Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Rain

We're getting some very heavy rain this morning. It took a few minutes for me to convince myself to travel by bicycle. As part of my effort to find out how well I could manage without a car, I figured this was a perfect opportunity to put this mode of transport to the autumn weather test. In the past I've ridden in the rain, but it is almost always on my way home. If it's in the morning, it starts raining after I leave home, so the decision was easier.

In the end, the most unpleasant part of the ride was putting on my shoes that were wet from yesterday's ride home. Once I got outside, I had nothing to complain about. My hair and my feet got wet. The horror.

The rain pelted my face while going down the big hill at Hogg's Hollow. I wore my DJ Jazzy Ravemaster yellow sunglasses, so that was no problem. The cars behind me must have been convinced I was taking my life in my hands, because they actually stayed back and gave me BOTH lanes of Yonge St northbound. I couldn't believe it.

When I arrived at work, my suspicions were confirmed. The people I talked to seemed to think I was crazy to ride a bike in this weather. There are probably hundreds of people riding their bikes to work today in the downtown core, but somehow it becomes a sign of lacking mental capacity out here in the suburbs.

Maybe they're right. With all the focus on the rain, I did forget my belt today. I feel like a bit of a goof walking around the office pulling my pants up all the time.

Darren J 11/29/2005 12:26:00 PM | 6 comments |

Friday, November 25, 2005

Too much information

I've been getting woefully overinformed this week, with all my time spent in my car listening to the news on CBC. Ask me about any current event, local or international, and I can give you at least 20 seconds worth of insight into it. I decided to put an end to it, and ordered a set of studded tires from MEC.

The tires were out of stock in the Toronto store even though they were in stock just about everywhere else in Canada, including balmy Vancouver (but they do have actual mountains nearby). Does this mean the Toronto store doesn't bother ordering many, or that they're selling like slurpees in Winnipeg?

It'll be a few days before I receive the new tires. Fortunately it looks like it'll be warm next week, so the road bike will be back in action.

As for the debate about studded versus high quality grippy road tires, from talking to people and reading discussions on the web, the main points against studded tires seems to be that they're slower, they make noise, they're expensive and possibly overkill. The expensive part is the only one there that I care about. I figured I'd rather spend some money on them for the unexpected black ice, or unexpected dumping of snow in the middle of the day. And the ones I picked have 100 studs running along the sides, so most of the time I should be on the rubber. When I slip or turn, the studs will touch.

There was one more argument against the studs that made me apprehensive. Apparently they can reduce traction in some cases because the hard metal on pavement is not grippy at all. I think this would be most important if I kept trying to corner hard with these tires on. This is something I can easily live without. The time saved from a fast corner doesn't mean much to me.

To make you feel good about pedal power, I'll leave you with some thoughts from some thinkers on bicycles.

Darren J 11/25/2005 02:37:00 PM | 3 comments |

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Welcome

I hope all the Americans out there are having a happy thanksgiving. I've celebrated this holiday before and it definitely ranks near the top of all holidays. Us Canadians have something to learn here. Four days off in a row, making it like Christmas, but no need to bother with the gift exchange (let me be clear that I do appreciate any gifts you may have given me in the past! The whole thing just takes a lot of time).

For some somewhat thematic reading, check out this article in Toronto Star about Iraq war deserters. The most prominent one (possibly the first) apparently has become a bike courier in Toronto. And he is trying to be considered a refugee here. Makes me feel pretty lame for picking this blog title.

Regarding the figure of 12 known deserters in Canada, this was a significant line:

"Nobody knows the exact figure, but the Pentagon admitted at the end of 2004 that desertions at that point numbered 5,500. It's a fair assumption that many of those slipped into Canada." -- Christian Cotroneo, The Toronto Star

I should bump into one of these guys on the street some time soon. Or maybe I have already.

This is the kind of story that I expect gets very little coverage in the US, but gets covered enthusiastically here in Canada. I'm not sure what to conclude from that. Is it more evidence of our superiority complex?

