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Tonight was the memorial ride for Dalia Chakos, a 58 year old grandmother who moved to Toronto from the US two years ago and loved riding her bike in the Annex neighbourhood. She was killed by a flatbed truck at he corner of St. George and Bloor. Even before tonight’s ride, people had left flowers in her memory.

A very large crowd gathered at Bloor and Spadina.

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Geoffrey talks to the media.

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Dalia’s son, Skylor Brummans, flew in from Minnesota to attend the ride. He was determined to use the news of his mother’s untimely death to press for more safety for cyclists.

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Joey makes the usual announcements to get us rolling.

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We start lining up on Spadina in preparation for heading north.

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Here we go.

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Pause at Lowther.

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Right turn on Bernard.

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Pause for a regroup before turning south on St. George.

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The ghost bike arrives at the crash site.

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The crowd is so large that we block the intersection.

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Setting up the ghost bike.

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Joey calls for a minute of silence.

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Afterwards, people come forward to decorate the bike.

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We own the intersection for a brief period of time. It was striking that after an initial bit of honking, many cars waited patiently for us to finish.

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Skylor thanks everyone for attending, and says that his mother would not have believed that hundreds of strangers would ride in her honour.

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Believe me, this is the very least we could do in her memory.

As the crowd disperses, the banner is still held across one lane.

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The decorations.

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Deepest condolences to Dalia’s family and friends. The presence of Skylor and his wife was highly appreciated.

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Thanks to everyone who rode with us tonight.

Note: a few of these pictures have been cross posted to a separate blog post at Dandyhorse Magazine.

Update:

Bells on Danforth 2018

Today was the annual Bells on Danforth ride, a day to remind ourselves about the joy of cycling.

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Bells on Bloor organized a small ride to the ride starting from Bloor and Spadina.

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Albert pulling a bike trailer with signage.

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Across the viaduct.

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A brief detour south as a portion of the Danforth was closed off at Broadview for a street fair.

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The ride starts at Withrow Park. Tom is our emcee today.

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Liz from CycleTO and Janet Joy from the Reading Line.

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First speaker was Peter Tabuns, newly reelected MPP. He read out the acknowledgment of lands, and then apologized for not being free to ride with us.

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Next: Janet Joy Wilson talked about the upcoming book ride on August 26 that is themed around the Prince Edward Viaduct. She was raffling off a signed copy of “In the Skin of a Lion”.

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As Bells on Danforth is a non partisan community organization, they did not allow anyone who is running for office to speak. However, Mary-Margaret McMahon is not in that category as she will be stepping down in the fall due to a self imposed two term limit. She talked about how she will continue to press for better bike infrastructure, partially through her efforts on PWIC.

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Janet Davis announced just this week that she is also not running this fall. With the loss of her and Mary-Margaret, we have lost two strong proponents of cycling, and the two champions of the Woodbine bike lanes. She said that she and MM will continue to press for a corridor study to be started before the election as part of a continuing push for bike lanes on the Danforth. She reminded us that not only should we be talking our local councillors; we should also be putting pressure on the mayor’s office.

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Liz Sutherland announced CycleTO’s new campaign: #BuildTheGrid, which is an update of the “minimum grid” campaign.

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Just before the ride, the draw for the book was done.

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Regrettably I did not get the name of our happy winner.

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Mark from CycleTO.

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One thing that was noticeable to me was the large number of families with kids, many more that I have ever seen on the Bells on Bloor rides. Here is the most elaborate kid bike set up I saw today.

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Now time to line up on Logan.

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Our leaders head off with the banner.

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Here we go.

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Lots of kids.

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Albert Koehl.

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I was impressed that Danielle’s friend could ride slowly enough in full aero tuck position.

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Jess Spieker from Friends and Families for Safe Streets.

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Warren “pool noodle” Huska.

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Approaching Woodbine.

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Turning north on Danforth Rd.

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Arriving at the Oakridge CRC.

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Janet Joy with Sarah Climenhaga who is running for Mayor. She is fully engaged on active transportation issues.

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Scarborough Cycles and the Ward 32 group.

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Some fellow Bells on Bloor members.

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One last reminder about the new campaign. I forgot to ask CycleTO to smile.

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Overall, a perfect day for a bike ride, with lots of families present. Starting and finishing at Community Centres was a smart idea.  Thanks to all the organizers for a wonderful event.

Here is a brief video of the front half of the rider pack.

 

 

Tonight was the ghost bike memorial for Jonas Mitchell, a 35-year-old male cyclist struck on 15 May 2018 on Lake Shore Blvd at Colborne Lodge Road, the evening before Douglas Crosbie was killed. Jonas died from his injuries on Friday, 8 June 2018.

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(image source: gofundme)

Here is the ghost bike ride arriving at the crash site.

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The ghost bike.

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The banner. Actually the traffic waiting to turn left from eastbound Lakeshore was very patient. We appreciated this.

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A reminder of another victim on Lakeshore.

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A minute of silence.

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Alan sings for solidarity.

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Jonas’ dad makes a few remarks. He says that we should all take care. However, the difference between careless cars and bikes is that the cars will always win, regardless of fault. He did note that the person who killed Jonas ran a red light.

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This has been a difficult week for cyclists in the city, with three dead and another in Markham. There will be other ghost bike rides this coming Sunday and Wednesday. The media was present tonight.

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His parents.

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With the recent, dense spate of deaths due to traffic, there are finally calls in the mainstream media for something to be done.

It remains to be seen if the city is serious about Vision Zero. Just throwing more money at it is not going to work.

First step would be to change the membership of PWIC. Second would be to make it easier to reduce speed limits. Too many pedestrians and cyclists are dying on our streets.

