BM2015: two weeks to go

It’s crunch time for the HPVDT. All the pieces for Eta Prime are coming along.

Sanding time. New member Hatim has been putting in long hours on composite work. Here you see the front fairing and a spare. Chris has also been working hard; he wasn’t around today, but he is in this earlier picture.

Both the front and rear fairings.

Sherry works on the vision system electronics which is simpler and yet more capable than last year.DSC06475

Here you are see the front wheel assembly just after the wheel well was bonded to the front fork.

The frame is almost done. All it needs are the pieces that are quite close to the front wheel. We are waiting for a headset of all things so that we can put the wheel in place before bonding the remaining parts of the frame.

Calvin thinks that two rear discs is a good idea. I agree.

To put things into perspective, the team is ahead of where they were last year at about the same point, even with the relative lack of manpower. Hopefully I can show you wheels on the ground in less than a week’s time.

There has been a fair amount of rain this year, and I’ve been making good use of my Cleverhood rain cape.


As a slight update on my earlier post, I’ve given up using the thumb loops, and I use a patch of Velcro that adheres to a bunch of double sided velcro on my stem.


The other feature that I’ve grown to like very much are the slits on the front where I can pass my hands thru. Not only are they handy off the bike when I want to use my hands, but when it is not raining, I can ride with my hands thru the cape which seems to give much less drag in a headwind.


This is great on intermittently rainy days; as soon as it starts raining again, I use the cape as per usual to keep my legs dry.


I’ve also replaced my old commuting pannier with an Arkel Signature V.


Two notes about this pannier: one is that I which they had made the top extension a little longer as I’m not sure I have enough material to roll over and close when it is fully loaded. The second point is that it is much easier to take the pannier on and off the bike which is a mixed blessing. My old pannier had a hook and strap that held the lower part of the pannier whereas the new one has just the clips to the rack at the top. Given that it is so easy to take off, I’m loath to leave it on the bike when I lock it up while parked.

The final piece of rain gear is my seat cover. My old Carradice cover finally gave up the ghost, so I went looking for a replacement. The first thing I tried was this latex cover from MEC (they were out of a Planet Bike seat cover that looked OK on the web.  I didn’t like the feel of this seat cover, and despite the salesperson’s assurance that it would be good for one season, the cover failed after one ride.


A much better bet is the Brooks seat cover. One advantage is that it comes in two sizes, and the M size fits both my Brooks B 17’s and my Selle Anatomica saddles perfectly. For a Brooks product, it is actually reasonably priced.


Tom Samson, a Grade 2 teacher at Swansea PS, was killed when he was run down by a mini van at the intersection of Davenport and Lansdowne more than two years ago. Since then, the family has had to go through unimaginable suffering. First, they had to hire their own investigative lawyer to call into question the initial police finding that Tom was at fault. After a long interval, the accused pled guilty to a charge of failure to remain at the scene of the accident. Today was to be the day for sentencing. However, the defence had other ideas and called for an adjournment.

A summary of the proceedings, with input from Albert Koehl’s notes:

The matter was adjourned to Sept 14, 2015 “to be spoken to” but not for sentencing.

The driver has already pleaded guilty (in spring 2015 when the trial was imminent). After a guilty plea, there is usually an “agreed statement of facts” read to the court. Apparently there has been some sporadic discussion on the issue since May but no agreement. Today the Crown said she is willing to take out any “facts” relating to the driver’s fault, other than “fail to remain” ie the offence to which Oliveira pleaded guilty. The defence lawyer should have been happy with such an outcome, so it may well be that the matter is simply being delayed for the inevitable jail sentence.

The defence lawyer did not even show up but sent an “agent”, in this case a junior colleague. This was very unusual, and we expected the judge to have harsh words for the defence lawyer. She did not. (The accused also did not attend but we presume there is some provision allowing for this in this circumstance.)

Between now and Sept 14, the Crown and defence are to work out the “agreed facts”, and then the matter will be adjourned for sentencing.


There was a good contingent of cyclists in attendance to support the family, and to ensure that the Crown and Court know that the public is following the matter.  Angela is hiding behind Andy in the photo. One other cyclist left before I snapped this picture. The person you may not recognize is a reporter from the Sun. Note also that Andy was able to bring his Brompton into the courthouse.

It is vitally important that the broader community not forget any of these road victims. Tom’s father has voiced his support for vulnerable road users legislation. Since two of the three cyclist deaths (Zhi Yong Kang and Adam Excell) earlier this summer also involved hit and run, this is an issue that will not go away and has to be addressed. If the laws are changed, then at least all these deaths will not have been in vain.

