News / Toronto

Tour highlights challenges faced by Toronto's suburban cyclists

From speed limits to wayfinding, riding outside downtown is a much different game, advocate says.

The Gatineau Hydro Corridor is one of the routes that will be explored during next month’s 20-kilometre Scarborough cycling tour.

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The Gatineau Hydro Corridor is one of the routes that will be explored during next month’s 20-kilometre Scarborough cycling tour.

There’s no better way to understand cycling in the suburbs than hopping in the saddle.

That’s the idea behind a 20-kilometre bike tour coming to Scarborough Sept. 30.

“We want them to feel the nuances on the routes, the speed, the noise,” said Marvin Macaraig, project coordinator for Scarborough Cycles and the tour’s leader.

Cyclists in the suburbs face challenges people in the downtown core don’t have, he said. Speed limits for cars are higher, for one, and cyclists find themselves more exposed on longer boulevards and avenues.

Even wayfinding can be a little more difficult, Macaraig noted.

“When you’re cycling downtown, you can always look up and see the CN Tower, and it makes it easier to figure out directions,” he said.

The tour is one of the events leading up to the Complete Streets Forum on Oct. 1. Dedicated to opening the vault on ideas for safer streets, the forum is led by the Toronto Centre for Active Transportation.

Suburban cycling is one of the items on the centre’s agenda, and Scarborough is just one of the many places where they want to see it improved.

The Scarborough tour will see riders explore neighbourhoods from the Warden to Midland subway stations, passing through the Gatineau Hydro Corridor and crossing some major intersections.

“There are great opportunities to improve infrastructure in our suburbs,” Macaraig said. “This stuff is not rocket science. If you really want to increase cycling culture, you have to fund these suburban projects.”

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