By the way, I just realized that I've been linking to all these Toronto Star articles, but I've been logged into their site without paying attention to it, because it's all automatic. It's not too difficult to register with, but I know this isn't ideal. Or do they let you look at the odd article without registering?

Darren J 11/24/2005 04:17:00 PM | 1 comments |

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Ontario goes ahead with wind power

There has been some good news in Ontario in the past few days. The province has started to move on building wind power generating stations.

Is this a sizeable minority in our power generation mosaic? It will work out to about 5% of our sources of power if everything else stays the same. This is significant. Take a look at this great map, if you want to see where our power is coming from.


Is Ontario a practical place for wind power? We do have a lot of large lakes, which tend to be good generators of wind. If you look at this impressive study on wind power, you can see that we have a couple spots that are in the "black dot" category. There aren't as many here as there are in northern Europe, but we aren't in bad shape. West Texas has black dot as well, and that is another region that I've heard is making some effort to increase its wind power generation.

As for the negatives about wind power, the newspaper article I pointed to above mentions concerns about whirring sounds and birds getting killed. From what I understand, these are the problems of old style wind farms, with small fast moving blades like the wind farms of California. Modern wind turbines are huge and slow moving, but still generate more power because of their size. It makes sense that a larger blade would be capable of higher torque.

Ontario has plans to close at least its worst offending coal power plants. You can see from the numbers that this would require a hell of a lot of wind turbines. I doubt that this will be the real replacement. If cost of power is the main deterrent to building more wind turbines, when Ontario Power Generation starts to give consumers the choice of paying a higher price for their power based on the source, this will be irrelevant. Call me idealistic, but I don't think it would be hard to find the 5% of Ontarians who would happily pay more for their power if it meant reducing smog and nuclear waste problems.

"Even if only ~20% of this power could be captured, it could satisfy 100% of the world's energy demand for all purposes... Several practical barriers need to be overcome to fully realize this potential." -- from the wind power study by Archer and Jacobson

Darren J 11/23/2005 10:39:00 AM | 5 comments |

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Derailleur debroken


It was a beautiful day today. I took my repaired road bike for a spin down to the hardware store. On top of getting the derailleur and chain replaced, I had the bottom bracket overhauled. The newly greased bottom bracket lets my feet glide in perfect and smooth circles around the axle. I didn't know what I was missing.

Now that I've seen the ToolWorks facilities, I'll do the next job like this myself. It'll probably be my headset that needs new bearings and grease. If I have the right tools and a good place to work, I'd really enjoy being able to keep things tuned up and running smoothly on my bike. Everyone complains about how cars are so computerized now, forcing them to visit mechanics all the time. Maybe they're all just bike advocates and they don't know it.

Darren J 11/20/2005 10:37:00 PM | 3 comments |

Peace, man

My friend pointed out an inflammatory letter printed in this weeks edition of Now Magazine. I enjoy reading Now Magazine, not just to learn about what measurements are the going standard in the companionship market, but also to read coverage of local issues that you don't tend to see in the big newspapers.

Here's the letters page this week. If you're having trouble picking out which letter it is, search for "hood" or "ornaments".

Is this real? Has Now been saving this letter up for the next time they were hoping for a glut of letters from angry cyclists? It's not like I needed a newspaper to tell me that there is the odd jackass out there who only has respect for people living their lives in the exact same way as him.

Darren J 11/20/2005 10:31:00 PM | 3 comments |

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Icy bike ride home

Well, I made it home on Friday night. The ride would have been pleasant if I wasn't afraid of wiping out in traffic. Parts of the road were very slick. People were sliding around in the parking lot as they walked to their cars. After a few minutes, I started to find road that wasn't so slippery, then it started to freezing rain (or rain freezingly?).