We will continue to follow this story, and will put the word out (most probably on the ARC FB page) when sentencing is scheduled again.

update: Cycle Toronto’s petition for Vulnerable Road Users Law.

Just a few pictures from the shop today (poor pictures due to crap phone camera)

Here Cam has loaded up Eta with weight so that he can prepare to position the wheel skirts properly. Aerovelo is preparing for a final round of testing this coming week. At this point, it’s more about Todd getting enough seat time, rather than further tweaks to the bike.

Chris is pitching in on frame fabrication for Eta prime.

On the way back, I towed home one of my bikes that I had loaned to HPVDT so that I can get some recumbent seat time. You can see that my Haul a Day cargobike can tow virtually any kind of bike.

Open Streets TO 2015

Today was another Open Streets TO event, where sections of Bloor and Yonge were closed to car traffic. This is the second year for this event. Here at Bloor and Spadina, we meet up right away with Stuart and Magda who own two cargobikes, including a red Haul a Day.


In the background, you can see the canopy where Dave from Curbside was giving people test rides on a Babboe cargobike, and a Brompton.


Stuart’s Haul a Day was brand new and I noticed that his kickstand had a little bumper that kept it from clanking when you swing it up.


He also added these little bumpers on the end of the frame so that it wouldn’t get scratched when he stands the bike on end.


I also took a spin on their Pedego Stretch, and I could see how having e-assist could get addictive.


This cool Bullitt was also parked nearby.

Here we are at Bloor and Yonge.


Much less crowded than last year:


However, last year, this wasn’t there.

Heading down Yonge St. you can see that the turnout is low.


A contestant competing in the slow bike race.

As the morning went on, the crowds began to build.


Another cargobike and folder meet up at Bloor and Yonge.


As 1 pm rolled around, it was time to bring the car-free-dom to an end.


There will be another Open Streets TO event on September 6. Perhaps we’ll see you there!

Today, Sarah Doucette (Councillor, Ward 13) and Jacquelyn H. Gulati (Manager of Cycling Infrastrcture and Programs) ‏joined Janet Joy and I for a tour of Ward13 bike infrastructure. This was a follow up to similar earlier rides over the past year or so.


Here at High Park and Bloor, we discussed the sharrows that had recently been painted along High Park Ave. We are thankful that sharrows extend across Bloor St, but we would like to see better markings both north and southbound to prevent bikes from getting right hooked at this intersection.


Two other notes about the sharrows: one is that the contractor appears to have used substandard paint which has already faded (they will be redone), and the sharrows should have also extended across the intersections with Glenlake and here at Humberside.

DSC06385We spent quite a bit of time at the intersection of Jane and Annette, where the offset makes safety a real issue. There is also a lack of bike parking in the area, but more will not be added until the local BIA completes a street plan.


Riding westbound diagonally across Jane with traffic. The eastbound direction is trickier to navigate.


Janet Joy bikes up St. Marks hill every workday morning!


Here on Ellis Ave, we discuss the most hazardous hedge in the area.


Trapped on the small island on the NW corner of Ellis and Lakeshore.


We have submitted a proposal to the city that would improve safety for both pedestrians and cyclists at this and two other intersections along Lakeshore Blvd.


Ideally we would like to see separated bike and ped crossings on both east and west sides of this intersection. We were told that a stopgap measure of a northbound bike crossing might go in within a year (similar to the one at Colborne Lodge) but more extensive changes would have to wait for money and more approvals.

Looping back to High Park at the end of our tour, we run into this mysterious sign.


Many thanks to Jacquelyn and Sarah for taking the time today to tour the ward, and to take note of some of the improvements that can be made. We are all on the same page: we want to make it safe for everyone to get around by foot or by bike, and not just by car.

Eta and Eta prime update

It’s a little more than a month before WHPSC 2015, and both Aerovelo and HPVDT are busy working along parallel tracks. Aerovelo has been fine tuning their bike from last year, Eta, in preparation for a final round of testing before the big event.

Here is Victor, who is still working for Aerovelo on an occasional basis. He hopes to be able to come out to Battle Mountain if he files his thesis before the end of the month.

He says that DI2 shifting makes it much more convenient to take the stem out of the bike without having to tweak the shifting every time.

Meanwhile, HPVDT is busy building Eta prime. They have most of the major components done, and are preparing for final assembly. Here is Calvin with the front wheel.

Here is the frame almost complete.

and one of the halves of the front fairing.

More updates to follow as September approaches!


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