Tour de Scarborough ride highlights suburb cycling
Saturday's 35-kilometre tour will explore historic sites throughout Scarborough with 100 participating cyclists.
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Scarborough is on the move, a two-wheeled move.
The first ever Tour de Scarborough is taking place this Saturday, a 35-kilometre ride that will take nearly 100 cycling participants through a historical visit of the east end suburb. It’s part of the ongoing strategy to instill the cycling culture in areas outside the city core.
“This is our own way of celebrating Canada 150,” said Scarborough Cycles project coordinator Marvin Macaraig, who helped organize the event. “It’s definitely going to be fun. There’s a lot to see in Scarborough and we want to show people that cycling isn’t just for downtown.”
Organized in partnership with UofT Scarborough’s sustainability office and the Scarborough Historical Society, the event also coincides with the suburb’s 221st birthday. Riders will be stopping at various historic sites to catch a breath but also learn more about the neighbourhoods’ history.
A similar but shorter tour (20 kilometres) took place back in 2015 as the Toronto Centre for Active Transportation was launching its Complete Street Forum.
Much has happened since then, including the opening of two bike hubs, introducing bike share programs and organizing multiple bike workshops across the communities.
The tour is also an opportunity to highlight challenges that cyclists in suburbs face, from speeding cars to lack of properly built bike lanes. As Toronto doles out a 10-year cycling plan, Macaraig said it’s important to ensure cyclists from the city’s outskirts are not forgotten.
“There are some good plans in place but bike infrastructure in Scarborough is still lacking,” he said. “This is a conversation that we must continue to have with the city and policymakers.”