Tag Archives: Rob Ford

A Weight Loss Tip for Mayor Ford

I’m worried about Mayor Rob Ford’s much publicized weight loss campaign. He’s been at it for 11 weeks now, and he’s lost nothing, it seems. Looks like political battles are easier to lose than body fat.

I was talking to A yesterday, and she had a really good suggestion. The overweight mayor could take his bike (yes, Mr. Ford, we want to believe you own one) to the office and back. He could start off once a week, then move it up gradually until he’s cycling from his home in Etobicoke to Nathan Phillips Square every day.
I punched his details into BBBike (see my blog from yesterday), and found a route for him. If he’s not fussy about sharing the road with the polluters (“swimming with the sharks” I think he called it), he’ll ride a bit on the Kingsway, weave his way through to Old Mill Road, Catherine Street and Old Mill Drive, feel the wind whistling in his hair as he sails through the backstreets of Bloor West Village, then pick up the dedicated bike trail next to the Queensway (yes, Mr. Mayor, a dedicated bike trail). From there it’s pretty plain sailing. Total distance is about 16km, and if he can hold 20 K per hour, it will take some 50 minutes. Think about it, Mr. Mayor, you probably don’t get there much faster during rush hour in your SUV. The office is about 60 metres lower than home, so the trip back is gonna be a bit tougher. But then you’re used to that. It was so easy to get there, but it’s only been uphill ever since. The daily ride to the office and back will burn about 600 Calories. And the really good news is it equals about 4.5 Kg in CO2 offset.
I can just see it – the kilograms of unhealthy fat melting away, the kilograms of CO2 that never were.

Rainy day

When I peered out over my cup of coffee this morning I saw the weather report was right. Rainy day. OK, a choice, do I take the TTC? Dufferin Bus to Bloor, subway to Bay.

The thought of another crowded ride on Toronto’s hopelessly underfunded, aging transit system is too bleak, bleaker even than this grey day.

So, onto my bike.

Harbord Street rain

I arrive damp and invigorated, mulling over yesterday’s budget announcement. Rob Ford inherited what the Toronto Star calls a “$139 million windfall from this year’s unexpectedly high revenues” but he’s decided to cook the books so it looks like his imaginary crisis is still threatening our well-being. His proposal includes

  • reduction of hours at some libraries
  • cutting funding to some 14,000 children and youth who take part in 58 student nutrition programs
  • hiring freeze for Toronto Police, Fire and EMS
  • closing 5 of the city’s 105 wading pools and two of the Toronto’s 59 outdoor pools

Oh, and I almost forgot, reduced service on buses and streetcars. Those who have no other options but the TTC will have to get used to waiting longer for more crowded rides on increasingly aging vehicles.

As Adam Vaughan said (quoted in the Star): “We have the mayor running around saying the sky is falling, and the money is there not only to provide the services Torontonians love — everything from sidewalk clearance to libraries to suburban bus routes — the budget shows there’s actually the resources available to build a better city.”