#OttawaBramptonOdysseyCycle – Retail Therapy, Carbo Loading and Shenanigans

Once again, we started the day with an excellent breakfast provided by Jim. We ended up eating in his and John’s room on the 17th floor, but I did get a picture of the view from the common room where we ate breakfast yesterday and a picture of the room.

Jim once again graciously sent us off on our bikes and remained behind to clean up after breakfast.  We met downstairs at 10 o’clock, decided to check our tire pressure and found it lacking in some cases. Some of us filled up with the pump that John brought with him and others headed over to the bike pump and repair station near City Hall. Those of us that remained behind caught up and we stopped at Tim Hortons for a morning coffee. Probably at least half an hour later we got back on our bikes and headed towards MEC. The time we spent relaxing over our coffees foreshadowed how we would spend the rest of the day – short relaxing rides, stops for shopping for last-minute items for the trip, a stop at the donut shop, Suzie Q, recommended by Heather from BikeOttawa, a very long lunch and a walk to Byward Market.

It was nice to see a bridge built to accommodate cycling infrastructure on Somerset.

Yesterday, Heather told us about some experimental street markings on Wellington through a very tight section with one narrow lane of traffic in each direction and street parking on both sides. 

This marking makes it very clear to drivers that cyclists are meant to take the lane and to stay out of the way of the potentially opening doors of parked cars. We all felt very safe here and the drivers were very courteous. Heather told us that this small experimental area is working well.

I like to see when someone has clearly thought about colourful but inexpensive ways to make streetscapes more interesting. A couple examples that I have seen in Ottawa include wraps around traffic light control boxes and painted untility boxes. It makes for a fun, and inviting streetscape. I thought I had taken a picture of the wrap on the traffic light control boxes but I can’t seem to find it. But here’s one of the utility box since I spotted.

Here are David and Rani getting some of the fancy donuts at Suzie Q.

On our way to MEC I kept noticing these odd white sculpture/fire hydrant looking things so when we left Susie Q through little Park that had one, Nelson and I went over to have a look. It appeared to be made out of marble and to be public art and not a functional hydrant. I find these types of things while not necessarily to my personal taste make for a more interesting streetscape which can encourage one to linger and can spark conversation.

On our way to MEC shortly after turning off Bronson onto Wellington  we encountered a huge gate to Chinatown. Of course we had to stop on the way back for pictures.

Nelson was presumably getting a great photo of his bike with the gate in the background.

As we continued, it started to spit a little bit of rain,  but it was still very pleasant to ride and once we got to Sparks Street we stopped at Brixton’s British pub for lunch. We started on the patio but eventually had to grab our food and run inside as the rain began to come down quite heavily. Even once the rain stopped we stayed there long enough to allow John and Jim to join us after their separate adventures today.

Eventually we headed out in three groups. Rani, Nelson and I decided to try to explore the path down by the river behind the Parliament buildings. None of us were really sure where to go and when we found a long, sweeping hill we sped down it to arrive at a beautiful, newly paved switchback complete with paint markings that was fenced off. No one felt like turning around and riding straight back up will be 150m resent with descent we had just made.

I’m sure you are all familiar with the phrase “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”. Well, we decided, “What happens on the bike trail, stays on the bike trail”. So I’ll just say that someone suggested that perhaps we could squeeze around the end of the fence and carry on because “with the painting complete on the pavement  it must be fine around the corner.”

So with lots of laughter and feeling quite rebellious, we manhandled our bikes around the edge of the fence. We then travelled east to come to another fence which was completely impossible to circumnavigate so we turned around and headed west, past the first fence which we had squeezed by, to find another fence which was also impossible to get by. The Ottawa River flooded earlier this year and washed out the path along this section of the Ottawa River. Heather told us that they will not be making temporary repairs to it and are spending some time planning how to repair it in a way to prevent it from being damaged in future high water situation. Did someone push Nelson into that pothole? Did someone take off their socks and shoes and try to climb the fence? My lips are sealed. In the end, we returned around the edge of the fence we had originally sneaked around and cycled back up the hill to the Parliament buildings.

