Archive for the ‘Bicycling life’ Category

When life gets a little stressful, I often find it therapeutic to set aside a little time to work on bikes. This afternoon, I took advantage of a break in the cold weather to do a little cleaning of the two bikes I have been riding this winter. I’m going to be overly optimistic in calling this a “mid winter thaw”, as it was a brutally cold couple of weeks from about Xmas up to a couple of weeks ago, and it’s not quite the end of January.

I put studded tires on the Haul a Day for the first time this winter, with a little assist from buddy Tim. You can see that it’s looking a little rough now.


The chain looks especially bad, even though a quick wipe shows that it is not as rusted as it appears.


My Norco doesn’t look nearly as bad, even though it is my regular winter ride.


In particular, you can see that the stainless chain I put on it two seasons ago is doing well.


Before I put a coat of Chain L on it,


I wipe off some of the grime.


You can see the strings of oil after application, while running the chain backwards.


and here’s a video. This stuff is tenacious.


Back to the Haul a Day. Here it is after a little clean up. I also wanted to make sure that I cleaned up the rear disc brake caliper as I’ve gone through two avid units that have seized due to corrosion due to being on the rear of long tails where they are out of sight, out of mind. The rear caliper on the HaD was replaced this summer after about two years.


The other odd thing about the HaD was that in the two weeks after I put on the studded tires, I got a flat on both the front and the rear on two separate days.


The second flat was particularly bad as I was out and about, and it was bitterly cold. The picture above was the only one that I got since my hands were freezing, and my phone was almost dead from the cold.

There was a little chatter on the internet claiming that the 406 size of Schwalbe Winter Marathons can be prone to flats due to the studs coming through the inner surface of the tire. I don’t know why I got those flats. It could have been a combination of using very wide tubes, and inflating the tires to 45 psi (which is still below what I would use with the summer tires).  Just in case, I decided to install some Mr Tuffy tire liners.

Here you can see that there is no evidence of the studs coming through the casing.


Mr. Tuffy installed.


The final touch was to replace the well worn seat cover that I got from Bike Law.


I brought over the waxed canvas seat cover from the pink bike, made by Randi Jo Fabrications. It was the last of the Tarik Saleh editions.  The seat cover is great since it has a flap that protects the underside of the seat as well. (not necessary with fenders, but a nice touch nonetheless.)


All set for the rest of winter. It’s not going to snow anymore is it?


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My year on bikes 2017

What is probably going to be my last bike ride of the year started with a beer run, before picking up some groceries. It was also the 1000th ride on my Haul a Day, which I’ve had for a little over 3.5 years now.


According to Cyclemeter, my mileage is a bit down from last year, but the number of rides is way up. The decrease in total distance is probably due to fewer longer rides, as I was not training for an event like STP this year.


Here are some month by month highlights:


Coldest day of the year ride.


Meeting Doug Ford on a bike



HPVDT competes at ASME HPVC East, in Cookeville TN.

The bike got through safety and the sprints, but our landing gear failed during the endurance race.



Bike for Mike, a charity ride in Hamilton


Toronto Ride of Silence 2017


As a side note, I had the honour of meeting Chris Phelan, founder of the Ride of Silence, this past December.


A ride from Burlington to Niagara Falls with TBN, which turned out to be the longest ride I did this year.


The annual Group Commute to City Hall, which kicks off Bike Month.



Memorial Ride for Xavier Morgan


Ride for Heart 2017. Once again providing ride support with TBN, this time in the rain.


Yonge Loves Bikes 2017


Ward 13 Audit Ride: keeping up the pressure for improvements to the intersections between Lakeshore, Windermere, Ellis and Colbourne Lodge.


HPV Racing at Waterford



Checking out the Arbutus Greenway in Vancouver.


A repeat visit to G&O Family Cyclery in Seattle, one of the best cargo bike dealers around.


A family bike ride in Banff.


Vigil with Friends and Families for Safe Streets. One of the best developments in advocacy was the cooperation between different organizations promoting safety for cyclists and pedestrians.



A second look at Hamilton Bike Share


At the beach with Cycle Toronto


Memorial ride for Emily Sharon Shields. Going a bit further afield to Oshawa, via GO train.


Books and Bikes along the Don River: another ride brought to you by the Reading Line.


One lap of Pelee Island by bike.



Opening of the Woodbine bike lanes


WHPSC 2017

Highlights included Delft/Amsterdam going just 1.4 kph shy of the women’s record, and Calvin going 127.6 kph, just 0.7 mph shy of 80 mph, good enough to win the mens’ title this year.


September also saw a significant ramp up in advocacy for the Bloor bike lanes, in advance of the votes at PWIC and City Council.

How cyclists are using the Bloor bike lanes?



Bloor bike lanes at PWIC: they pass with a 6-4 vote.