I hopped onto the sidewalk and rode in the snow for about 1 km until I got onto residential streets. Things got better. Traffic was jammed, so it was moving slowly. I had a very courteous driver stay well back from me as we went down a big hill. He or she wasn't getting anywhere ahead of me anyways, so I'm glad the driver was so observant.

On a positive note: I didn't have a windshield that needed scraping. The air was fresh. I wasn't cold because my heart was beating at 120 bpm. I loved the part of the ride where the traffic was slow and light.

As defeatist as this may sound, I don't think I'll be riding to work again when there's going to be precipitation near the freezing point. Icy roads suck.

Now, studded tires. I know Jim recommended a set of Nokian studded tires a while back. I can't sensibly get into that. I've done everything I can to optimize my route so I can avoid high speed traffic, but the fact is I can not avoid some riding on major roads where cars could be doing anywhere from 60 to 90 km/h (40 to 55 mph). In the ice, I might feel nice and stable with my studded tires and the cars probably won't be going that fast, but I still can't trust the guy behind me to stop safely.

That said, this doesn't mean I can't ride in the winter, as has been pointed out to me before. Most days won't be icy and the roads are almost always cleared, so I haven't given up.

I went to the winter bike clinic put on by Toolworks of the Community Bicycle Network today. It was a thorough, casual discussion about what to do to get ready for the winter. I know there are online resources on the subject. Sometimes it does so much more to see something demonstrated and hear it spoken in person. And this was very much tailored to the urban Toronto bike commuter.

Darren J 11/19/2005 05:50:00 PM | 1 comments |

Friday, November 18, 2005

First snowfall

So much for light flurries. It's been snowing for over 3 hours now and it doesn't look like it'll stop any time soon. The weather reports should make it clear how long those light flurries will last because now the snow has started to accumulate on the road.

I'm on my mountain bike today. It doesn't have metal studs on the tires, but I feel alright about it in 5 mm of snow (or whatever this is). It's the idiots behind me that I'll be thinking about on my ride home. Hopefully this first snowfall will cause everyone to panic and create a traffic jam, so I'll be on the fastest vehicle on the road.

Darren J 11/18/2005 05:16:00 PM | 0 comments |

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Cold knuckles

Tonight's ride gave me my first taste of winter. I've probably said that before, but this time I mean it. If I say it again, I don't know what I'm talking about. When I left the office, the temperature was about -2C (28F). The wind was irritating, but not painful, while I unlocked my bike. I started to think I was making a mistake. After 10 minutes on the bike, riding as fast as I could (very, very fast!) I was warmed up and feeling good.

I'm constantly trying to select my clothes so that I'm not too cold at the start of my ride, and not too hot after I get going. I wore a tuque under my helmet today for the first time and still I was not too hot. It's time to upgrade my gloves. This isn't cold enough that I'm worried about frostbite on my face. In theory it really is cold enough, especially with some wind, but when I'm riding, I know I've got enough blood flowing in my cheeks. My main concern is getting chilled in my torso before I get my furnace burning. Next time I'll be adding a thin long sleeved cotton shirt.

Darren J 11/17/2005 11:27:00 PM | 3 comments |

Helping you prepare for winter

This weekend, on Saturday afternoon, ToolWorks of the Community Bicycle Network will be having a session to help Toronto cyclists prepare for winter cycling. I don't think you need to sign up. There's a suggested donation of $5.

Saturday, November 19, 12-3 pm (not sure if this time is correct!)
at the Community Bicycle Network
761 Queen Street West, Suite 101, just down the stairs.

I'm not in any way the official information source for this so I was a bit reluctant to post it here, but it sounds like such a good idea that I didn't want someone to miss out who it could help.

I just found the notice on their web site, which says it's at 1:30, so that'll need some confirming.

I'm considering going. I think it would be good for me to work on my bike mechanic skills. I doubt the session will involve pulling apart a drivetrain, but it's always good to hear people use the lingo (as the kids say) so I use the right words when I go to buy parts.

