Today was the annual “Coldest Day of the Year Ride”, it being a comparatively balmy 7°C. The starting point this year was Sherbourne Commons, at the lakefront, and we were going to be routed along Queen’s Quay, up Simcoe, and along Adelaide to show off some of the recent downtown bike infrastructure.

Tino chats with this family with an awesome bike.


Jared gets things started with a few jokes about global warming.


Councillor Cressy does a little preaching to the choir about the bike lanes on Bloor pilot.


Councillors Davis and Fragedakis were also on the ride.

And we’re off, headed west on Queen’s Quay.


The lead group.


Up Simcoe, with all intersections corked by Toronto’s finest.


These kids were properly bundled up.


Liking this banner.


A group picture at the park on the corner of Adelaide and Jarvis.


Yvonne and Tino are taking the pictures.


a bit of confusion about which camera to look at. Don’t look at me!


Finally, Jared invites several hundred of his closest friends to “Betty’s” for some post ride refreshment.


Good to see so many people out for a fun ride downtown. Thanks to Cycle Toronto for putting on the event.



HPVDT bike inventory

As the years go by, the bike team has accumulated quite an inventory of HPV’s. Taking a cue from the Rose Hulman HPV team, they built some shelving to create a little more space.


Eta prime is on the top shelf, Bluenose and Celero below.

In another room shared by all the design teams, I see Ace (their first HPV) and Valkyrie tucked away in the corner.


Finally, Vortex is sitting out in the hall.


Last year’s ASME bike was MIA, but since it was an unfaired lowracer, it was probably squirreled away in a corner of their main room. Their new bike, Cyclone, is still under construction.  You can read about all their bikes here (including a rendering of Cyclone).

Judging by this picture, Rose Hulman still appears to have more space, and a larger inventory of HPV’s!


picture source

Here is our team’s space:


(Note to observant British readers: HPVDT’s claim on the British land speed record is based on the technicality that a certain past HPVDT member had a UK passport.)


Catherine Porter talks with Patrick Brown on the need for Vulnerable Road User legislation. Granted the driver pictured above is going to jail, but even this was a slap on the wrist, with the charge being reduced to “failure to remain”. As the linked article states, remaining at the scene can reduce the charge to a fine, even if someone is killed.

cf this blog post from September 2015.

Today was the repeatedly deferred sentencing hearing for Miguel Oliveira, who hit and killed Tom Samson at Davenport and Lansdowne in November 2012. The initial sentencing hearing was last August, where the defence and defendant didn’t bother to show up, and then there was a second hearing in December when the victim impact statements were heard. The judge then needed more time to render her judgement. It was scheduled for 10 am, but there was a further delay since it was reported that the defence lawyer was stuck in traffic on the DVP. It was snowing this morning, so I left home extra early, but apparently not everyone took similar precautions. There were about a dozen members of the cycling community there in support of the family and friends.

Here we are during a recess while we wait for the defence lawyer.

Shortly after I took that picture, we were allowed to file back into the courtroom.

All the following is from my notes, and any mistakes or misstatements are my fault.

The judge read out a shortened version of her statement of reasons, before announcing the sentence. The defence was requesting 12-18 months, with no driving for 5-10 years. The defence wanted 60 days jail time, with credit for time served, which could have resulted in the defendant walking out of the court as a free man.

The judge noted that this case did not address the issue of causation or fault for the collision. She also noted that the simply duty of remaining at a scene of an accident is not an onerous burden, and that because the defendant left the scene, this did not allow for a full investigation by police. Note that Oliveira was driving westbound, and it appears that Tom Samson was in the left turning position, about to turn southbound on Landsdowne when he was hit from behind. The first collision threw into the path of another vehicle. The second driver stayed at the scene.

Aggravating factors cited:

  • the defendant was already under a G2 licence, due to prior driving offences, including speeding at 20 km.hr over the limit, suspended license for unpaid fines.
  • the amount of damage to his van implies that he had to have known that he hit a cyclist, and that he had caused bodily injury at a minimum
  • family suffering was noted, but did not seem to factor into the sentence.

Mitigating factors:

  • the guilty plea
  • the defendant did turn himself in. Note that the initial collision had been covered in the media, and the police were in the process of tracking down the van when he showed up at 11 Division, 40 hours after the collision.
  • show of remorse
  • no criminal record
  • work history, with a letter of support from the current employer.
  • no violation of current probation terms.
  • a 4 month old daughter, for whom he is paying child support.

The judge seemed to rely heavily on prior case law, which in similar cases had sentences between 2-6 months of jail time.

The sentence was:

  • 6 months in jail, with credit of 3 months for time served on bail and house arrest during the 3 years since the accident.
  • jail time to be served on weekends
  • probation for 3 years.
  • 240 hours of community service
  • no driving for 2 years
  • has to submit a sample to the national DNA database

Here we are discussing the verdict afterwards.


There was some confusion about how much credit was given for going to jail after work on Friday, and back out on Monday morning; whether this counted as 2 or as much as 4 days. If it does count as four days, this means that the sentence is less than a year of weekends. Update: according to the CBC, somehow this translates to 15 weekends, which is less than 4 months……

At any rate, the light sentencing, based on prior case law, makes it abundantly clear that there has to be  Vulnerable Road User’s Legislation, so that minimum sentencing guidelines make a hit and run at least equivalent to a DUI. Otherwise, there will continue to be a clear incentive for drivers to leave the scene of a serious accident.

