caledon Bike Hub exceeded their program goals with 46 BikeWrx pop-up events.

120 hours were provided to 2,348 residents across 17 locations over 4 months.

BikeBrampton and PCHS have delivered Year Three of Region of Peel’s Community Cycling Program. In March 2021, we welcomed full time Program Manager, Sonia Maset, to take up the mantle of designing and implementing this ambitious program. Sonia excelled at hiring summer students and acquiring eager volunteers to support the pop-ups.

Check out the impressive 2021 11 12 Year Three Interim Report – Final which covers activities from March through October 2021.

BikeWrx pop-up Bramalea Secondary

Bramalea Secondary School BikeWrx Pop-up, Principal Fraser Kidd, Vice-Principal Stafford Lowe, Sept 24th

Venues for the program’s activities have been generously provided by PCHS, City of Brampton, Town of Caledon, Heart Lake Baptist Church, and Bramalea Secondary School.

Services at these events included free Region of Peel bike bell and light installation, ABC Quick checks, basic repairs, bike and helmet fittings, route planning, trail etiquette, 8 group rides, 7 obstacle courses, and one-on-one rider education.

Continuing to offer these services in 2021 not only allowed us to significantly enhance visibility, but to also reach residents who otherwise would have remained unaware of the community cycling services available within the Brampton and Caledon communities. Over the course of the season, we estimate to have installed over a thousand bells/lights and provided mechanical evaluation and tune-ups to over 1,852 bikes.

A tremendous amount of time and energy was devoted to making these events a success. As of August 30th, 103 volunteers and staff contributed over 1,080 hours to the delivery of pop-ups alone. 59 of these volunteers were recruited through the Volunteer Resources Team from the Region of Peel, with 9 returning multiple times. Having Region of Peel Volunteers also provided a unique opportunity to train and educate additional residents on basic bike mechanics as well as more in-depth practical cycling education over the two-to-threehour Pop-Up sessions. The core team delivering pop-ups grew from 11 at the beginning of the summer to 29 near the end. Many of these new volunteers are high-school aged and eager to develop their mechanical and practical riding skills.

BikeWrx pop-up Mayor Brown

Mayor Patrick Brown, Councillor Charmaine Williams, their families, Grupo Bimbo volunteers, BikeBrampton volunteers at Brampton Bike Hub BikeWrx pop-up, Chinguacousy Park, Sep 18th.

The goal for the season was also to deliver all equipment for events in Brampton by bicycle.

WIKE bike cargo trailer

Thanks to a generous donation from Grupo Bimbo (Canada Bread), the program acquired and customized 2 bike cargo trailers from local Guelph manufacturing company, WIKE.

Thank you to our part-time Summer Students Avani, Anandi, Joshua, and Owen who hauled 60-75kg of equipment rain or shine and showed us how capable bicycles truly are!

At the start of the season, students participated in a brief 2-hour on-road training courtesy of mentors Lisa and Steve to prepare them for the long hauls ahead. Equipment for these events was graciously stored in the garages, sheds, and backyards of Dennis, Lucie, Indra, Steve, Alina, Heidi, and Yvon, as well as at the bike cage in 50 Sunny Meadow Blvd.

With many new volunteers living close to Professors Lake and Carabram Parks, riding to and from these events provided a unique opportunity to overlap mentorship program to some of the volunteers helping at events. With many returning volunteers, group rides were arranged both to events as well as the “haul houses” where equipment was being stored. Great work to Sanjana, Morgan, Avani, Anandi, Tejvinder, Vasanth, Krishna, Kapil, Tahmoor, and Yash who accompanied us on over 20 rides throughout the season!

Caledon Bike Hub BikeWrx pop-up

Caledon Bike Hub Inglewood BikeWrx pop-up, Oct 8th

Youtube Videos on Cycling Safety:

Be HeardBe AwareBe PredictableBe SeenBe CourteousBe ComfortableABC Quick CheckKids talk about Biking Video

BikeWrx Group Ride, Main St

BikeWrx Group Ride — Lisa, David and Dayle guided participants on group ride down the Main Street bike lane, Sept 6th.

BikeWrx Obstacle Course

BikeWrx Obstacle Course & Grupo Bimbo sponsored WIKE cargo bike trailer, Chris Gibson, Sept 4th

BikeWrx Obstacle Course instruction

BikeWrx Obstacle Course instruction by staff summer student, Chris Gibson, Sept 4th

Bike Library

44 bikes were borrowed and 27 junior size bikes were donated to Massey Street Public School for their Bike Swap program in June. Another 23 adult bikes were donated in October for Massey’s collaborative Fix-a-thon event next spring.