Memorial Ride for David Delos Santos.  We heard about his death while we were at the PWIC meeting.



Bloor bike lanes are approved at City Council Decades of advocacy by the likes of Albert and Hamish, along with a concerted push by Cycle Toronto pays off.


Candlelight walk and vigil for victims of road violence


I join the cult of Brompton


Culling the herd: goodbye to the PBW folder.



Showing Michigan bike advocate Tim Potter some of the downtown bike infra.


An update on the ASME vehicle build


Memorial Ride for Daryl Craig: the fourth cyclist killed this year within Metro Toronto.


Wishing you all safe riding and tailwinds for 2018!








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First snow on ground 2017


A few flurries this morning. Roads are clear though.

Gear for today:

warm and toasty


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Tonight was the second in a series of evening concerts put on by the Bicycle Music Festival, leading up to their main event on September 10. Cycle Toronto organized a ride from downtown to Taylor Creek Park.

Here we are in Asquith Green Park, just a block north of Bloor and Church.  Sam gets us organized.


Here we go down Rosedale Valley Rd.


Now north on Bayview Ave. It’s nice to have that solid guard rail between us and traffic.


Tunnel of trees.


Waiting for the Go Train to pass.


A brief water break at “the elephants”.


Caitlin of the Bicycle Music Festival provided the tunes during our ride.


Keagan just after she called in to say that we were going to arrive a little late.


and we’re here. Volunteers from Arts in the Parks show us where to turn.


Tonight’s band was Yuka, who laid down smooth Motown style grooves. I really wished that we had been able to provide a bigger crowd, but my guess is that a lot of people were scared off by the weather forecast of possible afternoon thundershowers.




Power for the sound system provided by bike, naturally. Note that the Yuba Mundo ridden by Caitlin is being put to work.


Riders had to keep the generated voltage within a certain range, as shown by the small meter.



A big thanks to YUKA, the Bicycle Music Festival, Cycle Toronto, and Arts in the Parks.

The next Sunset Series bike ride / concert is on August 15, with another following on August 29. All the infomation is at the Bicycle Music Festival website.


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I am truly blessed to have these two fine fellows as friends. Tim Potter (left) is the director of the MSU bike project, long time bike advocate, and webmaster for the Ride of Silence. http://www.rideofsilence.org/main.php His brother Jeff is also a life long cyclist and blogger at http://www.outyourbackdoor.com/DSC00441

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I can’t think of a better way to mark Family Day than with a bike ride. Fortunately, it is unseasonably warm, and all the ice on the roads has melted back over the preceding weekend. Lucy is patiently waiting while I get the bikes ready.



Here we are just about to start.

Here we go. K is enjoying her new, adult sized bike.


As we expected, the park was packed, but there wasn’t a problem getting bike parking.


Lucy had fun getting a little muddy.


On the way home, you can see the continuous line of cars circulating in search of a parking spot.


Looking back, our first family ride of the year was about a week earlier than last year. Looking forward, it looks like we still have some chance for snow in the forecast, but I’m glad we got out and about today.

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My year on bikes 2016

According to Cyclemeter, I’ve logged over 800 rides in 2016, and about 7000 km.


Here are some month by month highlights.

January: Coldest day of the year ride.


February: Ice Cycle 2016


March: Lucy and I get filmed for a music video.


1) HPVDT at ASME East. The team didn’t quite get their entry ready to run this year.


2) Toronto Ride of Silence


3) Bike to work day


1) Towards Vision Zero


2) A trip to Tokyo, including a visit to Cycle House Shibuya to see lots of folding bikes, and a look at bikeshare in Tokyo.

July: lots of activity this month:

1) checking out the cargobike and e-bike scene in Vancouver.


2) Seattle to Portland on a folding bike.


3) Ward 13 Audit ride with our local MP, MPP, and city councillor


4) A visit to Glasgow, checking out the nextbike bikeshare system, and a visit to Kinetics: a recumbent and Brompton dealer.


1) opening of the Bloor bike lanes


2)  Open Streets TO with a cargobike meetup.

3) participating in the Brompton Urban Challenge, and comparing my tikit to the Brompton.

September: another busy month.

1) A brief trip to Oslo, and a look at the city by bike

2) my annual trip to the WHPSC, where Todd Reichert resets the world record to just under 90 mph, and a first time team from Japan does surprisingly well.

3) Bells on Bloor, Victory Lap Edition

October: Cycle Toronto bikes Bloor Danforth


November: checking out the bike scene in Hamilton with a short ride up the escarpment in the company of Cycle Hamilton

December: back to winter biking.

Happy holidays, and safe riding next year!

Looking forward to the installation of more bike infrastructure across the city, and the approval of a permanent Bloor Bike Lane.

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