TO Ride: Spit and Devil Strips

trolly at your head

Rock of Ages starts June 15th

For this vignette, we waited ‘till the sun starting to set in Toronto then rode to the Spit and back. While negotiating devil strips, traffic, cabs, and with trolleys next to my head, @fuzzz told me about the various neighborhoods and where people ride.

sunset

Man-made spit at the edge of the city

Passing other cyclists every fews seconds I observed that TO has more bike culture then most cities. They just don’t wear it on their sleeves.

fuzzz

Fuzzz is a developer and cyclist. He builds content management systems

Back in the city, met this cyclist as we huddled together to let an ambulance pass.

cyclists in TO

Toronto’s scene in a photo

Then at the Black Bull, had a pint next to a bike corral.

Pints, pub food, and a bike corral

Ed. note: Devil strips are what Toronto cyclists call the trolley tracks.



5 Comments

Been living in Toronto for almost 20 years and never heard the term “Devil Strips”. We, or at least I, call them streetcars and streetcar tracks, or just tracks. Just had a conversation yesterday with someone new to Toronto who had their first tracks-based wipeout. Hoping Devil strips doesn’t catch on. Tracks is fine and shorter.

Who’s the sexy cyclist in the photo? That’s what readers what to know!

Also see the Devil Strip crew….a disbanded group that used to meet and ride them strips.

I should clarify.. the Devil Strip reference was to the old gang of “Devil Strip Rollers” who used to meet up and ride a lot a few years ago.

More on the origin of the nick name for the trackers here on Transit]http://transit.toronto.on.ca/streetcar/4501.shtml”]Transit Toronto[/url].

In addition to the link Andre provided - a fellow Devil Strip Roller himself - the term was widely used in the hey day of Toronto’s courier culture. For about 30 years after the turn of the 20th, Toronto had a huge amount of couriers most of whom worked for Eaton’s or the various pharmacies in town. It’s estimated at the height there were as many as 3000 employed couriers in the city who often referred to the strip as the “Devil’s Strip” for the exact reason you mentioned.

You have to imagine how much worse that strip would have been when it was lined with cobbles as opposed to today’s “high tech” concrete.

DSR - and the soon to be announced follow up project - is a group of bike people dedicated to introducing Toronto, it’s bike culture and place in cycling history to a new generation.

As with much of Canada, there’s much history here and Canadians don’t do a good job of boasting… so I’ll do it for everyone ;)

Some more Toronto bike history with lotsa great old photos - http://www.blogto.com/city/2012/03/vintage_photos_of_cycling_in_toronto/

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