Brampton Bike Hub cage

Program Manager Sonia Maset at Brampton Bike Hub bike cage with loaded cargo bike trailer and City of Brampton Trail User Safety poster

This is a brief summary of the 2021 activities. Read the full 2021 11 12 Year Three Interim Report – Final

Bike the Creek 2021 Virtual

Bike the Creek was held virtually in June 2021.

Participants cycled at their own pace and time in the 7th annual regional signature ride through Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga! #bikethecreek21

Feedback indicated a huge pandemic success story. Stenciled BtC pavement markings are still somewhat visible, to help cyclists find the routes. Routes are still posted on the Bike the Creek page, with an option to download a google map link. Save the date for June 18, 2022 for an in-person event!

Summary Snapshot of Bike the Creek:

2021 Bike the Creek 1

2021 Bike the Creek 2

2021 Bike the Creek 3

2021 Bike the Creek 4

2021 Bike the Creek 5

2021 Bike the Creek 6

2021 Bike the Creek 7

Bike the Creek Promotional Videos:

Bramptonist Bike Month Column

Cycling Tips Videos

BikeWrx Pop-ups

BikeWrx Pop-up Events

Grab your bike and join us for a FREE Pop-up BikeWrx event for minor bike repairs, safety checks, route planning, family fun obstacle courses, group rides, and more bike fun! We will be visiting 15 locations across Brampton & Caledon. We will be hosting over 45 Pop-up events. Sign-up ahead of time and book a limited number of spots for a chance to win one of four bike prize packs as shown below.

BikeWrx pop-up prize package   BikeWrx Pop-up prize package!

BikeWrx Pop-ups

  1. Minor Bike Repair – includes things like inflating your tires, cleaning & lubricating your chain, adjusting brake pads, and anything else our team can safely accomplish in a few minutes.
  2. Safety Check – ABC quick check
  3. Route Planning & Navigating
  4. Trail Safety & Etiquette – Trail User Safety
  5. Bike Bell & Bike Light Installation

Locations, Times & Dates:

  1. Carabram Park | July 9 – 12
    1. Friday, July 9 | 5 – 7 pm
    2. Saturday, July 10 | 3 – 6 pm
    3. Sunday, July 11 | 3 – 6 pm
    4. Monday, July 12 | 5 – 7 pm
  2. Professors Lake | July 16 – 19
    1. Friday, July 16 | 5 – 7 pm
    2. Saturday, July 17 | 3 – 6 pm
    3. Sunday, July 18 | 3 – 6 pm
    4. Monday, July 19 | 5 – 7 pm
  3. Roselea Park | July 23, 25, & 26
    1. Friday, July 23rd | 5 – 7 pm
    2. Sunday, July 25th | 3 – 6 pm
    3. Monday, July 26th | 5 – 7 pm
  4. Jim Archdekin | August 6, 8, & 9
    1. Friday, August 6 | 5 – 7 pm
    2. Sunday, August 8 | 3 – 6 pm
    3. Monday, August 9 | 5 – 7 pm
  5. Creditview Park | August 13, 15, & 16th
    1. Friday, August 13 | 5 – 7 pm
    2. Sunday, August 15 | 3 – 6 pm
    3. Monday, August 16 | 5 – 7 pm
  6. Kiwanis Park | August 27 – 30
    1. Friday, August 27th | 5 – 7 pm
    2. Saturday, August 28 | 3 – 6 pm
    3. Sunday, August 29 | 3 – 6 pm
    4. Monday, August 30 | 5 – 7 pm
  7. Chris Gibson | September 3, 5, & 6
    1. Friday, September 3 | 5 – 7 pm
    2. Sunday, September 5 | 3 – 6 pm
    3. Monday, September 6 | 5 – 7 pm
  8. Chinguacousy Park September 17, 19, & 20
    1. Friday, September 17 | 5 – 7 pm
    2. Sunday, September 19 | 3 – 6 pm
    3. Monday, September 20 | 5 – 7 pm
  9. Knightsbridge Park | September 25 – 27
    1. Saturday, September 25 | 10:30 am – 1:30 pm
    2. Sunday, September 26 | 3 – 6 pm
    3. Monday, September 27 | 5 – 7 pm
  10. Fred Kline Park, Brampton – October 15, 17 & 18
    1. Friday, October 15, 4 – 6 pm
    2. Sunday, October 17, 3 – 6 pm
    3. Monday, October 18, 4 – 6 pm
  11. Farmers Market, Ken Whillans Square, Brampton – October 23, 8 am – 1 pm
  12. Inglewood, Caledon, Caledon Trailway – October 8, 4 – 6 pm
  13. Caledon East, Caledon Trailway, just west of Airport Rd – October 10 – 11
    1. Sunday, October 10, 3 – 6 pm
    2. Monday, October 11, 4 – 6 pm
  14. Foundry Park, Bolton – October 16, 3 – 6 pm
  15. Resilient Palgrave Eco-Fair, October 30, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

SIGN-UP HERE or follow this link:

Pop-Up Fun Family Obstacle Course

  1. All-ages event for riders of all abilities!
  2. Explore series of bike handling obstacle courses, way-finding, and common simulated traffic situations!
  3. Learn & improve safe biking skills including helmet fitting, bike handling, braking, turning, signalling, and basic bike maintenance.
  4. Have your family’s skills assessed by a certified CAN-BIKE instructor.
  5. Helmets are strongly encouraged.

