Sports & Recreation

Biking from Milton to Mississauga/Hamilton

  • Last Updated:
  • Sep 12th, 2020 7:17 am
[OP]
Newbie
Jun 2, 2018
14 posts
3 upvotes

Biking from Milton to Mississauga/Hamilton

Hey everyone, I'm about to buy a bike again and would like some advise.
I'm originally from the Netherlands and biking is in my blood, so when I moved to Toronto I bought a bike almost immediately. However, a few months into biking daily on Young St. I got into an accident with a car and had to be brought to the hospital. The car was going 50 and I followed downhill with about 40-50kmh. the car suddenly hit the break and unfortunately i was unable to break fast enough and hit it with about 20-30kmh (my breaks were slightly wet and I should have accounted for that...). After that I kinda gave up cycling as I didn't think it was safe enough on the street and biking on the sidewalk in Toronto is a no-go for me due to high pedestrian traffic.

Fast forward to current situation:
I have since bought a house in milton, work in Mississauga and have in-laws in Hamilton. I was hoping to learn if anyone has any roads I could take to drive to both cities. Right now I'm leaning towards sidewalk driving (very low pedestrian traffic). And yes, I'm aware of the law and I'm also aware of people saying it's dangerous for pedestrians. But I can't but feel that a) if I'm on a 50-60 road and cars would actually drive the limit, I'd be fine on the road, but I know that between these cities most cars will drive 100-110 most times of the day. The wind gust a car (or worse a semi) produces is strong enough to knock you of your bike which makes its extremely dangerous and b) I'm not a complete *******, so if I see someone walking I would obviously slow down/stop.

So with that information, if anyone would have any tips on how to bike between these cities, it would be greatly appreciated!!

Side note: I know this can be a sensitive topic, and I understand that some might say "if you can't bike, get off the road", but I hope that driving daily in the Netherlands for about 29 years gives me some credit on my biking skills, so hopefully those comments can be limited :) (but I won't take any offence if you still feel you must!)
22 replies
Sr. Member
User avatar
Apr 15, 2014
882 posts
760 upvotes
Toronto, ON
Im a lot more scared riding my bike in the burbs than downtown. try to find bike lanes and stay safe.
Please respond
[OP]
Newbie
Jun 2, 2018
14 posts
3 upvotes
I was told it would be better to post/ask this here :) :

Hey everyone, I'm about to buy a bike again and would like some advise.
I'm originally from the Netherlands and biking is in my blood, so when I moved to Toronto I bought a bike almost immediately. However, a few months into biking daily on Young St. I got into an accident with a car and had to be brought to the hospital. The car was going 50 and I followed downhill with about 40-50kmh. the car suddenly hit the break and unfortunately i was unable to break fast enough and hit it with about 20-30kmh (my breaks were slightly wet and I should have accounted for that...). After that I kinda gave up cycling as I didn't think it was safe enough on the street and biking on the sidewalk in Toronto is a no-go for me due to high pedestrian traffic.

Fast forward to current situation:
I have since bought a house in milton, work in Mississauga and have in-laws in Hamilton. I was hoping to learn if anyone has any roads I could take to drive to both cities. Right now I'm leaning towards sidewalk driving (very low pedestrian traffic). And yes, I'm aware of the law and I'm also aware of people saying it's dangerous for pedestrians. But I can't but feel that a) if I'm on a 50-60 road and cars would actually drive the limit, I'd be fine on the road, but I know that between these cities most cars will drive 100-110 most times of the day. The wind gust a car (or worse a semi) produces is strong enough to knock you of your bike which makes its extremely dangerous and b) I'm not a complete *******, so if I see someone walking I would obviously slow down/stop.

So with that information, if anyone would have any tips on how to bike between these cities, it would be greatly appreciated!!

Side note: I know this can be a sensitive topic, and I understand that some might say "if you can't bike, get off the road", but I hope that driving daily in the Netherlands for about 29 years gives me some credit on my biking skills, so hopefully those comments can be limited :) (but I won't take any offence if you still feel you must!)
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jan 9, 2011
8987 posts
10414 upvotes
Vancouver
Don't give up on road cycling! That's too bad about your accident. Chalk it up as a learning experience; bikes need more time and distance to stop than cars do, so make sure you leave yourself plenty of room if the car in front of you needs to make a sudden stop. Maximum braking is done with the front brake alone, so get in the habit of using it and not the rear brake. When you do need to make a panic stop, you'll already know the front brake's limits well, and will avoid the over-the-handlebars crash that people who don't use their front brake make when they grab it in a panic stop and aren't familiar with it.