When we arrived back at the parking lot at the residence, we ran into John, who was on his way to meet Jim, who was waiting at the Beaver Tails stand in the Byward Market. We tagged along and let David and Dayle know where we were heading. They also headed over. Some of us had shawarma for dinner, some of us had Indian food and some of us had Beaver Tails. We cut through the Rideau Centre on the way back so Rani could get some sunscreen at Sephora. She knew exactly what she wanted so Jim and Nelson and I waited outside the store for her. John and David and Dayle headed directly back to the residence. As we left Sephora, Rani noticed a Victoria’s Secret store. We had been talking about needing new sports bras earlier, so we took the opportunity to go shopping. Nelson and Jim abandoned us at that point.

Once we got back to the residence, the seven of us got together for a quick meeting in the common room, to make sure we were all on the same page for setting off on our first long day of riding tomorrow. While we had our meeting we were able to enjoy a little bit of a sunset over downtown Ottawa. It was the perfect end to a fun relaxing day.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

#OttawaBramptonOdysseyCycle – Meeting and Tour Day – Ottawa

What a busy day we had today.

We started the day with the great breakfast in the common room on the 17th floor of the residence at the University of Ottawa where we are staying. Jim went shopping this morning and then set up a breakfast buffet in his and John’s room for us. We were treated to various brands, cereals,  yoghurts,  juice and milk, and fresh fruit. The view of downtown Ottawa from the common room was amazing. We couldn’t have picked a better place to have our breakfast and start our day in Ottawa. I don’t have a picture to share tonight but I’ll make sure to get one tomorrow. John, Nelson, Rani and I went off in search of coffee after breakfast and walked over to the Byward market. We then returned to the residence to meet up with the rest of the group and head out for our day of meetings. 

We were told to bring photo identification and allow plenty of time for each meeting to get through security. I decided to go light in terms of what to carry today, leaving my wallet back in the room and carrying only my credit card, forgetting about the need for photo ID. Fortunately at every point at which we had to go through security they were understanding and allowed me to use my credit card as identification. We started off the schedule at Ontario Office of the Minister for Small Business and Tourism, moved on to Road Safety Programs, then to speak with a policy advisor in Minister Sohi’s office. 

From there we rushed over, in the rain, to the Centre Block, for a tour.

It’s been a long time since I’ve had a tour of the centre block so it was great to be able to do so. We were only able to look through the windows at the House of Commons which is having some work done on it over the summer break.

I love the ceilings at the centre hall.

The symmetry is beautiful.

The library is incredible and houses 600,000 books if I recall correctly.

We were able to enter the senate.

I would have liked to have gone up in the belltower, however we had a meeting that we needed to move onto with by a policy advisor in Minister McKenna’s office. 

By the time we finished, we were all famished and headed to Bridgehead on Spark Street for lunch at about 3pm.

After fueling and relaxing we walked back to the residence, changed into cycling gear, unloaded our bikes from the trailer, put the pedals back on and headed to the Hartwell Lock, a 6km ride, to meet Heather from BikeOttawa for a tour of Ottawa’s cycling infrastructure.

Heather spent hours telling us about their advocacy wins and challenges and showing us the bike sights. I took over 200 pictures, far too many to share or even absorb at the moment.  We finished up at Mill Street for a great meal.

Heather left us with a couple final treats – an inviting, colourful tunnel and a bike counter showing the number of cyclists passing that spot today. Apparently, the number was low, due to rain this afternoon, and often climbs over 3000. I will publish a second part to this day at a later time with a selection of infrastructure examples.  

After bidding Heather goodbye, the ride back to the residence was so exhilarating due to the wonderful day we had had, the incredible infrastructure we were riding on, and the beautiful weather we were experiencing, that we rode a little further than we had to and got an ice cream before heading to bed.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

#OttawaBramptonOdysseyCycle – Train Travel Day to Ottawa

I had a relaxing morning since the the bike and suitcase were packed yesterday and dropped off last night. I just had to pack my day pack and catch the 13:20 train from Union Station to Ottawa. It was my first time traveling by VIA Rail and it was so civilized – no security, quick boarding, lots of leg room and a timely departure.

Michael drove to David and Dayle’s then dropped the three of us at Rani’s house. Rani then drove us to Toronto. We had plenty of time until we arrived at the traffic jam for the Spadina ramp on the Gardner. The Yonge, York, Bay ramp is being rebuilt and there was a Blue Jays game on.

It took about the same time to drive from Brampton to this point as it did to get the rest of the way to Union Station. Rani’s brother was waiting for us right in front of Union Station to take the car when we arrived.

After stopping to have the Information Booth attendant take our picture, Rani bought lunch – the rest of us brown-baggged it – and we joined the line to board the train. A few minutes later the line started moving. A couple pictures on the platform, a couple at our seats and the train was off, precisely on time.