I crossed my first patch of ice this morning! It was about 1 foot long. All's well.

Darren J 11/17/2005 10:15:00 AM | 0 comments |

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Turning randomly downtown

I have a few rides I like to do on the weekends. One of them is to head down towards Kensington, then just ride wherever I see a road that looks like a good road to turn down. I'm slowly learning my way around the smaller streets downtown.

This is up near what used to be Varsity Stadium.


The stop in Kensington included a great discovery: an empanada shop where I could walk my bike right up to the counter. I'm so tired of the minutes lost while I lock my bike up outside empanada shops! Actually, this may have been my first empanada, so I was cautious and ate the beef version. It was one of about 15 different flavours. I'll definitely be returning.

I stopped at MEC and bought another one of those "emergency" turtle LED lights. I've attached it to my helmet on the front and it is a perfect addition to my lighting. I received two compliments on my ride home on Monday! One of the good things about having a helmet headlight is I can aim it right at a driver if I don't think he or she saw me.

Here's what I saw after leaving MEC. (I've probably taken this photo half a dozen times).


I took a spin down to King St and looked for the skateboarders that are always in front of the CBC building. No one was there so I took a picture of myself instead.


I headed north up through U of T. Cool campus. I haven't been through here for years.


Then I went through a time machine in the physics department and stopped in front of the soccer field.

Darren J 11/16/2005 08:54:00 AM | 3 comments |

Monday, November 14, 2005

Road bike vs mountain bike. And motor bikes

I've done a few rides on my mountain bike now, and it seems to make no difference in my average speed. I don't know what this says about the way I ride. Maybe I am a very leisurely rider on my road bike, so I never really push it to the max. Or I'm so excited to be on a bike with suspension that I'm fooling myself into thinking it's a motorcycle. Whatever it is, all the differences seem to add up to going the same speed overall.

It's definitely more work now when I start off after a stop sign. I find myself standing up on my pedals all the time. It makes me feel like I'm a little kid on my BMX. And going up hills I lose my momentum much quicker. Fortunately I have about 10 or 12 gears on this bike that are lower than my lowest road bike gear. Now instead of cruising up some of the smaller hills, I almost immediately drop into the easier gears and spin my feet in circles for the next few minutes as I inch my way up the hill.

I'm really enjoying the trigger shifters on the mountain bike. This might be what's keeping my overall speed up. Like natural Timotei shampoo, I can use my trigger shifters as often as I wish. (what simile!)

So the mountain bike is working out well for me.

On to the motor bike. Apparently they are being encouraged by Toronto city council by giving them free parking. Vespa dealers must be happy. One of the reasons being cited for the law is the practical problem of giving them tickets. I guess wind is a big problem when the vehicle doesn't have a windshield wiper. It sounds like a problem that must have a solution. Wrap it around a handle bar with some tape. Send it in the mail. There has to be more to this. The other motivation being cited is an environmental one. I don't know a lot about city politics, so I won't comment on the backers and their histories.

I'm still open to the idea for now. If motorcycles and scooters actually follow the speed limit and don't start driving like they do in Italy where every spare foot is treated as a motorcycle lane, I'd rather have them around me than more cars; as a cyclist, a pedestrian and a car driver for that matter. I'm going to look into the pollution issue. A quick search showed that fuel mileage is much better on a motorcycle or scooter. Pollution is much worse on a two stroke engine on a per kilometre basis, but if the engine is four-stroke, the pollution is either similar to a car or cleaner.

As for references, everything seems to point to a french study (in french) that was timed with a campaign to ban motorcycles in Paris. People were very angry about the potential law and forgot how to do math. I'll try to find some better discussion on the topic.

Darren J 11/14/2005 05:07:00 PM | 3 comments |

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Real Sport Utility Vehicle


It's too dark outside now to get a good action shot, unfortunately. I just took this knobby machine for a test ride through my neighbourhood to check out the rack, panniers and lights. I even got to take it for a novel offroad run down a hill. It looks like it's ready to go for the commute tomorrow.