Locations, Times & Dates

  1. Roselea Park | July 24 | 3pm – 7pm
  2. Jim Archdekin | August 7 | 3pm – 7pm
  3. Creditview Park | August 14 | 3pm – 7pm
  4. Chris Gibson | September 4 | 3pm – 7pm
  5. Chinguacousy Park September 18 | 3pm – 7pm

SIGN-UP HERE or follow this link:

Pop-Up Group Rides

Group rides are dependant on attendance and weather. Times will be selected for either the last Sunday or Monday at any BikeWrx Pop-up location. By indicating you are interested in attending group rides when signing up for our BikeWrx events, you will be added to a mailing list that announces the meet-up time, date, and locations. Alternatively, you can sign-up for location-specific dates by dropping by any of our events.

2021 BikeWrx Pop Up Workplace Safety Plan

Chinguacousy Park BikeWrx cafe

BikeWrx Pop-up, Chinguacousy Park 2020

Active Transportation to School

Active transportation means using people power to get where you’re going! You can use your feet, bike, scooter, or any other form of non-motorized vehicle to get you to your destination.

Did you know?! Active Transportation…

  1. Helps to promote well-being and positive mental health, including reducing day to day stress
  2. Increases physical fitness/activity, including helping to lower risks of chronic disease such as obesity and/or diabetes.
  3. Increases the ability to learn, improves concentration, and helps your children do better in school.
  4. Help to reduce traffic congestion in and around school zones which means safer streets for everyone.
  5. Helps to reduce your climate impact and the harmful effects of air pollution.

Bike to School Week rodeo

Make Active Transportation Your #1 Choice

  1. Make walking or rolling to school your first choice! If it were up to the kids, they would choose walking or rolling to school as their first choice. Why not make it your first choice too? Even if your school is far from home, students can walk to the bus stop! Consider different ways a pick-up or drop-off routine could include stepping out of your car and completing your journey to school by walking or rolling.
  2. Plan and practice! As a household you can begin to practice your route to school together. You can also encourage children to walk or roll on their own, with siblings, or friends, depending on their age and maturity.

Bike to School Week assembly

Brampton BikeWrx Pop-up Cafe

Brampton BikeWrx pop-up Café outdoor events as we deal with COVID-19.

BikeBrampton in partnership with City of Brampton is pleased to host pop-up tent events for promoting trail/bike lane etiquette. Where possible, we will do minor bike repairs. We will install Region of Peel bells while supplies last, once a skill testing question is answered. Bring your mask for repair service.

Schedule of BikeWrx Pop-up Cafés

Sat Jun 27, 10:00-noon – The Journey, 9 Ardglen parking lot

Sun Jul 12, 10:00am-noon – Duggan Park, Etobicoke Creek Trail, S of Vodden bike lanes, E of Ken Whillans Dr. west of Fire Station

Tues Jul 21, 6:00-8:00pm – Etobicoke Creek Trail behind Somerset Drive PS, N of Sandalwood

Thur Aug 13, 6:00-8:00pm – Esker Lake Trail, Parr Lake North Park, north side of Vodden bike lane, E of Lakeridge Dr. (at Lone Oak Ave)

Fri Aug 14, 6:00-8:00pm – Chinguacousy Park – along Chinguacousy Trail at Fire Hall

Mon Sept 14, 4:00-6:00pm – Rosalea Park, Etobicoke Creek Trail – Church St, E of Union

Rosalea Park BikeWrx Pop-up Cafe – Sep 14th

BikeBrampton’s final of the seven BikeWrx Pop-up Cafe came to Brampton’s downtown Rosalea Park, beside the Etobicoke Creek Trail at Church Street. We attracted many local residents passing by and had another opportunity for minor repairs by Peter. Dayle welcomed and had cyclists sign in after using hand sanitizer. Steve and David installed bike bells and Alina educated on the safe use of Brampton’s paths. Brampton’s Trail User Safety poster enhanced the message.

Rosalea Park BikeWrx cafe

Chinguacousy Park BikeWrx Pop-up Cafe – Aug 14th

Holding a BikeWrx Pop-up Cafe along Chinguacousy Trail beside such a busy park brought many families with children to the BikeBrampton booth. BikeBrampton members point out the new City of Brampton Trail User Safety poster. Peter and David performed some minor repairs, Steve again installed bells, and Alina and David C. encouraged cyclists to ride safely. Several of our Pedalwise proteges stopped by. The secret main attraction was a Praying Mantis, who seemed to adore our tablecloth and delight the kids.