At a few places in Toronto, Pickering and Bowmanville, David and I were able to recognize places that we will be cycling on the return trip. We each spent time putting the routes in RidewithGPS, which helps us to learn the routes and, along with Google Streetview, get an idea of road size and surface. I have paid the subscription price, of $6US for the month, so that I can get turn by turn verbal navigation of the route, without using data. I tried it on the last couple Brampton Community Rides that I led and it worked well. John and Jim did an amazing job scouting the route and providing us with paper maps: fold-out overview maps and detailed ones in a 3-ring binder, which were an excellent basis for creating the routes RidewithGPS, but I find it much easier to use my phone than the paper maps. The paper maps with their highlighted routes actually take me back to my childhood when my dad would write off to the oil companies for free maps and create his own personal TripTik. Of course, this was long before GPS and Google maps.

At times we traveled as fast as 153kph as measured by MapMyRide!

We arrived in Ottawa right on time, walked out of the station, and, a few minutes later, boarded Ottawa Transit for a 15 minute ride to the University of Ottawa where we are staying.

As we walked across the campus and through the parking lot in front of the residence building there was the rest of our group, along with the trailer, having just arrived themselves. It took them much longer driving, than it took us on the train, due to heavy traffic through Kingston and the fact that they did a little bit more route scouting.

We unpacked a few things, checked in and headed out for dinner.

Here’s the view from my room.

We had dinner in the Byward Market at Zak’s Diner. It was reasonably good and served quickly.

Byward Market is lovely in the evening.

Then we walked past a couple fun signs and a maple leaf painted on steps leading up behind the Chauteau Laurier.

Crossing the street to take our picture on the steps with a maple leaf painted on them I spotted bike traffic lights.

Lock One of the Rideau Canal and the Chateau Laurier.

Then we walked over to the Parliament Building to discover a bike gears light show displayed on the front!

We walked down Metcalfe Street to Spark Street then down the west side of the canal to capture some twilit buildings with reflections before heading back to the residence. It was a wonderful day.

Tomorrow we have meetings and a bike tour of local cycling infrastructure.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Last fall, as members of Brampton Cycling Advisory Committee and BikeBrampton chatted in the parking garage under City Hall after a committee meeting, I overheard John and David talking about planning a cycling trip from Ottawa to Brampton for Canada’s 150th birthday. My ears perked up. I have long dreamed of cycling across Canada since meeting a cross-Canada cyclist on our family trip trip driving through the Rocky Mountains in 1983, but for one reason or another I have never managed to do a trip by bike. I asked them for details and they asked me if I would be interested. I replied that I would.

Fast forward eight months and we are about to set off on our adventure. The cyclists include David and his wife Dayle, John, Rani, Nelson and me. John’s friend Jim will be driving his van pulling a trailer with all our bikes and luggage. Nelson is Brampton’s aActive Transportation Manager and the rest of us are cycling advocates who are passionate about cycling. John will travel to Ottawa with Jim and Nelson, and the rest of us will travel on VIA Rail.
John and Jim have made two trips in a car scouting the route and had the great idea of collecting bike boxes to keep our bikes safe in the trailer on the drive to Ottawa.

We dropped off our bikes and luggage at John’s house this evening.
Here’s a picture of David and Dayle removing the pedals from my bike so that it will fit in the bike box. We had a small hiccough when it seemed that one of my pedals wouldn’t come off, but a rubber mallet came to the rescue.

This is my bike getting boxed up.


This is the inside of the trailer with everything loaded, except for Nelson’s bike and suitcase, which will arrive with Nelson tomorrow morning.

Finally, a picture of the gang, absent Nelson, who doesn’t live in Brampton, and Rani, who had already dropped her things off and left. From left to right – Jim, Lisa, Dayle, David and John.

Here’s Rani dropping off her bike.

We will spend Sunday traveling. On Monday David has arranged a number of meetings with government officials to learn about the national cycling strategy and to make sure that key people in Ottawa are aware of the fact that there are advocates and staff in Brampton working hard to improve cycling in the city. We will also be getting a tour of Ottawa cycling infrastructure. Tuesday is a free day in Ottawa. We can see the sights, pick up anything we realize that we have forgotten and rest for the trip home. On Wednesday we start riding.

