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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

TTC & CAA support Cycling

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bike repair
The TTC strike reminded Toronto Star jounalist Jim Coyle how wonderful the bicycle is for getting around:

The learning began long years ago, a six-year-old aboard a red-and-white model from CCM, training wheels removed, the father running laps on a patch of asphalt at Greenwood Park to steady him, until the rider, finally feeling the absence of that hand on his back, looked around and realized he was on his own.

Amy Lavender Harris waxes poetically about the escape velocity of cycling at Reading Toronto:

At escape velocity it is possible to rise above the earth, to leave its orbit, to be propelled into space and the unsilent reaches of the expanding cosmos. But escape velocity is not known only to astronauts. One may feel it at other moments when the pull of the earth’s gravity is overcome, or when the forces of gravity, wind resistance, and momentum are perfectly balanced. This feeling is something more than inertia: it is something akin to flying. It is something one may experience on a bike.

Even Automobile Associations are getting excited about cycling. For Bike Month the British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA) is offering free roadside assistance for cyclists – member or not – who have broken down, and need help getting to work, school or home.

This offer of goodwill (perhaps a bit patronizing) made me wonder why we don’t have a CBA (Canadian Bicycle Association) that would work like the CAA (Canadian Automobile Association). Members of the CBA would get emergency roadside assistance, bicycle repairs, emergency rides, discounts at supporting merchants, and support facilities like bike lockers and stations. The CBA would also act as a lobby group and advocate for cylists.



  1. and don’t forget those maps and cycling guides that they could publish.

  2. Quebec would be a problem.

    BTW, a visiting hipster journalist named Nick Gamble who was a whirlwind of activity back in 96-97 with ARC, TCCC and CBN tried to kickstart something like this on a local level in early 1997. It was to be a ‘CAA for bikes’ and the ‘good cop to ARC’s bad cop.’ Yes, Martin, it was to be called BLT, Bicycle League of Toronto.

    It’s nice that you read the Cycle Ontario Alliance mailing list, by the way.

  3. To call Nick Gamble a “hipster journalist” raises eyebrows left and right. He was just a guy good with words.

  4. Good call, Mr. or Ms. Blobby, whoever you are. Hipster? Journalist? I’ve rarely been accused of either. (You might have raised a third eyebrow at “visiting,” too.)

    Owen is right, though: BLT was something I tried to kickstart back then, and he took an early interest (though he thought the acronym sucked, as I recall). From the start, though, I knew I only had energy to be the midwife, and sadly the group failed to grow quickly enough before I, and it, ran out of steam.