Praying Mantis, BikeWrx cafe


Chinguacousy Park BikeWrx cafe

Esker Lake Trail BikeWrx Pop-up Cafe – Aug 13th

BikeBrampton selected a location along Esker Lake Trail at the intersection of Par Lake North and the interim Vodden Street bike lanes for this beautiful summer mid-week evening. Some local families saw our tents from their backyards and came over to have Peter and David make some minor repairs. We displayed City of Brampton’s new Trail User Safety poster, installed bells, distributed trail maps and some Region of Peel swag. George stopped by with his new e-bike.

Esker Lake Trail BikeWrx cafe

Somerset Drive Public School BikeWrx Pop-up Cafe – Jul 21st

BikeBrampton brought our BikeWrx Pop-up Cafe to a week night after dinner, to catch a different group cycling along Etobicoke Creek Trail. 52 signed in for minor bike repairs by Gerald and Peter, Brampton route maps and installation of Region of Peel free bells. After a bit of a slow start at 6pm, the final hour was very busy!

Somerset Drive BikeWrx cafe

Duggan Park BikeWrx Pop-up Cafe – Jul 12th

BikeBrampton welcomed 58+ cyclists to “ring their bell” for good path etiquette on Saturday morning. Those without a bell had one installed. Peter and Gerald worked full-out for 2 hours on minor bike repairs. Everyone complied with hand sanitization and our requests for physical distancing. Councillor Santos stopped by to survey the event! This was a perfect location along the Etobicoke Creek Trail at the new Vodden Street bike lanes.

Duggan Park BikeWrx cafe

The Journey, Ardglen BikeWrx Pop-up Cafe – Jun 27th

Kevin from The Journey welcomed BikeBrampton back into their parking lot for our first outdoor event. We set up the borrowed City of Brampton tent and had invited folks to come by appointment as we tested out our new health and safety plan. Our local community bike mechanic Joe joined Peter and Gerald as the bike stands were set up 2m apart. Steve dropped by to volunteer, and some of our familiar BikeBrampton members George and Yvon showed up. Several of our Pedalwise protégés made appointments. It felt wonderful to see so many friends. Even the landlord welcomed us with a box of samosas!

Ardglen BikeWrx cafe 1

Ardglen BikeWrx cafe 2

Caledon BikeWrx Pop-up Cafe

Caledon BikeWrx pop-up Café outdoor events as we deal with COVID-19.

BikeBrampton in partnership with Town of Caledon is pleased to host pop-up tent events for promoting trail etiquette. Where possible, we will do minor bike repairs. We will install Region of Peel bells while supplies last, once a skill testing question is answered. Bring your mask for repair service.

Schedule of BikeWrx Pop-up Cafés

Sun Jun 28, 10:00am-noon Valleywood Etobicoke Creek Trail, at foot of Newhouse Park

Sat Jul 11, 10:00am-noon, Caledon East, on Caledon Trailway, at the pavillion west of Airport Rd

Wed Jul 22, 6:00-8:00pm, Valleywood Etobicoke Creek Trail, at foot of Newhouse Park

Tues Sept 15, 4:00-6:00pm, Inglewood, on Caledon Trailway

Skill Testing Question Hint: When do you use your bell? Answer: well back of a pedestrian or slower cyclist, when you are passing. Give them plenty of notice so they are not frightened into falling or jumping in front of your bike! If they don’t appear to hear you, ring again and call out “passing on your left”. Slow down and pass carefully. Pedestrians have the right of way! Keep right except to pass. Sharing the trail is the neighbourly way. Here is Caledon’s Trail Etiquette sign:

Caledon Trails Etiquette

Inglewood BikeWrx Pop-up Cafe – Sep 15th

BikeBrampton held their final of four BikeWrx Cafes with the Town of Caledon, in Inglewood, beside the Caledon Trailway. Councillor Lynn Kiernan stopped by to show support, as did many local residents. An evening week night also attracted many cyclists out for a trail ride. Peter and Gerald did minor bike repairs and attached bells. Caledon Trail maps were a great hit as were lights, which must be used a half hour before sunset and a half hour after sunrise.

Inglewood BikeWrx cafe

Valleywood BikeWrx Pop-up Cafe – Jul 22nd

BikeBrampton teamed up with Town of Caledon to offer a weekday evening pop up event. Great opportunity to visit with local community and those cycling along the Etobicoke Creek Trail below Vallleywood. Even the children understood why they needed to use hand sanitizer first before signing in and receiving their newly installed bell, supplied by the Region of Peel. Both Gerald and Peter were kept busy with minor repairs until near the end of our 2 hours, the rain came pouring down. Hoorary for good dry tents!