Wednesday – Ottawa to Merrickville ~ 75km

Thursday –  Merrickville to Kingston via at the Thousand Islands Parkway ~ 125km

Friday – Kingston to Belleville ~ 87

Saturday – Belleville to Port Hope ~ 79

Sunday – Port Hope to Ajax ~ 83-88km depending on route

Monday – Ajax to Brampton ~ 68-94km depending on route

I realized after riding over 3700 km last year, including one ride of 120 km, that I needed to do some work to strengthen my neck and shoulders over the winter. I worked on it on my own for a few months but felt I wasn’t coming along as quickly as I wanted, so I consulted my physiotherapist who told me that I had a “head forward” position which I needed to correct with stretching, strengthening and better posture. Under his guidance I have made significant strides but don’t feel I am quite as far as I would like to be for this ride, so while I am very excited for this trip, I do have some trepidation about my ability to ride this significant number of kilometres for six days straight, but I’m going to give it my best shot.

The most I have ever done before is 200 km in two days or 390 km in one week. However I have done over 2500 km in the last four months including over 800 km in May and over 1100 km in June. I have done my best to prepare.

Wish me luck. I will try to write a blog post about our adventures each evening. I hope you enjoyed following along.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

2016 Cycling Goals Achieved

This year I had four cycling goals.

  1. Ride the 120 km route in the Tour de Mississauga
  2.  Ride 100km each day for two consecutive days
  3.  Ride 3000 km
  4.  Ride further than my friend Kevin

The first three were the same as last year and I achieved numbers 1 and 3.  I thought it would be funny to add the fourth goal since Kevin beat me by only 14km last year. On Strava, when you look at your friends profile you see a side by side comparison of your achievements.

I have now achieved the first three goals and will likely achieve the last but can’t say for sure until the end of the year.

Here is a chart of my annual distances.


I really didn’t think I was going to achieve the second goal, but I challenged my friend Rani to join me and she was up to the task.  I also spread the word of the plan to my BikeBrampton friends (who might, along with me, cycle from Ottawa to Brampton next summer) and five others joined us.


Leo, Leslie, David, Rani, Peter, Lisa, Stewart

It was a beautiful day for a ride – overcast, but dry, and warm for the last weekend in October.

I planned two routes, starting at my house, each 100km.  On Saturday, we cycled to Dineen, a coffee shop on Yonge Street in Toronto, recommended by Rani, via the Humber Trail (also know as the PanAm Path after the 2015 Toronto PamAm games) and The Waterfront Trail. On Sunday, the plan was to stick closer to home in Brampton and Caledon in case we couldn’t complete the 100km.

We left half an hour late at 8:30 on Saturday. One section of the Humber Trail, just north of a large train trestle and the Old Mill was in glorious autumn colours.


On the Waterfront, we found an unlocked public washroom, having passed two or three that were locked and this nearby public art commemorating the 60th anniversary of the  1956 Hungarian Revolution.


We cycled on on-street cycling infrastructure for a few kilometres after leaving the waterfront and arrived hungry and happy at our destination.  We decided we needed more than coffee so grabbed lunch and followed up with the promised amazing cappuccino and cookies. It was warm enough to sit outside for our coffee.


I always enjoy crossing the Humber Bay bridge which is only for non-motorized use.


The great bike racks using the PanAm games symbol appeared regularly along the trail.


Nearing the end of the trail we realized we had left David behind. We stopped and waited about 15 minutes, but everyone was getting cold and stiff, so when he didn’t show up we reluctantly cycled on.

We had a stiff headwind once we left the trail and we were shocked to find David ahead of at Castlemore.  Turns out he took a shortcut, but still managed the longest distance of the day since he cycled from home to my house while others drove their cars. People scattered, without committing to a second day riding, other than Rani, and I retired to a cold bath for tired legs with milk and peanut butter raisin toast.


The weather dawned cold and wet on Sunday morning.  I really wanted to stay in bed and so did Rani, but we were each to proud and stubborn to call off the ride. Rani drove to my house again and the two of us set off.  While it wasn’t raining when we left, it soon was, and the temperature was in the single digits. We met David and Dayle 20 kilometres into the ride.  David came out to tell us he wasn’t going to be able to ride a second day, but Dayle joined us for 30km.

We took our first break at Starbucks where Dave joined us.  Dave came out to Brampton Critical Mass on Friday night (I usually attend, but decided to save my legs for the rest of the weekend) and heard about the planned rides.  Unfortunately, he was given the wrong start time and missed us by over an hour.  He was a trooper and still cycled some of the route, but we didn’t see him on Saturday.

