Monday, May 29, 2006

Making lemonade from the TTC strike

The Toronto Transit Commission was on strike for part of the day, and nearly 800,000 people (including me) had to make alternative arrangements to get to work. This on the first smog day of the year, and the first day it's been above 30˚C.

You can imagine that there were a lot of cranky people on the streets today. Fortunately, Mr. K was able to drive me and the beloved bike to my day job. Two of my co-workers couldn't make it in, but there were so few students there that the boss and I were able to handle the tiny little classes by ourselves.

One of my GRE students called in the morning to remind me that I'd scheduled a makeup class this afternoon for the one she missed last Thursday. (Bless her for calling. I always tell them to, because my pregnancy-addled brain is more than likely to forget, as it had this time.) So I hopped on the bike and rode to midtown, threading my way along signed bicycle routes through Forest Hill. It was a beautiful ride. There certainly are a lot of gorgeous, ludicrously expensive houses in this city. I arrived without incident and even managed to find an unoccupied post-and-ring stand to which to lock the bike. Taught the makeup class and then biked home along Rosedale Valley Road, averaging 30kph on that stretch. I love the Rosedale Valley Road: a surprisingly long stretch of beautiful greenery in the middle of the city, with a bike path well away from traffic. Mmm.

Unfortunately the southernmost part of the bike path along the Don River itself is closed for the next three years while they do minor work such as rerouting the river, cleaning up all the contaminated soil, and building an entire new neighbourhood. So I had to get most of the rest of the way home along Bayview Avenue, where people drive scarily fast and carry passengers who wave the finger out the window as they whip past bicyclists who are minding their own business. On the first day of Bike Week, and on a day when there's a smog alert and a transit strike. At a pregnant woman. Classy. If the car hadn't been going so fast I'd have blown a kiss.

So that was 15km today, a nice little jaunt that would have seemed gargantuan five years ago. Yay.

Strike's over now, but I have plans with Mr. K for a nice long ride up the Don Valley tomorrow.

I still like Toronto.

P. S. We did make it to some Doors Open places yesterday; pictures on my Flickr stream.

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