Valleywood BikeWrx Cafe evening

Caledon East BikeWrx Pop-up Cafe – Jul 11th

Thunderstorms threatened and eager cyclists showed up to BikeBrampton and Town of Caledon bringing a pop-up tent to the Caledon Trailway in Caledon East. Peter performed minor repairs and we installed bike bells to encourage good trail etiquette! Mayor Thompson and Ann stopped by to welcome us. Volunteers Wayne and Steve along with Town Staff Alyson greeted and educated the riders. We braved the mosquitos. Rain and thunder did finally force an early pack-up!

Caledon East BikeWrx Cafe

Valleywood BikeWrx Pop-up Cafe – Jun 28th

On a beautiful hot summer day, there was a line up for bike repairs, Region of Peel bells and water bottles, and Caledon Trail maps. Councillors Johanna Downey and Lynn Kiernan joined cyclists and walkers, Town of Caledon Staff and BikeBrampton volunteers on the Etobicoke Creek Trail, at the foot of Newhouse Park. People were educated about use of bells and the trail etiquette. They asked, when is the next event?

Valleywood BikeWrx Cafe 1

Valleywood BikeWrx cafe 2

Valleywood BikeWrx cafe 3

Cycling Chronicles Vol 1

BikeBrampton is honoured to present the Cycling Chronicles, a short story by Steve Stoller.

It was always the second question. For years it was always the second question.

The first question, when someone found out I was a cycling enthusiast, always revolved around my bike, and inevitably, how much it cost. I would tell them the list price of the bike, not what I actually paid for it. Once the incredulity was expressed over the price of the bike, the second question would come. Do you race?

This question always brings back memories of my first race, in 1976.

It was a proud and heady time in Canada.  For the first time, the Olympic summer games would be held in this nation, in Montreal. It seemed we were all excited; many of us going to the post office to purchase the limited edition, Canadian mint sterling silver Olympic coin sets.

Someone at the Region of Peel was excited about it too and thought it would be a great idea of mirroring several Olympic sporting events for local youth. To make it more authentic, gold, silver, and bronze medals were commissioned, with the stylized “P” logo in the centre and “Peel Region Summer Games” around the outside.

Even though I tended to keep up on things like that, I was unaware of the Peel Region Summer Games aspect, when I talked my bike-riding friend Chris into coming with me to a local criterium bicycle race. A criterium is a bicycle race consisting of several laps around a closed street circuit. The event was organized by the local cycling club where a number of races were being held on a short course around Bramalea Civic Centre. It was a Sunday, in the days of the Lord’s Day Act, which meant with a few exceptions, all stores were closed. This meant closing the streets for a race wasn’t really an imposition on anyone.

While Chris and I were watching the first race, a club member approached us and asked if we would be interested in racing. I could not believe my ears, as this seemed too good to be true. We both eagerly said yes. Since we were 14 and 15 years old, it was explained that we would have to get permission forms signed by our parents. Forgetting the race that we were watching, we tore off on our bikes to find our respective parents. Luckily, because nothing much was open on Sunday, they were both home and the forms were signed with no questions. We made it back to the Bramalea Civic Centre in enough time to submit our permission forms and have our names registered for the race.

As the group gathered up before the start of the race, I eyed the competition. Most of them were like Chris and me, riding some variation of a department store ten speed, wearing a T-shirt and cut off jean shorts. Standing out in the group was a kid with an Atala, a genuine Italian racing bike. He was outfitted with real cycling gear, consisting of cycling shorts and a jersey. I surmised by the number of racers and officials talking to this young man that he was a member of the club and most likely the offspring of someone in the club.

At the time, I was riding a Sears Freespirit ten speed. In my effort to make it look more like a racing bike, I had removed all reflectors and anything I deemed extraneous. I had actually considered drilling holes in some of the components in order to lighten the bike, but thought better of it, since I did not feel I had the tools to drill accurately enough. Chris had his trusty Supercycle Medalist.

We lined up for instructions on the start/finish line on Team Canada Drive. The instructions were very simple. Two laps of the course and first one over the finish line wins. We would be racing for the Region of Peel Summer Games medals!

To appreciate gravity of the situation, you must realize, they were going to let loose a bunch of charged up young teens in a sprint race, wearing no helmets. The only concession to safety was actual hay bales lining the outside of the curves. For the younger readers, I must explain that the hard-shell bicycle helmet only came out in 1975, so we did not even know they existed.  Bicycle racers, if they wore a helmet at all, wore a lightweight helmet known as a “leather hairnet”. Most organizers required the “leather hairnet” helmet in criterium races only, because of the higher likelihood of crashes. No one in our race wore one.