When he saw we were at Starbucks, near his house, he jumped on his bike and joined us for 13km before heading home.

Dayle left us at the same place as Dave and Rani and I carried on to Bolton where we had lunch at McDonalds.  It stopped raining, but was cold and very windy.  We had a section after lunch of 7km north into a headwind of 40-50kph.  It was one of the hardest sections I have ever done.  Thanks to Rani for taking the lead and letting me draft the whole way.  You were amazing.

We arrived home, exhausted, but exhilarated and still smiling.  We actually made better time on our second day and had a slightly higher average speed.  I was too cold to endure a cold bath, but sat in a hot one for over an hour.


As of this writing on Tuesday night I have pretty much recovered and looked forward to our next group ride to Schomberg on Sunday.

Ride statistics:

  • Saturday
  • Length:  100.3 km
  • Ascents: 218 m
  • Riding Time: 5:33:16
  • Elapsed Time: 7:40:49
  • Average Speed: 18.1 kph
  • Top Speed: 59.8 kph
  • Sunday
  • Length:  101.3 km
  • Ascents: 244 m
  • Riding Time 5:19:54
  • Elapsed Time: 8:07:019
  • Average Speed: 19.0 kph
  • Top Speed: 55.1 kph
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Exploring Hamilton by Bike

It’s been a while since I have made a blog post, but I had such an amazing day today, I want to write about it to cement the memory.

The day started cool and misty with a walk with Owen and Bailey. It was a perfect autumn day with a few of the leaves changing colour.

The boys all have the day off school today, which I forgot, when I planned to spend the day cycling in Hamilton with my friend Rani, before picking up Megan for Thanksgiving and Reading Week.

They don’t really mind when I leave them since it means they can do their own thing without me bugging them about spending too much time in front of screens.

Years ago, I used to spend a lot of time cleaning the house and resent it when Michael and the kids made messes.  Michael told me I should lower my standards since no one else cared how messy the house was.  Over the years I have managed to do so.  Apparently, I have been so successful that today, Alun, my 17 year old, vacuumed, dusted and washed the stairs and mopped the kitchen and hallway tiles because the mess was offending him.

I met Rani at Princess Point at 10am.  Here is a link to the route I planned. In June, another friend, Erica, and I spent the day cycling in Hamilton.  That day I planned for us to use the bike trough on the Kenilworth stairs to get our bikes up the mountain, but we missed Kenilworth by a few kilometres, looked at the map and decide to follow the Red Hill trail to Albion Falls, our destination.  It was a beautiful, but tough ride, on a dirt or crushed gravel path with steep hills up and down.  After leaving the falls we returned to the lower city on the Hamilton-Brantford rail trail. It was a lovely gradual decline through the trees along the face of the escarpment and I wanted to try riding up it, which is what we did today.

The mist was lifting just as I arrive at Princess Point where Rani had arrived and was taking pictures.  We unloaded our bikes and set off to discover that Rani, while trying to pump up her tires last night, pretty much completely emptied them.  Neither one of us had a pump so we loaded up the bikes and drove to the Bike Repair station on Locke St.  Unfortunately, the pump only had a Schrader end, not Presta, which is what Rani needed.  So we drove to Pierik’s Bike Shop, nearer to Princess Point than the Bike Repair station on Locke, where a friendly, helpful staff member pumped up Rani’s tires.  Back at Princess Point, we unloaded the bikes again and set off.

We cycled around the bay and then up James Street in search of an independent coffee shop. Last week I found a list of 15 in Hamilton and am determined to try them all.  I couldn’t think of a single one in Brampton.  Sigh.

We stopped at the Mulberry Street Coffee House and had some awesome cappuccino and baked goods to fuel up. I’ve now been to three on the list of 15.

We continued on our way and we very pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to climb the mountain on the rail trail.  It was about 100 metres ascent over 8km.  Much easier than riding up any of the street accesses or the Red Hill Trail that Erica and I took.

We briefly used the great Cannon Street cycletrack which has little bicycle shaped insets in the lights for bikes.  We also came across this great new crossing on Limeridge Road East where there are no curbs and pedestrians have the right of way when they are present, but otherwise drivers do not need to stop here.

We’ve just finished the climb and Rani is still smiling.


