Today was another Open Streets TO, the second of two pilot events held this year. This time, the whole family came out.

This is Bloor St. at 9:45 am. Remind me why Open Streets didn’t come out this far west.

Pulling up to the road closure at Spadina, I see fewer crowds than last time, even though it is much later in the morning. Many people must be out of town for the Labour Day weekend, just like last Friday.
DSC04115 They also might have been scared off by the forecast of rain that never materialized.

The crew at Bloor and Spadina.

We ran into some familiar faces here, and Lucy got to meet Honey!

Here we are at Bloor and Yonge, AKA the centre of the known universe.

This family had a Big Dummy nicely set up with a hooptie. I think they have seen this blog since the Mom remarked that they couldn’t get the narrower folding seats that I used to have on my Xtracycle. Interestingly enough, they left one side of the hooptie off.

Down on Yonge, just by Queen, you can see that it was not very crowded, but some of the stands had been moved up to Yonge Dundas Square. If you look carefully, you can see Anthony about to accost the hooptie family to ask them about their bike.

Cycle Toronto was doing a booming business with Bike Valet, although it looked like they were not given enough space.

Another great day, and a shame once again that it all had to end at noon.

Yesterday was the last Friday of the month, and you all know what that means. Things seemed a little subdued at the start and our numbers were down significantly from last month, perhaps due to the Labour Day weekend. This was unfortunate as we had a special guest: Joseph Boutilier, who was in Toronto enroute to Ottawa from Victoria via unicycle. He dropped by to say hi, and to ride with us a bit. His cause is climate change, and he hopes to have a big rally on Parliament Hill on Sept. 15. Here, he is happily talking shop with two local unicyclists. Those were some big wheels the locals were riding (36″, compared to Joseph’s 29er).

Here he is riding along with us on Bloor.
joseph Safe travels and good luck, Joseph!

Here is the group in front of the ROM.

The other two unicyclists were along for the entire ride.

Here we go down Yonge.

We actually went down to Lakeshore and looped around to pass under the Gardiner twice, as you can see from this video:

Then it was down Richmond. Where are the bike lanes?

Oh here they are, for a brief bit (they are still in the process of being striped).

The vibe was a bit different these past two months than what I’ve experienced in the past. We were less than 100 riders, and yet people insisted on blocking all lanes off traffic on Richmond, which I don’t think was wise. In this picture, despite all the smiles, there was actually quite a heated discussion going on between the taxi and the two bikers in front of it.

At this point, the ride peeled off, and I continued on the new contraflow lane on Richmond, which was very peaceful.

Late evening light on a Toronto streetscape. All is good.DSC04113

The team is busy finishing up the bike in preparation for a Tuesday departure. They were busy rolling it back and forth in a parking lot for the first time, with gears and brakes installed. This was mainly to get a first feel of the bike handling, bike launching, and to check to see if things are rubbing.

Here is Todd in the bike.

Alex gets him rolling.

Maybe he’ll go faster with two pushers.

Calvin gets ready for a run. Standing in the background is Charles, the owner of Ultimate Workshop, who has been of enormous help to the team, in terms of providing the facility where a great deal of the machining was done.

There goes Calvin.

Then it’s back to the shop to tweak a few more things.
backtotheshop You can see that the top shell is one continuous piece, and the joint with the bottom is mostly out of the region where we expect laminar flow.

Here is an earlier picture of Cam working on the bottom half of the shell. At this point it looks like the team will be painting the bike during race week, as per their tradition.

All the component parts of the Eta speedbike have started to come together this past week. Their plan is to complete the bike in time to depart for Battle Mountain next Tuesday. This way they will have a few days of testing before the competition begins.

Here the team is figuring out where to put the “black box”.

This is where Todd is training, in very close proximity to where the bike is being built.

Almost all of the components on the bike are custom this year to reduce the width of wheels, and to accommodate the special ceramic bearings.