The starters pistol went off and the pack of us started on an undisciplined, mad scramble down the straight to the first corner. I eased up a touch, unsure what was going to happen when the pack tried to negotiate the first corner at Peel Centre Drive. My fears were justified when I saw the rider in front of me carry too much speed into the wrong line on the curve.  He flared out wide and hit the hay bales on the outside of the curve. He did not crash but ended up at the back of the pack. Once we got on the back straight, on Central Park Drive, I started making my move, passing one rider at a time. At the end of the first lap, I was close enough to hear a big cheer as the Atala rider crossed the start/finish line with a two-bike length lead.

I passed another two riders on the back straight and, going into the final curve off Knightsbridge Road, ended up in second place, behind the Atala rider. He went wider out of the curve, while I cornered harder at the apex, coming out of the curve right beside him. There was around 120 metres left to the finish line by the flag poles in front of the Bramalea Civic Centre, and we both stood on the pedals for a finishing sprint. We must have been in the same gear, since we were matching pedal stroke for pedal stroke and going the same speed. With fifty metres to go my legs and lungs were on fire with pain, but I wasn’t going to let this opportunity go, as we were still side by side.

With twenty metres to go, we were still side by side. The pain was excruciating, and I was unsure I could finish the job. It was at this moment, I turned my head to look at him, to judge his speed, and our eyes met briefly. That was when I saw it.  That was the moment he gave up. I saw his upper body release tension and I noticed an almost imperceptible decrease in his cadence.  This encouraged me to forge on, crossing the line a half a bike length ahead of him. I was exhausted and just let my bike coast all the way down the rest of the straight, before I turned around to head back to the finish line.

When I arrived at the finish line, I saw a crowd of adults surrounding the Atala rider, patting him on the back and congratulating him. As he got off the bike, I saw his legs buckle and he almost went down but was held up by some of the onlookers. It was when I dismounted, I understood the herculean effort we both had put in. My legs felt like they were made from rubber and I had to use my bike as cane, to keep from sinking to the asphalt. After a few minutes the feeling in my legs came back and I found Chris. We both agreed that the race was a crazy adrenaline rush and we both had a great time.

Unlike the real Olympic games, there was no podium ceremony. The organizer sought me out, handing me my medal and shaking my hand. That was it. Chris and I rode back to my house, still excited about competing in our first cycling race. As we stood around on my driveway, swapping stories of what we had seen during the race, Chris, who had finished outside of the medals, asked me if I thought I could have won the race? Shocked, I told Chris I had won the race, that’s why I was wearing the gold medal.  He said “gold, I thought it was a bronze medal and you came in third”. We both had quite a chuckle over that.

On Wednesday of the following week, I eagerly looked forward to reading the Brampton Guardian, hoping there would be some coverage of the bicycle races. Sure enough, the results were listed with me being recorded as the winner of the race, right under a captioned picture of the Atala rider leading the race.

Eleven or twelve years later, I was watching a bicycle racing movie called “American Flyers”. There is a scene in this movie where the character played by Kevin Costner is watching bicycle race footage, and explaining to his younger brother that a bicycle race is lost, not when your body starts giving out, but the moment you stop believing you can win. It occurred to me, that I had already learned that lesson in my mid teens at a free-for-all bicycle criterium.

Stay tuned for more volumes of The Cycling Chronicles from Steve Stoller!



Your BikeBrampton friends are working with Mayor Patrick Brown, Regional Councillor Rowena Santos and City Staff on solutions for healthy safe active transportation during this pandemic.

Some of us need to go out to work. Those not in isolation, need to get out for groceries, medicine, and exercise and need guidance on COVID-19.

Region of Peel is experiencing a 33% reduction of vehicular traffic volume according to Manager, Transportation and System Planning.

Google published traffic tracking movement data that shows workplace traffic in Canada is down 44% on average. There is an opportunity to re-purpose this underutilized road space for pedestrians and cyclists. Financial Post

We are noticing anecdotally that more people are using Brampton trails for walking and cycling. As the weather warms, this will put more pressure on the trails, making it more difficult to safely keep 2 metre (6 foot) physical distancing. It is therefore urgent that we come up with a plan.

Research – what are other cities doing in response to COVID-19?