This is aside from the fact that we have been asking for improvements at this particular intersection since 2011, with a formal proposal submitted to the city in 2014.

Condolences to family and friends of Jonas Mitchell. Thanks to those who came to tonight’s memorial.

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Video ny Mike Whitla:

 

Montbell Wallets

My needs for a wallet are simple but somewhat contradictory: I want it to be relatively thin, while at the same time it has to have a coin pocket that I mostly use to carry a spare key for the office. For about four years, I’ve been using a simple one from Montbell. It has three card slots to the right, one to the left, and a small pocket for coins that closes with velcro.

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However, after four years of hard use, it was showing its age.

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So off to Montbell I went. The updated version of the same wallet is basically the same, with two minor tweaks: the card slot under the coin pocket is gone, and each of the slots on the other side are just a little deeper. This second change addresses the one quibble I had with my old one: cards were not as secure in the outermost pocket.

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Actually, since these things are not that expensive, I bought two more. One has a mesh outside which will provide a bit more friction so that it is less likely to slip out of back pocket. This version is not available on the Montbell US site.

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The other one is a super light tri-fold design with a zipper pocket that I’ll keep in reserve.

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Note the Montbell also makes some bigger and thicker wallets, but I was only interested in the thinner models.

Looks like I’ll be set for wallets for a while, but in the meantime, if anyone is looking for a slim wallet with a coin pocket, you know where to go.

During a quick trip to Tokyo, I took advantage the one day where the forecast didn’t have rain to do a little biking with my brother’s family. They live in an older section of Tokyo east of downtown between the Sumida and Arakawa Rivers. This section is criss crossed with small canals, and there are some nice multiuse pathways along some of them.

My niece has a nice new minivelo branded as Bianchi with very sweet details. However, I don’t think the fabric seat and grips are going to stay clean for very long.

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These sharrows go in both directions even though this street is one way in the facing direction for car traffic.

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Here we are on an east west section of a multiuse path that goes within about 1 km of the Arakawa River. What is great about this section is that almost all the intersections with streets use underpasses.

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There are many clever features built in to slow down bike traffic to make things safe for all users. Here are some very closely spaced bollards.

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Many chicanes as well.

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Cyclists of all ages were out today.

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Here is a map of this particular greenway system.

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Reaching the Arakawa River, there are ramps over the flanking levees for bike access.

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Here at the top of the levee.

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At this point I ran into two bike enthusiasts with a Brompton and a Tikit.

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Here we go along the river. Nice wide open spaces for everyone.

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My brother took this picture of me taking pictures.

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On the way home, I met one more bike guy who was riding a nice Birdy. He also was wearing a folding helmet. He had just gone to a shop to buy some upgrades for his Birdy; notably some drop bars.

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It being a Saturday, the pace of car traffic was slower, and many people were out and about. Tokyo is a pretty civilized place to bike on weekends.

 

 

Ride for Heart 2018

Today was the annual Ride for Heart, and appropriately enough, it was on the first World Bicycle Day.  As per my custom for the last couple of years, I was providing ride support, along with a crew of my fellow TBN members.

Here are a couple of other TBN’ers at the start.

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I know who built this bike. I see that it wasn’t unique enough for it to be a recumbent two wheel drive, two wheel steer tandem, so this year they appear to have added a trailer. Unfortunately I missed seeing them underway.

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Here we go.

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Decent weather for once. Mixed cloud, and not too hot.

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This dad is still smiling, but he has a good ways to go.

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Looking back at the skyline.

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My first customers of the day. He had front and rear pinch flats after hitting a pothole on the downhill after the Gardiner switches to the DVP. She just needed a little air. (actually there was one other person before this who had flatted, but he didn’t have the special wrench to loosen his theft resistant skewers).

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Once people saw that I had a floor pump out, a couple of them pulled over as well. These folks just needed some air.

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Approaching the Bloor St. viaduct.

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Another flat.

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One more. I advised her to replace her tires fairly soon as they looked like they were about 20 years old. They were the original tires on the bike.

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Seat post adjustment.

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After the turnaround for the 25 km route, things calmed down considerably. There was a very high turnout of families, perhaps because of the good weather.

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Approaching the big dip associated with Lawrence Ave.

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Nice to see that traffic on the 401 is moving well.

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At the York Mills turnaround. You will note that I was doing a little political advertising as well.

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This was our sole customer on the downhill portion of the ride. A flat fix.

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I had a nice conversation with Roy on the way back. He has several e-assisted bikes. He is also looking forward to delivery of his Helix titanium folding bike, as are many others.

As per usual, I bypassed the start/finish and rode back to High Park on the Gardiner. This part of the ride was very peaceful as it was only for the 75 km riders. Props to the little kid on the 20″ mountain bike who did 75km with mom.

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I didn’t quite get pictures of all of the people I met. Some of them just pulled over briefly to use tools. I probably helped about ten people; a good day’s work. Thanks to TBN for arranging the opportunity.

 

 

 

 

 

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Waterford 2018

The HPVDT attended the annual HPV rally at Waterford, Michigan last weekend. I was not able to attend, but Luke’s mother kindly provided some pictures. They follow below with minimal comment which might be updated as I receive more information from the team.  Enjoy!

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I’m assuming that the team is putting three ‘liners through tech in this picture. Looks like it rained Friday evening.

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Bill in Arbiter.

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Calvin  in Vortex.

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Luke with Tempest.

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For the first time that I recall, it looks like we have three streamliners on the track at once.

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Luke in Tempest.

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This is the most mysterious image of all that I was sent. It looks like Calvin is signalizing “2” through the vent just forward of the Vortex windshield.

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The Michigan HPVA blog is here, and I will link to any forthcoming reportage on the rally.