On your way to school one morning, take a look at the people cycling. Do you notice something about them? Are they fit? Reckless? Sweaty? They may be any of the above, but look closer, there’s something else. They’re old. Commuter cycling, not the weekend joyride but the ride that takes cars off the road and replaces the TTC drudge with an adrenalin pumping journey, is dominated by people thirty years old and older. On Friday, Oct. 28, a beautiful, sunny day, I counted 13 bikes locked around the school, that’s 13 bikes for 1400 students. There are, on the other hand, at least 10 teachers who cycle to school on a regular basis, that’s 10 from a staff of 70. The ratios are disturbing.
But now that we have the classic, Toronto invented ring-and-post bike-posts at the front of the school (and two more bike-parking areas soon to be added) let’s work at building NTCI’s cycling culture. In the spring we will conduct an NT bike day. Treats will be offered to all who bike to school that day and we will have our first meeting of the NTCI Cyclists Union. The NCU will investigate ways of making cycling to school a more realistic proposition for students. What’s keeping you off your bike? Concerns over bike theft? Personal safety? Body odor? We’ll put our minds and energies together to find and agitate for solutions.
So enjoy the winter, but get ready to ride through spring.
Ps. What’s with the 5 of 13 bikes that were sloppily parked along the pathway instead of taking their proud and logical place at the bike racks? Don’t dump your bike like the dirty laundry on your bedroom floor.