It's a myth that riding on sidewalks is safer for the cyclist than riding on the road. Drivers are less likely to see you on the sidewalk and are much more likely to right-hook you when they turn right onto a side street or driveway. Especially with inattentive drivers, the key to staying safe is to BE SEEN. That means being right in front of drivers where they can see you from far behind and pass you. Many cyclists are afraid of being rear-ended from behind by a driver. This is actually the least common type of car-bike collision. Most collisions result from either "I didn't see you" (likely because you are on the sidewalk, passing on the right, etc) or at intersections where the right-of-way was not properly given. Behaving like any other vehicle on the road is the best way for other vehicle operators to see you and react to you being there.

Never ride in the parked-car-opening-door zone, even if a painted bike lane indicates that's where you should ride. Always ride far enough away from parked cars to avoid fully opened doors, even if that means riding out of the bike lane. You cannot count on drivers to look before they open their doors. I have never been doored, but would have been dozens of times if I had been riding closer to the parked cars.

Good luck, you can do it!
[OP]
Newbie
Jun 2, 2018
14 posts
3 upvotes
Thank you Kiraly!

Yeah I totally agree I should have kept more distance. Difficult thing in any country is that when you keep enough distance, another car usually finds that space a nice spot to merge in to... That will probably never change unfortunately! I definitely did learn something from that experience (mostly that hitting a car hurts).

I'm not too worried about joining roads where the max people drive is 50. In Toronto, due to it being very busy, it's unlikely cars drive faster than 50 most of the day.

However in the burbs I have yet to see someone following the max speed. And my worry is getting hit by someone who is going 100 and checking their phone (which we all know happens a lot).

On those roads I feel the sidewalk must be safer. Every intersection you pay attention (as you should anyway), and there are no driveways on streets like Steels av.

So I understand that it might not be safer in residential, and I'm totally ok with being on the road there. It's really the highway speed-like roads that I just don't think are safe.

Are there ways to find bike trails that Google may have missed?

I don't want to give up on biking... But if hitting something with 30kmh sends you to the hospital, I just don't know what 100kmh will do... (Or I kinda do I guess..)
Last edited by LodarII on Sep 4th, 2020 6:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 20, 2009
3884 posts
2034 upvotes
Toronto
Reality is - there aren't going to be that many sidewalks that you can take all the way from Milton to Hamilton/Mississauga. It's not so much that you would be a nuisance to pedestrians - it would be a much more inefficient and annoying ride. Assuming that you have a car, plan a few routes, then drive by car to scope them out. As I'm sure you know - routes planned by flat map don't take elevations into account.

As someone who has been hit by a car, I feel your pain.
From the sound if things, you need to get out with your bike more often to regain you confidence.
From what you have written, it very much sounds like you were at fault for your accident.
If going downhill on a busy street was part of your regular commute, you needed to be more responsible with your riding style and mechanics of your bike. Disc brakes would not be impacted by rain.

As someone who has cycle toured throughout various parts of Ontario (and across Canada), I think you are being over paranoid with your wind concerns, even with cars passing you going 120km+ per hour. You'll definitely feel it, but it won't just magically suck you in - even with big transport trucks. In the vast majority of cases, so long as you are sticking as far right as possible on paved portions of the road, cars behind you will proceed with caution. If you're being an idiot and "taking the lane" (driving in the centre of lane) on 80km/h, the problem is you.

Lastly - Toronto is a very dangerous city to cycle in (for various reasons).
The area you are discussing is unlikely anywhere near as dangerous, so long as you respect the rules of the road.

Good luck!
Deal Fanatic
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Jan 9, 2011
8987 posts
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Vancouver
LodarII wrote: So I understand that it might not be safer in residential, and I'm totally ok with being on the road there. It's really the highway speed-like roads that I just don't think are safe.
I have ridden from Vancouver to northern Ontario on high-speed roads, because most of the time that's all there is. With BC's mountains there is usually only one road from A to B, so everyone is stuck using it. In the prairies there are plenty of roads, but they're all 100km/h. Riding with traffic on these roads might seem scary at first, but it's like swimming in the deep end of the pool. The biggest thing to fear is your fear itself. Once you get comfortable, you learn to get over your fear and you're fine.
Deal Guru
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Dec 22, 2005
10804 posts
109 upvotes
Oakville, ON
Bike riding to Hamilton can have the added challenge of mountain climbing :lol: depending on where you're going.
Looks like quite the challenge too.

