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Living by Bike with Elizabeth Radshaw, Hot Docs Industry Programs Director in Toronto, ON.
Hot Docs Industry Programs Director Toronto, ON
When did you start riding your bike?
As a kid in Connecticut, it was a big deal to bike around my street unsupervised; the independence had me hooked immediately. Six years ago when I moved to Toronto, I chose to get around by bike year-round and I prefer it. Even with the horrendous winter we had, it suited me better than driving or taking the TTC (public transit).
What is your favorite place to ride your bike to?
During Hot Docs in April, I love riding between the festival cinemas to check out the huge line-ups. I love cruising with our guest filmmakers from around the world on Bike Share Toronto bikes going from screenings to industry events. Arriving by bike to our opening night gala in heels and a cocktail dress is a Hot Docs tradition.
The rest of the year, the best rides are to dinner parties, usually with a culinary masterpiece strapped to the rear rack and panniers filled with wine.
What is your favorite restaurant?
Feel Good Guru, hands down. In the winter, they deliver hot vegetarian soup in mason jars to my desk by bicycle while I am busy preparing for the Hot Docs festival.
In the summer, there is nothing better than a picnic in Trinity Bellwoods Park with a Feel Good Guru Make Kale Not War Salad, Liquid Farmacy juices, guiltless sweetness, and a game of pétanque. The Guru will even lend you a blanket!
What is your favorite bike?
My Gazelle Tour Populair is my city ride. To get out of the GTA (city), we take the Bike Train. The Gazelle is robust enough to cruise Niagara wine country. For touring overnighters, I use a 25-year-old souped-up Supercycle.
How would you describe your bike style?
Poised, relentless, and always with a smile and wearing a Trout, of course!
Describe the bike culture in your city.
It is paradoxical. Over 10 percent of people using the streets downtown are doing so on bikes. The people who design the roads and transit plans as well as the council that instructs them are dragging their feet on effective bike infrastructure. It is like they stepped out of a time machine from 1950.
What do you think your city could do to make cycling easier and more accessible?
Shift the car-centric design and planning to one that puts pedestrians, cyclists, and public transportation first. Connect existing bike paths and networks. Integrate cycling into all new building designs – like functional bike rooms in apartments and offices. Designate King Street for public transport, pedestrians, and bikes exclusively.