The defence lawyer talks to a scrum of reporters outside the courthouse.


I see that the CBC already has an initial report posted. At least the media is following this story, and maybe that will make a difference in the long run.

Ride safe, everyone. It’s a bit slippery out there.


Update: the updated version of the CBC story makes the sentence a bit more clear:

“Sentences served on weekends involve going to jail on a Friday evening and being released on Monday morning, giving credit for four days served each weekend.

Barry said Oliveira will likely be free on probation after serving 15 weekends. That is credited as 60 days, or two-thirds of the 90 days remaining on his sentence.”

15 weekends is a sick joke.

Update 2:



The Whoopie Deux is Bike Friday’s version of a safety rail for passengers on the rear deck.

It differs from the Hooptie for the Xtracycle, or the monkey bars for the Yuba Mundo in that it is not a complete loop. Here is a picture of a Yuba Mondo with the Monkey Bars.DSC05636

With the addition of a seat back, it is not a big deal that the Whoopie Deux is open at the back. When we first got ours, I mounted the lateral brace at the back of the deck as I’ve seen it installed on other Haul a Days.

However, this made it difficult for my daughters to climb onto the rear deck

So, I moved it halfway forward.

It turns out that this has other advantages. One is that it makes it easier to tow all sizes of bikes, even one with a front rack.

Another is that in conjunction with a bungie cord, it is easy to stow large, light items on the rear deck without even unhooking the bungie.

Even though I don’t really carry passengers much anymore, and even when I do, they don’t take safety that seriously ;), I think I’ll hold onto the Whoopie Deux.
_DSC1594 copy

(photo: D. Guthrie)

Update: Davey Oil  of G&O Family Cyclery informs me that “it comes with a horizontal bar that closes the loop now. doesn’t seem like you want or need that, but maybe you should update the info on your blog?”

and I see this now in this picture from the Bike Friday website, where there is a note saying that the rear bar can be removed to accommodate kid seats. I see also that they’ve made the front part of the mount independent of the seatpost, which is another nice upgrade.

part deux


The bike team is busy

Dropped by the bike team to see what they were up to in this New Year. The HPVDT skunkworks were crowded today, and the whole joint was buzzing with other teams also being present.


A large fairing being laid up.


Sherry working with some new members on electronics.


The team is working on a couple of things in parallel, one of which is building a new bike for ASME East this coming May. I was pleased to see that the bike is farther along at this point in the year than it has ever been.

The team gets ready to see a presentation at their weekly meeting. The the background, you can see parts of the checklist and the Gantt chart from Aerovelo’s Eta project.


The last item on the checklist was checked off by Marc, who was visiting. (note to team: someone also check off the item above it).


Yesterday was the first really cold riding day of the winter, and so it was time to break out the wool balaclava.

For good measure, I switched over to the winter bike, even though the roads were clear. The main reason I did so was that it has the Handlebar Booties already mounted. Since the last time I blogged about the bike, I added the Japanese style kickstand. Also a Bitlock, which BTW works fine at -15C (I’ll do a review in due course).

It was also the ideal time to try out a pair of winter pants that I got from Makers & Riders back in November 2014. The model that I got was the “3-Season Dispatch Rider Weatherproof Trouser – Black with Plush InnerCore”, which from the looks of the website, is no longer sold. However, they still have a 3-season Commuter Trouser, and although some of the detailing looks different (especially around the back pockets), a comparison with an archived page about the older pant shows that they are still using the same “Polartec Power Shield Pro Material 258g/m2” material, so this review should still be relevant.

Bottom line: they were more than warm enough at -15C, even perhaps even too warm. I’d say they’d be good to at least -25C. The leg cuff width is narrow enough that you don’t need a pants clip. The material is a softshell material that is fleece backed, and it is thick enough to give a bit of a snowpants look and feel. You can notice the thickness of the material around the belt loops.
DSC07284I’d say that they wouldn’t really pass for office wear, but that is OK as they’d certainly be too warm to wear indoors for much of the year.

One thing that I really like is the decently sized phone pocket.
DSC07285 My phone has been pulled up for illustrative purposes, but it can be pushed down out of sight.

When you turn the garment inside out, you can really see the high quality of the sewing, and the very durable looking pocket material, as well as the rubberized waist elastic that really helps keeping a shirt tucked in.
In summary, a very warm pair of pants, great for winter riding, but they’d be too warm for “3-season” use. Sewn in Chicago, in a way that looks like they will last for years.

Ranked in order of decreasing warmth (YMMV): Makers & Riders (good to as cold as I am willing to ride, which is down to about -25C), Swvre regular wwr pants (probably good to -15C), Outlier M back climbers (about as warm but less wind and water resistant), Outlier Slim Dungarees (good to about-10C, and my all around riding pants for most of the year), Levi’s commuters (not much use in the winter, and the water resistance goes away after several washes, but the stretch in the fabric is good).

Keep warm, everyone!


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