goodbye, greenery and quiet

Toronto, 2017.07.06

Be it ever so green and quiet and perfect, my route to my new job isn't going to last. The Achilles heel is the crossing of Bayview - last night I came close to causing a collision trying to cross the mess in rush hour. Amazingly, the collision was with another cyclist as I headed for my separated lane. Allow me to explain.

It looks so peaceful:

lower Don cycle route
lower Don cycle route

But there is a problem. At some point, as shown, you have to cross from the south-bound cycle lane on the west side of the street (the cycle lane itself only appears a few hundred meters north of the problem spot), to the off-street multi-use lane in the park on the east side of the street. I've circled it on the map, here:

problem spot on the lower Don cycle route
problem spot on the lower Don cycle route

Here is a view on the street, with the red mark indicating what I'm trying to do:

crossing the street
crossing the street

In rush-hour traffic, with high volumes of over-speed cars, it's a lot harder than it looks.

There's another issue. This is the profile of the route I've been taking:

profile of my existing ride
profile of my existing ride

It's a great, scenic ride, but I'm no longer the 32-year-old who last commuted that way. I can already sense the cumulative strain building in my knees and hips. I'd prefer something that stretches out all that climbing.

If I choose the following candidate route, three things happen. I remove the dangerous spot; I shorten my route by 2km; and I make that slope much more gentle. Here's the route:

possible new route
possible new route

Here's the profile (ignoring the two false down-up chevrons where my route crosses a bridge rather than descending into the ravines and then climbing out again):

profile of my existing ride
profile of my existing ride

It looks promising. Certainly more so than this alternate route, which places me on the high-speed and high-volume Mount Pleasant avenue for a spell, then has me climb directly out of the ravine up the steep side of the thing, right at the end.

shortest ride
shortest ride

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rand()m quote

(In which I leave the final word to someone else.)

You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

-Steve Jobs