Here is one of the special faired spoke wheels. The team decided to go with a 650C wheel size this year.

Alfie and Neil prep the front shells before bonding the two halves together.tops

Alfie works on the bottom part of the shell.
bottoms Both parts of the shell have a honeycomb sandwich construction similar to the Cygnus Beta.

Meanwhile, components are being hung onto the frame.

Here is part of the mid drive.

The rear wheel fairing is now bonded to the frame.

The beginning of seat construction.

That’s a big chainring. Note the tunnel cut to clear one of the drive chains.
crankFor extra credit: do you notice something unusual about the cranks?

Calvin working on mounting the view screens.
screensandjim Jim, in the background with the pink shirt, was very kind and transported a new bike for the team all the way from Indiana, and brought it to the shop today. (and Garrie got it from Ohio to Indiana).

Here is the team’s new Baron, which will be used for training and in HPRA events.

The speedmachine has now been consigned to grocery duty.

This next week is going to be very interesting……

Just passin’ thru

I was at the LBS (espresso cycles) yesterday, picking up some parts to get one of our recumbents back on the road when I noticed a fully loaded touring bike in the shop, with bulging panniers and a very neat one wheel trailer. Talking to the only other customer in the store at the time, it turns out that the bike was his. Felipe was on tour and had ridden all the way from Tofino.
IMG_1742 (sorry about the crap picture)

I noticed a couple of other things about his setup. One was that the Fuji touring bike looked brand new, even though all the touring gear was well used. It turns out that his old bike died in Toronto, and this was a replacement. It didn’t come up in conversation, but the proprietor, Victor, donated the bike to get Felipe back on the road. I knew Victor was a great guy from previous dealings, but this was just above and beyond. Also, he had a brand new YNOT pannier. One of his other panniers was stolen in Niagara Falls, and YNOT gave him a new one at their pannier party last week.

Finally, I noticed the guitar stashed in a pannier. It turns out that Felipe is on a “Bass and Bikes tour“. He said that he was headed out east, with plans to go to Iceland, and onwards across Europe. Best of luck, Felipe!

The other bike person of note that will be passing through is Joseph Boutilier, who is riding a unicycle from Victoria to Ottawa to draw further attention to climate change.

He has a couple of events while he is town. He will arrive in Richmond Hill tomorrow, and he will be giving a talk on Thursday night at the Friends House downtown. Additionally, he plans to show up to Critical Mass this Friday, so come on out!

Two committed cyclists on trips of a lifetime. Also, between the two of them, they are doing it on an average of two wheels each;)

Just a brief note to mark the fact that Dave Larrington’s Automatic Diary is back on the air. A sign that WHPSC 2014 is truly approaching.

Time is of the essence now. The team is quite far behind their original plan, but they are still planning to have the bike done in time for them to depart for Battle Mountain at least a few days early so that they can get some testing done. All the component pieces are almost finished. These photos were taken over the past week or so.

This is the frame after the first layup.

Here, a week later, they are working on the last layup.

This is the frame, all done. It is upside down in this picture. The BB is to the left, and you can see the headtube at the lower center. The blue foam is part of a guard that keeps the rider away from the front wheel fairing. This is an upgrade from Bluenose which had no such protection: in fact during the testing and running of that bike, there were times where the only material between the front tire and the rider’s crotch was bike shorts and a piece of duct tape. Not a pretty thing to picture.
final frame

Marc is working away at Ultimate Workshop, CNCing a spare front hub.

Now that testing has shown a significant benefit for the faired spoked wheel over a disc wheel, Neil and Trefor are in full production mode.

Speaking of the event itself, from this thread on the WHPSC forum, it would appear that we will have far fewer than the fifteen bikes that we had last year. In particular, this will be the first WHPSC since 1998 without the participation of Team Varna.

More to come in the next week…..

Update: according to the WHPSC forum, Barbara and Team Varna are coming after all!


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