My road bike is now in a shop waiting for parts to get all the repairs done that are needed. I'm sure I could have done the repairs myself with a bit of reading and buying some tools. My excuse to myself was that I didn't want to risk ordering the wrong parts then figuring it out after I installed them half-way. Plus the jobs would be pretty messy to do in my apartment.

New bike, so new odometer. For purely record keeping purposes (and nothing to do with my ego), the old computer says: 2591 km. Before I installed the computer, I estimated that I did around 500 km or more. So, let's say I'm at 3091 km for the year so far. I put a brand new computer on the mountain bike that I got as a gift a couple months ago. Among some new features, it gives me my pedal cadence, which I'm looking forward to playing around with and finding out about.

Darren J 11/10/2005 11:59:00 PM | 6 comments |

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Meeting

I was lucky enough to meet up with Tanya and Joe afterwards. This internet of ours creates a strange world where I can feel like I've known someone for months, without ever meeting them. (I've actually known Joe for a long time, but haven't seen him for years). I felt like a bit of stalker asking Tanya about something she did months ago. I'm glad we finally met. The three of us rode part of the way home together along Queen St. It was a nice change to have some company on the road.

Darren J 11/09/2005 12:18:00 PM | 2 comments |

Ryan Carriere

I did make it down to the memorial for Ryan Carriere on Monday night. With family there along with so many other people, many of whom must have been strangers to Ryan, and the simple solemn ceremony, one couldn't help but be moved. I didn't know Ryan, but there were obviously people who cared deeply for him.

There was a sort of natural progression to the ceremony that didn't require any leadership, but there were a few people there who seemed to know well what to do next. I wondered how many ceremonies like this they must have attended.

Darren J 11/09/2005 12:14:00 PM | 0 comments |

Monday, November 07, 2005

Destroyed Derailleur

Here's the photo of my destroyed derailleur.

Darren J 11/07/2005 09:15:00 PM | 1 comments |

State Power!

Individual states in the USA are imposing limits on themselves with Kyoto-like restrictions. This is a good example of how everything in the US has been turned upside down. Republicans are the big spenders, and imposing government control on individuals (military spending, disaster recovery spending, gay marriage) and Democrats are calling for budget cuts and less government interference.

And now it looks like environmentalists should be praising State's rights. Feel free to correct me, but 60 Minutes and 20/20 have taught me that cheering for State's rights is usually the domain of people who keep tanks in their back yards just in case the federal government tries to open a hospital in their county. Finally the environmentalists will have something to talk to them about at the next rally.

This doesn't seem like such a bad outcome, and is a good first step. It must be related to the smoggy summer we just had. Smog is much more tangible than global warming.

I always thought those guys with the tanks made some good points. Flexibility and freedom to make changes (or not) on a small scale is always going to be the best way to demonstrate a good idea and make progress.

Darren J 11/07/2005 03:27:00 PM | 0 comments |

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Don Valley Ride


Now back to talking about me. The blog really can be the ultimate in self involvement.

Today I added a bunch of lights on my bike and really wanted to get outside in the beautiful weather this afternoon. I was ready to ride down to the lake, then ride back in the dark on the bike paths. This would give me a good chance to test out my new lighting setup, which consisted of a new Halogen light on the front, to complement my flashing white LED light; and new second flashing red LED light on the rear.

You can see that I'm running out of space. Probably not the best solution.



About 7 kilometres into my ride I started to crank hard up a hill when I heard the strangest grinding, mashing noise. My pannier strap had gotten caught in my chain. This caused my derailleur cogs to get jammed then pull all the way around to the top of my hub. The whole thing looked so out of place, I felt like I was looking at a photograph of someone with their elbow bent backwards. My derailleur is now cracked and my bike is totally out of commission. My wife came and rescued me in her car, since I was too far away to walk and nowhere near the subway.

