Big Dummy Family Coffeeneuring with Judy, DS, and DD in Toronto, Ontario
Today’s guest post may require you to employ your conversion skills, because it’s kilometers-centric. Yes! In addition, get ready to enjoy a peek into bicycling life with kids and a Big Dummy.
Judy, of Toronto, completed the challenge this week, managing several rides with DS and DD. Thanks so much, Judy (and DS and DD, too!), for the great guest post!
Where do you live?
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
How did you decide to coffeeneur?
I found your blog a few weeks ago and it seemed like a fun challenge. I ride a bike to get coffee all the time! And there are so many great cafés near me!
What bike are you using as your coffeeneuring bike?
Mostly the Big Dummy (I homeschool my 6-year-old DD and 4-year-old DS so they are almost always with me). If I’m not on the big dummy then I’m on my old commuting bike, an early 90s steel hybrid (Diamondback Override).
What other types of riding do you do besides coffeeneuring?
I used to commute across Ottawa, Ontario before I had kids. Since then I’ve been hauling kids (and groceries, library books, etc) in a trailer, and now with the Big Dummy. We’ve lived without a car in Ottawa, London (Ontario), Toronto, Pittsburgh, San Diego, and Tillburg (in the Netherlands).
Ride 1: Saturday October 4
Where: The Good Neighbour, Annette St, Toronto
Books and Bikes with Cycle Toronto Ward 13 along the Greenline Park corridor with readings by local authors and a stop for coffee on the way home.
I road the Big Dummy and DS came along for the mostly dry somewhat chilly ride. We came back to our favourite cafe, The Good Neighbour, on the Annette St bike lane.
This is a very bike friendly cafe, it’s very easy to get to, and it has lots of bike parking in front (ring and posts) and along the fence of the patio outside.
I had a cappuccino and DS had a kids hot chocolate with soy milk and a piece of pumpkin bread.
Ride 2: Sunday October 5
Where: Leiria Portuguese-Italian Bakery, Dupont St, Toronto
Our usual Sunday – biked to climbing (class for the kids, drop in bouldering for me), then we went to a cafe. DS really likes this bakery – he calls it his little cafe.
I had an espresso and a Portuguese custard tart, DS wanted a coconut macaroon and bubbly water, and DD got a chocolate croissant and water (and a kinder-egg).
The cafe is on the Dupont bike lane, which is attached to the Annette St bike lane, so it’s easy to bike to from our house. It’s also next to the northern end of the West Toronto Rail path, but we didn’t use the path today. There are ring and posts to lock to on the sidewalk, but we just put the Big Dummy out front and locked the front wheel.
We got some groceries, dropped them off at home, then continued to High Park for the Fall Harvest Festival. Bonus drink at the festival: real hot chocolate, and the chocolate and other ingredients were hauled there by cargo bike (ChocoSol, using Toronto bike power)!
It was kind of cold this morning, 4 degrees C, so there was some complaining about cold legs from DD. But the afternoon was sunny so it was a lovely day.
Ride 3: Saturday October 18
Where: Boulangerie Cocoa, Marine Parade Dr, Etobicoke (next to Humber Bay Park East Trail)
Distance: 22.5 km
Rode to the farmers market, then dropped DD off at the High Park Nature Centre. DS and I rode through the park to Lake Ontario then followed the Martin Goodman trail West over the Humber River to Etobicoke. We went to several playgrounds and labyrinths and explored the Humber Bay Marina. Usually we do the trails in the Butterfly Park but we wanted to find the lighthouse/beacon we saw across the bay.
We went back along the path to Boulangerie Cocoa for cappuccino (Starbucks unfortunately) and Orangena for DS. The baked goods are delicious – we had almond croissant, carrot cake and banana bread. They also do breakfast/brunch, sandwiches and salads, but we’ve never tried those options.
The cafe is right next to the trail, so it’s very convenient to stop there. There is bike parking outside (North of the road), but we usually park next to the path (on the South side of the road) and walk across – I don’t like hopping curbs with kids on the back of the bike. Then we went back to High Park to pick up DD and home.
Ride 4: Sunday October 19
Where: Say Tea, Bloor St West, Toronto
Distance: 11 km
The usual Sunday morning ride to climbing followed by a stop at The Good Neighbour for cappuccino. But since ride 1 was The Good Neighbour I stopped for tea on my way to get groceries after dropping the kids off at home.
Say Tea is a very cute shop in Bloor West Village. There are also many cafes in the area but I didn’t want another coffee. There are post and rings for bike parking all along the sidewalk. I got Chocolate Mint Rooibos and Earl Gray Rooibos loose tea leaves.
Ride 5: Saturday October 25
Where: Full Stop, Dundas St West, Toronto
Distance: 9 km
Dropped DD off at the High Park Nature Centre then rode the Big Dummy to the Junction Farmers Market.
I got an espresso at Full Stop, three doors down from the market. It’s a newish cafe that I’ve never been to before. There are lots of ring and posts for bike parking all along Dundas.
It was a beautiful sunny day for late October, and I was out in short sleeves. If DS wasn’t so sick we would have gone out for a long ride today to enjoy the beautiful weather.
Ride 6: Sunday October 26
Where: Baka Gallery Cafe, Bloor St West, Toronto
Distance: 6 km
I stayed home with the sick kid this morning, so DH rode the big dummy (for the first time!) with DD to climbing. In the afternoon I took the other bike and did a bunch of errands (dog food, library books, groceries, pharmacy, hardware store, art supply store).
There was a big Halloween festival on Bloor, so it was a bit crazy up there, and closed to car traffic. Annette was very busy with all the cars going around the street closure on Bloor.
I asked DH which was the best coffee shop near us on Bloor and he said Baka (a newish cafe I still hadn’t visited, one of his regular stops). I had a cappuccino – it was ok. It was very crowded inside because of the festival, but there was lots of space on the patio.
I locked my bike to the patio fence since there were no ring and posts right there, but I could have gone around the corner to Bloor for lots of bike parking.
It was a lovely fall afternoon outing, with patches of brilliant sunshine occasionally breaking through the grey clouds. It was nice to ride the small bike for a change (I spend all my time these days hauling kids on the big dummy).
Ride 7: Sunday November 2
Where: Sovereign Espresso, Davenport Rd at Dufferin St, Toronto
Distance: 16 km
After biking to climbing and stoping at The Good Neighbour I switched bikes, loaded up a bunch of bottles to return, and biked back along Annette/Dupont. I stopped at the Beer Store, then went North to the Davenport Rd bike lane.
I’ve biked along here a bunch of times this fall, and noticed Sovereign Espresso, but I’ve never been able to stop. I had an espresso today. The shop is lovely, the espresso was quite good, and it’s next to a bike lane. There was only one ring and post outside though, so not much bike parking.
I checked out the North end of the Shaw St cycle track (although it’s just sharrows at the North end) then went back along Dupont to Annette, up to Dundas for groceries, and home.
It was a beautiful (cold) sunny day today, and I was glad to get out on the bike after being stuck inside all day yesterday preparing for and executing a birthday party for DD.
Congratulations again, Judy, on completing the Coffeeneuring Challenge and thank you for sharing a bit of your world with us!