Originally Posted by someone123
In Vancouver you just have to get used to it. Rain doesn't bother me much, particularly when it's just drizzle. The only thing I really don't like about the weather here is when we get weeks of overcast skies. Ontario is actually not that different from coastal BC in that respect though -- London, Ontario is just about tied with Vancouver
for winter sunshine hours (that list is funny because people on the Prairies love to say that it you get tons of sun there in exchange for the cold, but Saint John NB is roughly tied with Winnipeg and it is much warmer).
That's interesting. We may have similar sunshine hours, but since London is in a snow belt, winter cycling is anything but pleasant (or safe, for that matter). I usually notice the bike racks at UWO start getting mighty sparse around October, which is when I usually throw in the towel. The only people who are out on bikes in January are the clinically insane, or hipsters (though the two are not mutually exclusive).
Cycling in London can be a mixed bag. On-street commuting goes from downright pleasant (eg, on wide 2-lane roads like Winderemere Road: https://maps.google.ca/maps?hl=en&ll...,257.58,,0,4.4
) to terrifying (narrow arterials, like Wharncliffe: https://maps.google.ca/maps?hl=en&ll...2,349.1,,0,1.8
). Despite what Molson says, I find drivers here tend to be much more courteous (and attentive) than their counterparts in Toronto, with the exception of cabbies, bus drivers and pickup truck drivers.
The city has been building grade-separated bike lanes along high-speed suburban arterials, such as this section of Wonderland Road: https://maps.google.ca/maps?q=wonder...53.99,,0,-4.51
(the bike lane is the strip of asphalt between the road and the street). Personally, this is my favourite system, since it doesn't take space away from cars and creates a clear, physical barrier between cyclists and motor vehicles. As great as they are, though, not too many people use them.
Coming back to Molson's point, the network has some good ideas behind it but it is very patchy. Curiously, the areas of the city that have the highest amount of bike traffic (ie, University of Western Ontario and Fanshawe College) have the fewest miles of bike lanes. There's a ridiculously short section on Western Road (makes you wonder why they even bothered...), a trail that goes from downtown to the university, and that's it. There is nothing on Richmond Street (central arterial with high speeds and lots of bad student drivers), nor is there any direct route across the river. The city has graciously provided us with an incredibly dated-looking and hard-to-use virtual online map to show the extent of our gloriously patchy network: http://webmap.london.ca/mapclient/ma...ider=SVC&K10=0
Cycling is nice, good exercise, but I still prefer my car.