After day 9 where I wondered for the first half of the ride if I wasn’t taking on too much, Day 10 is a huge relief.
In the early afternoon Sage and I go by transit to run a few errands. While we leave with coats, by mid-afternoon they’re completely unnecessary. I get home and decide that today is the first day of 2023 where I’ll wear no cold weather gear. It’s shorts and a jersey and that’s it. The helmet cover comes off, the gloves stay indoors. I head out the door and don’t even have an initial chill that I have to ride a bit to get rid of. It’s lovely.
Today’s visit takes me to an old friend via a different route. I cross the bridge to Flemingdon Park which is now criss-crossed with bike lanes, zoom down the hill past the golf course and back up the hill past the moose I saw on Day 4. After missing a turn and getting a bit turned around I find my way down to the East Don Trail.
And soon I’m back at the Rainbow Tunnel.
Most people who drive in Toronto know this tunnel as it’s visible from the Don Valley Parkway. What they might not realize is that it actually was painted before the pride flag was created. The tunnel was originally painted back in 1971 by a teenager named BC Johnson. His friend Sigred had recently died in a fiery car crash on the DVP near there. He painted it in her memory. For a long time the city would paint over it in grey paint. He would just keep coming back and repainting it. Vandals started taging it but eventually, in 2012, it was handed over to a nonprofit called “Mural Routes” who create public wall art.
It makes me happy to see it and I’m always glad when I head up there.
After spending a few minutes there, I turn back around and take a different route home, which gives me a chance to enjoy a bit more of the East Don Trail. The microclimate must be really different here because the forest looks and feels very different from just a few km away near our apartment. There are more tall evergreens and less undergrowth.
At the end of the trail I climb a small switchback hill and find myself in a suburban neighbourhood. I’m a bit east of where I entered the park so I choose a different, longer route home. I’m not even remembering the day before when I was concerned that maybe even a few km/day without a rest might be too much. I feel great despite already climbing out of the ravine twice.
The route home is a bit circuitous, through an industrial area near the cookie factory (again I miss the opportunity to stop at the outlet store). This time, I change my plans on the way home to skip some stressful construction on a busy street. It adds a few more kilometres but I don’t even mind. The weather is beautiful and even though I’m riding into a headwind I’m feeling strong and happy.
Less than an hour later I’m back home, energized and ready. It’s time to make Goan fish curry for dinner.
6 thoughts on “#30DaysOfBiking Day 10 – Rainbow Connection”
Love the story of the bridge.
Todd, you live in such a beautiful place! What a beautiful bike ride! I’m so envious of your options and access to nature :). Of course you’d feel energised after seeing such beauty and nature!
Unfortunately I live in the city, and while it is a 15 minute city I never felt safe riding a bike. Walking is just better for me to get around.
Thanks! There really are some great spots not far from home. To be fair, many of them are beyond the “15 minute zone”
Biking isn’t for everyone – especially in places where traffic is busy and/or chaotic or drivers are aggressive. Walking is great too. Within our neighbourhood I usually don’t bike around either. It’s more convenient to just walk.
I’ve always wanted to visit that rainbow bridge. Everybody recognizes it from the DVP but few have actually been there on the trail.
It’s true – its one of the nicer parks in the city but a little out of the way. It’s also one of the best places to see the fall colours. Normally the park isn’t that busy but back in October it was really busy!
Cool bridge and path!