Here are a couple more pictures of the rail trail.  Much of it was covered by trees and so pleasant to cycle through, but I didn’t take any pictures in that part.


Here we are at Albion Falls.  It was a bit difficult climbing down with the cleats on the bottom of my sandals.

We then cycled along Mountain Brow Boulevard, a street that went on a road diet and became a complete street a couple years ago.  It is residential on one side and a narrow linear park overlooking the lower city on the other.  It used to be a four lane cross section, but is now two, with some parking and a wonderful wide multi-use path.

The views were awesome.  When we couldn’t see over some low bushes Rani climbed up on this wall.  I soon followed.  My family, and my friend Patti, with whom I have been cycling and exploring since Grade 7, usually discourage this type of “risky” behavior.  It was fun having someone else lead the way.

Here’s the view from the top.


Back in April, I did some cycling and exploring of the escarpment staircases which I wrote about here. I talked about Uli, who single-handedly build an escarpment staircase.  We met him tending it today.  What a modest fellow.


We found a great place for lunch.

Then continued along to the Chedoke Radial Trail, which I hadn’t explored before.  What a wonderful ride down the mountain it provided. It started under an hydro tower and passed several waterfalls.  It is part of the Bruce Trail.

We looked down over the highway and crossed a bridge.


There was a lovely canopy of trees all the way down.


By following the route clockwise we had gentle inclines going up and fun, steeper rides going down.

It was a perfect autumn day, enhanced by a lovely visit with my daughter on the way back home.

Morning mist banished by sunshine.
Autumn colours.
Cycling in a city that gets it.
New friend with the same passion.
It doesn’t get any better!


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Peel School Board Bussing Policy

I have just written to my Peel Board Trustee, Chair and the Minister of Education about Peel’s bussing policy and am reproducing the letter here.

Eligibility for bussing is as follows and was recently revised downward.

Busing eligibilty

The distance a child must walk to the bus stop is even less.

Walk to bus stop

Trustee Singh, Chair McDougald and Minister Hunter,

On the final day of Bike To School Week at Robert J. Lee Public School, the mother of a kindergarten student was locking his bike to the rack as I was counting the bikes. The bell had already rung.  She told me that they had been running late and she told her son they would drive the car to school.  “No Mum”, he told her, “I have to ride my bike and exercise my brain”. I was thrilled.  The message being given at RJ Lee is working and children, even very young ones, can influence their car dependent parents’ behavior.

Unfortunately, the Peel Board of Education, unlike this kindergarten student, does not recognize in its transportation policy,  the importance of building exercise into the lives of children, and continues to enact policies which lead to obesity, behavioral issues and lower test scores.

Brain on exercise

The Peel Board should be taking a leadership role in teaching the next generation that the habits of theirs parents have led to a health crisis, and congestion and injuries on our roads.  Teaching children healthy habits takes more than talking at them in classrooms, it takes leadership and modelling. It requires board wide encouragement of Active Transportation and minimizing the wholesale bussing of children.

The recent policy change to reduce eligibility distances for bussing is a travesty, and not only are the eligibility distances too short, the maximum distance a child must walk to a bus stop is at least as bad.  If children who are bused were required to walk up to the same minimum distance to their bus stop as children who do not receive bussing are required to walk to school, there would be benefits.

  • Children would get more exercise on the way to and from the bus stop
  • Fewer bus stops would be required leading to the potential for
    • Shorter travel times
    • Cost savings

My four children aged 12-19 have attended or are attending Peel Board schools.  They have walked to school, or when attending high school programs outside our catchment area, walked to and from public transit.

The first year my eldest attended middle school she qualified for bussing. She chose to ride the bus, not because the distance was too far for her to travel, but because the bus was available.  She rode it because her friends did.  This behavior occurred in a child who regularly walked much longer distances and was raised in family that engaged in, and promoted, active transportation. Such widespread availability of unnecessary motorized transportation for children is a serious disincentive to exercise.

I encourage you to read the Brampton Kids on Bikes report which makes very plain the destruction caused by a car dependent society.

I also encourage you to read about the success I have had, in partnership with Johnna Varriano, principal of Robert J Lee Public School, in encouraging cycling to school and reducing road congestion.

I encourage you to be leaders.  Leadership is leading people somewhere they wouldn’t otherwise go. Reducing bussing eligibility distances won’t be popular, but it is the right thing to do.  Do the right thing.  Re-visit this policy.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment