Courtwood Crescent is short street with small office buildings nestled in a tight triangular industrial zone south of the Queensway, west of Carlington Park, and east of Maitland. At the mention of industrial zone the backs of most cyclists justifiably bristle. That’s where trucks hang out, from pick-ups to transports, and where drivers of such vehicles often don’t expect to see two wheeled self-propelled pedallers. But they should, because everyone needs to feel safe biking to work. So here’s how I accessed and got out of the Zone on a job errand, on day 17 of 30 Days of Biking.
First, I had to get myself a new riding windbreaker. The 18 year old MEC-collectors-item I’ve been sporting was getting very tired, even with the new reflecto sewn on by Carla that helped me survive riding through the winter. So I stopped off at Bushtukah, who didn’t quite have what I was after, and MEC who did. Only realised when I got home that the jacket I LOVED (and bought) was a women’s large. It’s a windbreaker that needs to keep me dry and visible. Whatever works.
Purchase made, I rode south on Roosevelt, then across the lights at Cole and Carling. South of Carling is where things start getting industrial – i.e. lot of trucks, road sand accumulated over the winter street cleaners will probably never see, and supersized potholes. Even so there was enough shoulder space to feel safe with minimal street parking. The traffic felt less erratic and dangerous than the stretch along Richmond between Bushtukah and MEC.
What I find unique about this area of town, is that right beside the industrial muck and trucks sits a park, with an excellent hockey arena, two baseball diamonds, and a toboggan hill. Rather than re-trace my treads home, I cut along the paths on the edge of the baseball diamonds to the residential area on the other side. These were fine, although a little mushy as stone dust paths tend to be at this time of year.
Once beyond the baseball diamonds, accessing the Experimental Farm pathway required a bit of a stair climb up to Caldwell Ave.
I got on to the Experimental Farm Pathway from Caldwell. Sad to see a bunch of ash trees recently felled along Ash Lane in the middle of the farm, probably more victims of the Emerald Ash Borer beetle. Some creative tree cutter made the best of it by carving this champignon out of the trunk.