16″ wheel City Bike

I saw this very practical 16″ wheeled Japanese city bike parked on Bloor.


Note the frame integrated rear rack, the metal fenders, the swing down kickstand, chainguard and large front basket.  Also the added frame rail for a kid seat.


There is a very compact Nexus three speed hub with a drum brake in the back.


Front sidewall generator, and you can see the small yellow registration sticker as well.


It’s getting colder

It was -4C riding in this morning, so it was finally time to add the earflaps to the helmet.

I’ve also been wearing a pair of Swrve pants that I picked up this summer. They are thicker than the Outlier Slim Dungarees that have been my go to pants for commuting. They are a bit more water and windproof as well. The warmth is comparable to my M Back climbers that I also got last year. They don’t pass as regular office wear as well as the Outliers, since there are some bikey details such as: darts at the knees.
IMG_2467 and a reflective belt loop (covered by the jacket anyway).
IMG_2469 The other knock on these is that they only come in even waist sizes. For me (31 in the Outliers) the 30″ are a pretty good fit. I’ve been happy with them, and they are sewn in SF. I’ll do a proper review of these, the M backs, and a pair of Makers and Riders pants when it gets a little colder.

Traffic jam in the office today.

The solution: towing a bike home. This picture shows that it is no problem towing a 700C wheeled bike with a Haul a Day equipped with the “Cargo/foot rails Wide-w/wheel/bike holder-set”.

A little careful positioning resolves the potential conflict between the Whoopie Deux kid safety rail, and the porteur rack on my Rock Lobster.
DSC07083 You could even argue that the safety rail does a good job of providing somewhere to lash the front wheel. Note also that this is made possible by the fact that when I installed the Whoopie Deux, I chose not to put the cro mo brace all the way to the back of the u shaped safety rail, as is usually the case. This arrangement makes it easier for a single passenger to get on and off the bike if she is sitting towards the back of the bike.

Still no snow on the ground……


Update:  it snowed overnight, but it’ll be gone as soon as the sun comes up.IMG_2477

Moving Violation

Oops, I got pulled over for rolling through a stop sign on my bike on the way into work this morning. In the process I learned a couple of interesting things. Firstly, after being told to pull over, when the police car stopped, the first thing the officer did was inform me was that I was being recorded on video. I wondered if this was a reaction to the Sammy Yatim case. The officer then asked for my license, and asked about my driving record, which as far as I knew was clean. He found a moving violation from 1999, which was interesting to me since that was before I moved to Toronto, and so it must have been recorded during a visit to Canada, and it must have been logged on my MI license. After seeing that I was clean, he decided to let me off with a warning, which was very nice of him.

I asked if in the future I should be putting my foot down at a stop sign, and he said it was sufficient to slow way down, and he noted that cars also don’t come to a complete stop. He asked if I had a bell (I did) as well as a headlight. I had forgotten my light since I was riding a different bike than usual. Fortunately, my Torch T1 helmet counted as a headlight.

Looking at the ticket itself, I noted a couple more things. Firstly, I had asked him to note that this was a bicycle violation, but he didn’t bother checking off the relevant box since this was just a warning.

Secondly, the entire right hand side of the ticket had to do with traffic safety, particularly the safety of “pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers” in that order. A good message to send to drivers anyone that would incur a moving violation.

On the plus side, it was warm enough this AM to bike into work without a jacket.

Ride safe, everyone!

Club Titanium

Today was the final consult with my orthopedic surgeon about my broken collarbone. He seemed happy with the healing, and our conversation was about whether to leave in the hardware or not. He had told me on a prior visit that most people take it out, but this time he said that with the new lower profile plate, it might not be necessary. Since it doesn’t bother me, I’ve elected to leave it in. Apparently, in Banff that would make me a member of “Club Titanium”, or so says my brother who picked up quite a bit more Ti than me this summer.

The surgeon did ask if I ski, because the plate would make a second break worse. I said that I bike a lot, and he didn’t seem concerned. There you have it: cycling is safer than skiing.

Yesterday, there was a memorial ride for an unknown cyclist. A 56-year-old male cyclist died after being struck by a motor vehicle on November 3, just a week after Hardeep Singh Pahra was killed. He was struck on Highway 27, near Woodbine Racetrack. The name of the cyclist was never released by police, and this can happen at the request of the family.

Unfortunately, I was not able to ride, but several hardy souls did so, taking a route that was largely the same at the last ride. There is one picture posted by Geoffrey on Facebook.
image source

Thanks to everyone who rode. We cannot let the memory of these road victims pass unnoticed.

Dropping by the bike team

Made a brief visit to the bike team yesterday with some friends from out of town. Here is Steve trying out the fit in Eta Prime, which didn’t quite get finished in time for WHPSC 2015, but will be HPVDT’s entry for next year.

And here are some team members working on this year’s ASME HPVC entry, Cyclone.

The team is still working on at least one or two other projects in parallel. It’s going to be an interesting year….

Hardeep Singh Pahra was killed while riding his bike on Steeles Ave early on Tuesday, October 27. According to news reports, he was an engineer by training, and had recently emigrated to Canada with his family with a dream of a better life. He was on his way to work, and he had a routine of using a bike to bridge two segments of his commute on buses. Today was his memorial ride.

The ghost bike arrives at Bloor and Spadina.

Derek and his magnificent beard are interviewed by CBC.

Joey, iron man that he is, has already scouted today’s route. It’s going to be about 75 km round trip.

We get ready to start.

My bike is decked out with flowers for the ghost bike.

Riding through the Annex.

Meeting up with other riders at the top of St. Marks Hill.

Down into the Humber River valley. Most of the ride was along the Humber River trail system.

Regrouping just past the footbridge at Dundas St. W.

Joey routes us through a parking garage to avoid a nasty intersection in a gap in the Humber River trail at Weston Rd. and Oak St. Eventually this gap will be bridged, but the details of the right of way are still being worked out.

Another stop just short of Finch.

I didn’t know there was an RV park up in the northwest corner of the city.

Welcome to Brampton. Ordinarily we would never ride on the sidewalk, but this stretch of Finch is very bike unfriendly.

We arrive at Steeles Ave. It started to rain, and just as we arrived at the crash site, the rain turned to hail.

The group riding from Brampton arrives. Note the sign asking for witnesses to the crash.

Nadeem rode with us all the way from Bloor and Spadina on a Supercycle that was not in very good shape. He was a very strong rider, as a quick glance at his calves would also indicate.

Derek unloads the ghost bike.

The sun comes out as Dave chains up the ghost bike.

There were a few family members in addition to quite a few members of the community in attendance, including the local councillor, Gurpreet Dhillon, and the newly elected MP Raj Grewal.DSC02656





Afterwards we start heading home. It is bitterly ironic that we band of experienced cyclists elect to walk our bikes to the start of our off road route because we didn’t feel comfortable riding on the exact shoulder where Mr. Pahra died.

The beginning of the ride home.

I would like to express deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Mr. Pahra on behalf of all the riders.

Video of the ride:

Additonal CBC coverage here.

Note also that another cyclist was killed on HWY 27 in the same general area of the city on November 3.


Nick’s photos on FB.

CBC news coverage of the ride, and interviews at the crash site are the lead story in this Saturday November 7 newscast.

Further update:  Joey was hit by a car while riding in Caledon the day after leading the memorial ride. He says he is OK, just some scrapes and bruises. (picture from FB)


Ride safe everyone!


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