This will force me to get a few things done I’ve been putting off for months now. One: get my chain and rear hub changed. My chain is so stretched, you can see it easily just by looking at the front chain ring where the teeth only match up with the chain part of the way around. Two: I’m going to go see if I can get my mountain bike into commuting condition. My mountain bike doesn’t have a rack right now, and it doesn’t have the holes built in for bolting a rack on. I’ll have to do a bit of figuring out for this. Better get started.



Darren J 11/06/2005 08:38:00 PM | 5 comments |

Politics, bikes and Africa

There are a few upcoming television and radio shows that could be worth watching. On Tuesday night, Jack Layton will apparently be giving a bike tour of his neighbourhood to Rick Mercer. For anyone who isn’t so Canadian, Jack Layton is the leader of our socialist party known as the New Democratic Party. I mean “socialist” in a nice way, because they seem like nice people. And Rick Mercer made himself famous from his “Talking to Americans” bits.

Despite his mustache, Jack Layton has a surprising amount of influence right now. It's because of the pickle our controlling party has gotten itself into. It’s kind of interesting that our politicians have gotten themselves in so much trouble at the same time as the US White House has done the same. It emphasizes some of the differences in the way the two systems work. I like that our problems will probably result in an election very soon, compared to the US system which will have to wait until 2008. Three years just seems like an eternity to wait if people really have no faith in their leader. I found this article on George’s site.

Speaking of politics, today would be a great day to write to Toronto councillors, especially if you actually live here. They make some budget decisions for 2006 this week.

Sometimes I feel like complaining to the government about bike infrastructure is futile and ignored by the politicians. OK, I almost always feel like that. But it’s one of those things that I hope will slowly make a difference. And it really can make a difference. More bike paths would lead to more people biking, lead to fewer bike accidents and hopefully fewer car accidents.

You may remember that in the early summer this year, there was a huge media campaign (I think created by the provincial government) to inform parents about the dangers of having a swimming pool. The campaign focused on the fact that drowning was the second most likely cause of death for children under five years old. If you read the newspaper articles or looked into it a bit further, you would find out that the number one way for children under 5 to die is in a motor vehicle accident.

In case that hasn’t gotten you down enough, the other broadcast item of interest this week covers AIDS and HIV in Africa. If you want to hear someone talk about it who is very familiar with the challenges, listen to Stephen Lewis in the Massey Lectures on CBC weeknights this week. If you don’t live in Canada, you can listen to it online live through the CBC web site, at 9:05 pm in most time zones.

CBC should be paying me for this.


Darren J 11/06/2005 07:58:00 PM | 0 comments |

Friday, November 04, 2005

Smart Commuting

Someone at The Region of York must have a sense of humour. It's really the only explanation for this web page. The photo is not only from nowhere near Richmond Hill or Markham, but it isn't even from this continent!

What it should say: Bike commuting in York Region is great. The weather is usually comfortable. Riding on the less busy roads works out well, taking you through friendly neighbourhoods, filled with trees and a few factories. But if you want to cross a highway you're pretty much on your own. And if you're looking for a bike path that leads from anywhere to anywhere, go to the city of Toronto or maybe Ottawa, otherwise we would have put a good link to a bike path map here.

Darren J 11/04/2005 01:02:00 PM | 3 comments |

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Mississauga and being car-free

Today, a meeting brought me to Mississauga; by car of course. The City of Mississauga must be the part of the Greater Toronto Area best served by expressways. In most parts of the city, expressways are only 4 km apart.

The city is a bit of a pet peeve of mine. It seems that all the companies I deal with have located their offices there. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people say “well it’s the best location for our office because it’s a half hour drive to everywhere.” This is far from true. Not only is it typically 45 minutes to the eastern suburban office center (Richmond Hill/Markham), but if there is any traffic, that time could easily be doubled. And traffic problems are so persistent, the traffic reporters always just refer to the traffic as “building normally”. Fortunately I was able to avoid rush hour this morning.