Last time I was in Amsterdam I saw an epic bike pile up close the the cruise terminal. Bad thing was it was caused by one of those small electric cab things where they carry two people and the driver. He tried a turnaround without looking and chaos occurred but no serious injuries happened. One lady who was dressed for office work had her clothes really messed up but probably saved her from road rash. Bags of groceries were sailing everywhere.
I've never seen so many bikes at once before on a major street before.
Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It can only be wasted.
Red Green
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User avatar
Aug 16, 2010
6348 posts
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Aurora
CardinalComb wrote: Im a lot more scared riding my bike in the burbs than downtown. try to find bike lanes and stay safe.
HELL NO!
Deal Addict
Oct 23, 2017
1585 posts
1163 upvotes
GTA West
LodarII wrote: Hey everyone, I'm about to buy a bike again and would like some advise.
I'm originally from the Netherlands and biking is in my blood, so when I moved to Toronto I bought a bike almost immediately. However, a few months into biking daily on Young St. I got into an accident with a car and had to be brought to the hospital. The car was going 50 and I followed downhill with about 40-50kmh. the car suddenly hit the break and unfortunately i was unable to break fast enough and hit it with about 20-30kmh (my breaks were slightly wet and I should have accounted for that...). After that I kinda gave up cycling as I didn't think it was safe enough on the street and biking on the sidewalk in Toronto is a no-go for me due to high pedestrian traffic.

Fast forward to current situation:
I have since bought a house in milton, work in Mississauga and have in-laws in Hamilton. I was hoping to learn if anyone has any roads I could take to drive to both cities. Right now I'm leaning towards sidewalk driving (very low pedestrian traffic). And yes, I'm aware of the law and I'm also aware of people saying it's dangerous for pedestrians. But I can't but feel that a) if I'm on a 50-60 road and cars would actually drive the limit, I'd be fine on the road, but I know that between these cities most cars will drive 100-110 most times of the day. The wind gust a car (or worse a semi) produces is strong enough to knock you of your bike which makes its extremely dangerous and b) I'm not a complete *******, so if I see someone walking I would obviously slow down/stop.

So with that information, if anyone would have any tips on how to bike between these cities, it would be greatly appreciated!!

Side note: I know this can be a sensitive topic, and I understand that some might say "if you can't bike, get off the road", but I hope that driving daily in the Netherlands for about 29 years gives me some credit on my biking skills, so hopefully those comments can be limited :) (but I won't take any offence if you still feel you must!)
Did you check out the walking and cycling routes suggested by Google maps? You could also consider a hybrid bike-bus route where the buses have racks. For example you may be able to bike Milton-Burlington downtown which is downhill and then take the Hamilton bus from there. I don't know if they have bike racks on that route.

Also, check out the Halton Region cycling route map:

https://www.halton.ca/The-Region/Explor ... by-Bike#03

Gelukkig fietsen!
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jun 12, 2007
15436 posts
4604 upvotes
London
LodarII wrote: Hey everyone, I'm about to buy a bike again and would like some advise...
Try asking on one of the local bike forums or try one of the local bike clubs.
Those area roads are extremely popular for cyclists
Deal Fanatic
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Jan 9, 2011
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Vancouver
Dealmaker1945 wrote: Did you check out the walking and cycling routes suggested by Google maps?
Google Maps can be rather useless for plotting cycling directions. It considers gravel roads "cycling friendly" and will default to selecting them for you over paved roads if it considers the paved roads "too busy." And there's no way to filter out "no gravel." Funniest Google Map fail I ever saw was when I was plotting cycling directions between Richmond and Delta. Google Maps directed me to take the Ladner Ferry, a vessel that last sailed in 1959!
Deal Guru
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Dec 22, 2005
10804 posts
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Oakville, ON
Kiraly wrote: Google Maps can be rather useless for plotting cycling directions. It considers gravel roads "cycling friendly" and will default to selecting them for you over paved roads if it considers the paved roads "too busy." And there's no way to filter out "no gravel." Funniest Google Map fail I ever saw was when I was plotting cycling directions between Richmond and Delta. Google Maps directed me to take the Ladner Ferry, a vessel that last sailed in 1959!
I wanted to go from oakville to Burlington on the trails with a ebike and got directed to the QEW by Google. One exit from Trafalgar to Dorval.
I didnt use it.
Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It can only be wasted.
Red Green
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Sep 6, 2002
8348 posts
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Vancouver
If you are already concerned about safety this isn’t the ride for you. This isn’t holland.

I’d consider taking some sort of go bus which has racks and using your bike to and from. Nobody respects cyclist space especially not in the semi highways you’ll be on.

I also agree that biking downtown is far safer then the burbs.
Autocorrect sucks

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