Getting your bike on and off the subway, in and out of a commuter train, storing it in plastic beneath a highway coach, or lifting it into a bus-front bike rack – takes some getting used to – but once you’ve done it once or twice it’s a real breeze!
• Getting on the GO Train
As the train enters the station, point your bike forward. As the train slows, move toward a door. Some doors have “no-bikes” signs, those are washrooms, simply move to the next train car door. When the door opens, lift your bike up into the train. You may have to manoeuvre your handlebars a bit to fit (you can fit full panniers through easily if you push gently). Lean the bike against the two vertical bars, inside the door in front of three seats – at an angle so the bike doesn’t fall when the train starts and stops. You may lock your bike if you wish. Head upstairs and enjoy the ride – a don’t miss on the way to and from Durham!
• Getting on the Subway
As the train is approaching the station, point your bike forward. After the train stops, and the people have exited and entered, roll your bike onto the subway car (backwards is sometimes helpful). It’s fine to stand next to your bike inside the opposite doors. As well, pick a near empty area and sit down holding your handlebars and a brake. To lift your bike up and down subway stairs, grab the centre post down near the pedals. Wait until everyone is clear to take your bike up or down an escalator. Pink TTC subway stops on the Toronto Cycling Map are stations with elevators.
• Using a Bus Bike Rack
Bike racks are very easy to use – and hold your bicycle extremely securely. Stand with your bike a little ahead of where you anticipate the bus will stop. After the bus has come to a full stop, step out in front with your bike. Unlock the fastened bike rack, pull it down, until it locks in place. Lift open the security lever/tire holder. Lift your bike and place it into the wheel wells – front wheel where the security lever is. Close the lever snug onto your front tire. Should a bus come with the bike racks occupied, the driver may ask cyclists to wait for the next bus, or they may open the bay below. It is at their discretion.
• Travelling by Motor Coach (+ bike bag)
A Coach Canada motorcoach bus bay can hold 5 or 6 bikes easily, the Prevost models can hold them standing up. Bring a small bungee cord to tie your bike if you wish. Arrive early to get your ticket in the main terminal. Find a $10 plastic bike bag at the Coach Canada counter – upstairs, far west end of the Bay St. and Edward St. Toronto bus terminal. Lone cyclists: ask a bus driver to watch your bike as you run upstairs to get a bag. The bag is light but quite durable, and easy to roll up to use again and again.
• Going by Bike + Ferry
The ferry is the simplist and easiest – and most fun! – transit mode to board and disembark with your bike. On the ferry, look to store your bike where everyone else seems to be storing them. Keep a wide path open for passengers. A bungee cord can come in handy. Standing with your bike at the nose of the ferry as it approaches the landing has its advantages. It helps to get a rolling start ahead of the other passengers.
Donald Wiedman © 2018