Effective Monday Apr 6th, City of Winnipeg is expanding bicycle and active transportation routes to help with social distancing requirements during the pandemic. Global News Vehicular traffic restrictions will be implemented along four city streets. Winnipeg Public Works announcement

During Mar 28th weekend, the City of Calgary closed traffic lanes. Jose Rodriquez, leader of Public Relations and Media said, “We have proactively closed some traffic lanes so that people can get the physical distance we have repeatedly stressed the importance of”. Mayor Nenshi cautioned residents not to [use] the openings as an opportunity for a street party. Nenshi advised people to stay away from places where people usually congregate and indicated that he would open additional spaces in order to prevent the paths from becoming overcrowded. Six streets in the City were affected by these closures. Global News

Closing Streets to Create Space for Walking and Biking During COVID-19 Webinar Apr 2nd YouTube

Melvin Carter, Mayor of St. Paul Minnesota, Mar 27th announced three roadway closures in response to resident requests for more outdoor room to effectively engage in social distancing. Mayor Carter said, “As an avid runner with a newborn daughter at home, I know that getting outdoors is critical to our well-being — if we can do so responsibly,”. “Our increasingly crowded sidewalks, trails and bikeways demand new spaces and new conversations to ensure we can all safely get out and about.” Twin

Jim Filby Willams, Duluth Minnesota’s director of public administration indicated on Apr 2nd, that more road closures were possible. “Duluth sees this as a wellness issue with residents being at home more than usual and needing regular outdoor forays for their mental health”, Williams said. “Our present focus is getting the community through this crisis physically and emotionally. Our goal is not risk elimination but risk management. It would be impractical and foolhardy to try to eliminate all risk by cooping everyone up.” Twin

In Philadelphia, road closures are seen as a no-brainer. A portion of the city’s Martin Luther King Drive on Mar 20th was closed indefinitely, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. With recreational-trail traffic quadrupling “and all those folks being concentrated, it was impossible, really, to keep that safe distance,” said Sarah Clark Stuart, executive director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. “Everyone was happy and pleased that this could be done so quickly.”

Bogata Columbia Mayor Claudia Lopez said: “The bicycle being an individual means of transport, represents one of the most hygienic alternatives for the prevention of the virus, especially [when] it is recommended to avoid close contact and crowds.” British Columbia Cycling Coalition

British Columbia Cycling Coalition has published a thorough and well researched policy statement on their website regarding COVID-19 and Active Transportation. They cite research related to the health risks associated with confinement during times of anxiety and the ability of physical activity to reduce that risk. It states: “While the patterns of movement and personal interactions must change to slow the spread of the virus and flatten the curve, walking and cycling remain preferred options for any required travel; in particular, active transportation can help us all meet Canada’s physical activity guidelines.” #ridealone British Columbia Cycling Coalition

Richard Florida, Professor at University of Toronto’s School of Management and School of Cities, wrote on Apr 4th: “During this crisis we have all learned that we can be outside for walks or bike rides. Biking and walking will be our safest way to get to and from work. Bike lanes should be expanded, and bike and scooter sharing programs should be, too. Some cities are already pedestrianizing crowded streets to promote social distancing. It makes sense to keep such changes in place for the long haul”. Globe and Mail

What does C.O.V.I.D.1.9 mean?

Shout out to Alina for this clever little acronym (initialism)!

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We will forward suggestions and keep you updated as the Brampton response develops.

Most recent blog post on Cycling in COVID-19 times

Cycling in COVID-19 times

Cycling in COVID-19 times

We are looking for clear direction and the nature of this pandemic is such that rules keep changing. Peel Public Health and our municipal governments are the constant for reliable advice for our local community.

COVID-19 effect on Community Cycling Program (CCP)

While we adjust to the “new normal” for cycling in COVID-19 times, we will be facing restrictions such as ‘social distancing’ (or ‘physical distancing’). There are potential silver lining opportunities to make ourselves healthier by safely cycling more and adjusting the infrastructure to make cycling safer.


The COVID-19 pandemic has suspended all CCP programs and events in Caledon and Brampton. Peel Public Health is discouraging even small gatherings of people, so it is not possible to organize Pedalwise single protégé or group rides. Our partners have closed all their venues, so it is not possible to open the Brampton Bike Hubs or Caledon Bike Hubs and operate BikeWrx sessions or seminars. Peel Public Health has informed us not to expect an easing of restrictions for several months. It may be well into the fall before life returns to anything that could be classified as “normal”.

Recreational cycling has already been banned in parts of Europe, and our local political leaders have indicated regulations here could become tighter. Brampton and Caledon parks have just been shuttered. Cycling in Brampton and Caledon is still legal but that could change if Peel residents do not demonstrate better social distancing compliance.

Existing trails and open roads present a safety challenge for cycling activities in maintaining social distance. Most multi-use paths are too narrow to allow either cyclists or pedestrians to pass with a 2-metre buffer. The roads require single file travel but bunch up could occur at intersections. Added to the possibility of disease transmission is the risk associated with injuries. Cyclists’ falls requiring medical assistance will put unwanted load on the already overburdened healthcare system.


Countering this push for more restrictions, is the realization that outdoor physical activity is an imperative for on-going physical and mental health and well-being. Cycling for transportation has the added benefit of being safer than public transit from a physical distancing perspective. It also offers a cost-effective option for marginalized workers. There is a significant risk to discouraging walking and cycling and the urgency increases the longer the public lock down is in place.

