Fear and Cycling in Toronto

25 Jul

Those who know Maria will be surprised that in 5500km she has not once flipped the finger at an erratic driver on this trip. But never has she been so close to breaking this marvellous track record as when we entered Toronto city limits. Immediately drivers change from friendly and road-sharing to stressed and angry. For the first time on the trip, we were honked at and we knew for a fact the message was not “hello.”

Once past the initial hurdle of getting into the city, we were cordially greeted by Anya’s parents. Some of their friends were excited to hear about our journey, so they hosted a BBQ/storytelling session, so that we could be fed while recounting exaggerations about our cycle tour.

One of the guests suggested that because of the second law of thermodynamics (entropy always increases), sustainability is a pipe dream akin to a perpetual motion machine. This theoretical limitation would not apply to the earth alone because energy can be exchanged between the earth and the rest of the universe. Then we are talking about the universe. But the fate of the universe is a hotly debated topic and perhaps it will be renewed in a big crunch followed by another big bang. Also, this is so far into the future that first, giant crabs will take over the world, then the sun will engulf half of the planets in our solar system, and only much much later can we anticipate the heat death of the universe.

We also visited Evergreen Brick Works, where they had a fascinating exhibit called ‘MOVE‘ about transportation in Toronto. It was put together by Evergreen in collaboration with Institute Without Boundaries. It shows the history of transportation in Toronto, has cool data visualizations for current transportation stats, and suggests a whole host of ideas for how to make transportation more sustainable in the future.

Here’s one amazing guy’s collection of bicycles, displayed as part of the MOVE exhibit.

4 Responses to “Fear and Cycling in Toronto”

  1. Nikita July 25, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

    Giant crabs🙂

  2. Larry July 26, 2012 at 11:37 am #

    Intriguing that a guest would belittle sustainability on the basis of “the universe is maybe going to end, don’t ya know”? The TV show, “Canada’s Next Top Fashion Model,” is going to end, was that mentioned? Sustainability isn’t a parlor game. It’s the notion that we’ve been dealt one sun, some resources, some brains and now the ball is in our court. Oh, and did I mention the corporatocracy that’s bent on making the rules? Game on.

  3. Priyanka August 1, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

    I’ve been quietly following your blog and amazed to see your accomplishments! Way to go. When are you back?

    • Maria August 2, 2012 at 7:46 pm #

      Cool, I’m glad you’re still reading! I’m on track to be back by the end of August, I hope.

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