Days like today would be much more challenging if I decided to live without a car. I would have had to either skip the meeting, or rent a car for the day. Actually, renting a car for the day is a pretty reasonable solution if I were even a tiny bit organized.

The discussion Jim has started about going for job interviews by bike is making me think about my concerns about office image. I know it sounds like a high school concern, but there are always going to be people who make decisions, sometimes based on intangibles. My reputation is fairly well established at work, as far as I know, but in the end it’s hard to tell how people view someone who goes to lengths to live his or her life a little differently from others.

Even with any solutions I come up with renting cars or taking transit, living entirely without owning a car in my field of work (high tech, to be vague) could leave me labeled as eccentric by any colleagues who don’t know me very well. I don’t really care too much about such a label, except if it were to affect my progress at work. One of my friends was talking about how good it is to work at an office where you can lock your bike, enter near the showers, change and arrive at your desk just like everyone else. He was concerned about appearing “too into his hobbies”.

I don’t really have a conclusion to this line of thinking. So far, the balance I’ve found is working well for me, even if it does cost me a fair bit more. I choose to keep my car for practical reasons.


Darren J 11/03/2005 11:12:00 PM | 4 comments |

Sitemeter problems

Technical question for other people with web sites: Is anyone else having problems with Sitemeter? It seems to have been down since last night. Now I can't see how many people click here to see if I know something about sitemeter! It's a great tool when it's working.

Darren J 11/03/2005 02:36:00 PM | 2 comments |

My Bike Lane

Here's a view of my bike lane. I have to share it, but it isn't so bad. Unfortunately, it ends 500 metres ahead.















This is a short path that I really like. It's not because I get to ride off the road for 20 metres. The great thing about this is that it turns the roads on both sides into dead ends where cars are forced to head over to the main roads to get anywhere. Traffic is low and calm.

















I guess some of our tress are still green. What's going on?


And a final photo, to show my bike parking solution. I threw my jacket down in front for dramatic effect.


Darren J 11/03/2005 08:03:00 AM | 2 comments |

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Memorial Ride

There's information on the memorial ride for Ryan Carriere on the Eye web site.

It is scheduled for Monday at 7 PM.

Darren J 11/02/2005 12:26:00 PM | 0 comments |

Suburban cycling

In the good news department, I passed a cyclist very close to my office today. He was riding on the road, which is rare out here in the suburbs. I'll admit that I ride on the paved shoulder on some of the ride up Leslie (stopping at each intersection for right turning cars, of course). It's so encouraging for me to see other people on their way to work, possibly choosing to have fun riding their bike instead of spending time in the car.

I've been bringing my camera with me every day for a while now, but I rarely take it out of my bag. Today I put it in my pocket for easy access, and actually took some pictures, so I hope to get them up here tonight.

Darren J 11/02/2005 12:06:00 PM | 0 comments |

Second Cyclist Killed in GTA this October

This time a cyclist was killed on Queen St West by a truck. Very few details are available. Have a look here. The comments about sideguards make a lot of sense. Unfortunately the Eye articles says nothing of the cost, which is the only argument against them that I could imagine.

Tanya gives some very important reminders about cycling near trucks (and any motor vehicles). I find it really helps to read her pointers and the other sites on the web about cycling safely in traffic. Like anyone who has studied any martial art knows, it's the repetition and drilling it into your way of thinking that matters when it comes time to react quickly. And sometimes it isn't even about reacting quickly. It's about shaping your thoughts about what is safe and what isn't. Seeing so many other cyclists around us zipping on the right past turning cars doesn't mean it's safe.

Maybe we'll find out more soon about what happened.

I've been watching for news about the Richmond Hill man killed in Vaughan and haven't heard anything yet.

Darren J 11/02/2005 09:43:00 AM | 1 comments |