The risks and benefits need to be balanced and actions weighed accordingly. Toronto and Vancouver are currently looking at barring motorized vehicles along certain streets in urban neighbourhoods to allow more public space for pedestrians and cyclists to spread out and maintain social distancing.

If the municipalities and the Region could follow Vancouver and Toronto in closing certain streets to motorized vehicles, the CCP could then host events, seminars, DIY bike repair workshops and Pedalwise mentoring activities that would make effective use of this freed public space.

Considering the fluid situation, it is difficult to put definitive plans in place. We are investigating options that will facilitate at least some form of Community Cycling Program presence in Brampton and Caledon during the COVID-19 crisis. We have had discussions with Brampton Regional Counsellors and Staff on strategies that will encourage cycling that conform to social distancing guidelines, both for transportation and recreational purposes. We are in contact with Peel Public Health and have received guidance on sterilization of our tools and equipment.

Even if events and activities cannot be run until the fall, some program elements can be offered virtually through videos or interactive online chat rooms. We are also looking at ways that we can strengthen our social media profile and encourage safe “solo” riding activities.

Once the height of the crisis has passed, we still expect the public will be reluctant to gather indoors for fear of contagion. Depending on when restrictions are relaxed and, assuming the weather is still conducive, we are looking to start the resumption of Bike Hub activities, first in outdoor spaces. Hopefully the crisis will be well past once the snow flies and we can resume regular services at that time.

Bike the Creek Registration Open

Bike the Creek June 13, 2020 our 7th annual signature cycling event has been cancelled.

Due to precautionary measures surrounding COVID-19, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), City of Brampton, City of Mississauga, Town of Caledon, Region of Peel and BikeBrampton have made the collective decision to cancel the 2020 Bike the Creek event scheduled for Saturday June 13th.

We look forward to welcoming you all at the 2021 virtual Bike the Creek event in the month of June.

For event details

Bike the Creek is a FREE event aimed at encouraging people of all ages to discover the joys of cycling. Join hundreds of cyclists in our fun family ride through the spectacular valleys, trails and historic landmarks, urban and rural settings of the Region of Peel. The theme for 2020 is Environmentally Sustainable Communities.

Did you know what’s NEW for 2020?

Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon have all declared a climate emergency, leading to our 2020 theme of Environmentally Sustainable Communities.

The backbone of ‘Bike the Creek’ routes is the Etobicoke Creek Trail; a Region of Peel ravine corridor of fields, trees, native plants, and animals. It forms a migratory path for birds. This unique corridor provides walking and cycling for recreation and commuting.

Discover multiple stormwater ponds along Etobicoke Creek that make our ravine more flood resilient.

NEW Route Length Choices

Our NEW routes range from 5 – 75 km.

NEW this year is a short 5 km option for 12 km Family Ride. Almost all on trail, this route was designed for new riders and families with small children. Visit our Bike Rodeo back at Jim Archdekin.

In addition to a 50 km Town Ride, we have a NEW 75 km for those wanting extra distance and more challenge cycling the hills of Caledon. Caledon Villages of Southfields and Valleywood are connected by the Etobicoke Creek Trail, which is now NEWLY paved south to Mayfield Rd.

NEW Bike Lanes & Crossride Signals

NEW buffered bike lane on Brampton’s Heart Lake Road is featured in 12 km Family, Nature & Toronto Pearson Rides.

Check out the NEW bike lane on Brampton’s Central Park Drive in Toronto Pearson Ride.

Press the button to activate the NEW signalized bike crossride on Kennedy Road. It connects the Etobicoke Creek Trail on Toronto Pearson Ride.

Press the button again for the other signalized bike crossride at Queen St from James to Scott, on Toronto Pearson Ride.

NEW Sites to Check out

Toronto Pearson Ride extends further east, to Brampton’s gorgeous Professor’s Lake.

Check out the Cheltenham Badlands on Caledon’s Olde Baseline Road.

Did you know the 12 km Family, Nature and City Rides all stop at Brampton’s Historic Bovaird House pavilion? Visit the Pendergast Log Cabin.

If you have never experienced the thrill of crossing over #410 on a dedicated Active Transportation bridge, check out Toronto Pearson Ride’s Franceschini Bridge with its amazing multicoloured deck artwork.

Did you know that Etobicoke Creek Trail runs under #410 and #407? It is paved south to Mount Charles Park, Mississauga, part of Toronto Pearson Ride south to the GTAA Toronto Pearson Airport. You might see jets landing on the adjacent runway, or a Hawk soaring. Stop to use the cool bike tool stand at the Mississauga pavilion.

We listened to your Feedback

We are incorporating NEW shapes as well as colours to mark our route signs!


Event Partners