<b>Hair and makeup</b>: Taylor Savage/<a href="http://www.judyinc.com">judyinc.com</a><br /> Used throughout to achieve this look: TRESemmé Flawless Curls Extra Hold Mousses
How did the Big Smoke, a trailblazer in cycling little more than a decade ago, become so unfriendly to the two-wheeled mode of transport? The blame can't all be laid at the feet of the current administration at City Hall.
Hate to burst your bubble, fellow riders, but the mayor's amped-up anti-bike rhetoric is an expression of a more widespread feeling, and not just among those who inhabit the burbs who've grown weary of longer daily commutes.
When Rob Ford says the streets were built for cars, he's right, but not for the reasons he thinks.
In the North American context, at least, it's true that cities weren't conceived and planned with bikes, or even public transit, in mind. They still aren't.
We're only now getting around to thinking of our thoroughfares as more than just arteries to move traffic of the four-wheeled variety.
The idea of "complete streets" - roadways with room for transit, yes, cars, and people on foot and bikes, too - is where the smart planning is headed.
Streets aren't just streets any more, but "cultural corridors." They're assets, not just a means to bring vitality and tourism to our neighbourhoods, but themselves our new urban parks.
The benefits of incorporating human health when evaluating the merits of developments are crystal clear.
Those who live in more walkable neighbourhoods tend to walk and ride more, have a lower body mass index and show fewer effects from harmful pollution. They also have a lower incidence of diabetes.
Building more public transit is of course a crucial component of dealing with gridlock. But for too long the value of bikes in the solution equation has been ignored.
The view that these simple, perfect machines are recreational vehicles as opposed to a desirable and viable mode of transportation is outdated.
Tens of thousands of Torontonians ride their bikes year-round, thousands more throughout the spring, summer and fall.
Many trips Torontonians take every day are short enough to be accomplished on a bike. Bikes take up less space than cars. Roadway improvements to accommodate more bikes enhance everyone's safety.
Backpedalling on cycling infrastructure is only putting Toronto further behind. It's time for council to get creative and make a shift where bikes are concerned instead of giving cycling the gears.
Riding a bike shouldn't be considered a political act. Bicycles are recognized as vehicles under the Highway Traffic Act. At the very least, they should be afforded the same respect as motor vehicles.